Providing a non-partisan model for generating and sharing          

    essential information on public issues and proposed solutions              

10th Anniversary :  2005- 06 to 2015-16

   
                                                                                                  About Civic Caucus   l   Interviews & Responses  l   Position Reports   l   Contact Us   l   Home  

       Internal Discussion Summary                                                                                     Please take one minute to evaluate our website. Click here to take the survey.

These comments are responses to the

Civic Caucus Internal Discussion - Civic Process 3
October 2, 2015

Preserve learning and teaching as central roles for the Civic Caucus

Overview

Essential aspects of civic life in Minnesota include (1) learning and teaching about the state's public problems and opportunities; (2) coming up with specific proposals for action; and (3) taking action. Results of its new inquiry into the state's civic infrastructure and process will help reveal what changes the Civic Caucus should make in its central role.

Regardless of that outcome, the Civic Caucus should continue to concentrate on learning and teaching via its weekly interviews and in-depth e-mail reports of its interviews. To effectively carry out its role, the Civic Caucus should place high priority on carefully selecting  (a) topics for interviews, (b) the group conducting the interviews, (c) individuals it invites for interviews, and (d) questions it asks in interviews.

The Civic Caucus should enlist younger people and people of varied ethic and cultural backgrounds as interviewers and interviewees. The Civic Caucus must preserve its strictly nonpartisan, non-special-interest approach.

Background. This is the third of three Civic Caucus internal discussions on whether and how the Caucus should examine the past, current and future quality of Minnesota's civic process and the role of the Caucus in that process. The first internal discussion was held on Sept. 11 and the second on Sept. 18.

For the complete summary of the internal discussion of Oct. 2 see: Oct. 2 discussion

Response Summary: Readers rated these statements about the topic and about points discussed during the meeting, on a scale of 0 (strongly disagree) to 5 (neutral) to 10 (strongly agree): 

1. Topic is of value. The discussion summarized today provides valuable information or insight.

2. Further study warranted. It would be helpful to schedule additional interviews on this topic.

3. Three aspects key to civic life. Essential aspects of civic life in Minnesota include (1) learning and teaching about the state's public problems and opportunities; (2) coming up with specific proposals for action; and (3) taking action.

4. Civic process inquiry will guide Caucus' role. Results of its new inquiry into the state's civic infrastructure and process will help reveal what changes the Civic Caucus should make in its central role.

5. Caucus should continue interviews and reports. Regardless of that outcome, the Civic Caucus should continue to concentrate on learning and teaching via its weekly interviews and in-depth e-mail reports of its interviews.

6. Judicious selectivity key to Caucus role. To effectively carry out its role, the Civic Caucus should place high priority on carefully selecting (a) topics for interviews, (b) the group conducting the interviews, (c) individuals it invites for interviews, and (d) questions it asks during interviews.

7. Important to diversify. The Civic Caucus should make a greater effort to enlist younger people and people of varied ethic and cultural backgrounds as interviewers and interviewees.

8. Maintain non-partisan approach. The Civic Caucus must preserve its stricly nonpartisan, non-special-interest approach.

Response Distribution:

Strongly disagree

Moderately disagree

Neutral

Moderately agree

Strongly agree

Total Responses

1. Topic is of value.

0%

0%

0%

45%

55%

11

2. Further study warranted.

0%

0%

10%

50%

40%

10

3. Three aspects key to civic life.

0%

0%

0%

27%

73%

11

4. Civic process inquiry will guide Caucus' role.

0%

0%

0%

73%

27%

11

5. Caucus should continue interviews and reports.

0%

0%

0%

45%

55%

11

6. Judicious selectivity key to Caucus role.

0%

0%

0%

27%

73%

11

7. Important to diversify.

0%

0%

9%

36%

55%

11

8. Maintain non-partisan approach.

0%

0%

0%

18%

82%

11

Individual Responses:

Ray Ayotte (10) (5) (10) (7.5) (7.5) (10) (10) (10)

Kevin Edberg (10) (10) (10) (7.5) (7.5) (10) (10) (10)

Scott Halstead (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (7.5) (10)
8. Maintain non-partisan approach. I wonder if there is a role for statewide public television of the civic caucus interviews, responses, and summaries? Expand the reach beyond the metro area. Those that comment may be good candidates for interviewers.

Further general comments: Possible subjects to be explored would be elections, judicial selection, performance, term lengths, maximum terms, full time/part-time legislature, legislative process, legislative performance, size of the legislature, redistricting.

Dennis Carlson (7.5) (7.5) (10) (7.5) (10) (10) (10) (7.5)
6. Judicious selectivity key to Caucus role. Perhaps you should consider adding some guest participants to each discussion — a legislator or two, other elected officials, or citizens to cover areas not represented by the other interviewers.

8. Maintain non-partisan approach. I would look for a balance in the make-up of the interviewees and the interviewers.

Vici Oshiro (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)
7. Important to diversify. This seems especially important.

Further general comments: Wish I had some marvelous insight. Will watch your struggles with interest.

Bob Brown (10) (7.5) (10) (7.5) (10) (10) (10) (10)
3. Three aspects key to civic life. Schools and colleges must do a better job teaching about the state's issues and opportunities. Civic Caucus could partner with state social studies teacher organization, higher education staff in public policy and public administration, and possibly others in defining issues that should be discussed, but not in recommending paths to be followed.

6. Judicious selectivity key to Caucus role. Get Mitch Pearlstein and Dane Smith to either be interviewed or to join your interview team since they are bright and provide a balanced look at the public policy arena.

7. Important to diversify. Seek outstanding high schoolers to be involved. When I was on the state board of education we had student representatives that were very helpful in giving their perspectives. Get the State Association of Student Councils to nominate some kids from which you could pick a couple. Ask the state councils for the four minority groups to suggest some prospects for you, but beware of the self appointed experts. Check with foundations and media for examples of outstanding people from diverse communities.

Further general comments: Keep up the good work.

Paul Gilje (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)

Paul Hauge (9) (na) (8) (9) (10) (10) (9) (10)

Chuck Lutz (8) (9) (10) (9) (8) (8) (9) (8)

Lyall Schwarzkopf (8) (7) (8) (6) (9) (8) (5) (10)
The legislature ruined the purpose of the Metro Council when they make it also an operating agency. Your point was well taken. Again I point out, today we are [so] highly organized for or against an issue that it is nearly impossible to solve that issue. Through civic involvement we need to get people [to] understand that there is a major issue that needs to be solved and …organizing to solve it [only] their way ends up with nothing happening. The easiest thing an elected official can do when … pressured by these special interest groups is to do nothing. In addition we have [to] encourage many non-profit groups to work mainly on social problems. Each non-profit wants to stay in business because it believes it has the right answer even when its work overlaps another non-profit’s work. Some one needs to look at this and try to redirect money to solve social issues, rather than continue the issue so a non-profit can stay in business. The major social issue facing Minnesota today is the minority gap. Minority people will be the majority and running this state in 35 years. I would hope that whoever is in charge will be well educated and well informed. To do this we need to really discuss why we have this gap. Housing, incomes, opportunities all play a part, but when you have parents or a parent who dropped out of school and grandparents or a grandparent who dropped out of school, it is very difficult to realize that an education is important. We need to begin talking about this and try to encourage parents and grandparents [as to] how they model for their children.

Tom Spitznagle (6) (6) (8) (6) (8) (7) (9) (10)

Jack Evert (na) (na) (na) (na) (na) (na) (na) (na)
I see the Civic Caucus as effectively identifying problems and some suggestions for solutions, but I have to agree with some of the respondents in your email that there seems to be no path forward to get these good ideas into the hands of those who can effect them.  I have always been impressed with the Citizens' League [that] has successfully gotten some of its recommendations implemented.  I think it is a good idea to talk with Sean Kershaw and see if the two groups can work together.  Could the Caucus identify the problems for the League to bring to specific recommendations and then get them in the hands of decision makers?  Do they have a better connection in this respect than the League?

 

To receive these interview summaries as they occur, email civiccaucus@comcast.net         Follow us on Twitter

 

The Civic Caucus   is a non-partisan, tax-exempt educational organization.   The Interview Group  includes persons of varying political persuasions,
reflecting years of leadership in politics and business. Click here  to see a short personal background of each.

  John S. Adams, David Broden, Audrey Clay, Janis Clay, Pat Davies, Bill Frenzel, Paul Gilje (Executive Director), Randy Johnson, Sallie Kemper, Ted Kolderie,
Dan Loritz (Chair), Tim McDonald, Bruce Mooty, John Mooty, Jim Olson, Paul Ostrow, Wayne Popham, Dana Schroeder, Clarence Shallbetter, and Fred Zimmerman

 

 

 


©
The Civic Caucus, 01-01-2008
2104 Girard Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55405.  civiccaucus@comcast.net
Dan Loritz, chair, 612-791-1919   ~   Paul A. Gilje, coordinator, 952-890-5220.
 

contact webmaster