Our work on a One Minnesota Equity Blueprint has been attracting particularly favorable reviews in Greater Minnesota. The latest example is an eloquent op-ed in the St. Cloud Times by Patrick Henry, retired executive director of the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research. Henry captures the spirit and substance of our project as “a shared vision towards racial equity, climate action, more opportunities for all our people in the bottom and middle, with a strong accent on a more inclusive prosperity for Greater Minnesota.’’ We love Patrick’s closing exhortation. “Get off the world? No. Stand alone? No. Thriving by design, together? Yes. Let’s build it.’’
Growth & Justice has joined the 100% Campaign this year and our staff was there among the throng of supporters for a press conference and kick-off of the campaign at the state Capitol this week. This ambitious effort to accelerate our state’s progress toward renewable energy got front-page treatment or prominent coverage statewide, from the Bemidji Pioneer, to MPR, to the Star Tribune to the Southwest Journal. Proponents of the key legislation, which speeds up our already admirable progress toward renewables, emphasized that the policy is a tremendous opportunity for business growth and that the goals on renewable energy are generally supported by the state’s business lobbies, the utility industries, and increasingly by conservatives and Republicans. Helping the case was a national report from Yahoo.com Finance this week showing that Minnesota is now one of 12 states where the fastest growing occupation is solar panel installer.
A documentary showcasing our work “Thriving by Design: Rural and Urban Together,” is coming soon to Pioneer Public TV, western Minnesota’s outstanding public television channel. Also on Pioneer TV, we recommend a documentary on the Grow Our Own project in southwestern Minnesota, a movement Growth & Justice has promoted since its launch in 2016. Grow Our Own focuses on racial and economic equity and is helping rural communities build five pillars a child needs to succeed: stable families and parenting, quality early childhood experiences, engagement during the K-12 years, safe and caring communities and pathways to successful careers.
“Rich or poor, black, brown or white, rural or urban, every gender, every age, each of us belong in Minnesota’s future. That starts with clean air, clean water and a stable climate. But that’s not enough. We need an economy that’s fair, a society that’s inclusive and a democracy that works for all of us.’’ – Emma Erdahl, of East Isles neighborhood of Minneapolis, in Southwest Journal letter to the editor, cited above.