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A statement for government redesign, goal-setting, and budgeting for outcomes

Date Published: 07/18/2011

Author:

Few voices reflect Minnesota's moderate mainstream ethics more perfectly than Star Tribune editorial columnist Lori Sturdevant, and her call-to-action for government "redesigners'' in Sunday's Star Tribune Op-Ex was squarely on target.
 
And this morning Sturdevant hit the note again with a short editorial page item describing a discussion group on redesign that we at Growth & Justice have been part of for a year-and-a-half now. The nucleus of the informal ad hoc group is comprised of current and former presidents of the Citizens League, long considered a premiere civic improvement organization in the Twin Cities and Minnesota. The discussion group includes key leaders in the business community, from nonprofits and foundations and from the conservative think tank, the Center of the American Experiment. Much of the spirit and substance of the group's deliberations can be found on the pages of the Civic Caucus website.
 
Last week as the state government shutdown dragged on and a mutually unsatisfactory budget deal unfolded, our group produced a strong statement urging a commitment and offering specifics toward redesigning our governmental systems.
 
The statement is being shared with top leaders in the executive and legislative branch and will be districtuted broadly in coming days and weeks. Despair and cynicism about our political gridlock is undesrtandable but unnecessary. Recently I wrote a Capitol Report column noting that these actually are not the worst of times, and urging that we emerge from them with a commitment to redesign and invest in better government and measurable results. We can begin, for instance, by setting a 75 percent post-secondary completion goal for our young adults by the end of this decade, which is a top Growth & Justice policy objective.
 
The good news is that on many fronts conscientious Minnesotans, both inside and outside state and local government and in our state employee labor unions, are already working to improve our vital public investments. Let's encourage much more of that, and keep our minds open.
 
--Dane Smith

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