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ENEWS: G&J Breakfast Series, Willmar in National Spotlight, Addressing the Climate Crisis

Date Published: 05/17/2019

Author: Sarah Leistico

G&J’s Past, Present and Future

Join Joel, Dane and Jane for

Breakfast at Elsie’s on May 22

A few spots remain for you and a friend to attend the first event of our free summer breakfast series, on May 22 at Elsie’s in Northeast Minneapolis.  You’ll learn a lot more about the past, present and future of our work, as we lead Minnesota constructively toward a more inclusive economy.   At the first breakfast, you’ll hear from all three people who have led Growth & Justice since its founding in 2002:   Joel Kramer, Dane Smith, and current president Jane Leonard.  You will learn about our organization's influence on public policy and our ambitious new undertaking with The Minnesota Equity Blueprint, a guidebook for local and state leaders and residents toward racial, regional, economic and environmental equity.    Breakfasts at Elsie’s in July and August will feature presentations from partnered community development leaders focusing on racial equity and climate action.  The free breakfasts include eggs, sausage, bacon, french toast, bagels and pastries, fruit, and coffee. Stop by before you start your day!

Due to limited seating, we encourage you to also RSVP for the next breakfast on July 23, 2019. Click on the button below for tickets to all three breakfasts.


Willmar Featured in New York Times

The New York Times featured Willmar, MN in an opinion piece by acclaimed Minnesota native Thomas Friedman this week as the “the right answer to all three questions" of why communities might rise or fall. This success story is familiar across countless towns and cities in Minnesota, with an overarching theme: welcoming and embracing newcomers into towns and cities is a critical key to reviving regions and economies. The article illustrates that, “In Minnesota, the towns that are rising are places “that have said we need a trained work force with a good work ethic and we’ll embrace a redefined sense of community to get that.”

From education initiatives to community led exchanges, “The model is: listen to what the community needs and amplify it, and invest in bringing new voices to the table.” Willmar’s national spotlight reinforces the imperative Growth & Justice has placed on welcoming immigrants and newcomers. It is good for business, and local and state policy that empowers all Minnesotans to participate in a thriving, inclusive economy is vital to our future as a state.

Climate Leadership in Minnesota – Apply today!

The heat is on at the Minnesota State Capitol with legislative session ending May 20. One critical issue that has received a lot of coverage is the coalition pushing for 100% renewable clean energy in Minnesota by 2050, 100PercentMN. Following on the heels of several other states, Minnesotans wants our state to be the next to pass a clean, equitable, energy plan. Recently, several large Minnesota businesses including General Mills, Cargill, and Best Buy wrote a letter to the Governor urging action on reducing carbon and addressing climate change, “We support decarbonization strategies because they will help us ensure prolonged profitability, reduce risk, safeguard the resilience of our supply chains and allow us to better meet the growing demands of our customers and investors.”

In a related development, the Climate Reality Project sat down with Growth & Justice and several other Minnesota organizations this month to outline their national Climate Reality Leadership Corps training in Minneapolis from August 2-4, 2019. The training is free and will be three days of working with stakeholders and scientists to learn about the climate crisis and how it can be solved together. Interested individuals are encouraged to apply for the training on the Climate Reality Project website.

Quote: “We have close to 140,000 open jobs in Minnesota. We are getting calls from employers every day saying, ‘How do we find more individuals to work in our companies?’  “And we say: ‘Have you looked outside your normal hiring practices, maybe people who don’t have command of the English language but can do the job? Have you looked at people with disabilities or the recently incarcerated? When people come into our office now they see people who look like them. I don’t speak Spanish or Somali, but we have a very diverse staff here.” Joan Berning, Central MN Regional Administrator with the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development, quoted in the “President Trump, Come to Willmar” New York Times article.     

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