As the election season heats up, a new report on voting is out from the Brookings Institution and the Ash Center of the Harvard Kennedy School.“Lift Every Voice: The Urgency of Universal Civic Duty Voting” reflects two years of research and community conversations, including participation by Jane Leonard, president of G & J. The report proposes that the United States should consider participation in elections as a requirement of citizenship, as we currently do with the requirement of jury service, and as 26 countries around the globe currently do with regard to voting. While the idea has the potential for a major positive impact on our elections and American democracy, it has not received any real discussion in the United States. Report organizers (and G & J) believe it is time for that conversation to begin as our society considers so many other systemic reforms. Here's the link to the report and other resources: https://www.brookings.edu/research/lift-every-voice-the-urgency-of-universal-civic-duty-voting.
The 100% Campaign, an organization working towards “an equitable clean energy economy” in Minnesota, recently launched an online survey called “Are You Ready?” as a part of their Minnesota Doesn’t Quit effort. The tool helps prepare and motivate people for voting in the approaching elections occurring during COVID-19. It prompts users to answer questions on their voter registration status, their awareness of issues experienced by states holding in-person elections, and whether they have voted by absentee before. Depending on the person’s answers, the tool will provide different information, such as explaining Minnesota’s no-excuse absentee ballot policy, voting early, and voting at the County Election Office. If a person has not yet requested a ballot and plans to vote by mail, they are directed to the Secretary of State’s website to request a ballot. The survey concludes with more helpful information about voting by mail in Minnesota. For more resources, check out the Demos resources page for briefings like “Combatting Wrongful Voter Purges: A Toolkit” and “Universally Accessible and Racially Equitable Vote By Mail.”
Take a nourishing bite with us next week into the ready-to-serve Minnesota Equity Blueprint, which has been two years in the making (and baking)! The Recipes for Success Equity Blueprint breakfast series, starting August 5 from 8 to 8:30 a.m., is hosted by G & J every two weeks through mid-November via Zoom. We’ll reintroduce the Blueprint overall on August 5 (it was published in late February, just before COVID-19 locked us down) and then dig into specific topics in the following program weeks. The Blueprint features 141 recommendations from over 300 Minnesotans statewide backed by in-depth research featured in its 170-page printed form. All ingredients when combined can help achieve a Minnesota “Where Equity is Our North Star, and We All Belong.” Your presence and feedback from across the breakfast series can help fine-tune the Blueprint and identify policy priorities that reflect the last six months of incredible change as we all prepare for a bumpy ride into the election season and the 2021 Minnesota Legislature session. To learn more and RSVP for the August 5 event, please click on this Eventbrite link: https://recipesforsuccessmnequityblueprintbreakfasts.eventbrite.com
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“Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble. Voting and participating in the democratic process are key. The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it.” – John Lewis essay, July 30, 2020