FairVote Minnesota Board
“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.
“Ranked Choice Voting is an excellent way to focus on the issues, reduce the toxic rhetoric, and give all of us a bigger voice. It’s very energizing for me to have the chance to serve on the FairVote Minnesota board and work on this really important matter.”
With years of medical practice, nonprofit leadership, university governance and political experience, Maureen Reed brings valuable expertise and perspective to the FairVote Minnesota board. She also brings deep passion for making democracy work better through the use of Ranked Choice Voting.
A physician by training, Maureen previously served as medical director and vice president at HealthPartners, as a regent of the University of Minnesota, and as executive director of the Nobel Peace Prize Forum. Her interest in democracy has been punctuated by a run for statewide political office, participation on the Governor’s Health Care Transformation Task Force, and service as an election judge in Washington County. She currently teaches leadership at Gustavus Adolphus College and the University of Minnesota Undergraduate Honors Program.
“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.
“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.
James Dorsey is an attorney who specializes in resolving corporate conflicts with the goal of improving the work environment and allowing businesses to become more stable.
He has spent decades doing pro bono work in the field of human rights, including investigating human rights abuses in South Africa and Central America.
Dorsey represented FairVote Minnesota pro bono in the 2009 case at the Minnesota Supreme Court, which allowed the City of Minneapolis to uphold the use of Ranked Choice Voting in their municipal elections, where it has thrived ever since.
Matt Furman comes from the world of communications, currently serving as the chief communications and public affairs officer for Best Buy Co. Inc., before which he was vice president of corporate affairs for Mars Chocolate.
Furman also previously held senior communications positions at Google and CNN in the corporate world, and in the administrations of New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and President Bill Clinton in the political realm.
Tom Horner has had a full spectrum of a career in public affairs, from overseeing 16 community newspapers as managing editor of the Suburban Sun Newspapers, to serving as communications director and chief of staff to Senator Dave Durenberger, to running for governor of Minnesota in 2010 for the Independence Party.
Horner currently serves as president of Horner Strategies, L.L.C., a public relations and public affairs consulting firm, and also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas for graduate-level courses in corporate communications and public affairs. He is delighted to bring this experience to the FairVote Minnesota board in the fight for Ranked Choice Voting.
Stephen Imholte is a native Minnesotan born in Staples and raised in Detroit Lakes. He grew up fishing the lakes of the area and the state all while learning the political trade from his father, Philip, who was active in Republican Party politics.
He grew up fishing the lakes of the area and the state all while learning the political trade from his father, Philip, who was active in Republican Party politics. A graduate of Minnesota State-Moorhead with a BA in Political Science, Stephan ran for State Senate in 1980, and did field and consulting work for the Republican Party and its legislative components. He directed Gov. Arne Carlson’s re-election efforts from 1991-1993. And in 2010 he became campaign manager for Tom Horner, who was running for Governor of Minnesota. Stephen has been active with several non-profits in Minnesota, as well as; a willing and able blood and platelet donor since 1986.
Former Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Senior Fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and Director of the University of Minnesota Center for Science, Technology, and Public Policy
Michael D. Minta is an associate professor in Political Science at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
He received a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is one of the country’s leading experts in the study of the political representation of African American, Latino, and women interests in the United States. His book, Oversight: Representing Black and Latino Interests in Congress is a valuable guide that scholars, political leaders, and the legal community consult when assessing whether diversity in legislatures improves responsiveness to minority interests.
Dr. Minta regularly teaches popular courses in U.S. government pertaining to African American politics, congressional politics, and interest group advocacy.
“Ranked Choice Voting is a people-powered movement that holds the promise of breaking through the political gridlock that is impeding progress on racial justice and every other issue facing our nation. It is one of the most doable and impactful reforms we can take to create a more inclusive and representative democracy.”
Kim Nelson, a resident of Wayzata, is one of Minnesota’s most well-known women business leaders, served as President of General Mills $1.2B Snack Food Division and Senior Vice President of External Relations. Kim brings nearly 30 years of corporate, operating, communications and government relations experience to the FVMN Board and its mission to educate voters and transform our democracy for the better. Kim has been pivotal in organizing the business community in support of Ranked Choice Voting. Within months of joining FairVote MN, she had lined up support from more than a dozen of Minnesota business leaders and delivered their statement of support to the State Legislature. Kim currently serves on several corporate and community boards, including the Northside Achievement Zone, a community partnership focused on ending multi-generational poverty in north Minneapolis. Kim holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Columbia Business School.
Dr. Michael Osterholm
“Never have we needed good government more than we do now. It’s not about partisan politics, it’s not about party… Ranked Choice Voting is the legacy of my lifetime.”
In addition to having an impressive faculty resume at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Osterholm has also served as Science Envoy for Health Security for the US State Department, and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the Council on Foreign Relations, to name just a small portion of his credentials.
Dr. Osterholm penned the 2017 book, Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs on how the medical, scientific, and public health communities are working to prevent global pandemics.
“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.
Employment Law Attorney, HR Consultant, Author, Speaker
“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
FairVote Minnesota Staff
Consultant (The Committee for Ranked Choice Voting)
Consultant (United Strategies)
Director of Campaigns
Director of Data and Research
Fundraising Consultant (United Strategies)
Padraig "Paddy" Haley