Minnesota Compass, a highly respected source that tracks socio-economic conditions in Minnesota, has created a special page on its website for data on pandemic impact. Compass’s data points reinforce mounting evidence of a strongly disparate impact on communities of color and low-income families, and the website makes a point that Growth & Justice has emphasized in recent years: “Minnesota was on shaky ground heading into the pandemic. Our 2020 Compass Points shows that several social determinants of health both influence and are influenced by a global pandemic. We have been seeing stagnant or declining progress (on conditions for disadvantaged populations).’’ Meanwhile the Minnesota Budget Project blog offers a compelling case, which has been backed up by agribusiness leaders, for making sure all immigrants, documented and otherwise, benefit from pandemic relief efforts. From the blog: “Immigrants – both documented and not – are essential workers and contributors to fighting the COVID crisis. Immigrants are working in key industries like food production, retail, transportation, and health care, that we are all counting on to get through this public health emergency. Additionally, many immigrants, working in industries that have been significantly impacted by coronavirus -- such as hospitality and food service -- are also struggling and many are out of work. But despite their important contributions and roles in our community and workforce, our immigrant neighbors have been left out from many of the most significant policy responses to the coronavirus.”
Echoing themes in The Minnesota Equity Blueprint, the Brookings Institution and the Aspen Institute published a paper by three public policy experts calling for redesign and reinvestment in rural regions. The authors argue that “rapidly accelerating economic fallout makes concrete the risks for a national economy built on the success of just a few key metropolitan economic centers. When the nation turns to the work of recovery, the goal must be to expand the number and breadth of healthy communities, jump-starting a more equitable and diverse landscape of resilient rural and regional economies.” Check out the full article, Redesign Required: Principles for Re-imagining Federal Rural Policy in the COVID-19 Era.
After two years of endeavor, we launched the fully-fledged MN Equity Blueprint in late February and planned to disseminate it statewide this spring and summer through a series of locally-hosted events. We wanted to seek more feedback and, preparing for the 2021 legislative session, grow the cause to use the Blueprint as a springboard to help achieve a more equitable, inclusive, and thriving home in which to live and work. Almost immediately, we had to shelve our face-to-face outreach in response to Covid-19's social distancing requirements and go completely online. And now, like every non-profit, Growth & Justice faces financial challenges related to the pandemic, with donations down as our fellow Minnesotans struggle economically. The Blueprint -- your comprehensive framework and advocacy tool for inclusive and equitable outcomes, including those focused on health care and economic security – will be more relevant than ever as we all work to recover in the many months ahead. To help ensure Minnesota's recovery moves in the direction of equitable and inclusive policies and practices, we urgently need your new or continued support and encourage giving this spring through #GiveAtHomeMN. This virtual fundraising event will take place May 1 - 8 for nonprofits and schools all across the state, via the GiveMN fundraising platform. GiveMN will be donating its portion of the processing fee—about 2%—back to the organizations raising money thru May 2020. If you are at all able, please provide financial support in any amount to help our staff continue community engagement and research. You can give either through our GiveMN Growth & Justice page or directly to G & J at https://www.growthandjustice.org/support. Thank you!
“ The virus is now reaching into rural communities and Native American nations where, in many places, the compounding forces of race, poverty, and geographic isolation hits hard. County-level maps are showing an alarming rate per capita in many less densely populated communities throughout the US.—Blogpost by Katharine Ferguson, Tony Pipa and Natalie Geismar, cited above by Brookings Institution and Aspen Institute.