If you click here, you can read the first draft of our legislative agenda showing the top priorities we have gathered over the course of the meetings we’ve held to collect your input. The priorities are sorted into the four chapters of the Minnesota Equity Blueprint— Human Capital, Economic Development, Infrastructure, and Environmental Resilience. Beneath each chapter’s top priorities, we’ve listed some of the main notes, updates and changes that we’ve heard from attendees of the Blueprint Blastoffs. Please read it through and send us any feedback you might have. Additionally, if there is a single priority among the entire agenda that really stands out to you as the top priority, please include that. Please send any feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org before January 18.
Dear Readers: I was going to write a reflection this week on 2020 and all we had accomplished but was so horrified by the scene at the U.S. Capitol yesterday that I am stopped in my tracks. Trumpist thugs, domestic terrorists, however you define them, defiled the symbol of our democracy at the behest of their supreme leader. They delayed the certification of Electoral College results. They climbed the scaffolding & balconies set for the Biden-Harris inauguration where four years ago Trump announced at his inauguration that “This American carnage stops right here.”
The carnage instead began that day, four years ago, and came to a retching violent crescendo yesterday. 2016 was a wake-up call for our democracy; 2020 began a reckoning for health, economic and racial justice. January 6, 2021, in the Christian tradition, was the Epiphany, as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi pointed out in reassembling Congress to continue their work into the wee hours today. Pray that enough citizens and elected and appointed officials who have supported Trump these many years experienced an epiphany of their own yesterday: a sudden and striking realization with 13 days left in our national nightmare that they had enabled a monster and monstrous behavior and now must help our nation recover.
Pray that we never forget how precious and fragile our democracy is. May we all be resolute in the weeks and months and years ahead to rebuild our democracy, our government, our communities, and our economy so that it is inclusive of all of us, and equitable for all of us. Let us come together as a diverse vibrant American community that belongs to all of us, not to mob rule.
To help that diverse, vibrant community come into full being, we’ve worked over the past two years with Region Five Development Commission (R5DC) and this week announced the release of the Equity Action Guide for Rural Communities, created by a team of community champions from Growth & Justice with the support of the R5DC staff and project team members. It responds to requests from rural Minnesotans for a road map on how to create equitable economic ecosystems (E3). The guide shares stories from people who have worked on equity and inclusion in small to mid-sized communities for a long time. These case studies showcase emerging practices in equitable and inclusive community and economic development. To view this guide and see other resources, please visit www.regionfive.org/welcoming-communities.