Labor Interpretive Center Board of Directors
Function: To oversee the operations and budget of the Labor Interpretive Center.
The proposal to build a Minnesota Labor Interpretive Center began in 1984 when Governor Rudy Perpich announced the idea at the Minnesota AFL-CIO annual convention. Perpich appointed David Roe, president emeritus of the Minnesota AFL-CIO, to head a task force to plan a new interpretive center affiliated with the Minnesota Historical Society. In 1985, a $228,000 state appropriation was made to the Department of Administration to "plan and design the Labor History Center" [Laws 1986 1spsess c15 sec3 subd4f].
In 1993, the Center was separated from the Minnesota Historical Society. The Minnesota Labor Interpretive Center, Inc., a non-profit corporation authorized in the creating legislation, was formed with its own board of directors to advise the Center and engage in fundraising on its behalf. The ten directors were to be representatives of labor, business, state and local government, local education authorities, and arts groups and were appointed by the governor, the mayor of St. Paul, the speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Subcommittee on Committees of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration [Laws 1993 c369 sec60].
Of primary importance to the Center was the preservation and interpretation of the story of the workers and their institutions in Minnesota [Laws 1986 c3 art4 sec8]. In addition, the Center was to spur an interest among the people of Minnesota in family and community traditions of work; help young people discover their work skills and opportunities for a productive working life; and advance the teaching of work and labor studies in schools and colleges. Not intended as a conventional museum or research library, the Center was to achieve these goals through exhibits, audio-visual programs, educational programs, theatrical presentations, seminars, conferences and symposia.
The Center was to be a state-of-the-art structure featuring exhibit galleries, educational facilities, and a theater. Several options for site locations were considered, but in 1995 it was decided that the Center would be constructed in the East Building of the former Science Museum of Minnesota complex in St. Paul. The 1998 legislative session approved six million dollars for the renovation of the East Building, with a projected completion date of December 2001 [Laws 1998 c404 sec13 subd5].
However, the Center suffered a severe setback when at the completion of the 1999 legislative session, Governor Jesse Ventura used the line item veto on two bills containing appropriations for the Center. Although still statutorily alive, the Center was, as of July 2000, not active.
Sources: Minnesota Laws, Minnesota Labor Interpretive Center records, and Minnesota Labor Interpretive Center Web site.
This agency has been operating on a volunteer basis, without any budget since 1999. The activity is at a low key with the principal project being the development of a "Workers Memorial Garden" on the State Capitol Mall. 6/9/09 - This agency has completed their work and appointments are not likely to be make.
10 voting members, 2 legislative nonvoting members: 3 directors appointed by the governor; 1 director appointed by the mayor of St. Paul (subject to approval of city council); 3 directors appointed by the speaker of the house; 3 directors appointed by the subcommittee on committees of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration.
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