Building People Power Through Our Member-led Endorsement Process

Co-governance is a model of governance that happens when organized people (like TakeAction Minnesota) and movement electeds work together to advance a shared agenda. Co-governance includes inside/outside strategizing, but it also shifts who decides and who benefits from the decisions made by governmental agencies and elected leaders. 

TakeAction Minnesota screens and makes endorsements for three important reasons: 

🗳 To provide values-aligned leaders with the campaign support they need to win and govern boldly; 

🤝 To build strong relationships with candidates accountable to TakeAction Minnesota members; and  

🏛 To invest in the progressive governing infrastructure in Minnesota. 

When a candidate receives TakeAction’s endorsement, it means they have earned the support of our member leaders. It also means that our members are excited to throw down to win that candidate’s election, and to work alongside them once they are sworn in.  

Strong, intentionally-built relationships with candidates and elected officials are critical to achieving our goal of generating a new politics to win and wield the power to govern – a politics that is people-centered, agenda-driven, focused on changing structural inequity and freeing all of us to live lives of peace, prosperity, and joy.  

The candidates we endorse are a part of our movement to build statewide, multiracial, multigenerational, gender-diverse, independent political power that challenges corporate power, structural racism and gender oppression. All levels of government touch the everyday lives of our people. Decisions made by the leaders we elect will always impact and our ability to live joyful, creative, and fulfilling lives.  

How does TakeAction decide which candidates to endorse? 

TakeAction Minnesota strives to endorse political candidates with transparency, and with our members at the helm of decision-making. The screening process is led by our Political Committee, which is a committee of individual and organizational members of TakeAction. The endorsements are voted on by our Leadership Assembly (LA), which is made up of our top member-leaders and organizational members. 

Candidates go through a multi-step screening process, which involves one-on-one conversations with members of our Political Committee and robust group discussions around a candidate’s fitness for endorsement. After that, the LA convenes as a body to screen candidates for alignment with our core values and our positions on priority issues as identified by our members. A candidate must meet a threshold of 60% by the LA in order to be recommended for endorsement. The endorsement recommendations are then ratified by our Board of Directors in an official vote. While it’s impossible for every member of the LA to agree on every candidate, our process is strong because our members are willing and ready to wrestle with each other.  

Candidates are screened according to the following criteria: 

✅ Will this candidate fight for the humanity and dignity of all Minnesotans, and share our values, believes, and ideals?  

✅ Does this candidate have a plan to win by organizing people, money, and ideas?  

✅ Is this candidate ready to proactively govern with TakeAction Minnesota and the progressive movement in order to implement our shared vision? 

✅ Does this candidate exhibit radical imagination for what is possible for transforming our government and economy so that they are accountable to our communities, not the corporations? 

✅ Would you (a TakeAction Minnesota leader) be excited about supporting this candidate with your time and money? 

By having deep, questioning conversations with candidates and with each other, TakeAction Minnesota’s member leaders make intentional, strategic decisions about our endorsees, our path to victory, and what wielding the power to govern will look like beyond elections, so we can build the future we deserve. 

Want to get involved?

TakeAction Minnesota is a multiracial, multi-generational, grassroots membership organization. We’re building a people-powered movement across our state for a government and economy that works for all of us. We all have a role to play in building the world we deserve. Join us:

📞 Sign up for a Wednesday night Deep Canvass phone bank into Minneapolis, where we connect with folks across the city to build the grassroots people power that we need to govern – regardless of who holds elected office. Training is provided!

🔌 Connect with a TakeAction organizer to get involved with important political work happening in your local community and at the state legislature. Send an email to info@takeactionminnesota.org.

💸 Not a TakeAction member yet? Donate now to become a member and fuel our people-powered movement!

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The problems we face are bigger than one campaign, one issue, or one election.

We need a statewide, multiracial movement to change who decides and who benefits in Minnesota. And we need you to be part of that.

Join us. Let us know what you're interested in and we will get you connected with our work.