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ENEWS: A Business Take on Equity, “Solutionaries” Needed

Date Published: 01/04/2019

Author: Dane Smith

A Smart Business Take on Equitable Prosperity

Business columnist Neal St. Anthony has long been one of the wiser voices in Minnesota on what it takes for an economy to grow,  for businesses to be sustainably profitable, and for communities to thrive.  In a recent column outlining “work to do’’ and goals to seek for 2019 and beyond, St. Anthony affirms the priorities Growth & Justice has long championed.  These include:  capitalizing on and accelerating our state’s leadership in renewable energy;  more investment in closing racial disparities in workforce development, starting with early childhood development and focused on improving skills and higher-ed attainment; and immigration reform that puts  undocumented residents and their children on a productive path to legal status and inclusion.  Watch for those themes and specific policy direction when we announce our 2019-20 legislative priorities later this month, followed by the phased roll-out of our ambitious One Minnesota Equity Blueprint through first few months of 2019.

Calling All “Solutionaries’’

Minnesota Public Radio this week re-broadcast a speech delivered in November by Tonya Allen, president and CEO of the Skillman Foundation in Detroit, at the annual John Brandl celebration, which has been co-sponsored by Growth & Justice for the last decade.     In recent e-news blasts, we’ve drawn attention to her message and coinage of the term “solutionaries’’ to describe the kind of people and thinking we need to move past ideologies and partisan and regional divides.   We’re pleased that MPR chose her remarks to set the tone as we begin a new year with a new governor and a new Legislature that will be putting much more emphasis on unity and a “One Minnesota” mindset.  The MPR online story summarizing her remarks noted:  “A ‘solutionary,’ she said, is a bridge builder, an inventive activist and a person interested in doing things a better way…Allen called for persistence in addressing the problems of equity, community and opportunity and said we need ‘smashing audacity.’ 


"Smart doesn't solve problems. Money doesn't solve problems. People do.  But people need to be enabled with smart money, smart ideas, and clarity about the context." – Tonya Allen, president and CEO of the Skillman Foundation, cited above.

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