(This piece I originally wrote in May, before the Minnesota State DFL Convention. It mostly still applies, so I thought I’d re-share, with a few updates. )
Earlier this week I wrote about my values, those that guide and inform my voting.*
For Minnesota Governor, I’m supporting and voting for Erin Murphy. She is value-driven. She cares about people not corporations. She has the right temperament and experience to be Minnesota governor.
And she is the person who most closely matches my values. Her vision (from her website):
After 12 years in the legislature, I know that this is no time for a fearful or timid politics. Now more than ever, Minnesotans are demanding urgent action on the things that unite us. I will fight the corporate greed that is holding Minnesotans back from affordable health care, better wages, and broad prosperity. As governor, I will take on the tough issues**, stand up to bullies, and fight on the side of the people.
All politics is local they say. Or maybe all politics is personal. Paul Wellstone, my hero, said something like “politics should be about making people’s lives better”. And an actual quote of his is “we all do better when we all do better.” Hold onto that.
Story 1 – Leadership (and Showing Up).
In March my friend Cathy (my “sister in the resistance”) and I testified before a committee in the Minnesota legislature, urged on and lead by Erin. It started because we had an idea for a bill that would address sexual harassment in the state legislature. Actually, we had a vision of a legislature that would be free of sexual harassment, so that women, and all people, could do their best work. Erin shared that vision, we learned. When we contacted her about our idea (she is our MN House Rep in St. Paul), she suggested we have a meeting. Though we had hoped for a response of some sort, what we didn’t expect was that she would jump in with both feet and help us.
But she did. She showed up. To be precise, we showed up at her office, but she was there to greet us 🙂 She listened intently, she gave us ideas, she connected us with experts, she collaborated. She was a leader. For this newbie activist, I was surprised, pleased, hooked.
Story 2 – Caring (and Showing Up).
My two brothers and their families live in central Minnesota, so I care about that quiet and frequently forgotten part of the state. I knew that Erin cared about and was always interested in meeting Minnesotans from across the state, so I worked with my brother to schedule a “meet and greet” for her in lil’ ol’ Milaca, a sleepy town of about 3,000 just on the edge of “up north”, on the way to places like Brainerd, Lake Mille Lacs, and on the way to your cabin. It’s a place to work, and raise your families and farm and fish. It’s not a place that typically attracts candidates for governor.
But we asked, and Erin said yes. And then she showed up (thank goodness, but we knew she would). It was a small but engaged gathering and from what I observed, as an outsider, she spoke to almost everyone, she asked questions, she paid attention. And she told the people gathered why she wanted to be governor, how she could help them, and asked for their support. She showed up. In Milaca.
Story 3 – Passion (and Supporters Showing Up).
At the DFL convention in early June my friend and I were in the pack of cheerleaders supporting Erin (believe me, the closest I ever got to being a cheerleader). Her supporters were the loudest, the most passionate, the most joyful, the youngest, the oldest, and the most everything in-between. Obviously we were thrilled when she got the DFL endorsement.
What I have seen this summer, and what I’m glad to be a part of, is the most committed, enthusiastic, and engaged team of supporters and volunteers. These people care. A lot. I am not young, I have not been an activist my whole life, this is not normal for me. And even though I like words and arguments (ask my family), this introvert doesn’t take easily to calling complete strangers and knocking on doors.
But do you know what happens? Good candidates propel people to action. People who wouldn’t ordinarily call strangers and knock on doors show up for candidates they believe in.
Maybe you think this is all fluff, and that passion and emotion don’t get people elected. Maybe you think it’s only about who’s “electable” (whatever that means) and who’s middle-of-the-road and non-offensive to anyone. If you think that, remember Paul Wellstone (the happy goofy professor), Al Franken (the goofy comedian), Jesse Ventura (the bizarro pro wrestler) and even Donald Trump (the horrible buffoon), four men who were not by any means considered “electable”.
Whoever wins this primary will be entering a tough race, and one that the Democrat MUST win. That person will need a large and enthusiastic team of supporters all across Minnesota to win. That Democrat will need to inspire us to not only get out and vote, but to work hard, to show up.
Vote for the woman that represents all of us, the non-cynical, fearless, joyful, pragmatic, progressive, people-lover and problem-solver. Vote for the one who believes we all do better when we all do better, and will work for just that.
Vote for Erin.
#politics of joy #teamerin #voteblue #dfl2018
*Love Your Neighbor; We all do better when we all do better; Don’t be an Ass. Be a Bad-Ass; Be Smart; I’m a Patriot (too).
** If you vote according to very specific policy positions, there is not enough space to outline all of them here, and there are plenty of resources available, starting with Erin’s website: https://murphyformn.com
I vote for people who share my values, who are strong, smart and capable. The policy positions tend to fall into place after that. Values and policies are connected.
But these are issues I care most about:
- Healthcare – Erin believes in a path to single payer, and supports opening up Minnesota Care to anyone who wants/needs it (which I do).
- Equity and Justice – https://murphyformn.com/new-page/
- Gun Violence – Erin has always earned an “F” rating from the NRA, which is enough for me. Here are the specifics of her positions – https://murphyformn.com/new-page-12/
- Actually, I agree with her on almost everything, so just read up and be convinced. She really is the best.
© Rebecca Larson 2018