Our soon-to-be-released Minnesota Equity Blueprint -- a comprehensive long-term guidebook for shared prosperity in a healthier environment – was the topic of a wide-ranging conversation recently on AM950. Growth & Justice Senior Fellow Dane Smith outlined how racial and geographic disparities, combined with rapid climate change, are clouding Minnesota’s economic future. The discussion then turned to best practices, promising local actions and public policies that assure a more equitable economy and healthier environment. The Blueprint is scheduled for publication and release on Feb. 27. More information and previews of its contents are available in our latest Progress Report.
Mark Seeley, a highly regarded climatologist and a fixture on Minnesota Public Radio, implored Minnesotans in a recent Star Tribune Op-ed to apply their famous “philantrophic spirit’’ toward climate action. Consequences are mounting up,’’ Seeley said. “The challenge to adapt to climate change and find ways to mitigate the future pace of change is just as important to preserving the fabric of our great Minnesota community and way of life as our philanthropic efforts are.’’
State Rep. Dean Urdahl, a rural Republican known for his ability to work across the aisle, has recently invited and played host to both of the Twin Cities’ big city mayors for listening sessions and tours. The latest to visit and spend a day was Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, who met with mayors and local government officials from a half-dozen towns in west-central Minnesota. They immediately found common ground, according to a report from the Litchfield Independent Review. Hutchinson City Council member Steve Cook noted that metro and rural cities are in need of increased Local Government Aid from the state and all regions are seeking more bonding authority to fix aging wastewater systems. Said Mayor Frey: “The urban-rural divide is not the chasm (that) politics makes it out to be. We have the same goals and hopes and dreams. At the end of the day, we’re all Minnesotans rallying around common causes.”
“ It is a ‘seize the day’ opportunity for us to unite as a broad community and lead the nation in climate adaptation and in incentivizing, strategizing and deploying climate mitigation.’’ -- Mark Seeley, professor emeritus, and former Minnesota Extension climatologist, at the University of Minnesota, in Star Tribune commentary cited above.