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These comments are responses to the Civic Caucus interview with

Steve Kelley of the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs
December 11, 2015

Stimulate innovation to help solve Minnesota’s pressing problems

Overview

Former legislator Steve Kelley offered several suggestions for producing more innovation in solving Minnesota's pressing public policy problems: enact proposals that serve an entire population, rather than only targeting groups in greatest need; involve advocacy groups, but don't let them dominate. Look beyond the state's borders for good ideas; encourage Minnesota's colleges and universities to balance their research on international and national problems with research on problems specific to Minnesota; urge the Minnesota House and Senate to create more joint House-Senate commissions to stimulate lawmakers to work together earlier, possibly making consensus more likely; enact ranked choice voting, giving candidates incentives to take positions that appeal to broader segments of the population.

For the complete interview summary see: Kelley interview

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 interview summarized today provides valuable information or insight.

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

3. Address broad population, not target groups. Public policy proposals should serve an entire population, rather than only targeting groups in greatest need.

4. Don't allow advocacy groups to dominate. Advocacy groups should be involved in public policy development, but shoud not be allowed to dominate the process.

5. Look beyond state for ideas. Those involved in developing public policy should look beyond the state for good ideas.

6. Encourage research on MN problems. The state should encourage Minnesota's colleges and universities to balance their research on international and national problems with research on

problems specific to Minnesota.

7. Create more joint commissions. The Minnesota House and Senate should create more joint House-Senate commissions to stimulate lawmakers to work together earlier to increase the likelihood of consensus.

8. Enact ranked choice voting.  The state should enact ranked choice voting, giving candidates an incentive to take positions that appeal to broader segments of the population.

Response Distribution:

Strongly disagree

Moderately disagree

Neutral

Moderately agree

Strongly agree

Total Responses

1. Topic is of value.

0%

0%

0%

60%

40%

10

2. Further study warranted.

0%

0%

0%

70%

30%

10

3. Address broad population, not target groups.

0%

20%

20%

30%

30%

10

4. Don't allow advocacy groups to dominate.

0%

0%

10%

40%

50%

10

5. Look beyond state for ideas.

0%

0%

10%

30%

60%

10

6. Encourage research on MN problems.

0%

0%

30%

40%

30%

10

7. Create more joint commissions.

0%

0%

20%

0%

80%

10

8. Enact ranked choice voting. 

10%

10%

30%

40%

10%

10

Individual Responses:

Denny Carlson (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (7.5)
6. Encourage research on MN problems. The achievement gap for example could be researched for improvement ideas.

7. Create more joint commissions. Very good idea.

I wish he could have been Governor - he would be great.

Anonymous (10) (10) (7.5) (7.5) (10) (5) (10) (7.5)

Tom Spitznagle (7.5) (7.5) (2.5) (7.5) (7.5) (10) (10) (5)

Bruce A. Lundeen (10) (10) (5) (10) (5) (5) (5) (7.5)
1. Topic is of value. "but it seems as that many are on exotic topics that seem to bear slight relevance to problems facing the state." [This] says volumes.

7. Create more joint commissions. I question the concept putting the burden of reaching consensus solely on the Legislature because it is lose-lose. Advocacy groups are upset because they feel their proposal was not adopted and the Legislature's approval rating declines as they speak out. How could the responsibility for reaching a consensus be bounced back to the advocacy groups?

Vici Oshiro (7.5) (7.5) (10) (7.5) (10) (5) (10) (5)
3. Address broad population, not target groups. Broad population includes everybody everywhere, not just Minnesotans.

We won't solve our problems within MN without restructuring basic systems in the rest of the world—economic, social, political systems and more.

Alan Miller (7.5) (7.5) (10) (10) (7.5) (7.5) (10) (10)
8. Enact ranked choice voting.  Of particular interest was the suggestion about PhD theses and relevance to MN. The interview touched on material that is very similar to other discussions highlighted here over the last few years. Steve is very intelligent and certainly worthy and insightful but perhaps the Caucus should occasionally go beyond the boundaries for its opinions, seeking different age groups and people not so steeped in academia or industry, but rather average citizens with a greater range of life experience.

Bob Brown (7.5) (7.5) (2.5) (5) (10) (10) (5) (0)
3. Address broad population, not target groups. Does this mean that you would ignore special needs children, discrimination against certain minority, populations, certain industries, etc.?

4. Don't allow advocacy groups to dominate. If advocacy groups never dominated there might not be any public policy.

8. Enact ranked choice voting.  Ranked choice voting allows for manipulation of the election process.

Anonymous (10) (7.5) (7.5) (10) (10) (7.5) (10) (5)

Wayne Jennings (8) (8) (9) (10) (10) (8) (10) (8)

Lyall Schwarzkopf (7) (8) (5) (9) (9) (8) (10) (1)
Rank choice voting is useless for multi positions on the ballot, it is confusing for the people, and it lowers voter turnout. When I was in the legislature we had many joint committees working in the off year when we did not meet. Many good ideas came out of this work.
 

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

 

 

 


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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.
 

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