We still have room and you are cordially invited to attend the “Just Beer” event for Growth & Justice, anytime between 4 to 7 p.m., Thursday Nov. 21, at 56 Brewing (3055 NE Columbia Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55418). Please RSVP if you can at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-night-to-support-growth-justice-tickets-80143032969 At the event, you’ll hear about our ambitious effort to engage Minnesotans statewide in collaborative creation of the Minnesota Equity Blueprint, a comprehensive guidebook for inclusive and sustainable prosperity in the North Star State. Also: Two free drink tickets to each attendee!
If you can’t join us but want to support our constructive advocacy for racial and economic equity in a more sustainable natural environment, you can do so at https://www.growthandjustice.org/support
In response to a harshly divisive commentary in the Star Tribune from a St. Cloud resident who ridiculed the Twin Cities for its “612 values” (a reference to the Minneapolis-centered area code), a legislator from St. Peter responded this week with a positive and measured counterpoint. State Rep. Jeff Brand wrote that “even in our economic differences, we are still connected. Many products leaving Greater Minnesota’s fields and factories travel up Hwy. 169 and Interstate 35 to the Twin Cities every day. The greater Mankato area does more than $100 million in trade each year with the Twin Cities. Greater Mankato Growth tells me that 350 employees commute down from the Twin Cities to Mankato, with another 280 commuting in the other direction. Economically, we are linked.” Further noting how the larger tax base and wealth of the Twin Cities helps produce Local Government Aid for rural areas, Brand called for rural and urban Minnesotans “to re-examine this relationship, and the benefits of building ‘One Minnesota.’ ” Brand concluded: “Greater Minnesota cannot go it alone, and neither can the Twin Cities. It’s a partnership forged early on between the St. Peter farmer and the St. Paul miller. It continues with college graduates from greater Minnesota who continue to look for opportunity in their career paths.’’
Earlier this year in our legislative priorities, Growth & Justice and our partners in the Thriving by Design Network called for aggressive investment to protect and restore the quality of Minnesota’s priceless liquid treasure -- our iconic lakes, streams and groundwater. We called specifically for more funding for rural sewage and water systems and cooperative efforts to help farmers comply with buffer laws and other regulations that limit agricultural pollution. The latest report from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency-- estimating that 56 percent of our streams and lakes are impaired in some way-- underscores the full magnitude of the challenge. A Star Tribune article about the report noted that progress has been made by some communities in improving water quality and that the impairment percentage represents recent final completion of the sampling effort, not necessarily a worsening of water quality. Our Minnesota Equity Blueprint chapter on Environment and Climate Action is currently being drafted and will be part of the final release in Februray 2020. The chapter includes inspiring stories of communities coming together to take their local streams and lakes off the impairment list.
“It’s not just about the river. It’s about the whole 8,000 square miles that drain into it.” --Greg Seitz, canoeist and kayaker and founder of the website St. Croix 360, in Star Tribune article cited above on impairment status of the St. Croix River.