A Year to Remember
As 2016 winds down, weve got big plans in the works for moving electoral reform ahead in 2017. But as all New Years revelers know, its also important to pause and remember highlights of the year just past. In a year of unprecedented political division and polarization, our work advocating for electoral reform became more urgent than ever. Thanks to all of your support and activism, 2016 was a big year. Among the highlights:
- Our Ranked Choice Voting Local Options bill garnered more bipartisan support than ever. Although it didnt advance through the short session in 2016, the growing support on both sides of the aisle shows that electoral reform and local control are important to both parties and people across the state.
- Through our presence at party caucuses and conventions, the Minnesota State Fair and dozens of other event across Minnesota, more than 5,000 new people joined our efforts, providing financial and volunteer support . . . a possible silver lining resulting from the contentious, bitter and divisive election season. While the election was brutal, it brought into bold relief the need for electoral reform. RCV was affirmed in the Minnesota DFL, Independence, Libertarian, and Green Party platforms, and thousands of Minnesotans read, shared, and wrote pro-RCV op-eds and letters to the editor in papers across the state, not to mention our ever-increasing followers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
- Voter education took a tasty turn earlier in the year with the 2016 Best of the Wurst, our signature event that combines Ranked Choice Voting with delicious bratwurst and beer. Well do it again bigger and better next September (watch for updates in upcoming newsletters!).
- Speaking of events, 2016 included two outstanding FairVote Minnesosta programs featuring national political thought leaders, including New Yorker senior editor Hendrik Hertzberg and Stanford political scientist Larry Diamond, both of whom cogently made the case for Ranked Choice Voting and election reform. Nationally respected media outlets like the Boston Globe, Bloomberg View, the Nation, the Economist, and Scientific American and locally the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press made the case that RCV would dramatically improve the presidential election process.
- We also hosted The Maine Event, just weeks before the decisive RCV statewide victory in the state of Maine. The Maine RCV team credited FairVote Minnesota with helping to propel them to victory, thanks to our materials and messages from launching and implementing RCV in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Were excited about their success and look forward to helping with implementation of RCV throughout the state of Maine!
5-5-5: Ambitious Goals Drive 2017 Agenda
To continue the momentum for RCV statewide in Minnesota, FairVote Minnesota is embarking on a strategy to help establish RCV in five cities in Minnesota and in five states across the country during the next five years. We plan to:
- Run a robust education campaign in Minneapolis and St. Paul 2017 RCV municipal elections and continue to demonstrate the benefits of RCV in local elections.
- Ensure the cities voting equipment is ready to tabulate the RCV races in 2017.
- Help at least five charter cities in Minnesota make the switch to RCV.
- Collaborate with national partners and lend our expertise to help five states adopt RCV.
- Continue to push for passage of our Local Options bill.
Your continued help is needed to keep this ambitious agenda moving forward. There are numerous ways to lend support: tabling at events, door-knocking, making phone calls, making a financial contribution, data entry, and more! No matter if youre a bit shy or the life of the proverbial party, there are critical volunteer activities that fit your unique style! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up!
Help Us Make the New Year Bright
With your help, we can create real, fundamental, far-reaching change in 2017 and beyond. Every penny of your donation whether $5, $50, $500, or $5,000 will make a positive difference. Now is the time. Lets build on the amazing work weve done so far and help keep Minnesota on the front lines of democracy reform. Thanks for all you do for a better democracy!
Happy New Year from the entire FairVote Minnesota team!