Win the Day: Volume 4

Make More Possible | October 1, 2018

Dear Friends,

For the last three weeks we’ve been exploring how our political speech can make more possible.  We’ve been lifting up the best examples we can find. And reflecting a bit on how it works.

This last week, though, has been tough, in many ways.  For survivors of sexual assault, first, but it’s been hard for all of us who have listened to their stories and taken them seriously.  It’s been hard to hear and hard, at times, to know what to say. It’s been hard to stay present in the middle of the anger, fear, frustration, and disappointment that so many of us have been feeling every single day.

And it’s been hard to watch some U.S. Senators go through the motions, to play act empathy, to pretend like their minds were open when Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testified.

This is the kind of political speech we have been naming and challenging through Win The Day.

It’s worse than lying.  It’s different than bullsh****ng.  It’s in another league than evading, hedging, or threading the needle.  Those are run of the mill.

A number of our U.S. Senators were going through the motions by actually using our democratic process to perform the role of concerned and deliberative public servant.  It’s cynical. It’s transparent. And it creates (in this case justified) doubt in our institutions.

Fortunately, real people and truthful speech can still have an impact.

Have you seen the video of two women confronting Sen. Jeff Flake in an elevator?  (You can watch it below.) Just minutes later Sen. Flake conditioned his committee vote on an FBI investigation of Dr. Ford’s experience.  It’s not heroics, but it’s movement. It’s more than was possible before they told their stories.

And they are not alone, as survivors, as leaders, or as organizers.  Here are a few others who are trying to win the day.

Change the Story

In Minnesota, We’re Greater Than Fear

We believe Minnesota’s strength is our ability to join together across racial differences to make our state better.  That’s how we solve problems. Little things, like surviving winter without four wheel drive. And big things, like bringing everyone together to support climate solutions.

On Thursday, President Trump is holding a MAGA rally in Rochester.

We expect yelling, along with scapegoating and finger pointing at immigrants.  He’ll try to distract us from another round of massive top-heavy tax cuts. He’ll try to divide us from each other in order to help his allies win elections.

But most Minnesotans see through it.  We know we are #GreaterThanFear. In Minnesota, we’re better off together. 

Tim Walz gets it.  We’re a state that solves problems.

We take on tough challenges.  Honestly. And together.

We can do it by uniting diverse stakeholders, like we’ve done in the past, in an equitable clean energy future.  From farmers who support solar to students who want to learn a trade. From native leaders to neighbors who want clear air.  Both rate-payers and transit riders. Mayors and manufacturers. We all belong in this future.

This is about as far as away from ‘going through motions’ as you can get.

We won’t be distracted from what really matters: care for each other, the land, and our future. 

Organizing for the Win

A Cultural Revolution

On Friday, we witnessed two heroines, Ana Maria Archila and Maria Gallagher, confront Sen. Jeff Flake on an elevator, after the Ford-Kavanaugh Senate hearing. 

Both survivors of sexual assault, Archila, 39, and Gallagher, 23, were key voices pushing Sen. Flake to call for an investigation into Judge Kavanaugh, delaying the vote.

Women are telling their stories of sexual assault and #WhyIDidntReport on social media and in the hallways of the Capitol. Women and survivors are bringing private trauma into public memory, beginning the process of political healing.

In an interview, Archila noted it wasn’t just her conversation with Sen. Flake that moved him. It was everyone’s.

The movement that’s erupted over Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court is transforming our nation’s culture around sexual assault. It’s challenging a patriarchy that protects powerful men and hurts everyone.

Mass organizing, direct action, civil disobedience, and people taking their stories to Twitter has made an irreversible difference in our society–and could change the course of our country’s history.

Culture change is the hardest, but it’s the most durable.

We don’t know what’s going to happen next, but we know our country will always be different because everyday people are organizing. Even when it’s terrifying, people are taking action. Together, we’re #GreaterThanFear and we’re doing the work to win the day.  

Ideas Worth Fighting For

Health Care for All

No matter our differences, most of us want pretty similar things from our health care, regardless of our age, race, or zip code. Minnesota has been a national health care leader for generations. 

(And, yes, this is contrast #2 for the week.  The president who didn’t know “healthcare could be so complicated” is coming to Rochester, MN, the home of Mayo Clinic…)

Well, we know what it takes, complicated or not, to take care of each other. Our state-run health care plan, MinnesotaCare, was a bipartisan victory in 1992. Passed by a Democratic legislature, signed by Republican governor, it has worked well ever since.  But we could innovate it even further.

By allowing Minnesotans to buy-in to MinnesotaCare we could make more possible for families, farmers, and small business owners across the state. 

It’s the right thing to do and it’s do-able.  Rep. Jennifer Schultz is a professor of health economics, a TakeAction Minnesota endorsee, and a champion of the buy-in.  We can work together with leaders like her to make this reform a reality.  In 2019.

We don’t need to wait for some far-off future.  We don’t need to wait to take care of each other.  We have an idea worth fighting for: it’s MinnesotaCare for All. 

Question of the Week

What’s at stake for all of us in the Governor’s race, as Minnesotans, as people?

Submit your answer to our Question of the Week here. We love to hear from you. 

For me (Kenza) what’s at stake is our families. My family owned a small restaurant for over 25 years. My mom quit her job at the U to care for my grandma before she died, which meant losing their health insurance. The for-profit insurance market is horrific. In a couple years, my parents will be eligible for Medicare. Fortunately, they have MinnesotaCare now. Either we build the care infrastructure we need across the state with Tim Walz, or we tell Minnesotans, “sorry you’re on your own.” I know we can do better.

For me (Chris), this election is referendum on who’s considered in or out as a Minnesotan.  Some politicians aim to divide us by race, religion, gender, or geography. We reject that. In 2018, we should make it clear: politicians who scapegoat new Americans, Muslims, women, or people of color, should not have the privilege of serving Minnesota.  We may not end the distract-and-divide tactics in one election, but we should make this message clear: your dog-whistle disqualifies you from serving.

That’s a wrap.

– Kenza and Chris

Kenza Hadj-Moussa is communications director. Contact: kenza@takeactionminnesota.org and follow: @KenzaHadjMoussa. 

Chris Conry is the strategic campaigns director. Contact: chris@takeactionminnesota.org and follow: @ChrisConry.