But there is cause to believe in banishing the term, far from banishing its functions one merely conceals them. - Kenneth Burke, A Grammar of Motives
There's an emerging school of DMC commentary that might be described as "strict constructionist." Its proponents endeavor to insulate DMC from criticism and controversy by trying to enforce narrow semantic limits upon the proper use of the emblematic acronym and all that it implies - which, according to this school, isn't really all that much. Though sometimes there is cause to wonder if these proponents have recently reviewed the DMC legislation passed in 2013 or the DMC master plan approved in 2015, it does seem apparent they probably have not reviewed the DMC marketing efforts of 2017.
It's not to far from "In the middle of EVERYWHERE" to in the middle of everything. And my the stories they tell. If there is ground breaking research being pursued at Mayo Clinic - that's DMC. If it exists or is planned within the medical development district - that's DMC. If it exists or happens in Rochester - that's DMC. If it's innovation, investment, medicine, growth, community, recreation, health, culture, or education - that's DMC.
Whatever it is, wherever it is, if it is in or about Rochester, spins positive, and can wear a happy face - that's DMC.
As marketing campaigns go, this is a nice one. Upbeat stories full of promise and truthiness. Sincere people radiant with optimism and competence. Good production values. Better than "Let's Build This!" to be sure. All in all, it is much more credible than the "DMC - Everywhere, but Here or Here or God Forbid There" strategy being applied elsewhere by the strict constructionists.
Recently the strict constructionists have decried those who would link DMC to broader city and regional concerns - saying DMC was never meant to be this or that or some other thing. Oddest of all, they even attempt to distance DMC from Mayo Clinic - as if the later has nothing at all to do with the former. Their argument: the public money goes to the city of Rochester not to Mayo Clinic. OK, but upon what is this half a billion public dollars to be spent? Public infrastructure "to support the medical business entity's development plans, as identified in the DMCC development plan." And what does "medical business entity" mean? From the 2013 DMC legislation this:
"Medical business entity" means a medical business entity with its principal place of business in the city that, as of the effective date of this section, together with all business entities of which it is the sole member or sole shareholder, collectively employs more than 30,000 persons in the state.In other words: Mayo Clinic. It's almost embarrassing to have to point this out.
As to the broader regional impacts that are quickly disavowed when they bring disruption, disappointment, or disfavor - from the 2015 DMC development plan, among its "guiding principles," this:
Sustain Rochester and Southeast MN as a Destination Medical Center and Economic Engine for the State
Rochester and its largest employer, Mayo Clinic, are critical components of the regional and State economy. Rochester, particularly its downtown core, needs to maintain an economic concentration, expand its business base and enhance the diversity of its economy. The DMC Development Plan promotes strategies that are focused on a broad range of opportunities, giving special consideration to strategies that support and leverage Mayo Clinic’s growth to enhance and expand the economy of Rochester and Southeast Minnesota. These strategies will promote the growth of new businesses, investment, entrepreneurship, and targeted businesses locally and within the region.This sort of claim is "everywhere" throughout the 2015 development plan. The whole rationale for state, county, and city public funding is based upon state, county, and city impacts. To embrace these impacts when they are positive, but deny them when they are not, undermines the economic rationale of the whole project, interferes with the necessary policy deliberations required to sustain it, and, in the end, is politically untenable.
But this is what the strict constructionists now endeavor to do: if it's good, it's DMC; if it's not, hey the city gets the money talk to them! And Mayo Clinic - what do they have to do with it?
If "DMC has made Mayo Clinic a political pinata," it is only because Mayo Clinic stuffed DMC with candy and hung it in the middle of state capitol rotunda.