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ENEWS: Voter Rights and Invest for Real Prosperity

Date Published: 01/20/2022

Author: Erin Wilson

Democracy, Voter Rights & Suppression, and Redistricting

As mentioned in our last newsletter, we’re starting a new segment in e-news for updates and news concerning democracy, voter rights & suppression, redistricting, and other related topics. This week, we’re linking to coverage of efforts from President Biden and Democrats to pass a voting rights bill in Congress. If Democrats were able to change the filibuster, they could pass the bill without Republican approval. Here’s a NYT article on the various proposals from Democrats to change the filibuster. However, as of yesterday, the Senate did not alter filibuster rules and Republicans blocked the voting rights bill. You can read coverage and find key points about this on this page from CNN. 

Reflecting on G & J’s influential publications - Invest for Real Prosperity 

Invest for Real Prosperity (2007)

In honor of our 20th anniversary celebration this spring, we’re putting together a timeline of the most influential Growth & Justice policy publications over the years. In each week’s e-news, we’ll feature a notable past publication for your review and reflection. This week will focus on Invest for Real Prosperity (2007). 

Invest for Real Prosperity was a strategy to create a fairer and more sustainable Minnesota economy. It defines “real prosperity” as “economic growth that benefits all income levels and creates civic health, not just wealth,” (A Citizen’s Guide to Invest for Real Prosperity, 2007, p. 1). The strategy entailed an additional $2 billion each year (which equals 1 penny per dollar earned by Minnesotans— highest earners pay two pennies, extremely low income Minnesotans pay next to nothing). As written in G & J’s Nov. 2006 newsletter, this could potentially “a) guarantee health coverage for all children in families earning under $60,000, b) ensure affordable quality child care to all Minnesota families, and c) build out our metro transit system to reduce congestion-induced travel delays and improve the environment.” (Vol. 5, Nov 2006, p. 2).

As noted in that same 2006 newsletter, “more than 200 financially successful Minnesotans signed a full-page ad published in the Star Tribune, saying they supported the investment plan, which calls on people in their income bracket to pay the biggest share of the taxes required to finance it,” (Vol. 5, Nov. 2006, p. 1). The headline of the ad said, “We can afford to pay more in state taxes, and we can’t afford not to.” 

The ad and the strategy received significant attention, commentary, and media coverage. You can read more about this in the 2006 newsletter, which is in the publication archive on our website. 

MN Equity Map Spotlight

This week’s spotlight is on the Staples Welcoming Communities Advocacy Group. Read the full story on the Equity Map. Follow our social media for more story summaries! Please add more stories by filling out this form if you or your organization/initiative would like to be featured on the map! 

Staples Welcoming Communities Advocacy Group (Staples, MN), in partnership with the Region Five Development Commission, works on projects to make Staples a more inclusive community. Examples of these projects include increasing access to books by BIPOC authors in local elementary schools and implicit bias training in community businesses. To learn more about this organization, read their story on the map and head to their webpage. 

Reckoning to Rise 

The Center for Economic Inclusion is launching their 2022 Reckoning to Rise series of digital workshops on Monday, January 24, from 11:30 a.m.—1:00 p.m. CT with the session “Reckoning for Wealth Equity: Unleashing the Power of the Tax Code for Equity.” Author Dorothy Brown will join founder and CEO of the Center Tawanna A. Black to discuss Brown’s book “The Whiteness of Wealth: How the Tax System Impoverishes Black Americans and How We Can Fix It.” Following that conversation, there will be a panel discussion on race and state and federal tax policy. The event is free and virtual. To register, please click here. 

Quote:

“And finally, and finally, in your life’s blueprint, must be a commitment to the eternal principles of beauty, love, and justice....However young you are, you have a responsibility to seek to make your nation a better nation in which to live. You have a responsibility to seek to make life better for everybody. And so you must be involved in the struggle of freedom and justice.”Martin Luther King Jr., “What Is Your Life’s Blueprint?” October 26, 1967


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