Dear Citizens League members, supporters, and friends,
This is a trying time for our state and our country, but as Minnesotans, I know we can find a way forward by working together.
Engaging with Minnesotans on big challenges has been the lifeblood of the Citizens League since our beginning. Through meetings, events, study committees, and workgroups, we have been able to listen, learn, and advance policy solutions together.
Here are recent examples in the past several months:
- Policy On Tap, our new and increasingly popular event series which engaged people in conversations on today’s important issues. Last year, we covered the far-reaching effects of the stuff we throw away. Throughout four events, attendees learned about the growing problem of food waste, the science of landfills and incinerators, what really happens to things we recycle, and the booming business of secondhand goods. If you missed the conversations, all of them have been recorded and posted here: Policy On Tap: Talking Trash
- The 2020 Census presents a unique and important opportunity for all residents of Minnesota to make an impact on public policy and quality of life in our state. Working in partnership with the Minnesota State Demographic Center and community leaders, the Citizens League convened panel discussions in different languages – Hmong, Spanish, and Somali – with English translation to answer questions on the Census process from traditionally undercounted communities. All of these discussions were recorded and can now be viewed online, along with other resources in these languages: 2020 Census Community Discussions
- Partnering with Environmental Initiative and the Minnesota Department of Health, we convened Minnesotans throughout the state to discuss drinking water quality. From Grand Rapids to Worthington, Virginia to Perham, community members shared their concerns and questions about one of our most important resources. This valuable input will guide the creation of a formal, statewide collaboration to protect drinking water in Minnesota. Read about one of these meetings in Worthington’s newspaper, the Globe: Worthington residents share drinking water concerns (11/11/2019)
Engaging Minnesotans on the policies that affect their lives is crucial to the work we do.
Following the Governor’s Executive Order for all non-essential workers to stay home, Citizens League staff has been working remotely, with our board and committee meetings moving to online spaces, and our Capitol Pathways cohort using Zoom to stay connected to their internship hosts, and each other.
For an organization that has traditionally depended on meeting with partners, community members, and others in our networks, this is a challenging time. However, this challenge pales in comparison to the challenges that Minnesotans are facing right now.
Since the emergence of this pandemic, I have heard from many on how this is affecting our neighbors and communities. For example, I’ve already heard from many of you about the inconsistencies around the availability and use of sick time, potential regulatory barriers in meeting supply demands, mental health and social isolation, and trying to go about daily life with underlying health conditions.
Staying home doesn’t mean we stop connecting. At the Citizens League, we believe that sound policy starts by listening and having productive conversations. We’re here to listen to you, and together we will address these challenges.
Please, take a few minutes to take our short, two-question survey on how this pandemic is affecting you. Or, call and leave a message on our dedicated voicemail line at 651-401-1752.
Your input now will guide us in how we move forward to connect, convene, inspire, and act on policy solutions during this trying time.
The Citizens League has always been about working together to solve problems – finding common ground for the common good. This is as true as ever as we face this challenge together.
Pahoua Yang Hoffman
Citizens League Executive Director