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Evening Focus – Way to Go, Minnesotans!

November 23, 2012

Our Evening Focus

Evening Focus – Way to Go, Minnesotans!

It’s taken me a few days to just drink in the beauty of what happened here in Minnesota on Election Day 2012. Lost in all the (legitimate) whoops and hollers of joy that resonated nationwide, we here in Minnesota did something amazing. (More)

(By Joanne Boyer, cross-posted at Wisdom Voices)

Not only did we turn back a constitutional amendment on defining marriage as between one man and one woman, we romped and stomped on the “voter ID” amendment that was put on our ballot by a Republican legislator who is the Minnesota chairperson of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). That measure is nothing short of a victory of, by and for the people. Never have I seen such hard work by a group called Our Vote/Our Future. Minnesotans could never repay the debt of gratitude that is owed them.

This “voter ID” constitutional amendment started out at an 80 percent approval rating when it was first “introduced.” Down the homestretch, this fabulous organization worked its collective butt off – hundreds of thousands of phone calls, door knocking, organizing and never, ever giving up hope that this horrible amendment could be defeated.

By the weekend before the election, the favorable rating for the “voter ID” amendment had dropped from 80 percent approval to 46 percent approval and it failed when Minnesotans went out and voted it down.

And as great as the work of one organization was, the individual work of former Republican Governor Arne Carlson cannot go unrecognized. He was relentless in his efforts to educate Minnesotans about what this voter suppression was all about. He traversed the state and gave unselfishly of his time and energy.

The individual and group efforts reminded me of something Sister Simone Campbell (Nuns on the Bus) said during an interview with us earlier this summer.

“I had a meeting with Paul Ryan, and he said the only reason he talks about individual responsibility and not about community is because the ‘other side’ talks about community,” Sister Simone said. “But you see, I can talk about individual responsibility. We have an individual responsibility to build up community. We are in relationship with everyone else. That’s how it works.”

Boy, did we prove that here in Minnesota.

  • NCrissieB

    Thank you for cross-posting this, Winning Progressive, and thank you to Joanne for sharing it. Minnesotans made a lot of Americans proud this year. You helped make it a banner year for We the People … and thank you all for your hard work and your sense of community. Also thank you for hosting Chris Kluwe. I’m not a Vikings fan, but I am a Chris Kluwe fan. 🙂

  • winterbanyan

    Great article, Joanne! You made me wish I were a Minnesotan. Congrats on a great victory. 🙂

  • addisnana

    Way To Go Minnesota! As a Minnesota OFA and DFL volunteer, I can attest to the wonderful community of people who pitched in on both amendments and worked to reelect President Obama, Senator Klobuchar, take back MN08 from the Tea Party to send Rick Nolan to Congress.

    Also we took back the state Senate and the House. We had, as the song says, “a very good year.” The best part was the after parties where we were still glowing and totally committed to starting to work on 2014. We all have each other’s emails and phone numbers and this community is ready to go. Re-forming will be much easier than starting from scratch.

    I will admit to be scared about the ‘Voter ID’ amendment in the spring. Some friends and family were in the “why not?” camp and it took lots of conversations and listening to get them to see the light.

    Thanks for this Joanne!

  • Lake Toba

    As a fellow Minnesotan, I was overjoyed and gratified that “Minnesota Nice” held true this November. I was worried that these amendments would represent a conservative shift in the tenor of Minnesota’s politics and electorate. I could not have been more wrong.

    I attended one of the town halls conducted by Arne Carlson and the Republican ALEC Chairperson (Koch) I believe. She used condescension and bluster to defend her position. By the time the town hall was over, the mood was ugly, and any hope she had had of turning us in favor of the amendment was lost.

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