Win the Day: Volume 5

Make More Possible | October 8, 2018

Dear Friends, 

As progressives, we believe we need to win elections and fight to win the day so more is politically possible. Changing the political landscape takes new narratives, grassroots power, and ideas that are worth fighting for. That’s what this blog series is about.  Every week this election season, we’re highlighting the stories, people, and ideas that are making more possible in our politics. 

Happy Indigenous People’s Day. Here’s the blog. 

“Go On With Your Story. We Are All Ears.”

On Saturday I (Chris) took my daughter to see a show at the @pfunctionary gallery with @racingmagpie.

It’s a mixed media installation by three Lakota artists (Clementine Bordeaux, Mary V. Bordeaux, and Layli Long Soldier) featuring 2-D images, sculpture, and recorded interviews with Lakota women. 

For me, the show is an invitation to explore my own language.  What do I know about interconnection, family, and care? How do I talk about them using the words that make sense in my communities rather than trying to find meaning via the Lakota language?

We were invited (kinda literally) to put our ourselves in the head space of others, not to stay, but to leave and go claim our own stories.

On reflection it made me think about a ranger talk that my spouse, two daughters, and I heard from National Park Service Ranger Jake Frank (@jacobwfrank on Instagram) at Glacier National Park.  A broad-shouldered, bearded, red-headed dude, he loved alpine wildflowers.

He taught us about their life cycles, the alpine ecosystems, and the impacts of visitors on the park.  We got a lesson that to this day my family still abides by: never leave the trail in alpine meadows.

The flowers (here are some of Ranger Jake’s photos from Denali National Park) are precarious.  They hang on through brutal winters and short summers filled with thousands of visitors.  If you crushed a flower underfoot it may never grow back, the insects that depend on the plant may miss it, the soil may become less resilient.

Never leave the trail in alpine meadows.

The show closes on October 14th at Public Functionary gallery in Minneapolis.

On this Indigenous People’s Day, what’s your story about interconnection, family, and care?

President Trump, in Minnesota We Are Greater Than Fear

Have you seen and heard the stories from the #GreaterThanFear rally in Rochester on Thursday?  Just hours before President Trump showed up to distract & divide our state, everyday Minnesotans told a different story. 

Sheila speaks about creating a Greater Rochester.

Here, Caitlin Matera speaks as a mom. 

This video from @KathrynLozada captures the spirit of the march.

Tim Walz knows that spirit himself: “Minnesotans are really eager to unite under a one Minnesota vision.  This divisiveness, hatefulness this small politics not what we are interested in.”

You can see more from the march here.

Ending Sexual Harassment At Work: It’s Time to Reset Standards Decided in the 1980s

At TakeAction Minnesota, we believe that when our private pain is brought into public memory, we can work towards healing and justice.

That’s what has been so powerful about the public response to the confirmation hearings of Brett Kavanaugh.  Dr. Ford is part of a long-line of women who have come forward to challenge a broken culture and broken systems.  

Read TakeAction Minnesota’s statement on his confirmation here.

Our stories are powerful.  They can keep us together and get us through our fears.  It’s how we demand recognition. It’s how we move each other to action.

Earlier this year, the stories of women almost reset the standard for what is and isn’t considered sexual harassment in Minnesota.

For decades, those being sexually harassed at work have had to meet a judicially constructed “severe & pervasive” legal standard in order to get their case heard in court.  The courts have turned this standard into an all-but impossible hurdle to clear.

In this Minnpost article, Sheila Engelmeier, describes “the kinds of behavior that could be rejected by federal courts by their reading of severe or pervasive standards: peeking in a peep hole while someone is going to the bathroom more than a dozen times, grabbing a woman’s breasts, flashing body parts or even asking someone to perform oral sex.”

Minnesota was on-track to repeal this 1980’s-era standard with bipartisan support until State Senator Karin Housley, the bill author, said “she’s putting the brakes on it for the moment”.  

This is long overdue and eminently do-able.  It’s an idea worth fighting for in 2019. 

Question of the Week: How are you connecting with the Walz-Flanagan campaign?

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

Full disclosure: we are all-in on this Walz-Flanagan campaign for governor.  We believe in the #OneMinnesota vision. We’re excited about how they’re running, who they’re bringing, and what they plan to do with all of us, over the next four years.

For me (Chris), I feel most connected to their vision for how they’ll govern: holding the door open, working with those who are most impacted. 

For me (Kenza), I’m connected to their values that say in Minnesota, everyone’s in and nobody’s out–this simple principle can change everything. 

What about you?  Where do you see yourself in the #OneMinnesota team?

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.