Sunday, July 31, 2011
Friday, July 29, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Social Justice Leadership Institute
Looking to make a meaningful impact in your community?
Want to improve your understanding of the social injustices around you every day?
Interested in developing ties with the diverse community of established and emerging social justice leaders in Minnesota?
Join us for the Headwaters Foundation for Justice’s Social Justice Leadership institute!
We’re looking for a group of emerging Twin Cities leaders who are interested in investing themselves in the community to better understand local injustices and bring about transformative change. Participants will be part of a group of approximately 25 people coming from diverse backgrounds to learn, reflect, and act together.
The institute is a nine-month discovery process during which participants will work with each other to both understand and address social injustice. With a cohort of 25 people, you will 1) learn about social justice, 2) engage in a group fundraising project and 3) research and give the funds you raise to local social justice causes. At the end of nine months you will leave with your own thoughtfully crafted framework for supporting and actively enaging with the social justice movement in Minnesota!
Examples of activities:
- Guest speakers who will talk about their exciting work in the philanthropic community
- Instruction in social justice history, the dynamics of race/class/power/privilege,
social justice strategy, resource pooling,
and community grant-making
- Site visits to local social justice non-profits
- Sharing personal stories to develop a group dynamic, learn from and about cohort members, and grow together through the process
- Group discussions framed to better understand the our various roles in addressing social justice
- A group fundraising and grant-making process through which the group will learn more about why people give and the beneficiaries that inspire them
And much more!
- Opportunities to interact with established Twin Cities leaders and learn about their social justice journeys
Participants are asked to commit to a total of 9 meetings--including one overnight retreat in September followed by monthly meetings (including dinner) on the last Thursday of the month from October 2011- June 2012.
Social injustice affects every one, and, for almost 30 years, the Headwaters Foundation for Justice has been funding the people who fight injustice in your community. This is your chance to join a legacy of leaders, paving the way for social justice.For more information contact David Nicholson at email@example.com
For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons“We are here to honor an idea: the belief that by intelligently acting together for the public good, we can improve the lives of our fellow citizens and together make a better society.At our Humphrey School, this ideal of the public good is a day-to-day reality. Our faculty participates vigorously in the life of our state. They have helped Minnesota become a leader in such ﬁelds as water quality preservation, early childhood education, housing and urban planning, and racial justice. Our graduates, to be found at work literally all over the world, are making a huge difference.
As you surely know, this year marks Hubert Humphrey’s 100th anniversary. A famous political scientist once said that Hubert Humphrey was a oneperson policy incubator who spawned more down-to-earth ideas and accomplishments than practically anyone else in American history. Humphrey was all about ideas that would expand opportunity, mercy, and justice, and he was at the center of all of the fundamental changes that brought us—all of us—into the more decent and just America in which we are blessed to live.Today this ideal is under severe challenge. I heard a president say that government is not the solution, government is the problem. The idea seems to be that government cannot be made to work well for us, that it is irredeemable. There are others, of course, who think government always works well and can solve all of our problems. Both positions are ﬁ xed and ideological, and I believe both are wrong.Lincoln, as always, had it right when he said that ‘the legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done but cannot do at all or cannot so well do for themselves in their separate individual capacities.’In other words, whether and how we use government to help us face a challenge should be a pragmatic question dictated by the circumstances and facts of the case. It also depends on your basic ideas and ideals about American society.Not so long ago, we had a nation where progress was possible, where compromise was not an evil word, and where debate was hot but respectful. That’s not what we are leaving for you now. We are split right down the middle.My parents’ generation struggled with the Great Depression. But they gave my generation a rich land, strong values, and a dream of opportunity. My generation was challenged to defend our freedom from bitter foes and to bridge the gap between the justice we found and the society we wanted to become. We gave our children the promise of opened doors, the duty of service, and the trusteeship of our natural resources. But with that came challenges—a dangerous world, a polarized nation, the struggle to make ends meet.Now it’s your turn.You are given science and technology that stagger the imagination. What will you do with it?You inherit incomparable natural beauty and unprecedented environmental risk. How will you face it?You have the oldest and greatest democracy in the world as your birthright but inherit government at an impasse, public trust at an ebb, public discourse at a bottom. How will you raise your generation’s sights? How will you renew our promise for the generation that follows?We have had our turn. Now it’s yours. What will you do with it?We know this about you: you have everything you need—the character, the values, the country, the vision. You are young, strong, and beautiful.I know you can do it.”
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Monday, July 25, 2011
Friday, July 22, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
- "All travel has its advantages. If the passenger visits better countries, he may learn to improve his own." - Samuel Johnson
- "One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things." -Henry Miller
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Will Minnesotans write a better future?
In Greek mythology, Cassandra has the gift of prophesy but the curse of powerlessness. She can see into the future and knows that trouble is coming, but can't prevent catastrophe. She is wise, but her powerlessness makes her tragic.
Perhaps Cassandra is a good metaphor for Minnesota's recent political theater. We can see fiscal catastrophe coming and have the wisdom of good intentions and ideas, but are cursed by a broken political system. We can't afford tragedy.
Our legislative leadership has been right. Demographics (we are aging, and workforce growth is slowing) and escalating health and human services costs create an unsustainable fiscal future.
Medical and human-service-related costs are projected to increase 8.5 percent per year; revenue by 4 percent. This trend is unsustainable, and tax increases aren't sufficient to solve the problem.
We need dramatic program reforms and a conversation about the proper role of government in our new demographic and economic landscape.
Our governor has also been right. Without some type of additional revenue and/or program reform, we have to make drastic reductions in services for students, the poor and seniors, and we need a drastic overhaul in our tax code no matter what.
We spend $11 billion a year through tax loopholes and exemptions, most of which are regressive, and our tax code isn't built for a competitive, entrepreneurial, global economy. Without these reforms, we will eventually undermine the quality of life that makes Minnesota a great place to live in this global marketplace.
Our politics push us toward tragedy.
Tragedy, because even short-term solutions shut us down. And they only get us to the next biennium, when we face another enormous shortfall and fewer options. Think this budget melodrama is bad? Wait for the 2014-15 season.
Tragedy, because we've seen this crisis coming for 15 years, and because we don't suffer from a lack of policy ideas. This isn't a knowledge problem that needs more policy experts, proposals and reports.
Tragedy, because the purpose of politics in a democracy is to act on these good ideas and intentions -- to be powerful -- but our political infrastructure is profoundly broken and dysfunctional.
We lack the places and opportunities in all types of institutions -- not just government -- to identify, discuss and reconcile our policy differences: to create common ground for the common good. In many ways, it's this simple.
We aren't resolving our differences and building support for reform because we spend our time and resources in echo chambers that only magnify our differences, not reconcile them.
The pragmatic solutions to our policy problems will need to be created in all institutions -- not just government -- and my organization, the Citizens League, has demonstrated that finding and building support for these solutions is possible. In fact, people are hungry for this opportunity.
And what political infrastructure we have left is motivated almost entirely by narrow partisan interests, and is actively working against finding solutions. (If you have been urging your political leadership to hold fast and not compromise, you are now part of the problem.)
The ultimate tragedy will be not seeing the opportunity created by this crisis. Minnesota has always been an innovator; a state on the leading edge of "what works."
Recently we've been on the leading edge of nationwide political dysfunction regarding fiscal and tax reform. We should see this as a chance to show the nation a better solution.
Tragedy or opportunity?
So if our policy and political leadership has been characterized by paralysis and cynicism, on what grounds do we have any hope for this better solution?
In poll after poll, and in extensive conversations that the Citizens League conducted in partnership with the Bush Foundation's "Common Cents" project, Minnesotans are hopeful and ready for reform.
When they understand the magnitude of our demographic and fiscal challenges, they are willing to endure short-term pain in order to create long-term solutions. They want our tax system to be better: more fair and productive. They can talk across dramatic ideological differences to find meaningful common ground based on shared civic values.
Our path forward begins with reimagining and rebuilding our political infrastructure: our ability to act on these intentions. In the short term, we need the majority of Minnesotans who favor reforms to make their voices heard through all means -- just not through the type of partisan win/lose battles we've seen in Wisconsin.
In the long-term -- which starts in 2012 -- we need our leaders to articulate a vision for Minnesota that is bigger than ideology and partisanship, and more long-term than the fall election.
The purpose of tragedy in drama has always been to remind people what's really important. From the Mayo brothers to 3M, in Minnesota we've always valued -- and depended on -- a unique and powerful mix of innovation and pragmatism. These values are more important than ever.
What's at stake here is not just the fate of this budget or very real short-term policy dilemmas, but the next generation of civic leadership and capacity in Minnesota.
To waste this opportunity would be a tragedy.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Join the League of Women Voters for Smart Chicks Happy Hour! (Not just for chicks)
Enjoy conversation, food, and drinks as we talk politics, current legislative issues, and share ideas about meaningful, nonpartisan work in our current political environment.
Thursday, August 4th
4:30 - 6:30
96 N. Dale St.
St. Paul, MN
Monday, July 18, 2011
Friday, July 15, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Ladies and gentlemen,
I'm sending this e-mail to you today because I know you love Students Today Leaders Forever. After a great conversation with a friend, I have an exciting opportunity to help STLF that relies on people spreading the word quickly. I'm hoping you can help me out. Let me explain...
John Huber, a friend of mine from Rotaract and a big fan of STLF, has recently become part of the executive team at Dealeebob.com. Dealeebob is a daily deal website that donates $1 to a designated non-profit for every person who signs up, and makes a 5% donation of any purchases they make from the deals. All deals are at least 50% off, and are targeted to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. It's like Groupon with a conscience.
John has offered us the kind of challenge that's hard to walk away from. If we can get to 1,000 members on Dealeebob by 7/31, he will personally donate $500 to the organization. If we can break that number, it's $1500 to get more young people on a Pay It Forward Tour immediately. Plus, STLF will get a 5% donation from any purchases made.
We're closing in on the end of our fiscal year... and $1500 would make a big difference.
Here's the link to sign up:
Remember, STLF will get $1 as soon as you sign up. And if we can get 1,000 people to sign up, it will be another $500 automatically.
Please sign up! Then, forward it on to your friends. Know people who already use Groupon? They might like it better if they knew it was supporting a good cause. E-mail, Facebook, Twitter, whatever you use to share with people, share this opportunity with them! Thanks for your help!