It has been a remarkable few months. We have made great progress thanks to all of your support. However, despite our hard work, the voting rights restoration bill will not pass this session. Bills need to be first voted on in small committees. Even though there were no compelling arguments against the change, and we had bipartisan support, we were not able to get the bill heard in the right committees because there was not enough political will.
Despite this temporary setback, restoring voting rights for those living in the community has seen significant increases in support and momentum. With your help, support will continue to grow and result in the change we seek next year.
We will convene a meeting sometime after this session slows down to discuss next steps. In the meantime, here are some action step ideas for you: Write letters to the editor in local papers regarding this session’s efforts and result; speak to your legislators now and going forward; recruit new organizations; ask people to visit this website and sign up, ask others to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, and look for speaking opportunities.
Thank you so much for all of your work and support!
Here is a list of some of our accomplishments this year:
- Over 50 organizations have now officially signed on in support. The list of supporters can be found here.
- The bill was heard and passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee where there was no testimony or statements in opposition to the bill.
- Coalition members met with over 20 legislators from both parties and had very positive conversations (in addition to the many visits made as part of various days on the Hill).
- Over 300 voting restoration postcards were delivered to legislators.
- Hundreds of emails and calls were made to legislators. We do not have a good measure of all the contacts made. The Catholic Conference alone, for example, had approximately 80 members send emails and an uncounted number make phone calls.
- Voting rights restoration was the featured agenda item of Second Chance Day on the Hill, which included a press conference and received favorable coverage on local prime time television news and other media both locally and nationally.
- Voting rights restoration was a featured item of days on the hill for MPIRG, Recovery Day on the Hill, Organizing Apprenticeship Project’s Racial Justice Day on the Hill, and the League of Women Voters of Minneapolis annual community forum.
- This website has been created with supporting information and materials such as a Prezi (online Powerpoint style) presentation and information about geographic distribution and the history of disenfranchisement in Minnesota.
- A Facebook page has been created and now has 927 “likes”. A Twitter account was also created.
- Due to many party platform resolutions passed during precinct caucuses, voting rights restoration is being considered for part of the Minnesota DFL party platform.
Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions. firstname.lastname@example.org