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Stepping Out for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ Candidates

2024 coverage was made possible by Vote Run Lead and Women Winning.

An event in support of Minnesota candidates who are women of color and/or LGBTQ+ brought out supporters to the SEIU headquarters in Northeast Minneapolis on Indigenous People’s Day. Legislative candidates Zaynab Mohamed, Maria Isa Pérez-Hedges, Clare Oumou Verbeten, Alicia Kozlowski, as well as Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan gave talks about how essential this election is for protecting the rights of children, women, mothers, and reproductive choice.

(l-r) Clare Oumou Verbeten, Maria Isa Pérez-Hedges, Zaynab Mohamed are all running for the Minnesota legislature (photo by Sarah Whiting)

Comments pointed out the undemocratic “well-funded campaign of hate” that leads to banned books, curriculum half-truths, fear, and a culture of violence. The group was gathered as part of the “intersectional movement” that is bringing out young people and members of marginalized communities, in combination with longtime supporters of progressive values. The message was one of “hope and joy” in speaking out for everyone from trans youth to unions that represent service workers.


All photos by Sarah Whiting, Minnesota Women’s Press/Changemakers Alliance


With less than a month before the November 8 elections, Lt. Gov. Flanagan said, this is the time to push back against the idea that some people are not worthy of love and dignity. She said after Roe v Wade was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, she called her mother, who reminded her she has been “prepared her whole life for this moment.”

Lt. Gov. Flanagan also retold the story of her opponent, Republican Matt Birk, the running mate of GOP governor candidate Scott Jensen. At a National Right to Life Conference in Georgia the day that Roe v Wade was overturned on June 24, Birk said: Abortion rights advocates are “always going to the rape card” to win support for their position.”

According to a Fox9 News story, he also said that our culture tells women they should have careers. He said that “rape is a horrible thing, but abortion is not going to heal the wounds of that… Two wrongs is not going to make it right.” Birk also compared the morality of legal slavery to legal abortion, adding, “some women used to not be able to vote in this country… Now we let them drive.”