By Eileen Weber RN, JD
I’ve known Erin for decades, mostly through our joint work at the Minnesota Nurses Association, where she rose from political organizer to executive director of one of the most influential unions in our great labor state.
We actually ran for the legislature together in 2006, but only one of us was successful. She ran for an open seat in a strong DFL district in St. Paul, and I ran against a strong GOP incumbent in a very purple district. Her battle then was to win endorsement against very strong DFL competition, and she did it with an earnest positive message and doorknocking– eventually she knew the name of every pet dog in the district. She knows how to successfully run for endorsement in a competitive field of great DFLers, which is very similar to this year.
She has always served on healthcare committees in the legislature. This has given her detailed knowledge about our healthcare mess, combined with her first-hand experience as a direct care nurse, part of the largest healthcare profession. She supports MNA’s call for Single Payer healthcare financing.
Just as she did at MNA, Erin has worked incredibly hard and has risen to House Majority leader. She helped other DFL candidates for the state House all over Minnesota. No wonder she has diverse, statewide endorsements. She understands the entire state and what Minnesota voters care about most.
What a feather in Minnesota’s cap it would be to elect the nation’s first nurse-governor! Governor Murphy, RN, would instantly be seen as a resource to the nation on health issues, ranging from public health to healthcare delivery to healthcare system finance. Healthcare touches every issue: jobs, education, corrections, criminal justice, environment, and transportation. I can imagine meetings of the National Governor’s Association during which Governor Murphy is sought out for advice based on her professional healthcare experience, her advocacy history, her connections to national nursing leaders, and her healthcare policy expertise. For the past 16 consecutive years, nurses have topped Gallup’s poll as the most trusted profession, which will be a huge plus with the general electorate.
Erin Murphy is endorsed by the 22,000-member Minnesota Nurses Association and supported by leaders of healthcare’s largest profession across the U.S. She has exceeded every fundraising target her campaign has set. Bernie Sanders supporters in Our Revolution (Twin Cities and MN) have also endorsed her run for governor.
Look at the electoral surprises in 2017. For example, in Alabama and Wisconsin where Democrats won with very “red” voters, the winning messages weren’t about badmouthing opponents. People are so sick of that, especially now! The messages were about being the positive change we all want to see. We will be that change this fall with a ballot that illustrates women’s leadership skills and the justice that represents.
My recipe for success on Nov. 6, 2018:
- Winning message about forthright optimism, populist idealism, justice, respect, and real ideas that create opportunity,
- Statewide connection on issues that touch all of us,
- An executive leader of the healing profession that society has for the past 16 years deemed the most trusted,
- Lawmaking experience around one of our toughest issues,
- Charisma, sincerity and tireless hard work.
Combine all those ingredients and you get Erin Murphy!
Change we can trust starts Tuesday night – be part of it!
Eileen has been a MNA member and former Vice President. Eileen was an MNA-endorsed candidate when she ran for the state legislature in 2006. She currently is a nursing educator.