The Legislative Session in Minnesota begins next week, and lawmakers are expected to quickly become embroiled in a set of fights that pit wealthy corporate special interests against the well-being of the 99% in Minnesota. If recent remarks by conservative leaders prove to be true, attempts to place one or multiple constitutional amendments on the November ballot – all of which are designed to solidify economic and electoral power for the wealthiest Minnesotans – will be central to the conservative’s 1% Agenda for 2012.
Earlier this week conservative legislators introduced a Voter Suppression ballot initiative that would effectively cut out large swaths of the electorate by requiring an ID to vote, disproportionately elderly and people of color. We are hearing more and more about an initiative that would make it more difficult to raise taxes in Minnesota, a move intended to protect a wildly inequitable tax structure in Minnesota that allows the wealthiest to pay the least, the poorest Minnesotans to pay the most, and some corporations to pay no taxes at all.
But whether the GOP leadership can achieve its 1% Agenda this session remains to be seen. The message of Occupy Wall Street has swept the state and the country in recent months. It has galvanized the public behind a powerful message of dramatic inequality in the United States, and exposed the links between corporate special interests and the GOP. Meanwhile, more and more Minnesotans are seeing the true purpose of proposed ballot initiatives – to solidify gains for the 1% while millions are left to struggle through a faltering economy. TakeAction Minnesota and partners are preparing to fight back so that the 2012 session proves to be the moment that puts the 1% Agenda on defense – and begins to shift the current toward the 99%. We hope you’ll join us.
Liz Doyle is TakeAction Minnesota’s Associate Director.