This Election, I’m Voting So All Minnesotans Can Have a Brighter, More Joyful Future

Health care matters.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) made it so that I could stay on my parents’ health insurance until I turn 26, and it has basically kept me alive this past year. But even with expanded care, there are still thousands of people in this country who cannot access the kind of care they need.

I believe everyone has a right to care for themselves, their families, and communities. But I believe in more than that. I believe that everyone has a right not just to live, but to live in joy. Those are the values that ground me and drive me to the polls each year.

This year, we have the chance to vote for representatives who will work alongside us to build a Minnesota where everyone has the care that they need. I’m hopeful that we have the chance (not a guarantee) to elect Tim Walz and Peggy Flanagan for Governor and Lt. Governor.

It’s the moments of togetherness—moments where our joyfulness, hope, and healing were more important than fear tactics and statistics—that have made this election feel different for me.

Tim Walz is a veteran and Minnesota school teacher. Peggy Flanagan is a Native organizer, activist, and trailblazer. When she’s elected Lt. Governor, she’ll be the first Native woman elected to that position in the state and one of the highest ranking Native American women in Minnesota. That’s a big deal. 

Both Tim and Peggy believe, as I do, that health care is a right. And they know intimately the importance of affordable, comprehensive care because they have lived, worked, and cared for their own families alongside everyday Minnesotans.

For the first time in years, our candidates aren’t millionaires with inherited wealth. Last week, Peggy released a video where she talked about needing subsidized lunch programs and Medicaid when she was a child. “Some politicians talk about ‘those people.’ Well, I am ‘those people’,” she said. I can’t describe the feeling I had when I heard a candidate for Lt. Governor talk about her first-hand experience with the same struggles that people and families in St. Cloud experience every day.

We haven’t had that kind of representation in a while—and it’s one that Minnesotans desperately want, need, and deserve. I’m excited to continue to have tough conversations with people in St. Cloud and across the state because I truly believe in the future Minnesota we can build with Tim and Peggy.

There are a couple messages that have arisen from some of those tough conversations recently that I want to share with you.

The first one: #TogetherWeWin. 

It’s reflective of the moments so far in this election that we came together. The moments where we looked at each other, including those we at times disagreed with, and saw the dreams for our collective future. Moments where we chose to see our commonalities instead of differences. Moments where we fostered strong leaders grounded in power, political healing, and the belief that their voices matter. And, of course, the moments where we fought hard for powerful and inspiring candidates to be on the ballot and won. Representative Ilhan Omar will be on the ballot in November and could be the first Somali American Congresswoman. Aric Putnam and Dan Wolgamott from St. Cloud built strong relationships that will push us to the general election. Tim Walz and Peggy Flanagan, who are dedicated to keeping our state one that we can all be proud of.

It’s the moments of togetherness—moments where our joyfulness, hope, and healing were more important than fear tactics—that have made this election feel different for me.

The second message: #GreaterThanFear. 

Politics can be beautiful, healing and empowering, even when we don’t win. But are living out a very harmful version of politics. The kind where corrupt politicians use racist and sexist dog whistles to divide, disempower, and mislead people—all while they slash the services we need to care for ourselves, families, and neighbors. Through community organizing at TakeAction Minnesota, we are demanding better leadership, better ideas, and more joy. We refuse to allow hateful strategies to divide and district us. Instead, we are planting the seeds to grow a Minnesota that works for us all, where everybody is in and nobody is out. The foundation of turning that vision into a reality is always us, and always you. We create meaningful, transformative change together.

As I said earlier, we have a chance at that kind of future—not a guarantee. Elections only work if we vote and get other people to vote, and we still have a lot of work to do to elect Tim Walz, Peggy Flanagan, and other progressive leaders we need and deserve.

Join me as we build a Minnesota where we can all live in joy: 

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