Council Chair Haigh Joins 650 ISAIAH Leaders in Struggle for Racial and Economic Equity

Governor Mark Dayton and members of the Metropolitan Council joined more than 650 faith leaders at a summit on Sunday, February 12, to launch a partnership to make sure that racial and economic equity become a priority to the plans and decisions of the Council.

Governor Dayton addressed the crowd and said, “I welcome ISAIAH’s involvement with the Met Council.”

The event, called “Shaping the Future with Hope,” brought together faith leaders, Governor Dayton, Metropolitan Council Chair Susan Haigh, 11 members of the Council, five Minnesota Department Commissioners, and more than 60 public and elected officials to discuss the Council’s role in dealing with racial and economic disparities in employment, income, health and education found throughout our region.  In the extremely fragmented Twin Cities metro area, these disparities cannot be addressed at a local level but require regional solutions.

“Equity is very simple, but it’s not easy,” Metropolitan Council Chair Susan Haigh told the gathering. “Equity means that all people have the ability to live near opportunity…  Regions that provide opportunity for all are regions that succeed.  We have to make sure that they [transit corridors] provide a benefit to all people…including affordable housing and an increase in jobs.”

A panel discussion with public officials discussed ways that different sectors and levels of government can work with the community and with each other to create a more equitable Minnesota.  “If we are going to improve education, improve transportation, improve housing,” we all need to work together,” declared Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger. “These are not in silos.”

“There are real and present threats against equity in our state,” said Joy Marsh Stevens, co-chair of the gathering. “We cannot solve them county by county, school district by school district, city by city. As leaders we need to work in cross sectors with one another.”

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