Today is the last day to vote in the Forever Saint Paul Challenge. $1 Million of Republican money is going to be awarded to the winning idea. 946 ideas were submitted and one I submitted is now one of the finalists! Please take a moment and vote for the Center for Creative Arts! It will be a really cool youth art/maker space combined with a youth social/civic entrepreneurship incubator. The money for the contest is left over from seed money given to attract the Republican National Convention to Saint Paul. Now the Saint Paul Foundation is going to make a grant to the winning idea. Help me win for youth opportunity!
I made a proposal for a civic contest called the Forever Saint Paul Challenge. The winning idea will receive a million dollars to execute the idea. No, the author of the idea does not get the money! Anyway, my proposal is one of 30 semi-finalists out of 940 entries and this afternoon at 5 was the deadline for refining our ideas. I am going to post part of my idea and welcome comments. If you Google Forever Saint Paul you should find all the semi-finalists. I am in good company.
This is a letter I sent to architects working on a plan for the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. I am interested in hearing from people who know about programs where art and high level craft instruction is being used to support academic achievement with youth. I believe strongly in art and craft and music for their own sake, but right now I want to explore how hands on learning can help address educational disparities.
I’m also interested in hearing about “reinventing high school” from a progressive perspective. Here in Minneapolis we are failing miserably in addressing the achievement gap. There are some successful charters here, but I believe these will never be more than niche solutions that help at the margins. We need to create mainstream, public high schools that are able to fully and most excellently serve our diverse urban students.
I am serving on a Citizens League study group that is examining water policy issues in Minnesota. The Citizens League www.citizensleague.org has a reputation for doing quality work on public policy issues, and there is good reason to believe the conclusions of this study group will be taken seriously by Minnesota legislators. Minnesota voters passed a constitutional amendment in November that dedicates significant funding to clean water. Our study group is looking mainly at water policy governance issues, and will probably not make specific recommendations on technical matters of water clean up. I will outline the work our group is doing and would like to hear about what is happening in other states around water policy, and in general ideas about what sustainable, equitable, but also politically possible water policy should entail. More below.
Latinos for Obama Minnesota just had a fantastic event on Thursday at the Landmark Center in St. Paul, MN. About three hundred Latinos, some Native Americans, and a few Anglos like me got to see Governor Bill Richardson and raise money for nationwide Latino outreach for the Obama campaign. The fundraising goal was $150,000.00 and we exceeded that. This is part of a nationwide effort to raise 10 million dollars in the Latino community for Obama. They are at about six and a half now.
A more inclusive local goal was to achieve a new level of organizational capacity among Latinos interested in being more effective in organizing the community. Young professional Latinos brought considerable skills to the table and put the whole thing together. There is no doubt a milestone has been passed here. The Latino community can claim a spot at the table of Minnesota politics, and do so as first class members of the DFL family. Es hora. More below the fold . . .
I offer the simple proposition that lowering the voting age to 16 will be good for our democracy, good for young people, good for our communities, and good for our nation. I propose we amend the Minnesota constitution to change the voting age.
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