Minnesota stands in a unique moment. In the wake of a 2023 legislative session that brought sweeping changes to almost every aspect of public policy, the state is poised to embark on a new direction. After four of the most tumultuous years in our history, a new era has opened in the North Star State.
Whatever one's view of the extraordinary 2023 legislative session, few dispute that the impact will be profound on many fronts — economic, social, political and more.
Where will these dramatic developments lead us? How will they impact generations of Minnesotans to come? How should the state's leaders and citizens respond?
We'd like to hear from you, and today we issue this call for submissions on the theme, "Where does Minnesota go from here?"
The theme, you'll notice, is quite open-ended. That is by design. We want your best and most unfettered thinking. The ultimate goal for the submissions we select for publication will be for a collection of ideas to emerge that can influence citizens and leaders in the months and years to come.
We're looking for a variety of voices from across the state, from a broad cross-section of communities and across the political spectrum. We'd like to hear from any Minnesotan who wishes to contribute.
There are a few ways you can do that. If your idea is fairly straightforward, you can keep it to 250 words or fewer and we'll consider publishing it as a letter to the editor (in our "Readers Write" section). If it takes some explaining, please consider offering up to 700 words in the form of a commentary we'll consider for publication on the Opinion Exchange page and/or Star Tribune Opinion online.
Send your contributions to email@example.com or use our submissions form at startribune.com/opinion. If you send via email, please include "Minnesota's future" in the subject line. We're looking forward to hearing from you!
We expect that the responses we publish will generate further responses, and we'll share some of those, too. We'll keep up the exchange for as long as it seems productive.
We'll collect all submissions we publish on a landing page at startribune.com — for cross-referencing, and for posterity.
There's one risk we recognize with this type of initiative — that it will dwell heavily on partisanship and break down along predictable lines. You can offer us that kind of material if you think it's the most important way to frame the future — and if you have a fresh way to present it — but we offer the following analogy to inspire a different way of thinking:
Tug of war, the literal activity, is a game of momentum and attrition. A slight lapse in tension on one side gives a momentary advantage to the other. One by one, participants are pulled over the center line — or maybe into a mud pit in the middle — and are eliminated. Eventually, one team's resources are exhausted. Then everyone retires to the big tent for a hot dog or an Impossible Burger.
But we'd like to ask you to imagine a tug of war with a somewhat different objective. What if — while still pulling for their side — participants also had to move the entire line laterally toward the refreshments? And if they didn't reach that goal, no one would be allowed to eat anything but overcooked asparagus?
If that was the objective, the game would look and feel very different. And it would recognize that we collectively have a lot to gain both by competing and by seeing the bigger picture of creating a better Minnesota for everyone.
We do think of Minnesota as an exceptional place. We think this discussion can be exceptional, too.