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5 Things to Know about the Caring Economy

Thank you to everyone who participated in the March for Medicaid and Caregiving.

[<a href=”//storify.com/TakeActionMN/5-things-to-know-about-the-caring-majority” target=”_blank”>View the story “5 Things to Know about the Caring Economy” on Storify</a>]… Continue reading »

TakeAction Weekly Digest

TakeAction Minnesota Weekly Wrap  

Chris and I are back from vacation which means the TakeAction Digest is back. Wow, what a summer. The events that have unfolded in these past several weeks continue to remind us the importance of taking care of one another – we’re in this for the long haul. 

What happened in Charlottesville, VA – the violent riots led by white supremacists – left us shocked, angry and unsettled. We know many of you are feeling similar. We want you to know that we will continue to stand, fight for justice, and dream alongside you.  

We all must lead in bold and creative ways. The work ahead requires us to name and challenge white supremacy, and to build intentionally with one another with a love so fierce that we make the impossible, possible. We’re up for that challenge. 

With that, here’s what we have been reading this week. 

1. Grassroots Organizing and White Supremacists  

What happened in Charlottesville is not some isolated event. It’s a part of our country’s legacy of racism and white supremacy. This newest iteration of it is using the grassroots organizing strategies we’ve developed. We need to be clear about this to know how to challenge it.… Continue reading »

Stigma, Skinny Repeal, and “Charity Case” Health Care

By Matt Kramer, Operations Assistant

Growing up as a kid with a disability, I felt both the stigma society places on people with disabilities, and the importance of connecting with people to make change.

 I had “friends,” which I later learned often meant kids the teacher asked to talk to me. Add society stigma and misunderstanding about disabilities, along with meanness of kids at that age, and you have a pretty lonely, isolated childhood. Adults who weren’t directly taking care of me were either afraid of me, or walking on eggshells trying to say the right thing. I remember people praising me lavishly about being brave, and an inspiration. Although flattered at the time, I look back at this and often ask why.

As for services, most did not exist, and those that did were impossible to find. This was long before the days of e-mail or the internet. We had the Yellow Pages. You had to know someone who knew something. Families like mine who had complex medical issues from birth were on their own figuring out how to pay for the gargantuan medical bills.

My parents served on the first Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. The group analyzes state policy for people with disability, makes recommendations to the governor, and provides research grants to improve the lives of people with disabilities.… Continue reading »

Beyoncé meets Breitbart

  By: Arianna Genis 

My parents emigrated from Mexico to Minnesota more than 25 years ago. I have a big familia. I have 10 tios and tias and 23 first cousins on my mom’s side. I grew up listening to their stories. Whether I was playing with my primos, spending time with my abuelita, getting the frijoles ready for dinner, or hanging out in my tia’s living room with my warm canela in the winter or agua de Jamaica in the summer. I was surrounded by my family’s tradition of telling stories – an art form they had mastered.  

Like any immigrant family, there were plenty of stories of hardship and triumph, but that’s a small part of it. There’s funny stuff too – the family myths, big fish stories that used to be true but have long since left the realm of feasibility. How my family members were forced to cross the border could be either horror or comedy, depending on who was telling the story. All my primos recall the strange look on our parents’ faces as we tried to explain to them the concept of a sleepover – why do these strangers want to take care our kids for the whole night?… Continue reading »

Millionaires in skyscrapers smoking cigars (Or, session wrap up)

Well, that was weird. We ended our state legislative session.  Sort of.  The legislature missed two deadlines.  The Governor signed all the budget bills.  And we’re still not done.  The predictable stand-off was… uh, unpredictable.  

The good news is: the Governor vetoed workplace preemption.

The bad news is: the GOP-led legislature snuck the budget for the state’s Department of Revenue into the tax bill—then they stuffed the bill with massive tax breaks for the wealthy and big business.  And dared Governor Dayton to veto it.

But the Governor didn’t veto the tax bill. Instead, he line-item vetoed the funding for the legislature itself and invited lawmakers back to the table to fix the tax bill and bad policy jammed in two other bills.

The legislature lawyered up.  And the next stand-off started.  

But how did we get here?  And why can’t we seem to pass a state budget, like, ever, on time, even when we have a budget surplus? If it seems like legislative special sessions have become routine, they have.  Since 2001, we’ve had to use a special session during six of the last nine budget sessions to finish the work. 

But it didn’t start with Governors Dayton or Pawlenty or Ventura or Carlson… We have to look back to the 1940s to find a decade free of budget-related special sessions.… Continue reading »

GOP Medicaid Cuts Hit Rural America Hardest, Report Finds

By Phil Galewitz June 7, 2017

Rural America carried President Donald Trump to his election night upset last November.

Trump Country it may be, but rural counties and small towns also make up Medicaid Country — those parts of the nation whose low-income children and families are most dependent on the federal-state health insurance program, according to a report released Wednesday.

Medicaid’s enrollment has swollen to more than 72 million in recent years, and the ranks of uninsured Americans has fallen to 9 percent in 2015 from 13 percent in 2013. That’s largely due to the Affordable Care Act, which allowed states to expand Medicaid eligibility with federal funds. Thirty-one states plus the District of Columbia did so.

Those gains may be in jeopardy under a GOP- and White House-backed health care measure called the American Health Care Act that would replace major parts of the ACA — known as Obamacare — and dramatically cut federal funding for Medicaid. The House passed the bill in May.

“There is no doubt that children and families in small towns would be disproportionately harmed by cuts to Medicaid,” said Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.

According to the center’s new report, Medicaid covered 45 percent of children and 16 percent of adults in small towns and rural areas in 2015.… Continue reading »

Governor Dayton, vetoes are in order.

May 26, 2017

Honorable Governor Mark Dayton

130 State Capitol

75 Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.

St. Paul, MN 55155

 

Governor Dayton:

On behalf of the 67,000 supporters and 28 member organizations of TakeAction Minnesota from across the state, we ask you to veto the following bills: H.F. 470 Public Safety, S.F. 3 Labor Standards, S.F. 1456 Jobs & Energy, H.F. 2 E-12 Education, and H.F. 1 Taxes.  We also ask for a meeting with you at your earliest convenience to discuss both our opposition to these bills and hour our statewide network of activists can support progressive legislative alternatives.

The purpose of our state government is to serve Minnesotans through a robust democratic process that is inclusive, fair, and focused on the future.  Provisions in each of these five bills fall far short of this vision; they contain policies or approaches that violate these basic principles, and the values we hold as Minnesotans. The Legislature’s bills harm ordinary citizens, while blatantly prioritizing the financial interest of corporations and wealthy individuals.

The anti-immigrant driver’s license language in H.F. 470, the Public Safety Finance bill, is pointless and mean-spirited.  It is an effort to slam the door shut on new Minnesotans, rather than welcome and include them.  It points our state in exactly the wrong direction.  H.F.… Continue reading »

#PayThePCA Campaign Update

PCAs, clients, and families are coming together on May 18th to push for legislation to increase wages and address the Care Crisis. Will you join us?

For over a year, personal care attendants, clients and family members have been coming together to share their stories of what care means to them and how our caregiving system effects us all. These conversations have happened at doorsteps , community dinners, and on Facebook. Last week, workers and caregivers met in Willmar, MN to connect and share their hopes for a stronger long-term care system that respects worker, as well as seniors and people with disabilities. It’s time to take our voices to the Capitol.

Right now, lawmakers are making decisions at the Capitol in St. Paul about the PCA program as well many other issues that effect us and our families. But they will not be making these decision about us without us.

So what is going on?

  • Last year, our coalition won earned sick and safe time for workers in Minneapolis and St. Paul that they can use to continue getting paid when they have to miss work for their own or their family’s health. Lawmakers are a debating a proposal that would take these paid sick days away.
Continue reading »

What’s your plan for the next 100 days?

  annual meeting

100 days ago, when the reality set in that Donald Trump is our president, I was shaken, as were all of us at TakeAction Minnesota.  We knew then that we will face years of uncertainty and fear.  While it was obvious that we needed to resist, we also wanted to remember what we believe – to hang onto our values, hopes and dreams.

This weekend marked the 100th day of the BelieveResist campaign—a grand experiment in creative resistance. We launched BelieveResist to help all of us act, think, and do politics differently. We reflected on what you—and all of us—need to keep up the fight, and keep believing. I hope we delivered for you, because you blew me away.

Since January, Minnesotans in 85 out of 87 counties joined us! You’ve made it clear: the fight for justice and equity will continue, no matter who is President. Together, with tens of thousands across the country, we saved Affordable Care Act and defeated TrumpCare. We rallied against the #MuslimBan. At our State Capitol, we’re holding the line against preemption, bills that will only further pollute our planet, and we’re protecting MinnesotaCare. Thank you. 

Here’s what we launched during the 100 days of BelieveResist and how you can keep it going.… Continue reading »

BelieveResist: Action Alert

TakeAction Minnesota Action Alert       We’re almost there – 100 days of BelieveResist. And, I can tell you, I’m ready to keep going. Who’s with me?

In the coming month, you’ll be hearing a lot more from our team working hard in the final sprint of the legislative session, and a little less from me. But don’t worry, the next iteration of this email is coming your way soon. 

Right now, we’re in our Week of Action with our partners at Minnesotans for a Fair Economy. Join us from Saturday through Tuesday to #BelieveResist and re-energize ourselves for the work ahead. We’ll be standing in solidarity with CTUL, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC), SEIU, Saint Paul Federation of Teachers, MN350, Mesa Latina, and many others. Here are the top five actions you should be at to mark 100 days of #BelieveResist:
 

1

People’s Climate Marches 

Join us and thousands of others across the country this Saturday at the People’s Climate March. Want to go to DC? Get tickets here. In Duluth or the Twin Cities? Check out these links for more information on where and when to meet up with the march.

2

Solidarity with Striking Workers

Monday we’ve got opportunities to stand in solidarity with striking workers and CTUL!Continue reading »

TakeAction Digest: This Week in Action

  TakeAction Minnesota Weekly Wrap    

Today marks the 100th day of the BelieveResist campaign. 100 days of resistance against Trump’s first 100 days in office. 100 days of believing in a more just and equitable world, no matter what. The fight isn’t over. For the next month you won’t be getting our weekly digest, but don’t worry! We’ll be back shortley with a new iteration of it. Stay tuned. 

In the meantime, here’s what we’ve been reading this week.

1. Media Jui-Jitsu

When newscasters talk Russia, Trump takes to Twitter.  In real time.  And is instantly debunked. This reverse trolling social media / media jui-jitsu is brought to you by National Public Radio.  

2. WINNING in the red state of Arizona

Check-out the Huffington post video featuring co-founder and Director of Mijente, Marisa Franco, where she shares advice on organizing and winning on the right’s terrain. She helped unseat the infamous Sheriff Jeff Arpaio of Maricopa County in Arizona by organizing, “The people, the very people that he was attacking and persecuting, were the very people who stood up, and took him on, and took him out.” Arpaio was a vocal supporter of Trump since day one of his campaign. 

Don’t know about the racial profiling and corruption of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio?Continue reading »

A stateless people

Ann Coulter recently wrote that it’s not just “illegal” immigrants that are the problem, it’s legal immigrants too. She went on to single out Hmong Americans as murderers and rapists. As we witness a new, highly visible white nationalism in America, it’s important to understand that these movements desperately need a villain. These movements are not born, so much as made. They create a story with villains and a toxic atmosphere. New laws establish a clear line, determining who is and isn’t white and who is and isn’t American. 

When immigrants and well-meaning communities create a value scale among the documented and undocumented – the good immigrant versus the bad immigrant – we play directly into the hands of such a movement. We miss the point, the opportunity to say, “It’s all of us or none of us.” We internalize the worst of American impulses – a deep history of trying to determine who is and who isn’t a part of this country, who is and isn’t human. 

My name is Cindy Yang. I am a Hmong American and we are a stateless people.

I told my dad that Ann Coulter called Hmong people rapists in one of her books. He said, “They can’t do that.… Continue reading »

April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention month, according to President Trump…

How are you doing on a physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual level? As TakeAction Minnesota’s Women of Color Organizer, asking this question to leaders at the end of our meetings has become a ritual. Does it break established norms? Absolutely. As each woman answers, her public and private selves merge. Her whole self comes forward.
 
In writing this, I’m trying to do something similar, wrestling with the intersection of sexism and racism and their impacts on our bodies and our politics.  

I have a brief message to everyone who reads on: your compassion and courage is needed in this struggle too. Remember, people in your life benefit from you learning about systems of oppression, and their impact. I urge you to let go of your need to fix it. For the next five minutes I simply ask you to read this and to reflect. 

Here we go. 

When I bring body, mind, heart, and spirit into a public, political meeting, I am counteracting the expectation that these parts of me are to be left in private—I’m going against the grain of society that organizes public life around male, white-dominant culture.  And this is not just true for me.… Continue reading »

What’s in the state Health Care budget bills?

I’ve been thinking about health care at the Capitol this year as a three-act play. 

Act I: The Legislature passed a $300 million bill in January to assist Minnesotans buying health insurance on the individual market. (The same law allows health insurance companies like Blue Cross to convert from nonprofit to for-profit companies.)
 
Act II: The second act ended with the recent passage of the “reinsurance” law, giving away $540 million dollars in public funds to health insurance companies of — with no guarantee that premiums will go down. 
 
Act III: The final act is in progress, as the Minnesota House debates the HHS budget for the next two years. Different bills passed the House and Senate floors last week.

The long and the short of it?

After giving $540 million away to the health insurance industry, with no strings attached, the GOP proposes to cut that much from our public health care programs. The House has proposed a $599 million cut to current spending adjusted for inflation.

How do they think the state can save that much money?

1. Punishing people enrolled in Medicaid (Medical Assistance) and MinnesotaCare. The House budget bill raises MinnesotaCare premiums to the maximum allowed under federal law — as much as a 70% increase.… Continue reading »

Donald Trump’s budget proposal is visionary. (And Steve Bannon is a romantic.)

  “There’s no question this is a hard-power budget. It is not a soft-power budget. This is a hard-power budget. And that was done intentionally.” – Mick Mulvaney, Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, 3/15/17

The Trump Administration released their 2018 budget for the federal government last Thursday.  Blustery, almost bellicose, they clearly wanted it to make a point.  It’s the budget equivalent of President Trump’s recent photo op wearing a Navy flight jacket and standing on aircraft carrier.  All that’s missing is a Rambo-style bandolier.

Okay, we get it.  It’s a ‘hard-power’ budget.  The problem is ‘hard-power’ (or for that matter diplomatic soft-power, or economic power, or moral suasion) are all tools.  They are not a strategy or objective.  ‘Hard-power’ tells us something about how they envision themselves but disturbingly little about what they hope to do.

Here is where the budget as whole starts to paint a vision.

“There is only one class in the state, the Volk, (not the rabble), and the king belongs to this class as well as the peasant.” – Johann Gottfried Herder, German Philosopher (1744-1803)

In June of 2015, Matthew Cooper wrote a Newsweek article entitled ‘Donald Trump: The Billionaire For Blue-Collars’.… Continue reading »

Thanks to you, hope is on the move across Minnesota

6 cities. 1 day. Nearly 1,000 Minnesotans.  

On Saturday, nearly a thousand Minnesotans gathered at six locations across the state for our Annual Meeting – St. Paul, Duluth, St. Cloud, Northfield, Grand Rapids and Willmar. Together, we launched a set of work geared toward realizing our vision of a Minnesota where all can thrive and live in joy

It was a statewide explosion of action. We had marches, rallies, banner-drops, and conversations with elected officials about our vision and mutual accountability. There were new faces in the room across the state. And hundreds of people committed to taking continuous action with us. These may be challenging times, but the movement to resist and create a better future, thanks to you, is growing. 
 
TakeAction Minnesota members raised over $12,000 on Saturday – if you already contributed, THANK YOU! If you aren’t already a member of TakeAction, we want you to join us. Contribute $20 TODAY to join– your membership contribution means that we can powerfully fight for quality, affordable health care, progressive elected officials, statewide paid sick and safe time, climate justice, and more. 

Our goal is to raise $15,000 by Friday. 

As a member of TakeAction Minnesota, you help fund the resistance against Trump and the people-powered movement and organizing our state needs now.… Continue reading »

What I’m thinking about this St. Patrick’s Day

 

Against the famine and the crown, I rebelled, they cut me down… 

These words are from an Irish folk song I often sing to my kids before they go to sleep.  Yeah, I know it sounds morose, many Irish songs are, but my kids love it and it’s a way to connect them to their heritage.  This Friday is St. Patrick’s Day, a big day for the McGrath family, celebrated by Irish dance, multiple corned beef dinners, traditional music and calls home to my extended family.  It’s also a chance to reflect on my family’s immigrant history and on the actions of the Trump administration against immigrants and refugees.

My ancestors immigrated in the late 1800s, part of a second wave of Irish immigrants, that followed the famine earlier that century.  My great-great-grandfather settled in rural southern Wisconsin and sought stability, security and prosperity that was beyond his reach back home.  

The Irish immigrant experience of the mid-1800s mirrors, in several ways, that of many immigrants today.  The Irish were outcasts, an agrarian people, with little formal education, little to no money, and stereotyped as irresponsible drunkards. In major cities on the east coast, the Irish were a cheap labor pool who kept wages down and did work that others were unwilling.… Continue reading »

We will never solve health care…

… if we don’t understand the roots of how we got to here. It’s very easy to use the words “Medicaid,” “Medicare,” “MinnesotaCare Buy-in” and “Obamacare” in a sentence, but how many of us know really know how and why these elements of our health care system were established?

Hi, my name is Kenza Hadj-Moussa, and I’m the new Communications Director at TakeAction. Everyone has a story about health care. And health care, as a social issue, has a story too. Here’s my take on the historical roots of our health care system, and why it’s so hard to fix it today [hint: it’s the biggest taboo subject in American politics]. Take a look and let me know, after reading this, what are you left with? Send us an email at info@takeactionminnesota.org.

In 1964, just 47 days after President Kennedy was assassinated, President Johnson gave his first State of the Union speech to a still-mourning nation. The nation was at war in Vietnam, though not at the level it would come to dominate in American culture. The U.S. never formally declared war on Vietnam, in fact, but LBJ did use his speech to declare war… an “unconditional war on poverty.” 

And a dark national secret was becoming exposed: America was poor.Continue reading »

Is Trump a fascist?

I don’t think so, here’s why. 

In answering this question, we’re better off taking the advice of Corey Lewandowski, the President’s one-time campaign manager, who directed his staff to ‘Let Trump Be Trump’.

Our histories are filled with parallels and echoes of Trump-ism. He is not the first reactionary politician to promise to put ‘America First’ or ‘Make America Great Again’.  He is not first to threaten our democratic institutions.  He is not first to scapegoat immigrants, people of color, Native Americans, or women.  

And this moment is not the same as the Weimar Republic, 1930’s Spain or Stalinist Russia. So, what is going on?

Since 2006, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has prepared an annual worldwide survey of nations called the Democracy Index. I know this sounds wonky, but hear me out. I promise the connections will make sense. This survey compares 5 measures of democracy and for the first time, in 2016, it downgraded the United States from a Full democracy to a Flawed democracy.  

And, according the EIU, Donald Trump didn’t lower the bar.  We set the bar low enough that he could get over.

“Trust in political institutions is an essential component of well-functioning democracies.Continue reading »

Believe Resist! TakeAction’s 2017 Statewide Annual Meeting

We know that now is a moment when we’re facing unprecedented challenges and deeply dangerous and damaging policies and language. But it’s also a moment when we’re seeing incredible resistance, love, and hope. Now more than ever is a time to come together to stand up for the state we believe in – a Minnesota where each and every person is able to live in joy – lives that are fulfilling, stable, creative, and happy.

It is in this moment that TakeAction Minnesota is inviting you to join a Believe Resist 2017 Annual Meeting. Join TakeAction and many partners at a meeting on March 18th from 10am to 1pm in Duluth, Grand Rapids, St. Cloud, Willmar, Northfield, or St. Paul. These meetings are a way to be with others who are trying to make meaning of this moment, who are resisting, who are hopeful, and who are ready to fight for a Minnesota and a country where love, joy, and justice prevail.

Meetings are free, food will be provided, and all are kid-friendly. They will include:

  • Meeting and connecting with neighbors and folks from other organizations who want to work for a more just and equitable Minnesota.
  • Trainings to learn more about the work of TakeAction and our partners — learn more about the current and urgent work on healthcare, criminal justice reform, economic justice, climate justice, and the future of caregiving, and skills for resisting and building the world we want to see.
Continue reading »

TakeAction Digest: THIS WEEK IN ACTION #BelieveResist

  TakeAction Minnesota Weekly Wrap    

It’s Chris Conry and Arianna Genis. Last week we launched our weekly digest with you, as a part of our #BelieveResist work, and the response was fantastic. So many of you opened our email and clicked through the articles. 

 The digest is our way of sharing what we are, in some ways obsessively, reading — news, long articles, books. history, political theory —  anything we think can help us understand what’s going on and to identify what we can do.

Here’s what our staff has been reading this week, what we’re calling our key reads. Take it in and then respond to this email letting us know, what are you reading right now? What’s helping you understand this moment in our history? 

1. The Fugitive Slave Act & the President’s Executive Order on Immigration 

Ready to dig into some serious history? Read this comparison of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 galvanized abolitionist movement to the mass protests and strong opposition that accompanied President Trump’s executive order on immigration.

2. Wondering what the GOP Congress has in mind when they talk about replacing the Affordable Care Act? 

Here’s a good rundown on their ideas and the current debate within the party. Spoiler: none of these ideas are good.… Continue reading »

Weekly TakeAction Digest: THIS WEEK IN ACTION

  TakeAction Minnesota Weekly Wrap    

 When I woke up on November 9th I realized I have a lot to learn. About my state, about my country, about the progressive movement. 

Since then, when I’ve had a spare moment, I’ve been reading.  A lot.  Obsessively.  News.  Long articles.  Books.  History.  Political Theory.  Everything I could think of to help me understand what’s going on and what I can do.

This is true for many of us at TakeAction, including Arianna, our digital organizer. Once we connected about it we realized that this feeling is probably true for many, many others. So, in the spirit of experimentation and learning, we wanted share what our staff and members have been reading recently.  Once a week. With you. Here it is. 

1. Trump administration attempts to silence climate justice movement, rogue national park accounts emerge  

A new Twitter account called “AltUSNatParkService” appeared Tuesday afternoon and began tweeting facts about climate change, support for the National Parks and comments in opposition of President Trump, a critic of climate change. We love it. Read more about it here. 

2. An intro. to one of the President’s key policy thinkers.

As all of the White House hiring is being announced, this profile of Stephen Miller from June of 2016 seemed relevant again.… Continue reading »

The fight continue for quality, affordable health care for ALL

It has only been one month since the beginning of the new Congress and the state legislative session, and a lot has happened in that time — both good and bad. 

In Washington, the good news is that many members of Congress are nervous about repealing the Affordable Care Act without a replacement, and they still have no real good idea on how they will replace it. 30 million Americans stand to lose access to health care if the ACA is repealed. After an original goal to pass a repeal and have it on President Trump’s desk by inauguration day, the soonest they will now vote on repeal is the end of February, and it may be as late as early April. 

The pressure that we have put on our members of Congress to oppose repeal is working, and we need to keep it up! Congress has a week of recess from February 20-24, and most members will be back in their districts. Watch our calendar for details on upcoming events.

Later this year, the House and Senate are also likely to push for a much larger, more devastating attack on Medicaid that would cut funding by as much as ⅓ by the end of a decade (called “block granting” or “per capita caps”) and lead to serious cuts to health care for low-income families and long term care. You can read more about what this would mean for Minnesota here. This will be a big, big fight that we need to win.… Continue reading »

Why we marched, and what’s next

On January 21st, TakeAction board members, staff members, and leaders marched in the Women’s March in St. Paul. Take a look at why we marched, and then sign up for what’s next – action!

We’re doing weekly phone banks at TakeAction’s office in St. Paul to make sure the energy, determination, and resistance we felt at Saturday’s march continues for Trump’s first 100 days and beyond. Every Tuesday night from 6pm to 9pm we’ll put our marching feet to work on the phones, calling Minnesotans around the state and asking them to call their elected officials on the most pressing issues of the week.  To sign up for next Tuesday night’s phone bank, click here.

Amanda Otero, Arique Aquilar, Elizabeth Lienesch, TakeAction staff

We marched for renewed hope, to know that we’re not alone, and because it was a chance to be surrounded by people ready to act.

Mihiret Abrahim, TakeAction board member

My daughter, and I went because it’s bigger than pussy hats for us. I marched because I’m proud of how many people were also marching and have been engaged in this moment. But more than that, organizing and resisting is something I do because it’s not an option for me.… Continue reading »

ACTION ALERT: 5 Ways to RESIST and BELIEVE

  TakeAction Minnesota Action Alert    

 
Last week, we let you know you could expect a weekly action alert from us with ways to act. Here it is. Now is the time to RESIST the hate the Trump administration is putting forward and to build the world we BELIEVE in. Already we have seen the President’s quick action to dismantle progressive gains made at the national level and instill fear, division, and cynicism across the country. And while there will be more damaging and divisive actions to come in the next 100 days, we refuse to give in. 
You’re a part resisting and believing. And here are five ways you can act right now. 
1
READY TO ACT IN ST. CLOUD?
Join TakeAction at a training on direct action and powerful storytelling! As we prepare to organize and resist, we needs skills to organize effective actions and to tell our own stories powerfully to elected officials, the media, and our neighbors. This is a free training on Monday, February 13th from 6pm to 8pm.
2
OUR CITIES, OUR VALUES
At the Capitol, conservatives have introduced “local interference,” legislation that would stop cities in our state from adopting progressive policies have earned sick and safe time, sanctuary city policies, and higher minimum wages.
Continue reading »

We will not comply.

Dear community,
Wow. I’m sure many of you, like me, have been reeling from the events of this past week. Attacks on immigrants on multiple fronts (#MuslimBan #BorderWall), attacks on our native communities (#NoDAPL) and our planet, dismantling the Affordable Care Act, attacks on women’s rights to their bodies.The list continues. The Trump administration is fueling the most painful parts of our country’s history with racism, xenophobia, sexism, and Islamophobia.  

 As a Latina and a woman of color who has always fought to be orgullosa de quien soy*, my blood boils to know that any of us can be told we are “less than” and denied rights simply because of who we are. And, as a member of an immigrant family who was raised on stories of how US foreign policy has tampered and hurt many in Latin America, I’m worried that as a country we will focus on these immediate actions without remembering and acknowledging that these actions are not isolated instances. These tactics are, in fact, as we would say in Spanish, “friamente calculado,” or meticulously, intentionally crafted as part of a larger strategy. 

It’s critical that in this moment we take a step back, connect the dots, and look at the big picture – especially the larger story being told in this moment. The new administration will justify their hateful actions with powerful narratives and stories – of terrorism, of scarcity, of deficit, of needing to protect ourselves from the “other,” of needing to go it alone.… Continue reading »

Believe. Resist: Fighting to protect the Affordable Care Act

President Donald Trump’s Executive Order on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a desperate cry for help. The order itself is a talking point that delivers on a talking point. It provides the appearance of acting on Day One without actually needing to have any idea what to do.  

Still, the power of the Presidency is real. And in 2017, it’s a real threat. First, the order’s coded political-speak suggests that patients in many states should expect to pay more and get less. Second, it surrenders to the demands of the insurance industry. Third, it introduces even more uncertainty into our health care system; its ‘hack first, ask questions later’ approach suggests the administration’s approach will be careless, uneven, and unpredictable.  

Seeing clearly through disinformation, word-fog, and tweet distractions has never been more important. Resistance demands clarity and focus (and a little bit of wonkiness). We’re asking you to read the details of what’s happening and to share this update with 5 friends who you know will act with you to save the Affordable Care Act. We won’t let misinformation deter us from acting. 

Here’s a quick summary:   

  • In Section 1 of the Executive Order, President Trump opens the door to the deregulation of the interstate sale of insurance. 
  • In Section 2, he directs federal agencies, in broad terms, to go fix all the problems he’s been hearing about.    
  • In Section 3, he directs agencies to let states do things the Obama administration said ‘no’ to like: a) making patients pay more of the costs, b) providing less generous benefits packages, and c) creating work & drug-testing requirements for access to care.
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Believe with us. Join the resistance.

We resist because we believe.  We believe, therefore, we resist.

My joy are my three great kids, Harriet, Winston, and little Joe – ages 5, 3, and 1.  They are my joy – they are also a handful.  Everyday my work to change the world starts earlier than I would like when they get me out of bed, and then when I get them ready to leave the house.  They are why on a day like today, I cannot and will not fall into despair, no matter who is President.

Today at 11:00 Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.  He is a man who fanned the flames of racism, xenophobia and misogyny to win the White House and hasn’t stopped since.  He has bragged about sexually assaulting women and mocked the disabled. He mocks science and denies climate change.  He not only plans to end health care as we now know it, he plans to take it away from tens of millions of people. His closest White House adviser is a white supremacist. Trump’s agenda is to minimize, divide, and destroy our communities and democracy, to clear the way for more money for himself and elites like him

At TakeAction Minnesota, our mission is to unite people and organizations across our state to change who decides and who benefits.  We believe in and work everyday to create a real democracy – where we all have a voice – and real equity – where we each can prosper and thrive.Continue reading »

An Open Letter to the Members of TakeAction Minnesota

TakeAction Minnesota is a people’s organization.  We are white, black, Latinx, Somali and Hmong. We are women and men and people who identify as neither. We are people without documents and people whose ancestors were placed on this land when it was created. We live in cities, on farms, and in the suburbs. Some of us have a criminal record and others have never been caught. We are union members and small business owners. Many of us are people of faith and many of us are agnostic or atheist. But we are all believers. We believe that no matter how different we are, we are all connected to each other, our fates are tied together.  We see and experience the inequity in our world, and we deeply believe that together we can change it.      

It is because of who we are and what we believe that we feel such a profound sense of fear right now.  Donald Trump won the presidency by fanning the flames of racism, xenophobia and misogyny. He brought out the worst in many of us and he won. He plans to use the power of our government against Muslims and immigrants. His pattern of behavior towards women is disgusting and something that I never want my daughter or sons exposed to.… Continue reading »

What matters to us most

We’re all wondering what will happen. To ourselves, friends, families. To our jobs, healthcare, finances. To our society, state, country. It’s more than okay to say, “I don’t know.” In fact, that’s been the answer to most of the questions I’m asked since election night. All I could really say is this is what the world has turned out to be. All I can really do is reach out to you and ask how are you feeling? Tell me the good, tell me the bad. J4A is a community that makes it easier to wake up every morning and be reminded that we still have something powerful, here.

One of the easiest reminders of how powerful you all have been this year is Erin Maye Quade being elected to the MN House of Representatives. We all had a clear stake in the history made in Apple Valley as a result of being a part of well over 2,000  Take Action election shifts this year. Be proud of that, and know that your efforts made this state more beautiful in an ugly aftermath. The Republicans are trying to kill that beauty, and so we need to double down on not only what we want to achieve, but also double down on our passions and efforts on this journey to end mass incarceration, systematic racism and gender oppression, not to mention the corporate power that generated over that last 15 years and allowed for such a bizarre election cycle and result.… Continue reading »

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