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  

 
 Response Page  -  Curry / Broden  Interview  -  Future of Civic Caucus    

These comments are responses to the questions listed below,
which were generated in regard to the
Marianne Curry / David Broden Interview of 06-06-08.

 
The questions:

__6.3 average__ On a scale of (0) not at all desirable to (5) neutral to (10) very
desirable, should the Civic Caucus expand its present level of activities?

On a scale of (0) not at all desirable to (5) neutral to (10) very desirable,
please the importance of the following possible changes:

__6.2 average __ Add more details to strategic plan
__6.6 average __ Expand fund raising
__8.1 average __ Adopt a succession plan
__5.8 average __ Improve opportunities for feedback from participants
__7.4 average __ Devise better measures of identifying success
__8.0 average __ Add women to the core group
__7.3 average __ Establish a "brand" for the Civic Caucus
__6.6 average __ Increase the number of participants
__6.3 average __ Expand statewide
__6.6 average __ Hold occasional meetings where electronic participants may attend
__7.2 average __ Increase opportunities for participants to suggest topics
__5.2 average __ Allow participants share thoughts with one another on our website
__4.8 average __ Seek website endorsements from notable public figures

Mark Ritchie
Excellent suggestions and good overall perspective - thanks for sharing this. I really like this focus on the difference between "building and leading" vs. managing the current situation. Maybe that could be the topic of a CC public event some time.

Charles Lutz
__8__ Add more details to strategic plan
__8__ Expand fund raising
__8_ Adopt a succession plan
__6__ Improve opportunities for feedback from participants
__6__ Devise better measures of identifying success
_10___ Add women to the core group
_10___ Establish a "brand" for the Civic Caucus
__7__ Increase the number of participants
__7__ Expand statewide
__8__ Hold occasional meetings where electronic participants may attend
__8__ Increase opportunities for participants to suggest topics
__6__ Allow participants share thoughts with one another on our website
__6__ Seek website endorsements from notable public figures

Suggestions for branding: "public-policy education in Minnesota: a
virtual, nonpartisan forum" or "exploring public policy in Minnesota: a virtual,
non-partisan forum"

Bob White (6)
__6__ Add more details to strategic plan
__6__ Expand fund raising
__10__ Adopt a succession plan
__3__ Improve opportunities for feedback from participants
__8__ Devise better measures of identifying success
__10__ Add women to the core group
__6__ Establish a "brand" for the Civic Caucus
__4__ Increase the number of participants
__4__ Expand statewide
__6__ Hold occasional meetings where electronic participants may attend
__8__ Increase opportunities for participants to suggest topics
__6__ Allow participants share thoughts with one another on our website
__6__ Seek website endorsements from notable public figures

Lots of good ideas here, but also a need for caution: Caucus has done fine work, needs diversification, money and measurement standards. The caution has to do with the implicit assumption that future success will depend on growth. Expansion ought to be a result rather than a goal. The core group, modified by addition of several younger members and women, could build on the founders' precedents to deliver sound research, analysis and discussion -- finding ways to strengthen the process, not necessarily to broaden the field of inquiry. Expansion alone risks dilution.

Donna Anderson
_8___ Add more details to strategic plan
_7___ Expand fund raising
_7___ Adopt a succession plan
_6___ Improve opportunities for feedback from participants
__9__ Devise better measures of identifying success
__10__ Add women to the core group
__10__ Establish a "brand" for the Civic Caucus
__10__ Increase the number of participants
__8__ Expand statewide
__8__ Hold occasional meetings where electronic participants may attend
__10 Increase opportunities for participants to suggest topics
__9__ Allow participants share thoughts with one another on our website

__8__ Seek website endorsements from notable public figures

I've lost specific purposes, goals and focus of the Civic Caucus while understand and embrace the need for civic engagement in public policy issues in Minnesota.

Tim McDonald (8)
5____ Add more details to strategic plan
7____ Expand fund raising
6____ Adopt a succession plan
7____ Improve opportunities for feedback from participants
7____ Devise better measures of identifying success
6____ Add women to the core group
6____ Establish a "brand" for the Civic Caucus
2____ Increase the number of participants
8____ Expand statewide
6____ Hold occasional meetings where electronic participants may attend
7____ Increase opportunities for participants to suggest topics
8____ Allow participants share thoughts with one another on our website
8____ Seek website endorsements from notable public figures

The brand can be helpful, but I think the caucus could be best suited as a behind the scenes forum for point-people......without being exclusive or elitist. More than thinking of expanding the base, I think attention might turn to actionable projects?

Ed Dirkswager (5)
__? Don't know the plan__ Add more details to strategic plan
__5__ Expand fund raising
___10_ Adopt a succession plan
__5__ Improve opportunities for feedback from participants
_10___ Devise better measures of identifying success
_10 Add some younger persons___ Add women to the core group
__10__ Establish a "brand" for the Civic Caucus
__5__ Increase the number of participants
___5_ Expand statewide
__3__ Hold occasional meetings where electronic participants may attend
__8__ Increase opportunities for participants to suggest topics
___0_ Allow participants share thoughts with one another on our website
_0___ Seek website endorsements from notable public figures

I am unfamiliar with the mission and vision of the Civic Caucus. I have assumed that the mission was to provide information and education on public policy matters of key concern in MN. But I have been a bit confused because in some cases the caucus has sent out opinion pieces to influence policy in a specific direction (redistricting and judicial selection), based on some members views.

Is the goal to inform and educate or is the goal to influence specific public policies or a combination. The evidence is that the caucus mission includes informing the public and policy makers of the opinions of members of the caucus on some policy matters matters. On the latter point care must be taken to indicate that a finite number of members have responded to a given survey and express their views. I think that the caucus can give voice to its members but care must be taken to make certain that an adequate number of persons are represented and that no partisan or personal agendas are dominant.

I think that the caucus is filling a role that journalists once filled. In the case of the caucus an entire interview is published and reaction is invited. I would be careful about being too focused. If the goal is to influence given public policy matters a focus may be important. If the goal is to inform and educate some focus may be good but not as necessary.

The key for the cause is to determine the mission and vision. Then once this is done branding it is a good idea.

You could raise money and maybe you need to do so as I assume that there is some expense involved. I'd be careful in thinking this through,

While I think that you need to worry about some elements of succession planning
(What happens if Verne or Paul are hit by a bus?) I might be inclined to let some of that that take care of itself. Organizations like the caucus spring up because of the need that some folks have to learn and become involved.

I would diversify the gender and race mix of the core group but I wouldn't expand it by much. What is the purpose of the core group? If it is to interview people it can't be large and it must have as consistent participation as possible. It also needs interviewers that have different perspectives to make certain that as much information is extracted as possible. I would suggest that you involve members more in the selection process of topics and persons to be interviewed.

As a former this and that and approaching my 70th year I feel it important that my generation continue to be heard but I am also quite aware that interaction and exchange with newer and more diverse voices is necessary for balance.

Have you talked to Joel Kramer about a tie in to MinnPost? Just making the readers of MinnPost aware of the caucus may be helpful to expand your reach. Perhaps an occasional article in MinnPost outlining the findings on a topic and the responses of caucus members, e.g. redistricting or appointment of judges. Even if there is no agreement about a position within the caucus the liveliness of the points of view might be interesting to MinnPost readers.

Finally, thanks for performing a much needed service.

Clarence Shallbetter (4)

__5__ Add more details to strategic plan
__7__ Expand fund raising
_9___ Adopt a succession plan
_3___ Improve opportunities for feedback from participants
__6__ Devise better measures of identifying success
__4__ Add women to the core group
__2__ Establish a "brand" for the Civic Caucus
__3__ Increase the number of participants
__1__ Expand statewide
__5__ Hold occasional meetings where electronic participants may attend
_4__ Increase opportunities for participants to suggest topics
__3__ Allow participants share thoughts with one another on our website
_2__ Seek website endorsements from notable public figures

Before the Civic Caucus can expand its mission and activity it will need to develop a succession plan for both of the active leaders- Verne and Paul. Once this is done then it may be possible to do some of the listed things. New leaders, resources, and techniques leading to implementation are critical. All else is secondary. As an example, before the web site is endorsed ways must be found and used to get effective recognition and support for any of the positions of the Caucus.

Jim Hetland (6)
_9___ Add more details to strategic plan
9____ Expand fund raising
_5___ Adopt a succession plan
8____ Improve opportunities for feedback from participants
___9_ Devise better measures of identifying success
___0_ Add women to the core group
__5__ Establish a "brand" for the Civic Caucus
_8___ Increase the number of participants
3____ Expand statewide
_7___ Hold occasional meetings where electronic participants may attend
_7___ Increase opportunities for participants to suggest topics
_3___ Allow participants share thoughts with one another on our website
_7___ Seek website endorsements from notable public figures

Malcolm McLean
__5__ Add more details to strategic plan
__5__ Expand fund raising
__7_ Adopt a succession plan...
__3__ Improve opportunities for feedback from participants ......... This seems pretty good to me already
__7__ Devise better measures of identifying success
__9__ Add women to the core group
__10__ Establish a "brand" for the Civic Caucus
__6__ Increase the number of participants
__7__ Expand statewide
___7_ Hold occasional meetings where electronic participants may attend
__7__ Increase opportunities for participants to suggest topics
___8_ Allow participants share thoughts with one another on our website
__6__ Seek website endorsements from notable public figures

I think there are a number of good ideas from the two visitors. I think by far the most important is to see how the CC fits into the policy-recommending community in MN. In other words, in the new popular expression, what is the CC brand? I have done quite a lot with the Citizens League and it, too, is a policy studying and recommending entity. It does many things the CC does, and some other tasks as well. Is the CC sufficiently distinctive to claim its own territory? Does it contribute ideas that no other, or few other, entities do in MN? I think that is a central question for leaders and members to think about.

Meanwhile, I continue to be educated about important issues through the regular reports on interviews. Thanks for that.

Shirley Heaton
A fantastic overview of the caucus. I agree with Curry in using the incremental process in enlarging the organization. Leaping too fast forward can be hazardous -- a sort of too much too soon syndrome -- which throws the current leadership and membership in a 'where do we go from here' dilemma.

Also, suggest the caucus consider taking a break from its usual agenda routine to bring in a fund raising pro who could present ideas on how to get to those with 'deep pockets' for donations.

Finally, I like the core group approach for purpose and implementation of the caucus's program but be careful in expansion -- make sure the invitees fit the format and are not just window dressing because they represent a special group of the population.

Vici Oshiro
_10___ Add more details to strategic plan
____ Expand fund raising
_10___ Adopt a succession plan
____ Improve opportunities for feedback from participants
This is evidence I make my own opportunities.

____ Devise better measures of identifying success
What is success?

_10___ Add women to the core group - and more younger people
I recognize most of the names in core group and know them to be (like me) well beyond 65.
Succession plan important.

____ Establish a "brand" for the Civic Caucus
__10__ Increase the number of participants
You seem to be doing quite well.

_10___ Expand statewide
I think you'll find lots of interest when you choose subjects with statewide scope.

_10___ Hold occasional meetings where electronic participants may attend
Don't get caught in situation requiring reservations, enough attendees, etc. Brown bag lunches or just have water available for a dollar. Maintain the emphasis that purpose is PRIMARILY for reporting to electronic audience so participation is satisfactory even if few show. As a spoiled suburbanite I rebel at meetings in places where parking rates are high. [It takes me just as long to get to light rail and to get downtown Mpls.]


_10___ Increase opportunities for participants to suggest topics
_10___ Allow participants share thoughts with one another on our website
Do not circulate email addresses, but encourage those who want to engage in dialogs to include name and email with invitation to communicate off line when submitting comments.

____ Seek website endorsements from notable public figures

Comment: ________________________________________________
I just reviewed history and strategic plan.
HISTORY - Give author and date at beginning. Use of "I" and "me" doesn't mean much when author has not yet been identified. Data such as number of electronic participants become obsolete quickly. Effective date would warn readers to expect that.

STRATEGIC PLAN - I appreciated the context and agree that more specifics would help. Since I have started with CC it seems all the meetings have been on transportation. Am glad to see that other subjects will be discussed.

In addition to inviting more younger people and women to join the core group, what about a larger, perhaps rotating group, to participate in discussions.

I agree, reluctantly, with Marianne Curry's suggestion that we limit discussions to MN issues even though I would really like to include globalization on the agenda.

Austin Chapman (7)
_6___ Add more details to strategic plan
_8___ Expand fund raising
_8___ Adopt a succession plan
_6___ Improve opportunities for feedback from participants
_8___ Devise better measures of identifying success
_2___ Add women to the core group
_9___ Establish a "brand" for the Civic Caucus
_6___ Increase the number of participants
_2___ Expand statewide
_7___ Hold occasional meetings where electronic participants may attend
_6___ Increase opportunities for participants to suggest topics
_3___ Allow participants share thoughts with one another on our website
_7___ Seek website endorsements from notable public figures

Bright Dornblaser
8_ Add more details to strategic plan
_10___ Expand fund raising
_10_ Adopt a succession plan
__7 Improve opportunities for feedback from participants
__8_ Devise better measures of identifying success
_10___ Add women to the core group
__5__ Establish a "brand" for the Civic Caucus
_10___ Increase the number of participants
__10__ Expand statewide
__10__ Hold occasional meetings where electronic participants may attend
__10__ Increase opportunities for participants to suggest topics
__2__ Allow participants share thoughts with one another on our website
__5__ Seek website endorsements from notable public figures

Endorsements need of course to be a political and risks alienating those who believe they should have been recognized. Is CC already recognized as a good government/policy site?

Bob Brown
____7 Add more details to strategic plan
____ 5 Expand fund raising
___10_ Adopt a succession plan
____5 Improve opportunities for feedback from participants
____5 Devise better measures of identifying success
____8 Add women to the core group
____10 Establish a "brand" for the Civic Caucus
____ 8 Increase the number of participants


____ 7 Expand statewide
____ 8 Hold occasional meetings where electronic participants may attend
____ 5 Increase opportunities for participants to suggest topics
____ 5 Allow participants share thoughts with one another on our website
____ 5 Seek website endorsements from notable public figures

It seems to me that the most important things are to provide for the long term success of the organization by developing a succession plan, establishing a visible brand, and broadening the base of participation. If the focus is to be on Minnesota issues there should be more participation from non metro folks if you wish to have legislative success. I think it is important to have some women, but is even more important to involve people of color as our state demographics are changing rapidly.

Some additional thoughts
1. I have been involved with some civic education efforts for the past couple of years and I think that effort must start to include those corporate executives that Dave mentioned. I don't think it is impossible to get them to think of a role in civic affairs if they are approached in the right manner - getting them to see themselves as community leaders, not just leaders of specific institutions. I have had some discussion with various academics and a couple of foundation types about this and would be glad to discuss it with you if you are interested.

2. The role of the media (traditional and new) must be discussed since we now see a bigger challenge in getting the same information to all elements of the community. The narrowcasting electronic media, the decline of the newspapers, and the advent of blogs, etc. require a lot of thought if we are to have a unified understanding of public policy. issues.

3. If you are interested in getting groups of people together for policy discussions I would be glad to arrange use of our St. Thomas downtown facilities for such events.

Lyall Schwarzkopf (4)
_10___ Add more details to strategic plan
__8__ Expand fund raising
__9__ Adopt a succession plan
___5_ Improve opportunities for feedback from participants
__10__Devise better measures of identifying success
_ 9___Add women to the core group
__6__ Establish a "brand" for the Civic Caucus
__5__ Increase the number of participants
__7__ Expand statewide
__6__ Hold occasional meetings where electronic participants may attend
__7__ Increase opportunities for participants to suggest topics
__6_ Allow participants share thoughts with one another on our website
__4__ Seek website endorsements from notable public figures

Depending what the Civic Caucus wants to accomplish, I think that if it wants to educate to bring about change, then a detailed strategic plan on how to implement that change is important. In addition, if the caucus wants to be more than a discussion society, it must review what it has really accomplished each year and that is done by measuring its
success.

Donald H. Anderson (5)
__7__ Add more details to strategic plan
__5__ Expand fund raising
__8__ Adopt a succession plan
__5__ Improve opportunities for feedback from participants
__7__ Devise better measures of identifying success
__5__ Add women to the core group
__5__ Establish a "brand" for the Civic Caucus
__5__ Increase the number of participants
__4__ Expand statewide
__5__ Hold occasional meetings where electronic participants may attend
__4__ Increase opportunities for participants to suggest topics
__5__ Allow participants share thoughts with one another on our website
__0__ Seek website endorsements from notable public figures

Catherine Anderson
_10_ Add more details to strategic plan
__10__ Expand fund raising
__10__ Adopt a succession plan
__5__ Improve opportunities for feedback from participants
__5__ Devise better measures of identifying success
__10__ Add women to the core group
__10__ Establish a "brand" for the Civic Caucus
__5__ Increase the number of participants
__10__ Expand statewide
__0__ Hold occasional meetings where electronic participants may attend
__5__ Increase opportunities for participants to suggest topics
__0__ Allow participants share thoughts with one another on our website
__5__ Seek website endorsements from notable public figures

Carolyn Ring (5)
__8__ Add more details to strategic plan
__5__ Expand fund raising
__6__ Adopt a succession plan
__7__ Improve opportunities for feedback from participants
__5__ Devise better measures of identifying success
__7__ Add women to the core group
__8_ Establish a "brand" for the Civic Caucus
__6__ Increase the number of participants
__8__ Expand statewide
__8__ Hold occasional meetings where electronic participants may
attend
__6__ Increase opportunities for participants to suggest topics
__7_ Allow participants share thoughts with one another on our
website
__8__ Seek website endorsements from notable public figures

Craig Westover (7)
__10__ Adopt a succession plan
_10___ Add women to the core group
__10__ Increase the number of participants
_10___ Increase opportunities for participants to suggest topics

I gave a "10" only to those items I felt strongly about. The rest I am neutral about. I would caution that the Civic Caucus not try to do too much and dilute its current contributions, which are outstanding. I would like to be able to dial in and listen to some interviews live.

Scott Halstead (10)
5____ Add more details to strategic plan
10____ Expand fund raising
10____ Adopt a succession plan
10____ Improve opportunities for feedback from participants
5____ Devise better measures of identifying success
10____ Add women to the core group
5____ Establish a "brand" for the Civic Caucus
10____ Increase the number of participants
10____ Expand statewide
5____ Hold occasional meetings where electronic participants may attend
10____ Increase opportunities for participants to suggest topics
10____ Allow participants share thoughts with one another on our website
0____ Seek website endorsements from notable public figures

Consider sub groups to analyze information and make recommendations.

John R. Finnegan, Sr. (9)
__8__ Add more details to strategic plan
__6__ Expand fund raising
___10_ Adopt a succession plan
__5__ Improve opportunities for feedback from participants
__10__ Devise better measures of identifying success
__9__ Add women to the core group
__10__ Establish a "brand" for the Civic Caucus
__4__ Increase the number of participants
__8__ Expand statewide
__9__ Hold occasional meetings where electronic participants may attend
__9__ Increase opportunities for participants to suggest topics
__5__ Allow participants share thoughts with one another on our website
__9__ Seek website endorsements from notable public figures

Alan Miller (6)
_0___ Add more details to strategic plan
_0___ Expand fund raising
_2___ Adopt a succession plan
_8___ Improve opportunities for feedback from participants
_5___ Devise better measures of identifying success
_9___ Add women to the core group
_7___ Establish a "brand" for the Civic Caucus
_8___ Increase the number of participants
_2___ Expand statewide
_5___ Hold occasional meetings where electronic participants may attend
_5___ Increase opportunities for participants to suggest topics
0____ Allow participants share thoughts with one another on our
website
_0___ Seek website endorsements from notable public figures

Glenn S. Dorfman (5)
_ 5__Add more details to strategic plan
5__ Expand fund raising
__ 5_Adopt a succession plan
____ Improve opportunities for feedback from participants
10__Devise better measures of identifying success
__10_Add women to the core group
_ 5__Establish a "brand" for the Civic Caucus
____ Increase the number of participants
5___Expand statewide
__5_ Hold occasional meetings where electronic participants may attend
__5 Increase opportunities for participants to suggest topics
_ 8__Allow participants share thoughts with one another on our website
__ 5_Seek website endorsements from notable public figures

While "study" must always precede "implementation", leadership is fundamentally about the latter. As I continue to re-iterate,
Minnesota was easier "to implement new ideas in" when it was a more homogeneous culture. The fact that there are no women, minorities, young people(?), in the Civic Caucus speaks volumes to this issue. Greater diversity, creates by just its demographic component, less agreement.

Suggestion: Read Jonathan Rauch, "Demosclerosis" for excellent insight on the results of too much inclusion, democracy and Rauch, "Government's End" and Todd Gitlin's "The Twilight of Common Dreams" as well as Thomas Sowell's, "A Conflict of Vision's" for more on why implementation (leadership) is so much more difficult (impossible) in today's America.

Dan Loritz (7)
___8_ Add women to the core group
__10__ Hold occasional meetings where electronic participants may attend

I like the way it operates now. You all provide a real service as only you can given your wisdom and experience.
 

    

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

   Verne C. Johnson, chair;  Lee Canning,  Charles Clay, Bill Frenzel, 
Paul Gilje,  Jim Hetland,  John Mooty,  Jim Olson,  Wayne Popham  and  John Rollwagen.  


The Civic Caucus, 01-01-2008
8301 Creekside Circle #920,   Bloomington, MN 55437.  civiccaucus@comcast.net
Verne C. Johnson, chair, 952-835-4549,       Paul A. Gilje, coordinator, 952-890-5220.

contact webmaster
 

 

 

Hit Counter