Citizens League policy recommendations are the result of processes that bring together citizens and stakeholders to study the facts, debate the possibilities, and develop innovative and effective ways of framing and addressing policy problems.
Our work is based on a set of civic guidelines, including: those impacted by a problem help to define and solve the problem, and everyone involved must bring their resources (time, money, relationships, etc.) to help advance solutions
Citizens League members develop and advance policy positions through:
- Study committees to learn about, talk about, and make recommendations on a policy issue (like the water policy or immigrant students and higher education committees)
- Advancement groups to move forward existing Citizens League policy positions (like the Transportation Advancement Group focusing on telecommuting and other processes.)
Processes and Projects
The Citizens League has developed processes that give Minnesotans a real opportunity to set the baseline for policy decisions that affect the entire state. Projects that bring citizens into the discussion include the Parks and Trails Legacy Project, Honoring Choices: End of Life, Common Cents: Minnesotans Weigh In on Taxes and Spending, and Minnesota GO: Crafting a Transportation Visions for Generations.
Creating a Common Ground Process for Decision Making
To address our “groups and claims” in healthy ways, we must develop community decision-making processes that establish common ground at an early juncture. The Citizens League recently finished a case study report of the Central Corridor processes and seeking opportunities to apply processes in a local decision-making situation.
The Citizens League is working with leaders from the business, industry, government, nonprofit sectors to develop the key characteristics of Minnesota’s energy system in 2040 and a path to achieve it.
Health and Medical Care
After 30 years of concerns over cost and quality, a functioning market in medical care still does not exist, and supplier competition is driving up costs without producing better health outcomes. As health care becomes less affordable, access decreases. A functioning market in medical care would require aggressive changes to achieve the necessary transparency and information.
Citizen Solutions: Health
The Citizens League and the Bush Foundation are leading an effort to engage citizens and businesses around Minnesota in defining values and priorities for health reform in our state, and to provide input to the Governor’s Task Force on Health Care Reform.
Higher Education Reform
Higher education has always contributed to Minnesota’s capacity to be a state that “works” and can solve problems. In our current knowledge-based economy, higher education is more important than ever. The Citizens League, in partnership with the Bush Foundation, is embarking on a multi-phase effort to develop and advance a set of recommendations to achieve the goals of higher education.
Immigrant Students and Higher Education
Two study committees (in 2007 and 2008) put together findings, conclusions and recommendations to improve immigrant students’ participation and success in higher education. These are now available in the report released in January 2009. Members and staff are now working to advance the recommendations. If you’re interested in getting involved or for more information, contact Adam Arling at firstname.lastname@example.org
Judicial Selection and Elections
In light of negative judicial campaigns in other states and legal changes since the most recent Citizens League study committee on this topic, a policy review group revisited this issue in 2008, and the Citizens League adopted a position intended to prevent the politicization of judicial selection.
Long-Term Care Financing
Building on work from the 2008 Policy Open House, two-day policy design workshop, and a policy review by members, the Citizens League is convening a broad group of stakeholders to answer the question: What policy changes are needed to create incentives for personal responsibility for long-term care?
Pathways to Prosperity
Poverty in Minnesota is a Catch-22: What you need most is what you don’t have — money and connections — and the legal pathways to get more money and connections force you to lose more resources than you gain through increased earnings. The Citizens League is working with community partners to identify ideas and tools that would fundamentally address the Catch-22s inherent in this approach. Follow the link above for more information and to find out how to get involved with this project.
The Citizens League is calling for more choices and more transparent funding mechanisms in order to create a transportation system that is fiscally sustainable and responds to the choices of users and beneficiaries.
The Citizens League is working to build a more collaborative model of water governance based on the recommendations of our 2009 report, To the Source.To address today’s biggest water policy challenges, we need to recognize the roles of those who contribute to water problems — individual citizens, farmers, businesses, and other organizations — to likewise contribute to solutions.
Recent Work and Policy Positions
The Citizens League recently concluded work in these areas. Any of them may again become active, as the subject of a Policy Review Group or other project. If these issues rise in our policy agenda again, we will have experience and positions that will help us jump in.
Annual Property Tax Studies
Each year, the Citizens League produces the Residential Homestead Property Tax Survey, the Tax Increment Financing Report, and the Fiscal Disparities Report. View the reports and associated tables as well as our new on Special Assessments Review.
From 2003 to 2007, the Citizens League convened the Minnesota Mental Health Action Group (MMHAG), a coalition of people and groups working on mental health reforms. This effort culminated is significant mental health reform passed by the legislature in 2007.
Also see our Policy Report Library
All reports published over the Citizens League’s 50-plus-year history are available and searchable here. Click here to view the reports currently available or to order paper copies of past reports as available.