Twenty-two years ago, as a young professional just completing my medical training, I could have chosen any city in the United States in which to work and live. I chose the Twin Cities because I was drawn to the fact that it had the cultural amenities and progressive attitude of a larger city (I was moving from Los Angeles), but without most of the associated disadvantages. I was impressed with Minnesota's emphasis on education and health.
Years later, I live in a state I barely recognize. Our two world-famous orchestras are fighting for survival, and the state has borrowed more than $2 billion from K-12 schools in budget-balancing tricks. Our roads are in disrepair and a major bridge has collapsed, killing and injuring many citizens. Tens of thousands of Minnesotans lack health care. Yet still we have managed to find the billions necessary to build new sports facilities for a variety of teams across the metro area.
Minnesota clearly no longer has the values of the state to which I moved many years ago. State officials should take heed: Young professionals today will not want to move to a city with no orchestra, no emphasis on health or infrastructure, and a lackluster educational system -- however many stadiums it may have.
DR. LAURA J. LEHMANN, EDINA