"Ranked Choice Voting leads to better governance. Leaders with a true mandate are more accountable to voters. And more people turn out to vote when they believe their voice will be heard."
Mr. Peterson deeply understands the political process thanks to his many years spent as government relations director at Ecolab in St. Paul. Since retiring, this Minneapolis resident has lent his professional expertise to several outstanding non-profit organizations on both sides of the river including the History Theatre, Citizens League, Project 515, and Minnesotans United PAC.
, Vice Chair
"Communities are stronger, healthier and more resilient when more people are directly engaged and involved. Ranked Choice Voting brings people into the process who wouldn't otherwise participate. Everyone deserves the opportunity to be heard, whether by voting for someone who shares their values or by running for office. I joined the FairVote Minnesota board to help encourage more choice and greater participation."
Mr. Lewis juggles multiple professional roles, including serving as strategy manager at Greater MSP, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership, and communications co-chair of the Citizens League. He previously served as a staff writer at the Center for Public Integrity, as press secretary for the Tom Horner for Governor campaign, and was a board member of the Minnesotans United for All Families campaign. Lewis burnished his public affairs credentials through work at Xcel Energy and consulting for Fortune 500 companies and nonprofit organizations. He earned an MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota and a Master of Public Policy degree from the University's Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Oh, and did we mention that he’s also an active member of the Minneapolis Rotary?
“Voting is the number one way citizens make their concerns known. With RCV there’s a much greater chance that everyone’s choice will be heard.”
This St. Paul native has worked to promote social justice since college, eventually earning a law degree from The John Marshall Law School where he focused on voting, election, and local government law. Mr. Vetvick worked in Chicago and Washington, D.C. before returning to Minnesota to practice financial litigation law. He also provides legal support to people with low incomes and works as a panel attorney with the Guardian ad Litem program where he helps advocate for children’s best interests in abuse and neglect cases.
“Democracy works better when we all participate. Ranked Choice Voting enables majority winners giving everyone a voice in electing leadership."
Ms. Cramer puts her management and critical skills to work on behalf of Ameriprise Financial as a project manager and business analyst. She’s the former chair of Senate District DFL 61. Cramer also lent her expertise to the 2006 Minneapolis Better Ballot Campaign, as well as 2009 and 2013 voter education campaigns in volunteer capacities. She also has worked on several candidate and issue campaigns.
“Not only does RCV encourage more people to vote, it promotes more diverse representation as people of color become more viable candidates.”
This tireless business and civic leader is a public health physician, health care entrepreneur, and consultant. A Kenyan-born ethnic Somali, Dr. Adbullahi created the “Reflections of New Minnesotans” radio program on AM950. He serves on numerous nonprofit boards and brings a passion for expanding democracy to historically underrepresented communities in Minnesota. His expertise, his strong, diverse connections, and his understanding of Ranked Choice Voting’s potential to broaden political participation and improve government representation of new Americans makes Abdullahi a tremendous advocate for voting reform.
“Ranked Choice Voting does not favor any particular candidate or political party. It is truly nonpartisan. If you care about healthy democracy, you can get behind RCV.”
Mr. Cummins is the retired president and CEO of the Workers Compensation Reinsurance Association. He has practiced law, served as legal counsel to Governor Al Quie and was responsible for government, regulatory, and community affairs at Minnegasco. Long a leader in public service and civic engagement in Minnesota, Cummins has served as chair of the Citizens League, United Hospital, the Higher Education Coordinating Board, and numerous other nonprofit and community boards. He currently serves on the board of the Coalition for Impartial Justice, which supports adoption of a system of judicial retention elections in Minnesota.
"As a former elected official, I'm a strong advocate for Ranked Choice Voting because I believe that majority support promotes better governance and that it's also the answer to restoring civility in our elections. With RCV, we can have real dialogue about real issues!”
Ending homelessness is the focus of Gail Dorfman’s work and her professional passion. She’s executive director of St. Stephen’s Human Services and also serves on the Metropolitan Council. Dorfman served for 14 years as the Hennepin County Commissioner representing District 3. She led numerous initiatives aimed at ending homelessness, including creating the Hennepin County Affordable Housing Incentive Fund, leading the Heading Home Hennepin Collaborative, and launching Project Homeless Connect. Prior to serving on the Hennepin County Commission, Dorfman served the city of St. Louis Park as a city councilor and, later, as mayor. She holds a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
“True choice is lacking with a plurality system that promotes an ‘either/or’ voting mentality. Ranked Choice Voting is proven to change that dynamic, giving third and fourth parties an equal spot on ballots.”
This Minneapolis City Council aide is a former steering committee member for the Minneapolis/5th District Green Party.
“Women excel at fostering cooperation and finding consensus. Ranked Choice Voting rewards candidates with those skills. That’s a big reason for my support of RCV.”
Advancing women and ending homelessness are two strong threads running through the life of Duluth native Liz Johnson. She is a founder and board member at VoteRunLead, a national organization that supports the aspirations of women who want to transform our country and democracy through their participation as leaders. Johnson currently works as a Program Manager at the American Lung Association in Duluth, focusing on housing related issues. She also founded Plate to Politics, a program of the Women, Food, and Agriculture Network. She received the Minnesota Women's Press Change Maker Award for her work to advance women leaders in Minnesota and the Minnesota Housing Partnership Right top Housing Award.
“No reform would do more to fix what is broken in our political system than to implement Ranked Choice Voting. With RCV not only does every vote count - every vote matters."
Mr. Penny is president and CEO of the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation. He’s a former Congressman who, as a moderate DFLer, represented the First District and later was the 2002 Independence Party candidate for governor. A well-known “budget hawk,” Penny also is a senior fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs and serves on the advisory board of the U’s Institute for Law and Politics. He has authored/co-authored four books and writes frequently for the Star Tribune, MinnPost, and other publications
“In a representative form of government, the importance of reflecting the citizens' varying perspectives on justice through elected officials means that the process must create opportunities for that diversity to occupy the halls of political power. Our current election system was not designed to result in true representation. Ranked Choice Voting, done right, creates a public square where all voices are part of the conversation.”
Carol is a faith, nonprofit and education reform leader. This long-time FairVote Minnesota board member frequently speaks on election, religious, and education issues. She was an original member of The Center for Voting and Democracy and later joined the FairVote Minnesota. Carol says her “proudest voting moment” was her opportunity to cast a ranked choice ballot in Minneapolis' first RCV election.
“Candidates save on campaign costs with RCV since it’s counterproductive to sling mud at opponents on expensive television commercials."
When he is not protecting the assets and future earnings of his clients at Cox Insurance Associates, Christopher Smith serves on the Sub-Committee At-Large for Outreach with the St. Paul DFL. He has also volunteered for numerous political and issue campaigns during the past decade, most recently serving on St. Paul City Council member Rebecca Noecker's campaign team.
"It is not enough that every vote counts. Every vote must count for as much as possible. RCV helps achieve this worthy goal and has the added benefit of making our elections and our communities stronger in the process.”
Don’t try to put Jack Uldrich in a box. He’s a global futurist, speaker, bestselling author, and the former chair of the Independence Party of Minnesota. He’s served as an adviser to Fortune 500 companies and spoken to hundreds of businesses and organizations about emerging technologies and trends. His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, the Futurist, the Star Tribune, and numerous other regional and national periodicals. Uldrich has also been a guest on CNN, MSNBC, and NPR
“Ranked Choice Voting motivates candidates to address issues of concern to the Hmong community and other communities of color. Leaders from our community also are more likely to seek office when RCV is used.”
Bao Vang is president and CEO of the Hmong American Partnership and former board member of the Professional Hmong Women Association. A long time St. Paul resident, Vang is a frequent speaker on issues relating to the Asian American community.
“I’m a big believer in more choice for voters. With Ranked Choice Voting, the spoiler issue is eliminated and third party candidates have an equal chance. This makes democracy stronger for everyone.”
Whether he’s inspiring young students to learn math or creating craft cider, Jim Watkins is determined to make a difference. Watkins is cofounder and managing director of development at Sociable Cider Werks, the Twin Cities’ first craft cidery. This magna cum laude graduate of Carleton College studied economics with concentrations in Spanish and political economy and then worked in Citibank’s sales and trading division in New York City. He later joined the 2009 teaching corps with Teach for America in Miami. In 2010 Watkins was nominated for Miami-Dade County Rookie Teacher of the Year. An avid outdoorsman, Watkins also is passionate about civic life and political engagement.