What Happened This Legislative Session & What We Did Together
We all know the work of creating a multi-racial democracy that honors every person’s dignity, a caring economy where all families can thrive and climate justice for current and future generations is not the work of one legislative session but the struggle of the next decade and of our lifetimes.
We knew heading into this state budget legislative session that we may not win the big structural changes our families need and deserve, but we also knew we had a responsibility to fight for the people we love and the future we believe in.
Together we engaged thousands of Minnesotans in in-district meetings across the state and we talked to thousands more in phone banks and in our neighborhood. We brought our stories to the capitol through powerful public testimony on everything from expanding democracy and voting rights, paid family leave, childcare affordability, police accountability and more. We held virtual and in person rallies and press conferences all throughout the session and we amplified our voices through letters to the editor and social media.
Our values came across loud and clear and there is no doubt that we played a major role in shaping what was possible at the capitol this year. We also created opportunities for so many of our family, friends and neighbors to experience the joy and hope that come with collective and strategic political action in community! Take a moment to celebrate yourself and us!
And here’s some of what we were able to accomplish:
- We– and our allies in We Make Minnesota— made raising revenue a key issue in legislative debate!
- We made strides forward on childcare including: an increase to the child care assistance program reimbursement rates and the creation of the “Great Start Task Force”. Read more here!
- The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency adopted a statewide clean cars rule thanks to thousands of public comments from us and our allies. And we were able to protect this action from being overturned at the legislature. This is a massive victory for the health of families across the state. There were other victories on investment in clean energy (check out this awesome graphic from the 100% campaign) and our friends at Land Stewardship Project won $5.35 million in state soil health dollars.
- We defeated attempts to limit democracy through Jim Crow era voting restrictions being pushed by the MN Senate, and we were able to pass democracy expansion measures through the Minnesota House!
- We saved the “Market Bucks” program, allowing low-income Minnesotans to buy produce at farmers markets across the state.
We are disappointed that the Senate failed to lead for Minnesota’s families by:
- Refusing to hold a hearing on paid family leave and paid sick days and failing to include either in the final workforce bill.
- Refusing to meet the moment and passing significant police accountability measures like the ones proposed and passed in the House. Read our statement from the Barbershop and Black Church Cooperative.
- Failing to act on the profound and urgent climate crisis by passing 100% clean energy.
- Putting the interests of the wealthiest Minnesotans above what our families need by failing to raise revenue from those who have profited most during this pandemic to fund the things we need to live safe and healthy lives.
We have more work to do, but we know how to do it. We will use this summer and fall before the next session to spread our message of hope and the beautiful future we can create together. We will continue to act powerfully, with courage and love at the center
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