Tuesday, July 12, 2011

You're Invited: Time For Citizen Solutions

As an InCommons Facilitator, I'm excited about the leadership of the Bush Foundation and its InCommons initiative to bring together Minnesota citizens across the state in an effort to deal with the current government shutdown and budget challenge. With tornado damage, increases in emergency food need, and other challenges facing our state and communities, it's time to bring about budget resolution by moving past fighting with each other to working together to address the more significant problems that require all of us to solve. Hopeful to share your ideas, perspective, and passion? They may well be part of the solution. More below.

Time For Citizen Solutions

Are you frustrated by how difficult it has become for elected officials to find common ground on how to address the state’s problems? You’re not alone. People across Minnesota are growing weary of our state’s annual impasse and stalemates.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Breaking this cycle of gridlock can start with ordinary citizens coming together to think creatively and reach consensus on our state’s biggest challenges. Now is your chance to get involved and share your ideas for creating sustainable, realistic solutions.


Citizen voices, like yours, need to be part of whatever decision our state leaders reach – in 2011 and in years to come – if we’re going to break Minnesota’s ongoing deficit cycle. We believe Minnesotans have great ideas and valuable insights to how our state should run, and the Citizen Solutions forums are designed to bring those ideas and insights to light.

We also want to help you share those ideas with your friends, neighbors, and even our state’s leaders. The Bush Foundation, with InCommons, will also be capturing the ideas and content of these conversations, and will work to share your ideas with policy makers and with citizens across the state in the months to come.


It’s simple: we believe that ordinary citizens like you, armed with good information, can reach consensus on difficult problems because they share:

  • Common values about the kind of state we want to live in
  • A desire to find compromises that reflect those values
  • A willingness to work together to make the difficult choices that will honestly address our challenges.

Our leaders need fresh ideas from Minnesotans to help end our state’s stalemates and shutdowns. And they need you to demonstrate the kind of leadership that will help them come together in a spirit of compromise. Now is the time to start sharing your ideas, participating in serious conversations and supporting new paths that will break our state’s deficit-cycle.

July 19th-21st we’ll be gathering people in Grand Rapids, the Twin Cities and Rochester who are excited about working together to find new approaches to address our state’s budget problems.

These won’t be sessions for wallflowers. We’re looking for diverse ideologies and perspectives to come together for vibrant discussions across Minnesota. And to help get things started, we’ll provide dinner (after all, it’s hard to give your best thinking on an empty stomach!). But we’re limiting the number of attendees to ensure that every participant’s voice is heard, so to join you’ll have to act fast.

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