After a long night that stretched into Wednesday, we are all left trying to make sense of this election. On one hand there is a national feeling of defeat. A sense of rejection of President Obama’s policy agenda. On the other hand, there is also a sense of hope that Mark Dayton, despite an expected recount, will win and become Minnesota’s next governor.
In stark contrast to the slash-and-burn politics of the Citizens United era, a politics which places a premium on big money, TV ads, and tearing down one’s opponents at all costs, the statewide ground game that we as members of TakeAction Minnesota developed through the reNEW Minnesota campaign was built to last beyond Election Day.
For all the money spent on this election, most of it bought air. But working together, we built a grassroots infrastructure that remains in place. The lesson of the first two years of the Obama administration is that bold policy change requires an effective ground game. Without it, the power of a chief executive is limited. And in a time of divided government, with new conservative majorities in the Minnesota House and Senate, TakeAction Minnesota’s ground game becomes more critical than ever.
Working together through the reNEW Minnesota campaign, TakeAction Minnesota members made a significant contribution to the statewide campaign that helped to elect Mark Dayton our next governor. Working together we:
- Called or doorknocked over 160,000 voters
- Trained over 2,400 leaders who organized in their communities
- Talked to more than 10,000 Native American voters in seven different reservations and communities around the state
- Talked to more than 10,000 Hmong voters
- Turned out volunteers who filled more than 1,500 volunteer shifts
We know elections don’t make change – people do. The Minnesota and the nation we want wasn’t going to suddenly appear on election night. We know we will get there by continuing to organize people around a hopeful vision that asks us to invest in our common good, that embraces a politics of inclusion and justice for all, where we make decisions today that improve the lives of our children’s children. We will continue to organize and stand up for what we believe. We will continue to win victories that advance what we know is right and define who we are.
In just over two weeks, on Friday, November 19th, the members and supporters of TakeAction Minnesota will gather for our 5th Annual Leadership Awards Dinner & Celebration. This event promises to be fun and lively as folks come together to recap the last year and launch the next. I want you to be there – to feel the spirit of comraderie and hope that we always feel when we get together. We will also honor Minnesota Nurses Association and State Representative-Elect Rena Moran – two outstanding examples of leadership that is making a difference. Social hour begins at 5PM, dinner and program begin at 7PM, and dancing to follow. Purchase your tickets before this Sunday, November 7 and receive the Early Bird Discount by clicking here.
I hope you’ll join us on Friday, November 19th at the Minneapolis Hilton to celebrate what we’ve built together this year and to get ready for the next.