2017 produced impressive early returns for the Minnesota Rural Equity Project. The effort has been received warmly by audiences throughout the state, and we’re poised to turn the encouraging talk – and ideas that underlie it – into continued momentum for the project, new partnership opportunities for our organization, and real results for Minnesotans.
We’ve worked with project partners to advance smart policies and investments in human capital, infrastructure, and tax policy. We’ve spoken with credibility on the real and perceived aspects of Minnesota’s ‘rural-metro divide.’ And we’re planning to contribute significantly to constructive dialogue bridging gaps in political culture, regional differences, and attitudes toward currently divisive issues – such as immigration, climate change, and role of government.
We’ve logged many miles meeting with Minnesotans in every corner of the state, and we’ve made important connections along the way. For instance, heightened appreciation for the role Minnesota’s regional economic development organizations play has contributed to a proposal for a more regional-focused approach to community and economic development throughout the state. We’re driving this effort, and plan to contribute to creation of a ‘regional competitiveness dashboard’ tracking region-specific progress and investment over time.
Despite clear progress, our work on this and other projects is only beginning. Growth & Justice seeks to fill an important void in Minnesota’s rich domain of progressive policy and the public good – a ‘policy shop’ think tank that balances the interests of economic growth and social justice. Given the increasing effort and investment toward narrower and oftentimes competing ends from other organizations, the need for robust and respected progressive policy expertise – and action! – has never been greater.
Growth & Justice publications, ENEWS, and blogs related to the Minnesota Rural Equity Project are below.
Give to the Max for a More Inclusive Minnesota Growth & Justice for 16 years has been framing policy and leading the way toward a consensus for equity in Minnesota, advancing practical solutions and investments that create a broader prosperity. We are winning that battle, but we can’t let up now. Our latest endeavor in partnership with OneMN.org, the Thriving by Design project and the One Minnesota Equity ... Read More
An Election Consensus, for a More Equitable Minnesota In an election marked by record high turnout, the people of the North Star State have spoken and reaffirmed our direction. Bottom line, we have a larger and stronger consensus for a more inclusive prosperity. In most every single statewide race, and in the contest for control of the Minnesota House, the winning candidates were those who stood up for a more equitable e... Read More
VOTE! FOR ONE MINNESOTA! (That’s Equity & Inclusion & Climate Action) Growth & Justice is a non-partisan, non-profit organization and therefore we can’t and don’t endorse specific candidates or political parties. As our donors and readers of our e-news well know, Growth & Justice has been constructively focused since our founding in 2002 on finding bipartisan common ground and working on practical... Read More
Getting It Right on Single Payer Costs Our op-ed in the Star Tribune this week sets the record straight on misrepresentations of our 2012 report, Beyond the Affordable Care Act. Some Republican campaigns are selectively citing figures in the report in support of claims that a unified and universal public system of health care financing (also known as single-payer or Medicare for All) would raise the cost and worsen the quality of health c... Read More
Setting Record Straight on “Medicare for All” Growth & Justice Senior Fellow Dane Smith was featured on Minnesota Public Radio last week. In an interview with Tim Pugmire, Smith set the record straight on recent campaign misrepresentations of our 2012 reports on the projected costs and benefits of a single public financing system for universal health care (also known as “single-payer’’ or “Medicare ... Read More
Imagine a nine-year-old boy we’ll call Oliver Anderson – the same age and first name as the plucky urchin immortalized in Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist -- growing up desperately poor in a small farm town in rural northwestern Minnesota. Oliver’s single mom scrapes by on low-wage part-time jobs in town, and sometimes finds seasonal work, but she subsists on an annual income near the official poverty level. Sur... Read More
A dominant narrative in mainstream and social media suggests our nation and state has lost its sense of community, that partisan and ideological rancor hopelessly divides us, from Congress to our holiday dinner tables, and that we have little interest in helping each other. A notion that a spirit of meanness pervades our rural regions is particularly prevalent, and indeed there are enough examples of bigotry and xenophobia and disregard for... Read More
Minnesota has been ahead of most other states in recognizing the importance of early childhood education, and investing up front in this priceless human capital. Currently, thanks to bi-partisan support and strong consensus among business leaders and childhood experts, Minnesota is putting hundreds of millions of dollars more into quality child-care than we were just a decade ago, through a variety of systems. Yet for all this... Read More
Justin Stofferahn is a policy specialist for the State of Minnesota and is a new Policy Fellow for Growth & Justice. His work focuses on fiscal and economic issues. He also has policy experience from his work in the offices of the Illinois Governor and Lt. Governor. Economic Concentration in Minnesota The biggest story in economic development right now is the bid to secure Amazon’s second headquarters and the estimat... Read More
Putting Things Back Together A Youth Social Entrepreneurship Case Study By Jeanne Walz, Matt Howard and Dane Smith A little more than a year ago, Ethan (last name withheld at his request) was headed in no particular direction, except perhaps toward trouble. He lacked motivation, was not doing particularly well in high school, and his scrapes with authorities worried his mother and teachers. His mom -- before signing him up for a specia... Read More