We’re thrilled to share that Growth & Justice was unanimously selected as the 2020 Exceptional Service Partner award-winner by Region Five Development Commission/North Central Economic Development Association for our work with them on building equitable economic ecosystems. President Jane Leonard accepted the award on behalf of G & J at the awards dinner held last week in Brainerd at their 9th annual awards ceremony, along with Board Chair David Fisher and board member Craig Swaggert, past-president Dane Smith, and project team members, Monica Segura Schwartz and Vincent Reed in attendance.
The award honors partners working with Region Five to enhance vitality and quality of life in the central region of Minnesota and came to G & J “in recognition of the amazing partnership R5DC/NCEDA have experienced with Growth & Justice throughout the years …. especially recently with the heavy lift you displayed to create the Rural Equity Action Guide…. This is a special recognition of a firm… who went ABOVE & BEYOND and wildly exceeded all expectations,” noted Cheryal Hills, executive director of Region 5.
Similar to our focus on environmental resilience and climate change for the month of April, we will theme many of the June weekly newsletters around democracy and civil rights. This is particularly relevant surrounding the recent surge of efforts from legislators around the country to pass voting restrictions following the 2020 presidential election. This week, for example, after Texas Republicans voted to pass severe voter suppression laws, Texas Democrats walked out of the House chamber, preventing a final vote on a Senate bill that proposes reduced polling hours, tightened access to mail-in voting, and more power granted to partisan poll watchers. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has since said he will withhold pay from legislators because of the walkout.
In the midst of these efforts to increase voting restrictions, we’d like to highlight Common Cause, a nonpartisan organization working to “create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.” We add our support to the efforts that Common Cause’s Minnesota chapter is leading to prevent voter suppression and ensure redistricting happens fairly. Check out their websites linked above and tune into often for updates about these critical topics.
“Your leadership, authentic partnership and overall contributions to the region should be celebrated and honored.” – Cheryal Hills in describing the award-winning partnering with Growth & Justice