The Minnesota Equity Blueprint came in for high praise in the St. Cloud Times recently, in the form of commentary (”Blueprint Lays Out What We Need to Work Toward”) by Patrick Henry, retired executive director of the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research. Henry noted that although the Blueprint was published just before the COVID-19 pandemic began to dominate our lives, its 141 recommendations are more pertinent that ever as economic insecurity and regional and racial inequalities are magnified. Henry describes the pandemic as “The Big Subject’’ and the problems and solutions in the Blueprint as an “Even Bigger Subject.’’ The former has dramatized the need for the latter, including public investment to address child-care shortages, universal and affordable health care, mobility options for Greater Minnesota, and climate action. “Coronavirus is a dress rehearsal for climate crisis,’’ Henry wrote.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis is conducting a pulse survey to better understand the range of challenges that low-income communities face from COVID-19 and how those conditions are changing over time. The survey also is designed to help the Fed understand how this crisis is affecting organizations that serve and support communities throughout the region. Growth & Justice President Jane Leonard serves on the Community Advisory Board of the Federal Reserve’s Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute.
We strongly recommend to followers of Growth & Justice a new website and blog, “COVID ECONOMICS: Facts, Resources, Analysis from an Equity Lens.’’ The site was created by Bruce Corrie, an economist, former director of Planning and Economic Development for the City of St. Paul, and one of Minnesota leading authorities on business development among immigrants and communities of color. Corrie also was a principal organizer of OneMN.org, our partner in producing the Minnesota Equity Blueprint. Among the resources and proposals on the site: analysis of a proposal to provide a 30 percent wage subsidy, to mitigate layoffs and reduce incentives to rely on unemployment benefits.
“Will we wake up, mobilize, empathize now – for our own survival from coronavirus? Will we wake up, mobilize, empathize now and for the rest of our lives – for the survival of our planet on which our descendants will depend for their lives? Let’s build – both short-term and long-term – from the Minnesota Equity Blueprint.’’ Patrick Henry, retired executive director of the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research and author of the “The Ironic Christian’s Companion.’’