Gov. Dayton Lists ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ Among Top Accomplishments of His Tenure

Gov. Mark Dayton (D-MN) and his staff released a list of his “top 25” major accomplishments as governor on Wednesday as he prepares for the end of his eight-year stint in the governor’s mansion.

“When Gov. Mark Dayton took office, he promised to build a better Minnesota. Eight years later, Minnesota is doing better—much better than it was before,” a press release from his office states, listing policies such as “education funding” and “free all-day kindergarten” as some of his most proud achievements.

Dayton’s staff says that when he first took office, just 54 percent of Minnesota’s children were enrolled in all-day kindergarten, but now “165,000 children have benefited from free, all-day kindergarten.”

“And their families have been spared the expense of paying for all-day K out-of-pocket,” the press release states.

Dayton also touts the “economic growth” experienced under his administration, which took over when the unemployment rate was at 6.9 percent. Now, however, Dayton’s office notes that unemployment is at a 19-year-low of 2.8 percent and has been “at or below 4 percent for 53 months.”

Among Dayton’s other most prized accomplishments are his efforts to promote “diversity and inclusion” throughout the state. As governor, Dayton hired “the first chief inclusion officer” and established the “Diversity and Inclusion council.”

The Dayton administration also increased the “percentage of state employees who are people of color from just 8.1 percent to 13.1 percent,” and increased the “racial diversity” of Minnesota’s judges by 104 percent, among other diversity-related achievements.

Wednesday’s press release also recalls Dayton’s signing of a 2013 bill that made Minnesota “the first Midwest state” to make “marriage equality the law of the land by legislative action.”

Dayton also oversaw the construction of U.S. Bank Stadium, the new home of the Minnesota Vikings, which received $348 million in investments from the Dayton administration.

“This project created 8,000 jobs, leveraged $750 million in additional local and private investment, and spurred $1 billion in additional economic activity and development in downtown Minneapolis,” the press release says.

Dayton included the PolyMet permit to mine, a controversial issue in his own party, among his top achievements.

You can read full the list of Dayton’s “Top 25” accomplishments here.



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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].






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  1. […] soon-to-be predecessor, Gov. Mark Dayton (D-MN) introduced free all-day kindergarten to Minnesota during his first years in […]