Here is a memo that I received from the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities. This is an organization that we pay membership to and does an outstanding job of lobbying on some key issues, especially LGA.
TO: CGMC Members
FROM: Tim Flaherty, CGMC Executive Director
DATE: November 3, 2010
RE: Election Outcome for Greater Minnesota Cities
Tuesday’s elections in Minnesota were historic by all measures, with Republicans capturing control of the Minnesota legislature—the first time the Republican party has held control of the full legislature since the early 1970’s—and a gubernatorial race tilting in the DFL’s favor by 9,000 votes, yet subject to a recount.
As of this moment, the Republican party holds 37 of 67 seats in the state Senate and somewhere between 67-70 seats in the state House of Representatives, depending on the outcome of 2-3 House recounts. It takes 34 votes to pass a bill in the Senate and 68 to pass a bill in the House.
For greater Minnesota communities, this election is a game changer. A Republican legislature and a likely DFL governor is something not seen in Minnesota in decades.
Still, cities across greater Minnesota should view Tuesday’s elections with a sense of opportunity and challenge. The arrival of new legislators in greater Minnesota gives us an opportunity to educate these members on the importance of the local aid program, and provides you a chance to engage your new Representatives and Senators in this key issue for your city and solidify their support.
Additionally, a win by Mark Dayton would represent a significant change of perspective for the LGA program in the governor’s office. Mark Dayton’s pledge to hold the LGA program harmless from cuts is a commitment the CGMC and our members will hold him to.
Having a pro-LGA governor from one party, coupled with the arrival of new Republican legislators from greater Minnesota and the reelection of a few key DFL Senators, offers rural communities an opportunity to form a new, bipartisan coalition in favor of LGA. It is a unique opportunity to reset the table in our favor.
The process for protecting and strengthening the LGA program for the future begins now, and there is a lot of work before us. CGMC will soon provide you with the necessary talking points and background materials to help you engage your legislators in the weeks ahead. We also strongly encourage your attendance at the CGMC’s fall conference, November 10-12, in Alexandria, where we will discuss the election results, provide in-depth analysis and outline our strategy for the session and beyond (registration materials are attached). Your attendance and participation in this event is critical to our program.
This is your call to action. Engagement is a necessity. Please use this historic election as an opportunity to build on our successes to date and to forge a new coalition of support for LGA and greater Minnesota cities.
We look forward to seeing you in Alexandria.