A banner year

American Experiment generates serious momentum on several levels.

2016 has been a banner year for Center of the American Experiment. As the end of the year approaches, I can’t resist ticking off some of our accomplishments:

• We put Minnesota’s economy front and center, with Peter Nelson’s blockbuster paper on income migration in March and Dr. Joseph Kennedy’s paper, “Minnesota’s Economy: Mediocre Performance Threatens the State’s Future” in May. Our efforts have ignited a lively debate on whether Minnesota’s economy lives up to the praise it so often receives from the state’s politicians.

• We played a key role in defeating AFSCME’s stealth attempt to unionize home child care providers, and we are now working on a vote to decertify SEIU’s representation of personal care attendants, which basically provides a slush fund to the union and the left-wing causes it funds.

• We sponsored a sensational series of public events in 2016. Our Annual Dinner featured former White House press secretary Dana Perino. Our quarterly lunch forum series was dedicated to explaining how liberal policies hurt the middle class, minorities and low wage earners. We hosted Jason Riley on how liberal policies hurt blacks; Peter Wallison on how Dodd-Frank has devastated community banks and damaged small businesses; and a dialogue on the pros and cons of the minimum wage that included Dr. Mark Perry. Soon to come is our December 8 forum featuring Heather MacDonald, author of The War On Cops. And our Fall Briefing featured an insightful (and hilarious) talk by Jonah Goldberg.

• Mitch Pearlstein continued his cutting-edge work on education, marriage, and the family with his leadership of Opportunity for All Kids and his virtual symposium on what to do about family fragmentation.

• Kathy Kersten’s local and national columns triggered a long-overdue controversy about violence in the public schools.

• We conducted an issues briefing for new candidates for Minnesota’s legislature in July.

• So far in 2016, we have placed op-eds supporting free markets and government accountability in 64 Minnesota newspapers.

• We brought our messages to Greater Minnesota, with meetings and press conferences in Duluth, Fergus Falls, St. Cloud, and Mankato.

• We completely revamped our website (www. americanexperiment.org), our weekly emails, and our Facebook page, which will have 10,000 “likes” by the end of 2016.

• We brought our commonsense conservative messages to the internet and the radio, with ads currently playing on 40 Minnesota radio stations, and with internet videos that have been seen by more than 300,000 Minnesotans.

• We developed Thinking Minnesota into the state’s must-read public policy magazine.

• Using all the media at our command, we delivered our messages to Minnesotans more than ten million times.

2016 was American Experiment’s biggest year ever. But we are just getting warmed up. In 2017, we will have an even bigger impact on Minnesota’s civic culture. Stay tuned!