María Isa Pérez-Hedges honored her ancestors for helping her be the person she is, talked about agenda priorities, and kicked off a rap-and-dance party.
Talking to her three-year-old daughter beside her, Pérez-Hedges said: “You are my determination … [bringing] my battle rap into policy. We are heading to the castle, as you call the Capitol. It is time to polish up those golden horses and those walls with the true history and reflection of what education needs to be taught, in truth to power for you and every child in the state to grow, be as strong and healthy as possible, and have the opportunities you want. I am here to fight with every breath to protect your rights by any means necessary.”
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar cited strengths of the DFL ticket, and optimism early in the evening that numbers were looking promising for progressive values, including democracy.
A large number of women in their 20s were in attendance; the Planned Parenthood meeting space was tallying pro-choice winners as they were determined
Outgoing Planned Parenthood president Sarah Stoesz talked about how women’s rights to choose what to do with their own bodies was a rallying motivation for this election. “In our great state, no woman is forced into childbirth and no woman dies because she cannot get the basic abortion [health care she needs]. And because you all have worked so hard this year, we are going to keep it that way in Minnesota.”
As the first openly trans candidate on the Minnesota legislature, Leigh Finke talked about what happens next, and looks forward to working alongside incumbent Athena Hollins (above left). Partly in response to national pushback, she said, “We have a lot of LGBTQ people on the ballot today. Remarkable. We need to recognize how much queer political power is starting to take hold in the state of Minnesota.”
From Ballotpedia: In total, Democrats gained at least four trifectas. In addition to Michigan and Minnesota, Democrats also gained trifectas in Maryland and Massachusetts where the party maintained legislative majorities but gained control of governorships.
From Moms Demand Action: These gun-sense legislators were elected, giving a one-seat majority for policy that might help make people safer from gun violence.
Despite this week’s election results, much of the rural parts of the state continue to vote Republican. We will be discussing this in future Changemakers Alliance conversations. northern Minnesota-based commentator Aaron Brown said this in our spring discussion on “Iron Range Politics”:
A taconite plant with skilled workers who get paid well and are safer is great, he continues. But the automated system requires fewer of them. “What does everybody else do? They work at gas stations, they work at hotels and restaurants. Those are the workers that we abuse, both in terms of pay and benefits. You are basically telling people that the are not worth it. This is one of the crises of confidence that a region like the Range faces.”
A family used to be able to survive with one person in an important job. That is where the nostalgia — no longer available today — comes from. “There is no going back to it, despite political efforts to say you can. I think we have to counter this nostalgia stuff really hard, and say, ‘This is the new world.’”
Changemakers Alliance will be hosting Values & Vision discussions in 2023 about Greater Minnesota needs, and how to solve them.