Friday, September 30, 2011

You're Invited: Keeping Minnesota Great Through Citizen Solutions!

You may recall mention of the three Citizen Solutions forums that took place across Minnesota this summer, bringing together everyday Minnesotans to discuss the budget crisis even as we were in the midst of a government shutdown. Though the shutdown has ended, it's clear there's more of a need than ever for all citizens to engage with policy-making and the public discourse. InCommons is hosting a virtual gathering to provide space for these conversations to continue, and they invite you to visit online to share your commentary over the next few days. I've posted my own below; consider responding to it or adding your insights to the other questions that have been posed online!

The good new days

Diane Tran
by Diane Tran | Sep 29, 2011

Recently, a Baby Boomer told me, "The good old days are good because we figured them out. We know what happened. These days are confusing." He went on to speak about his belief that he and his Boomer friends currently feel a sense of confusion, due to the decline of long-standing institutions and myriad societal challenges to contend with even as they consider the legacies they are leaving behind.

It is, indeed, difficult to make sense of these rapidly changing times, and without a common context or understanding of our direction, it's easy for many citizens to feel confused and helpless. One thing that appears to be missing is a shared understanding of our common challenge and a set of facts with which we all agree. Personal differences of opinion, public mistrust of a wide range of institutions, subscription to divergent media outlets or scientific theories, etc, have created multiple truths. Being unable to operate in similar realities or theories of change halts the work before it can begin.

To get to the "good new days," we're going to need to agree that we will work together to achieve a common set of facts and agenda, to develop a consequent understanding of what we are each responsible to and for, and to commit to working individually and collectively toward a stronger Minnesota.


shortened InCommons logo


This past summer's Citizen Solutions Forums were a great success because regular Minnesotans were willing to put aside preconceived notions and come together to find real, sustainable solutions for our state budget. A summary report of the Forums and a scientific poll by Wilder Research appear on, along with a video about the gatherings, media coverage and supplemental information.


We hope you'll help continue the dialogue Citizen Solutions participants started by engaging in a virtual gathering on Discussions are already underway, centered around questions like:

To contribute to a discussion, simply visit the Citizen Solutions virtual gathering and select the question you'd like to answer. We're excited to hear what you have to say!

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