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These comments are responses to the Civic Caucus interview with

Dane Smith, president of the public policy organization Growth and Justice
September 23, 2016

Assign high priority to inclusiveness in public policy groups


The president of another public-policy organization, Growth & Justice, shares his agreement with many parts--along with some suggested improvements--in a Civic Caucus draft on the public-policy process in Minnesota. Dane Smith said he likes the emphasis on the importance of independent, non-partisan, citizen-based groups. He agrees that the environment for change is different today from the past. He urges the Civic Caucus to give greater attention to the problems of racial disparities. He suggests including additional names of effecitve groups. It is critical, he said, for study groups to include much broader representation from people of different races, ethinc and cultural groups, ages and genders. More people need a sense of "equity" in the community, not just in a fairness sense, but in ownership, he urges. He supports a preliminary direction to turn to foundations for needed leadership on the public-policy proposal process.

For the complete interview summary see: link to interview

Individual Responses:

Mark Ritchie--Another excellent interview , thank you.

Wayne Jennings--Dane Smith provides wise counsel for our coming report and our future. Especially valuable for our consideration is the involvement of other groups: ethnic, racial, etc. They should have the opportunity to comment on our next draft. Dane's comment on the number one problem being racial disparities can be unpacked and highlighted for its many- pronged impacts.

I think our draft should have a findings section that provides foundation for our recommendations. Many are obvious and can be teased out from our former interviews. We might also give a nod to the difficulty of making change or action with public-policy.

Scott Halstead--I believe that income equality is the primary problem of our communities, state and nation. Wells Fargo CEO Stumpf reportedly is retiring immediately after numerous years of poor leadership, firing more than 5,000 employees because of a faulty marketing plan, inadequate supervision, ripping off their customers and Mr. Stumpf with $134 million in retirement.  He was doing quite well financially as CEO.  Time will tell on how he contributes to society in retirement.

A large number of business leaders are excessively compensated, while they are making business decisions that are harmful to their employees, communities and setting reduced financial standards for employees and retirees. 

Racial disparities is certainly part of income equality.  Strong families combined with a good education system is essential but very difficult to achieve.


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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
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Dan Loritz, chair, 612-791-1919   ~   Paul A. Gilje, coordinator, 952-890-5220.

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