This week on the Friday Roundtable, our panelists discuss the future of the Twin Cities. What do Minneapolis and St. Paul need to do to become cities that the rest of the country looks to for ideas and innovation?
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• Minneapolis must address racial inequities
The racial income gap is wider today than it was at the time of the March on Washington in 1963. Not only is this morally wrong, it is unsustainable. Demographics are changing in Minnesota, and people of color will be the majority of residents by 2040. If we don't fix this now, we'll wake up without the workforce, leadership and revenue our community needs to compete in the global economy and sustain a good quality of life. (Sandra Vargas, writing in the Star Tribune)
• Minneapolis-Saint Paul's identity crisis
We're not on most people's radar of lively, livable, progressive, prosperous places. The cities we compete with for business, jobs and well-educated young workers enjoy strong identities as attractive, interesting places. Seattle is Microsoft and Nordstrom. The Bay Area is high-tech and avant-garde culture. Denver is America's beer capital and the Rocky Mountains. Portland is the capital of urban livability and young hipsters.
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What we are best known for is ice, snow, wind chill, mosquitoes, the Mall of America and, if we are lucky, "Prairie Home Companion" — which does not exactly portray us as a dazzling hot spot of culture, innovation and global cosmopolitanism. (Jay Walljasper, writing in MinnPost)
• Are we turning mediocre?
Other cities are racing past Minneapolis in a fierce contest for the best and brightest young people looking to start their lives and careers.
Some Minneapolis neighborhoods continue to be literally isolated, physically and economically — the very neighborhoods filled with young people growing up right here who should be a part of that emerging workforce.
We risk stalling in this incredible moment and sliding down the list of ho-hum cities. (Sen. Scott Dibble and Rep. Frank Hornstein, both DFL-Minneapolis, writing in the Star Tribune)