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FairVote MN News: April, 2016

Op-Ed: RCV Disrupts the System In All the Right Ways

This political season rife with extremism, polarization, negative attacks, and big money is leaving many voters wondering how we got here and what we can do to fix it. FairVote Minnesota board member and Sociable Cider Werks owner Jim Watkins shared his thoughts in this terrific op-ed in the Southwest Journal.

"I share the fatigue with a system that forces voters to choose from the lesser of two evils. Thats why Ive gotten involved in the movement for Ranked Choice Voting, Watkins wrote. As a Minneapolitan, Ive experienced firsthand how it transforms politics into something more constructive, inclusive and representative of what voters really want. Read the whole piece here.

Convention Season is in Full Swing

Got a few hours to spare for democracy some upcoming Saturday? Convention season is in full swing, and we need your help! Talking about RCV with fellow democracy lovers at senate district and Congressional conventions is easy, rewarding, and fun. Email us at info@fairvotemn.org if you can help!

"RCV is an opportunity that allows for more representative government and democracy, increasing voter participation in all communities and especially in communities of color. When city councils look only like the dominant culture, not reflective of diversity in the city, then it's time for a change. RCV allows for that change." -Nausheena Hussain, Brooklyn Park

Short Session Precludes Local Options Bill; Contact Your Lawmakers

Given changing dynamics at the state legislature and a short timeline this session, our focus has shifted from passing the bipartisan Ranked Choice Voting local options bill this year to shoring up support for next year.

And you can help: Please take a few minutes to reach out to your state senator and state representative and any candidates running for their seats. Call or email to let them know youre an RCV advocate, and urge them to support the local options bill, which would make it easier for efficiency-conscious and reform-minded communities to try RCV.

Minnesota municipalities deserve the freedom and flexibility to use RCV if they wish. The measure would give interested communities a tested blueprint and uniform guidelines for making the switch, it would impose no mandates, and would have no effect on communities uninterested in RCV. Its a no-brainer.

Not sure whos currently representing you? Use this handy tool to find your senator and representative.  And in case you havent already, be sure to register your support via our online local options petition.

Like to write? Send a letter to the editor of your local paper about why you support RCV and want to see its use expanded in Minnesota. If you'd like to see sample letters to hep you get started, let us know: info@fairvotemn.org.

Welcome Taylor Stevenson, Director of Campaigns

Were excited to welcome our new director of campaigns, Taylor Stevenson! A Dartmouth grad, Stevenson previously served as program development specialist at the Rural Renewable Energy Alliance and, before that, as executive director of the Lakes Area Restorative Justice Project. He ran for the Minnesota Senate in 2010 and 2012, and was named by the Minnesota Jaycees as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans for 2012.

March with Us in the May Day Parade May 1

Its that time again: May Day is right around the corner! Join us as we celebrate spring, social justice and giant puppets: march with us in the 42ndannual May Day parade on Sunday, May 1, in south Minneapolis. Email us at info@fairvotemn.org for more information.

FairVote MN Mourns Former Intern Chase Allen Passauer

All of us at FairVote Minnesota are heartsick at the tragic, senseless death of law clerk and former FairVote Minnesota intern Chase Allen Passauer of Minneapolis. Passauer, 23, was fatally shot April 7 at the St. Paul legal firm where he worked. Authorities say the suspect, who was arrested and charged with second-degree murder, was a disgruntled client of the firm.

During the 2013 municipal election cycle in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Passaeur who dreamed of becoming a lawyer gave hundreds of hours of his time to improve local democracy as an intern for FairVote Minnesota.

Former FairVote Minnesota Director of Campaigns Mike Griffin trained Passaeur and worked closely with him for months. Im absolutely devastated at the loss. Chase had an unbelievably positive attitude and a contagious smile, Griffin said.

We share Mikes grief and his loving thoughts for Passauers family, friends, and colleagues. If you wish, please join us in honoring Passauer with a contribution to an organization where another FairVote Minnesota alum, Josh Nussbaum, works as deputy national organizing director: Everytown for Gun Safety.

Get Your Best of the Wurst Tickets Now!

Its a succulent celebration of charcuterie (and craft cider!): FairVote Minnesota is proud to present Best of the Wurst, a festival and ranked election of artisan sausages created by some of the Twin Cities top chefs. The Twin Cities sausage scene is hotter than ever, and Best of the Wurst promises a slate of candidates thats as diverse as it is delicious. Buy your ticket today!

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