MN Groups Call for Elected Officials to Represent Voters, Not Themselves
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota has seen many seldom-heard voices come to the forefront in 2020. And many more hope to catch the attention of policymakers and political candidates with an event in St. Paul today.
Nearly 20 advocacy groups are celebrating voters from diverse backgrounds, and they say it's time for elected officials to take them seriously. Their march to the State Capitol aims to send a message at a time when political divisiveness grips the region.
With the pandemic and the police killing of George Floyd, said Minister JaNaé Bates, communications director for the group Faith in Minnesota, there's a stronger sense to speak up.
"Minnesotans, all across the state, of every race and region and religion, have really started to awaken to the fact that things have to change, and that we can actually be the ones to change it," she said.
Organizers hope that by energizing voters, they can help to usher in leadership that takes a realistic look at the needs of all communities without political gamesmanship. Bates said the message is aimed at all political parties. Social distancing and other safety guidelines have been advised for the event, which is to begin at 11:30 a.m. in the parking lot of Education Minnesota, 41 Sherburne Ave., St. Paul.
Bates said they also don't want leaders who stoke tensions over such issues as public safety in urban areas. She said pitting communities against each other only leads to more anger, not solutions.
"We organize people in the cities, in the metro and the suburbs and in Greater Minnesota," she said. "And what we're finding is that all these folks have similar problems. The things that are different is that we're being told different people to point the blame at."
Minnesota doesn't have a race for governor this year, but state legislative seats are up for grabs and there's a hotly contested U.S. Senate race, as well as elections in congressional districts.
Sample Minnesota ballots are online at sos.state.mn.us.
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