the commons in Minnesota needs to be expanded

English translation: the civic-minded 'citizenry' of Minnesota must be grown & diversified

14:00 Aug 5, 2019
English to English translations [PRO]
Government / Politics
English term or phrase: the commons in Minnesota needs to be expanded
Hello everyone,

From the book Thank You for Being Late by Thomas Friedman.

Minnesota right now is wrestling with that trick—as are other communities in America. Michael Gorman, who heads Split Rock Partners, an investment fund, and is a founding member of the Itasca Working Team, eloquently shared with me how he sees the challenges and tensions around this issue in Minnesota today. (It is not as if Minnesota hasn’t faced this challenge before: as Hewitt joked, until the 1960s the Lutheran Germans would not sell to the Lutheran Norwegians!)

“Most of us who grew up here identify with the tribe of Minnesota,” said Gorman.

There is something special about our civic culture that has de-veloped over time. Minnesotans and Minnesota companies are distinctive in their level of engagement and commitment to the community, and their willingness to devote financial and human capital toward the public good. There is a sense that we can’t let up. Minnesota still retains the elements of community and connectivity that have served the region well since pioneer days. With the arrival of recent immigrants from backgrounds very different than their predecessors from Northern Europe, however, the cultural pH is changing. Figuring out how to in-clude Minnesota’s new voices and perspectives while retaining the best attributes of the majority culture that has worked for a long time is a challenge.

From one side, he argued, ***the commons in Minnesota*** needs to be expanded and become more inclusive—the definition of being Minnesotan needs to broaden so that every person, regardless of their background, sees Minnesota as fertile topsoil in which to grow and prosper. But it cannot just be a one-way conversation.

“There also has to be assimilation from the new arrivals,” said Gorman. “Our message has to be: ‘We are glad that you are here and can’t wait to see the contributions you will make to our community. That asks something of us. But it also has to ask something of you. What are you doing to embrace the existing culture, to be a part of this place you have chosen as your new home?’ ”

What does "the commons in Minnesota needs to be expanded" mean in general and "commons" in particular?

I also asked this question on Wordreference (but there you can oly quote 4sentences when asking questions).
https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/the-commons-in-minne...

Some people answered and commented but, unfortunately, no one is sure enough.

Thank you.
Mikhail Korolev
Local time: 13:40
English translation:the civic-minded 'citizenry' of Minnesota must be grown & diversified
Explanation:
The author has already provided a paraphrase:
"the commons in Minnesota" needs to be expanded and become more inclusive — the definition of being Minnesotan needs to broaden so that every person, regardless of their background, ..."

From the dictionary
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/commons
Noun:
1 commons plural : the common people
3 commons or Commons plural in form but singular or plural in construction a : the political group or estate comprising the commoners
b : the parliamentary representatives of the commoners

Hence I read the text as most likely referring loosely to the common people / commoners, which we might rephrase as "the ordinary citizen(s)".


Thus I originally had "the concept/reality of being a 'citizen' of Minnesota must be broadened".

I think 'citizenry' may be a better — more concise — alternative, because I believe "commons" refers to the group/class/category of people.
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/citizenry
I don't think any connection with legal papers is intended: it is just about the people who settle (or have settled) in that place, with perhaps emphasis on the notion of being a "good citizen".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_citizenship
To capture this idea I inserted "civic-minded".
https://www.thefreedictionary.com/civic-minded
Selected response from:

D. I. Verrelli
Australia
Local time: 20:40
Grading comment
Many thanks to everyone.
Thank you, David.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
3 +1the common cultural basis has to be enriched
Larissa Hanko
3the civic-minded 'citizenry' of Minnesota must be grown & diversified
D. I. Verrelli
2forum for public debate/discussion
Amel Abdullah


Discussion entries: 7





  

Answers


16 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
the commons in minnesota needs to be expanded
the common cultural basis has to be enriched


Explanation:
The text uses agricultural metaphors to describe the cultural environment - "fertile topsoil", "cultural pH" - and the analogy of the "commons", in other words the lands open to use by everyone, is a part of that. The point is that those parts of the culture that are open to all have to become richer and more inclusive, just like pastures that are open to use by everyone have to be rich enough that everyone's sheep get fed.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commons
Larissa Hanko
Germany
Local time: 12:40
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thank you, Larissa.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Elisabeth Richard
3 mins

neutral  D. I. Verrelli: The suggested paraphrasing is OK, but I am not so persuaded by the explanation. Is "cultural pH" agricultural??? Is it really referring metaphorically to common land?
2 days 23 hrs
  -> The pH value of the soil can dramatically affect the plants growing in it, it's quite important in agriculture. It fits well with the "topsoil" metaphor.
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
the commons in minnesota needs to be expanded
forum for public debate/discussion


Explanation:
It was a little difficult to find information about this, but it looks like it is/was an initiative to bring people together (online?) to discuss various issues affecting communities in Minnesota.

Mentioned briefly on page 33:
https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/2016121...

Page 124 here:
https://books.google.jo/books?id=OEx7UQyA96UC&pg=PA124&lpg=P...

Scroll all the way down to "Minnesota Commons and Minnesota Open Forum" here:
http://stevenclift.com/author/steven-clift/page/4/

Maybe you will be able to dig a little deeper using the above as leads.

Amel Abdullah
Jordan
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thank you, Amel.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Elisabeth Richard: Great research skills! However, reading the text again with this online forum in mind doesn't seem to particularly make more sense than the more figurative interpretation proposed by Larissa.
13 mins
  -> Thanks! I was thinking in terms of the forum perhaps needing to be more inclusive of diverse voices or even expanded on a "technical" level so that more people become aware of it. I am by no means confident in this interpretation, however.

neutral  D. I. Verrelli: In the last link the "commons" is not the forum itself, I don't think, but rather the (common) 'shared space' (online) where the discussions are to be held.
2 days 18 hrs
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3 days 28 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
the civic-minded 'citizenry' of Minnesota must be grown & diversified


Explanation:
The author has already provided a paraphrase:
"the commons in Minnesota" needs to be expanded and become more inclusive — the definition of being Minnesotan needs to broaden so that every person, regardless of their background, ..."

From the dictionary
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/commons
Noun:
1 commons plural : the common people
3 commons or Commons plural in form but singular or plural in construction a : the political group or estate comprising the commoners
b : the parliamentary representatives of the commoners

Hence I read the text as most likely referring loosely to the common people / commoners, which we might rephrase as "the ordinary citizen(s)".


Thus I originally had "the concept/reality of being a 'citizen' of Minnesota must be broadened".

I think 'citizenry' may be a better — more concise — alternative, because I believe "commons" refers to the group/class/category of people.
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/citizenry
I don't think any connection with legal papers is intended: it is just about the people who settle (or have settled) in that place, with perhaps emphasis on the notion of being a "good citizen".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_citizenship
To capture this idea I inserted "civic-minded".
https://www.thefreedictionary.com/civic-minded

D. I. Verrelli
Australia
Local time: 20:40
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Many thanks to everyone.
Thank you, David.
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thank you, D.I.

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