Vision and road map

Our vision is of a Minnesota that is inclusive and just for every person — no exceptions. To reach that Minnesota, we need a new politics: one that is grounded in abundance, not the myth of scarcity, and one that is centered around people, not the needs of corporations and well-connected special interests - where everyone is in and no one is out. We also need meaningful, authentic relationships with our political leaders — above all, with our governor — who are willing to co-create that politics with us.

Our Vision for Minnesota

Politics grounded in abundance. Minnesota is a wealthy state. We believe that we already have enough shared resources to care for everyone, and not just in dollars and cents: we are rich in values, neighborliness, and community, rich in who we are and in who we are to each other. We already have enough, and we already are enough, to care for everyone in our state — no exceptions — with the respect and dignity that we all deserve.

Politics as usual, however, operates from within myth of scarcity. In politics as usual, we are constantly told there is not enough to go around, and that some people must suffer while others thrive. The myth of scarcity underlies families not making ends meet even with two jobs or more, people choosing between having a roof over their heads or food in their children’s bellies, poor health and limited access to healthcare for too many, and whether you thrive depending on your race, income, and zip code, not your aspirations, abilities, and dreams.

In fact, we are so used to believing that scarcity is true that we often don’t recognize when we function inside of it. And when people believe that resources are scarce and that they might not have enough to care for ourselves and other folks they love, they become scared. And when people are scared, they blame others and hurt others. This leads to believing that the so-called urban–rural divide is real, or to scapegoating immigrants and Muslims — beliefs and behaviors that some politicians fan and exploit. Thus scarcity fuels fear, and fear reinforces scarcity.

But scarcity isn’t true. What is true is that there is already enough for all of us to thrive, to care for each other, and to live with dignity and respect. We call on candidates for public office and elected officials to embrace and lead from a politics grounded in abundance, to paint a picture of a Minnesota where everyone from every community, background, and part of our state can thrive, and to lead us there boldly.

People-centered politics. Minnesota is rich in people, talent, and dreams, but politics as usual leaves most people behind. Too often in politics as usual, decisions are made both for and by people who are well-connected and privileged and have disproportionate access to wealth and social capital — people who reinforce the myth of scarcity while ensuring that they are taken care of. In this politics, too many Minnesotans have little to no influence or say: their aspirations to thrive, care for others, and live with dignity are too often not met or only scantily met. In this politics, too many other people — particularly immigrants, people of color, indigenous people, low-income people, rural people, and young people — are excluded, ignored, or demonized.

A people-centered politics disrupts politics as usual. In people-centered politics, everyone is in and no one is out. This means that we consider the impact of our laws and policies on everyone in every community, and aim to lift up the greatest number, not the few. It also means that those who have been excluded from making decisions and allocating resources are now fully at the table and engaged in doing so. At the center of both, we must lift up those who have been closest to the pain and the consequences of exclusion.

A people-centered politics for our state is about more than one person having one vote: it is about farming families, Muslim families, undocumented families, indigenous families, suburban families, single-parent families — everyone, no exceptions — all having a stake and a place in building a just, equitable, and joyful Minnesota, where a caring economy allows everyone to thrive, our democracy honors everyone’s dignity, and everyone is welcome everywhere.

Co-creative relationship. We are seeking a relationship with candidates and public officials — particularly Minnesota’s next governor — where we do more than just petition for what we want and protest what we don’t like. That’s often the formula of a transactional relationship based in holding people in power accountable. While transactions are sometimes a necessary tool for making progress, we don’t want to be in transactional relationship with any person, let alone with our governor and other people in power.

As people of faith, we are called instead to be meaningfully and authentically relational. Being in a co-creative relationship with the candidates and future governor, rather than in a transactional relationship with them, means that we will be there to advance a politics of abundance both when there is a surplus and when the governor’s back is against the wall and everyone else is trapped in the myth of scarcity. It means that we will be there to create and sustain a political environment that is based in our vision of an inclusive and just Minnesota for everyone, one that honors the belief that we already have everything and are everyone that we need to care for ourselves, each other, and the world we share. It means that working in relationship with the governor in good times and bad, we will transform Minnesota politics to put people, especially those who have been excluded, at the center of our policies and our choices. Petitioning and protesting for this transformation will not be enough: we must co-create it, and in so doing, redefine what is politically possible for our state and its people.

We don’t have all the answers. We do know that as people of faith, we are called at this pivotal moment in the history of our state to take on the responsibility of involving ourselves deeply in this year’s election for governor, and to be co-creators of the new politics we need to build an inclusive and just Minnesota for everyone.