Smith's research and writing has focused on Minnesota public policy issues and advocacy for reducing racial and economic inequality. The overarching theme in Smith's projects and op-eds centers on the value of public investments in education, economic security and physical infrastructure in equalizing opportunity and outcomes. Smith is retired from Growth & Justice but as President Emeritus and Senior Policy Fellow, he remains involved in research and advocacy aimed at social justice and economic growth. Recent activities include co-editing The Minnesota Equity Blueprint, a comprehensive guidebook for erasing socio-economic disparity
In the News
Preview and overview of series of "Workforce Equity'' policy briefs showing how Minnesota can reduce racial inequities in job market, Growth & Justice, Spring 2013.
This paper, Inspeparable Imperatives, is the first in a series of four designed to help Minnesota policy-makers reduce racial inequality in employment, which poses a threat to the state's long-term competitiveness. Charts and data showing the severity of the unemployment gap in the Twin Cities, workforce demand and racial composition of qualified workers in specific sectors. Spotlight boxes show targets of opportunity, such as the new Minnesota Vikings stadium, and promising new efforts, such as the "M-Powered'' program.
Describes progress being made through community engagement initiatives toward improving student success and closing achievement and attainment gaps in an increasingly diverse Greater Minnesota. Highlights some promising specific efforts happening across the state in rural towns and cities outside the Twin Cities metropolitan area.
Tells the story of the late U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone’s populist progressive campaign in 1990 and his stunning upset victory over incumbent Republican Rudy Boschwitz in 1990.