By Amanda Madison, RN, MNA Digital Political Organizer
You can’t deny it – Erin Murphy is someone special. True to her nursing roots, Erin Murphy cares deeply about all of us and works harder than anyone for the future of our great state. She’s in it for the right reasons. She’s genuine and passionate. She’s a committed champion for healthcare for all and our freedom to join together in union and collectively bargain. It’s Erin Murphy’s authenticity and grit that win over just about everyone she encounters. It’s why so many MNA members chose to endorse her last fall, and why the MNA Board of Directors chose to dedicate an unprecedented amount of time and resources to getting her elected.
And we sure brought our A-game. With just a few weeks of organizing, we turned out 408 nurses to precinct caucuses, 105 of whom were elected as delegates to their local organizing unit conventions. Thirty-eight of us went on to the DFL State Convention to amplify nurse issues and support our candidate. Over the course of our campaign, we had 312 nurse volunteer shifts, making thousands and thousands of phone calls and having conversations with voters at their doorsteps.
We discovered a new strength and a new power on the campaign trail, something that did not go unnoticed.
With Erin Murphy leading the way, we used that power. Nurses changed the conversation around healthcare, amplifying bolder solutions to fix our broken system, for healthcare that is affordable and accessible to all.
As the conversation progressed, we saw other candidates following Erin Murphy’s lead and adopting many of her healthcare policy positions. That’s power.
Nurses were also instrumental in securing Erin Murphy the DFL endorsement in early June. That win energized us even further and we ran an incredible Primary Election campaign to support her. In the end, she fell short and did not move on to the General Election.
Since then, we’ve all been feeling various degrees of grief. It’s hard to throw your whole heart into something and not see your efforts rewarded. But then again, was it ever really about Erin Murphy? Throughout the course of her 20 months on the campaign trail, she often reminded us that none of this is about her:
“I believe in a kind of politics that is about us.”
She said it so often, I can hear her saying it clear as day in my head.
Erin Murphy didn’t win the Primary Election, but she did what she set out to do. She created a politics that is about us. When I look at what we did together, I am more hopeful for our future than ever. Erin Murphy made us feel proud, joyful, and dedicated to the cause. She motivated so many of us to volunteer countless hours and knock on countless doors. She helped us reject fear and cynicism and believe in our politics again. She showed us that if we come together and work hard, we can create something powerful and beautiful. Perhaps this is because Erin Murphy made us feel connected to one another again, united around our shared values for a better and brighter future.
Congratulations, nurses. We did a hell of a job — we really did. We heard it time and time again on the campaign trail, heard about the impact of our presence and our power. That hasn’t changed. Our power isn’t lost, but we do have a choice to make.
Erin Murphy showed us a lot of things. She showed us what is possible when we come together. Now let’s show her that we’re not going anywhere, that we believe in that beautiful future we envisioned together, and that we’re ready to use our power to work for it.
Are you ready?