News

June News: Help Advance RCV by Joining Us at TC Pride!

Help Advance RCV by Joining Us at TC Pride!

Ranked Choice Voting and Pride go together like rainbows and flags! Once again, were gearing up for one of our biggest and most joyous outreach opportunities of the year Twin Cities Pride and wed love for you to join us.

With the upcoming competitive RCV municipal election in St. Paul, the RCV petition drive in Duluth, and more Minnesota cities like Brooklyn Park exploring voting reform, reaching Minnesota voters is more critical than ever. Theres no easier or more enjoyable way to help than to take part in the Pride festival and/or parade! Can you help out for a few hours June 27-28? Shifts are flexible, and as past Pride volunteers can attest, we can guarantee that youll have a blast! Enjoy time outdoors, connect with old friends, make new ones, and help advance democracy reform: contact us at info@fairvotemn.org to sign up or learn more.

Rank Small-Plate Masterworks, Support St. Paul Outreach

Join us next Thursday, June 25, for an epicurean adventure featuring a Ranked Choice Voting election of fabulous chef-created appetizers as we prepare to help St. Paul voters and candidates make history!

Guests will enjoy craft beer and wine while sampling and ranking small-plate delights created by Chef Alan Bergo of the Salt Cellar. An Evening With Chef Alan is a fundraiser to support FairVote Minnesotas education efforts to help St. Paul voters and candidates make history and provide a national model for voting reform with a successful, competitive RCV election this fall.

Suggested donations: Trail Blazer, $5,000; Changemaker, $2,500; Collaborator, $1,000; Public Awareness Committee, $500; Every Vote Counts, $250; Grassroots Champion, $100. Thanks to Securian, Target, and the Joyce Foundation for their generous support of this critical St. Paul outreach initiative.

To see a list of cohosts or for more information, click here. Please RSVP to info@fairvotemn.org we hope to see you there! If you can't attend, please consider a donation to support our important education efforts this year in St. Paul.

Duluthians Learn About RCV at Brews for a Better Ballot

The push for Ranked Choice Voting in Duluth continues gaining momentum, and our friends at the Duluth Better Ballot Campaign are close to the 1,600 petition signatures needed by July 1 to put RCV on the ballot this November.

And while nothings more popular than free craft beer, RCV is a close second with civic-minded Northlanders: on June 17, a crowd of over 200 people packed Clyde Iron Works to sample and rank libations from eight talented local brewers. Popular Bent Paddle, which garnered the most first-choice votes, eventually emerged as the consensus winner with over half the votes, but not until round 6! Vikre Distillery placed 2nd place and Blacklist Brewery, third.

FairVote Minnesota is providing ongoing support to our DBBC colleagues as they reach out to voters at community gatherings, door knocks, house parties, and more. Congrats, friends and partcipating breweries, on a fantastic event and on building an unstoppable movement for a smarter, fairer, more inclusive voting system for Duluth!

Can you help push the petition drive over the finish line? Click here to contribute $25, $50, $100 or whatever amount you can to help place RCV on the Duluth ballot this November!

Brooklyn Parkers Talk RCV at Community Forum

Huge thanks to the Think Again Brooklyns for inviting us, along with Brooklyn Park Charter Commissioner Dave Williams and Minneapolis City Council Member Linea Palmisano, to speak at Brooklyn Park City Hall June 16 about RCVs power to improve local elections and governance.

"Under the old system, the election in November used to be a rubber stamp, with the primary making the choice before most voters have the chance to weigh in," said Council Member Palmisano. "RCV contributed to my reasons for running because I don't know if I as a political newcomer, young and female would have made it through under the old primary system. I believe RCV is a way to diversify  political leadership."

A growing grassroots coalition of voters and community leaders in Brooklyn Park an increasingly diverse city are interested in RCV for its potential to foster greater political participation and more demographically representative leadership.

"It's hard not to see the value of RCV once you take a look at it," Williams said. "I'll go out and talk to anyone about the benefits of RCV."

By scrapping the separate primary election, in which just a tiny fraction of eligible voters typically take part, Ranked Choice Voting includes many more voters in the culling of candidates. Under RCV, a communitys crucial political decision-making all takes place on Election Day in November, when turnout is highest and most diverse. Plus, that larger, more diverse group of voters gets to choose from a wider, more diverse group of candidates. And over time, as cities ranging from Minneapolis to San Francisco have seen, it helps yields leadership thats more reflective of the electorate.

IP Consensus: RCV Key to Improving Elections

Thanks to the Independence Party of Minnesota for inviting longtime Ranked Choice Voting advocate Carol Rudie to speak to delegates at its June 6 convention in St. Paul.

Convention goers embraced Rudies message about the power of RCV to broaden political choice and give third-party candidates a viable shot at competing in elections.

Also participating in the convention were FairVote Minnesota board members Tim Penny, the former Congressman and current president of the Southwest Minnesota Initiative Foundation who spoke at the gatherings outset, along with author, futurist, and former IP chair Jack Uldrich.

Penny said support for Ranked Choice Voting continues to be strong among IP members, who recognize the need to remove structural barriers inherent in the outmoded plurality voting system.

Independence Party voters are uniquely aware of how the status quo stifles political diversity, and they know that RCV would open up the process to smart, qualified candidates outside the two major parties, Penny said. Having said that, many of RCVs benefits have universal appeal. Valuing civil, substantive discourse and the ability to compromise for the greater good? Thats not just an IP thing. I think every voter wants that. To read more about the convention, click here.

Welcome to Michael Rosenow, Farewell Legislative Session

Were thrilled to welcome Michael Rosenow, whos joining FairVote Minnesota to lead our grassroots legislative campaign. Rosenow, who lives in Lino Lakes, has several years of organizing, government relations, and communications experience.

Although our local options bill was introduced too late for committee hearings this year, we made unprecedented progress in securing bipartisan sponsorship . . . and since the measure wont need reintroduction in the second half of the biennium, were poised for victory in 2016. Many state legislators are holding town hall meetings to reflect on this past legislative season; if your senator and/or representative are among them, please show up and let them know how important RCV and local control are to you!

As always, thanks for all you do to improve democracy in Minnesota.

The FairVote Minnesota Team

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