Psalm 45:4 (NIV)

“In your majesty ride forth victoriously in the cause of truth, humility and justice; let your right hand achieve awesome deeds.”

Watch a sermon preached by Minister JaNaé Bates highlighting the wins ISAIAH accomplished and the “Overwhelming Victory” we get to experience together because of the grace of God – Sermon Starts at 30 minute mark. Start at 51:20 to skip to the full list of our collective wins!

Muslim Reflection

After an Ant saw Solomon and his army coming it screamed to the other ants and told them to go into their shelters so they don’t get stepped on.

In the Quran Allah mentions this incident:

“So [Solomon] smiled, amused at her speech, and said, ‘My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to do righteousness of which You approve. And admit me by Your mercy into [the ranks of] Your righteous servants.'”

Surah An-Naml, Verse 19 offers a profound lesson from the story of Prophet Solomon. It highlights his sincere gratitude towards Allah for the blessings bestowed upon him and his family. This verse reminds us of the importance of recognizing and appreciating the favors in our lives.  Prophet Solomon’s humility and gratitude serve as a powerful example for us to emulate.

Read Full Faith Reflection Here.

Power Belongs to Those Who Show Up Together

Our Faith Agenda started in 2017. We held house meetings, forums, community conversations, pain-to-power dialogs and launched our Faith Agenda in 2018 with a list of nearly 30 issue priorities such as paid leave, 100% clean energy, and voting rights restoration. This legislative session, we completed a majority of those policies!

We built this together. Below, you’re about to read the MASSIVE list of wins we did together. In the last 5 months alone, we’ve held dozens of meetings with thousands of people, showed up at the Capitol to rally and testify for over a dozen issues, wrote and published letters to the editor (LTE) and op-eds, knocked on doors, held phone banks, text banks and sent thousands of emails.

So Much More is Possible because of what we did…

We are soon launching the work into what’s next! Because of a decade of organizing, building to the last five years of work we’ve done together we know we can achieve BIG things together. Ready for more? Stay connected.

This was a lot, but we may have missed something. Did we forget anything that we collectively worked on and it passed? Let us know and we’ll get it in the next e-news.

Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML)

What We Won Together:

  • Statewide comprehensive social insurance program to provide 12 weeks of Family and 12 weeks of Medical leave, up to 20 weeks combined
  • Inclusive family definition
  • Progressive wage replacement
  • Strong job protections
  • Prioritizes equity & access

Our Role: 

We turned out thousands of ISAIAH leaders to the Capitol to testify and for rallies, held numerous in-district meetings, held clergy press events, and made thousands of phone calls and emails to legislators and leadership. We serve as the co-chair of the Minnesotans for Paid Family and Medical Leave Coalition with the Children’s Defense Fund and the MN AFL-CIO and we have been an anchor on this issue since 2015.

When: Benefits start January 2026

Childcare and Early Education

What We Won Together:

  • Created a New Department for Children, Youth and Families that will center programs at the state level so they get the attention they deserve.
  • Raised Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) reimbursement rates from the 25th percentile to the 75th percentile so that childcare providers are reimbursed closer to the actual cost of care and families receiving assistance can afford care at 3 out of 4 providers in their area.
  • Transformed COVID childcare stabilization grants to support the workforce into permanent Great Start Workforce Compensation Supports that will go 100% toward childcare worker compensation.

Our Role: 

ISAIAH’s Kids Count On Us (KCOU) Coalition of 512 child care centers were the primary proponents for the creation of the Dept. for Children, Youth and Families.

KCOU delivered over 4,000 postcards, made over 4,000 phone calls and sent over 24,000 emails to legislators. They held dozens of press events, in-district meetings, and legislator visits.  

KCOU worked with partners through Great Start MN and other early education organizations to get such tremendous wins!

When: Great Start Workforce Compensation Supports start in July 2023, increases in CCAP rates begin Oct 30, 2023, and a new Department becomes operational July 2024.

More: In the midst of the work to get these wins across the finish line this session, Kids Count on Us also produced a beautiful documentary featuring four childcare providers who are core leaders with KCOU. It is a not to be missed 30 minute film. Sign up to get the link and password to view it here.

Democracy For The People Act

What We Won Together:

  • Automatic voter registration
  • Voter pre-registration for 16 and 17 year olds
  • Keeping internationally influenced corporations big $$$ out of MN elections
  • Language translations of election materials
  • Funding to get voting education and materials to under-served and under represented communities
  • Permanent Absentee (Mail-in-Ballot) Voting List
  • Voting facilitation for residents at assisted living facilities
  • Guaranteed time off from work to vote, not just for Election Day, but includes 46 days of absentee and early voting
  • Penalties for knowingly spreading false information about voting for the purpose of suppressing votes 
  • Protection from voter intimidation and harassment 

Our Role: 

ISAIAH was an anchor organization of We Choose Us, a campaign coalition of grassroots organizations, unions, and advocacy groups fighting for multiracial democracy in Minnesota. This coalition fought for this legislation with legislative champions. In coalition, we held numerous press events, in-district meetings, and legislator visits – in addition to thousands of calls, emails, and doors knocked.

When: See “More Info” button for implementation dates

Restore the Vote

What We Won Together:

  • Restored voting rights to over 55,000 Minnesotans on probation, parole and supervisory release

Our Role: 

ISAIAH has been a member of the Restore the Vote (RTV) Coalition since its inception in 2013. In recent years, including this year, we’ve chaired both the Field and Communications committees of RTV. This year alone, hundreds of leaders showed up to the Capitol to testify and rally on this issue. We had thousands of emails, phone calls and legislative visits to secure this win.

When: Started June 1, 2023

100% Clean Energy by 2040

What We Won Together:

  • All of Minnesota’s utilities must produce 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040.
  • Implements safeguards to ensure marginalized communities benefit from – and are not harmed – by a 100% clean energy transition, and it prioritizes equitable development of clean energy and the growth of local union jobs. 

Our Role: 

ISAIAH has been a member of the 100 Percent Campaign since its inception in 2018. This year alone, hundreds of leaders showed up to the Capitol to testify and rally on this issue. We had thousands of emails, phonecalls and legislative visits to secure this win.

Transit and Transportation

What We Won Together:

  • Long term, dedicated transit funding to create fast & frequent metro service, electric buses, and more  (3/4 cent sales tax)
  • Greater MN transit investments
  • Cutting edge policies to curb climate pollution
  • Transit ambassadors for a safe, welcoming system
  • Decriminalized fare enforcement
  • Fare-free pilot on two Metro Transit lines
  • Northern Lights Express (Twin Cities to Duluth) passenger rail funding

Our Role: 

ISAIAH was a dedicated member of Transportation Forward, a coalition of organizations with Move Minnesota to win big on transit this year. The Young Adult Coalition as well as the Minneapolis and suburban congregations especially played big on this issue this year, strategizing with partners and legislative champions, doing big turnouts to events and having leaders and Minnesotans make lots of call & emails to legislators.  

When: Metro Area Sales Tax for Transit starts Oct 1st 2023


What We Won Together:

  • Creates a public option for healthcare:
    • Allow all Minnesotans ability to buy in to state plan and not depend on private market health insurance, which can be volatile and expensive
  • Expand health coverage via MinnesotaCare to an estimated 50,000 uninsured and undocumented Minnesotans
    • It’s worth saying again: undocumented immigrants are included!
  • Prescription Drug Affordability Board created to put regulations on the costs of drugs, reigning in the private market ability to charge people unlimited amounts to stay alive

Our Role: 

ISAIAH has been working on the issue of healthcare for decades. Many of our leaders have been pushing for a public option long before the Affordable Care Act aka ObamaCare began or even thought to be possible. We’ve worked with many partners statewide and nationally to get here, like Unidos MN and TakeAction MN.

We were honored to follow the leadership of Unidos MN, and stand with them in the fight to ensure all undocumented folks were included. This year alone, hundreds of leaders showed up to the Capitol testify and rally on this issue. We had thousands of emails, phonecalls and legislative visits to secure this win.

When: A study and actuarial analysis is due to begin in early in 2024. The implementation of a public option would begin in 2027.

Tax Fairness

What We Won Together:

  • Created a more progressive and fair tax structure where the wealthier pay more of what they owe and those with lower income get more of what they deserve
  • Best Child Tax Credit in the country – up to $1,275 per kid for families making less than $65k
  • Cutting childhood poverty by 1/3
  • We also blocked a full tax cut for the wealthiest retirees which would have put a $1.2 billion hole in our budget

Our Role: 

ISAIAH and Faith in Minnesota are anchor members of We Make MN, our state’s coalition that’s dedicated to raising the revenue we need in our state to fund our lives.  ISAIAH and our partners worked with legislators and the governor’s office in policy, field, and communications to pass an amazing tax bill. We ran ads, had leaders publish LTEs, and made a massive of amount of contacts to get this done.

When: Credits, aid and tax policy changes start in 2024

Public Safety

What We Won Together:

  • Gun Safety: Red flag law and expanding background checks
  • Rehabilitation & Reinvestment Act – creating incentives for early release and reducing recidivism
  • Expanding civilian oversight for policing
  • Connecting families – making phone calls free for incarcerated persons
  • Ban on private prisons
  • Clean Slate Act – automatic expungement
  • Clemency reform
  • Ban on most No-Knock Warrants
  • Banning Police Officers to be a part of white supremacist or hate groups
  • $70 million in one-time funds spread over five years for community crime and violence prevention grants for things like victim services, prison re-entry, homelessness assistance, restorative justice, violence interruption and juvenile diversion. 
  • $10 million to improve the training and availability of non-police crisis response teams. 
  • Cap on probation at 5 years, retroactive from what we won in 2019
  • Expanding MN Sentencing Guidelines Commission to better reflect community and best practices

Our Role: 

ISAIAH is a member of the statewide Justice For All table and many others focused on Criminal Justice Reform, Public Safety and De-carceration. Over the last ten years we’ve organized, testified at the Capitol, submitted letters of support and hosted forums and in-district meetings on the above. Many of the wins this year were pushed over the finish line by legislative champions and organizational partners like African American Leadership Forum and MN Justice Research Center, as well as the gun reform advocates for the gun safety measures.  

When: The Rehabilitation & Reinvestment Act begins August 1st this year. Gun Safety measures begin Jan. 1, 2024. Most other measures begin July 1, 2024.

$1 Billion Investment in Affordable Housing

What We Won Together:

  • Creation of new Rental Assistance program to help 5,000 people
  • First time homebuyer assistance for an additional 5,000 people
  • Immediate and longer term help for housing insecure folks and folks experiencing homelessness

Our Role: 

Much of this win belongs to Minnesota’s amazing organizations who specialize in housing justice work. ISAIAH was glad to support, particularly regarding the rental assistance program and the first time homebuyer programs – including interest free homebuying support and grants. The Muslim Coalition of ISAIAH and the Young Adult Coalition of ISAIAH put in lots of work – showing up to the Capitol and lobbying legislators to make these policies strong, culturally appropriate and beneficial across generations.

When: Much of the financial support started immediately. Many of the grants and programs launch 2024.

Earned Sick and Safe Time

What We Won Together:

  • Workers in Minnesota can receive up to 48 hours of paid time off when they are sick, need to care for a sick family member or seeking assistance if they or their family member has experienced domestic abuse

Our Role: 

ISAIAH has been fighting for sick leave for over a decade now, including being one of the lead organizations on the passage of one of the country’s strongest Sick and Safe Time (ESST) policies in Saint Paul. Similarly, we’ve spent the last six legislative sessions fighting pre-emption laws that would stop individual cities from enacting ESST. This year, ISAIAH leaders along with statewide partners like SEIU and TakeAction MN called and emailed legislators, pushing them to make sure we don’t have to fight pre-emption one more year. 

When: Starts Jan. 1, 2024

Predatory Loan Restrictions

What We Won Together:

  • Put a cap on interest of a payday loan at 50% (last year it averaged 220%!)
  • If a leader wants to charge between 36-50% interest, they need to do an “ability to pay” analysis

Our Role: 

ISAIAH clergy, especially Black clergy in Minneapolis led a lot of this work in 2015-2016, working with legislators to put a cap on predatory lenders. Barbershops and Black Congregation Cooperative’s lead organizer Brian Fullman came into ISAIAH as a leader on this issue himself, as he have become a victim of their practices.  

Several other organizations like Exodus Lending have been pushing hard and won this incredible legislation this year!

When: Effective August 1, 2025

Driver’s Licenses for All

What We Won Together:

  • The ability for ALL eligible Minnesotans – including undocumented immigrants – to attain a Driver’s License has been restored

Our Role: 

ISAIAH has been a member of the many coalitions that have existed since the bad faith move of former MN Gov. Tim Pawlenty unilaterally revoking driver’s licenses from undocumented immigrants in 2003. In recent years, ISAIAH leaders with the Latinx Coalition, clergy and Sanctuary & Sanctuary Supporting congregations worked with coalition partners to make calls, email, host legislative visits with elected leadership and turn out en masse. This year, ISAIAH followed the lead of powerful immigrant led organizations like Unidos MN, COPAL MM, Minnesota Immigrants Movement, MIRAC and SEIU Local 26. 

When: Effective October 1, 2023

Education & School Meals for All

What We Won Together:

  • Increasing funding for public school education by 10% – including adding school counselors and mental health
  • Expansion of education tax credit to help families afford after school tutoring 
  • Free in state tuition for middle and low income families
  • Free school meals for all children in K-12

Our Role: 

ISAIAH was proud to support our partner Education Minnesota for these wins. The Muslim Coalition of ISAIAH especially organized and fought for the after school tutoring funding for families. The Young Adult Coalition joined the Ethnic Studies coalition and our partner Unidos to win an honest education reflective of the people of our state. Lastly, our coalition We Make MN was glad to fully support free meals for students.   

When: Free school meals effective July 1, 2023

Most funding kicks in 2024

Centering Black Minnesotans

What We Won Together:

  • CROWN Act – Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair – preventing workplace hair discrimination 
  • Established the first ever Office of Missing & Murdered Black Women and Girls in the nation
  • Juneteenth established as a state holiday

*ISAIAH didn’t actively work on this in 2023, but VERY important to lift up:

  • Office of African American Health was established*

Our Role: 

In 2020 we worked with the Council of Minnesotans of African Heritage (CMAH) and others to turnout testifiers on the CROWN Act. ISAIAH leaders and the organization has submitted letters of testimony and support as well as pushed for emails and calls of support for the above, overdue legislation that inches the state close to righting some of its wrongs and becoming more hospitable, if not equitable for Black Minnesotans.

Also, in 2008-16, ISAIAH worked with partners across the state to push for a health system in Minnesota that explicitly centered racial equity. That groundwork, in the face of growing Tea Party opposition, made space to reshape much of the work still moving today. We are grateful for the incredible legislative leadership and organizational partners that got the creation of so many race equity departments and funding passed! 

When: Effective June 1, 2023

Replacing ALL Lead Pipes in MN

What We Won Together:

  • Secured $240 Million to replace all lead pipes in MN
  • MN will never have a situation like what we’ve witnessed with Flint, Mich.

Our Role: 

Through our coalition We Make MN we advocated for both revenue raising and spending to allow Minnesotans to thrive. Advocating for such an important piece of legislation was part of our celebratory agenda for spending, knowing this legislation will have deepest impact for Black and low income Minnesotans to continue to have clean water. We are very grateful to LIUNA MN for securing this win in the end!

When: The replacement work is to begin soon and expected to last over the next 10 years.