Dane Smith, president of the progressive-leaning St. Paul-based think-tank Growth & Justice, enjoyed a 30-year career as a writer for the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press, where he delved into state, local and federal government and politics.
Greater MSP is a relatively new and ambitious effort to attract and retain economic development in the Twin Cities region, and the group’s evolving theme has to be one of the most intelligent and expansive in the nation. This week’s annual meeting featured speakers and a new mission statement that emphasized cultural connectedness and social collaboration in a way I’ve never quite seen before from a business group. Here’s the new and improved theme, handed out on glossy cards to the hundreds of partners and supporters who attended the up-tempo event at the Guthrie Theater. It’s a speech that might be coming soon to an elevator near you. I added the underlining. Continue Reading
In our last post, we described a national Strive Together movement that is gathering momentum from our largest cities to our smallest towns. Strive networks organize a total community effort around closing educational opportunity gaps and improving performance from cradle-to-career, increasing post-secondary attainment and workforce readiness. This strategy is big-hearted but also hard-headed; it relies heavily on data and evidence-tested intervention, “everybody-in’’ partnerships between public, private and non-profit organizations, and pushing for results and measurable outcomes. Continue Reading
I’ve heard infinite versions of “don’t tax me” or “taxing me or my customers more will destroy my business AND the economy” in my decades under the dome. And last week’s opposition at a House hearing to ending sales tax exemptions on business services was typical in many respects. Just because these fears often turn out unfounded _ our economy was performing better, in the 1990s, when taxes were higher _ doesn’t mean these specific concerns shouldn’t be heeded. Continue Reading
We have this week a confluence of events that ought to lift our hopes and sharpen our resolve to reduce racial and economic inequality in our state and nation, and to build a more inclusive prosperity. Continue Reading
You are a policy-maker and you have a tough choice between two major development proposals for the same site on a major light-rail line or transitway. All things being equal, which do you choose: a major employer or a large housing complex?