2015 is an important election year in St. Paul. New members of the City Council and School Board will be elected. In the spirit of being Prophetic Voters and organizing people of faith to positively impact the decisions that are being made that impact our communities and affect our families, this year dozens of ISAIAH leaders and Prophetic Voters who live in St. Paul are doing something new. These leaders are continuing to demonstrate their commitment as Prophetic Voters by raising our shared values of dignity, inclusion, love and racial equity into the electoral conversation at the most grassroots level in order to help ensure that the people who represent us implement and enforce policies that make families in St. Paul more economically secure.

Every day countless working families are being forced to make impossible choices between caring for the people they love and earning the income they need to provide for themselves. We believe God calls us to change this reality and build an economy that works for all our families. We are doing this by leading the way towards making sure all workers in the city of St. Paul have access to earn paid sick and safe time.

To prepare themselves for this new effort, these leaders trained themselves on how our unique party caucus process works. They organized others in their churches to attend the party caucus of their choice and introduce and support a resolution on the issue of paid sick leave. This resolution states the city of St. Paul should act to guarantee everyone who works in the city has access to paid sick time benefits so they can care for themselves or a family member when needed, including when dealing with issues of domestic violence or sexual assault.

At the caucuses held on Tuesday, February 3, we introduced the resolution in at least 17 different precincts across the city and it passed resoundingly in every one! Typically when a resolution is passed at the precinct level it moves forward in the party’s process in which it was passed. This new civic engagement effort will conclude in April when one party votes to make paid sick time a part of their party platform at its city convention.

This work is doing many different things. It’s continuing our Prophetic Voter engagement, it’s developing the leadership capacity of people of faith, it’s raising our shared values of love, compassion, dignity, inclusion and racial equity more deeply into the electoral conversation, and it’s helping our effort to get the city to pass an ordinance giving all workers in St. Paul access to paid sick time so that our shared faith values are experienced by all working families in St. Paul.

If you want to be involved in getting the city of St. Paul to be a leader on this issue by giving all workers in the city access to paid sick time, please contact Mike Davis, ISAIAH’s St. Paul organizer, at mdavis@isaiahmn.org.