Our opinion: Austin, Mower is better with diversity

Published 6:30 am Saturday, August 21, 2021

Last week, a cache of data was released from the 2020 census, giving Americans a first look at how demographics have changed over the last 10 years.

What it shows is that across the nation and closer to home, our county is becoming more diverse. In Austin and Mower County, both populations rose since 2010, driven largely by a diverse workforce looking to make use of a good jobs situation in Austin.

This initial release came in the form of hard data, primarily for redistricting purposes on national, state and local levels, with more user-friendly numbers to be released later in September, but for now we can celebrate how both Austin and Mower County are growing in a positive way.

For years now, those living in our area have seen a rise in diversity in Austin. Whether it’s the workforce at Hormel, QPP or other employers in Austin, churches, or even walking the halls of our schools, the fact that we have become a hub of a multicultural population is unavoidable and very welcome.

The influx of other cultures brings with it an opportunity to expand what our community can offer and boast. Immigrant-owned businesses can be found throughout Austin, from restaurants to grocery stores. There are social groups and events that open new worlds to the people of Austin.

Austin’s multicultural background is a celebration of people and their values all coming together to make Austin a boisterous and active community.

It shows that there is a place for all and acts as a microcosm for what America was put on a pedestal for — a melting pot.

Diversity works in Austin and will continue to work, as more and more come to live, work and play in Mower County and Austin. As we move forward, it’s important to continue to embrace that spirit, especially now when divisive politics rampages across the country.

As a middle ground in political circles becomes increasingly rare, we can look inward to ourselves to see that there is plenty of middle ground in Austin and Mower County.