Values & Vision of Minnesota Voters

We listened to some of the voices, and saw some of the villages, at three locations on election night in Saint Paul. Here are a few highlights.

Politics coverage is made possible by Ayada Leads, leadership development and mentorship for African diaspora women; Vote Run Lead, for a more inclusive democracy; and Valvoline Instant Oil Change across Northern Minnesota


Newly elected Minnesota Rep. María Isa Pérez-Hedges


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.”

Find other values and vision of newly elected leaders, and voters, here.


DFL Celebration Headquarters

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.

“When the story is written, you are going to find out that for a lot of Americans, democracy was truly on the ballot.”

— u.s. Sen. amy klobuchar

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.”


Newly elected Minnesota Rep. Leigh Finke

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.”

Find more from newly elected LGBTQ+ candidates here.


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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.

  • In Michigan, Democrats won a majority in the House and at least 19 seats in the 38-member Senate, with a tie-breaking vote going to Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrest (D). Democrats last held a trifecta in Michigan in 1983.
  • In Minnesota, Democrats maintained a majority in the House and gained a majority in the Senate. Democrats last held a trifecta in Minnesota in 2014.
  • Florida: Republicans gained veto-proof majorities in both the House and Senate.
  • North Carolina: Republicans gained a veto-proof majority in the Senate. In the House, the party won 71 seats, one shy of the veto-proof threshold.
  • South Carolina: Republicans gained a veto-proof majority in the House. The party also came one seat away from winning a veto-proof majority in the Senate.
  • Democratic leaders in Vermont also announced that their party, in tandem with members of the Vermont Progressive Party, maintained a collective veto-proof majority in the Senate and gained a veto-proof majority in the House. Vermont has a divided government with Republicans controlling the governorship.

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.

  • Heather Edelson – State Representative, MN-HD-50A
  • Mary Frances Clardy – State Representative, MN-HD-53A
  • Liz Bolden – State Senator, MN-SD-025
  • Bonnie Westlin –  State Senator, MN-SD-042
  • Lindsey Port – State Senator, MN-SD-055
  • Erin Maye Quade – State Senator, MN-056

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.