Before the main topic got underway, MARCY SHAPIRO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR of OPEN ACCESS CONNECTIONS (formerly Twin City Community Voicemail) joined us in-studio to talk about her organization’s loss of funding at the hands of a single office within the Minnesota Department of Human Services. “Today, 350 agencies across the entire state of Minnesota partner with Open Access Connections to allow nearly 5,000 individuals and families each year to have a safe and secure place to receive messages from employers, landlords, children’s schools, doctors, social service providers, family members and friends.” No organization in the state and few across the country offer this unique service. OAC needs your help to donate funds, contact legislators to talk with Governor Dayton and the Commissioner of Human Services to reinstate the funding that has forced the layoffs of the all staff members.

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We’re living through an era where the notion of the common good has been overwhelmed by the idea of individualism; me and mine. This is manifested on many fronts as you well know. One of the most dramatic is this worship of the Constitution as a charter of limited government. We’re also witnessing the denigration of the public sphere and the selling of privatization as the remedy.

Dane Smith’s recent op-ed argues that the Federalists sought ratification of the constitution because they believed that a strong national government was necessary to promote the common welfare. Dane’s work with Growth&Justice is predicated on the idea and the historic reality that government can and must play a strong role in achieving the public good.

Doug Rossinow will provide an historical perspective on this fundamental debate in America on contrasting ideas about the meaning of freedom. He teaches courses on the New Deal, Civil Rights and Reagan eras (among other things) — eras where these contrasting ideas (and practices) were in sharp conflict. His most recent book is Vision of Progress: The Left-Liberal Tradition in America

How can people be lured out of their self-imposed isolation – either technological or ideological – and see the value of working together toward the common good? How do you engage people, spurring both action on specific issues and reflection on the underlying values those actions represent? ISAIAH’s Doran Schrantz help answer those questions.

Guest Host PROFESSOR TOM O’CONNELL of Metropolitan State University and Board Chair of CivicMedia/Minnesota joinsTTT PRODUCER/HOST ANDY DRISCOLL.

GUESTS:

DANE SMITH – Veteran journalist and President of Growth & Justice, a progressive think tank dedicated to making Minnesota more prosperous and fair.

DOUG ROSSINOW – Professor of History at Metropolitan State University and author of Vision of Progress: The Left-Liberal Tradition in America

DORAN SCHRANTZ – Executive Director of ISAIAH, a congregation-based organization that engages Minnesotans of faith on issues of economic and racial justice.

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