By Jackie O’Shea
MNA Political Organizer
In a recent MNA staff meeting, Executive Director Rose Roach told us “every election cycle, we say this is the most important election ever, but that’s because every election is important.” I couldn’t agree more. In the almost 10 years I’ve worked in the labor movement, there has never been an upcoming election in which the results wouldn’t have had an impact on workers and families. Whether the top issue is education, healthcare reform, union rights, or a balanced budget, there is always something on the line. The open race for Minnesota Governor in 2018 is no different, with current Governor Mark Dayton not running for re-election, and a plethora of candidates who have announced they are seeking the office.
For years, nurses have watched as efforts to improve staffing, worker safety, and patient care have been stalled or stopped altogether at the legislature. We have also watched efforts fail that would’ve weakened the nursing practice and your collective voice because of a Governor who stands with nurses and workers. With the current state house and state senate more focused on bailing out insurance companies than improving the quality and cost of patient care for the community, we need to ensure that the future Governor of Minnesota will stand next to us, shoulder-to-shoulder. We need a Governor to fight for nurse staffing, workplace safety, healthcare for all and veto any attempt to weaken the nursing profession with a Nurse Compact or anti-union legislation.
Nurses have an opportunity on Saturday, September 9 to get more information on the gubernatorial candidates, ask them the questions, and make a recommendation to the MNA Board of Directors for endorsement. Nurses from all over Minnesota will have the chance to meet these candidates face-to-face and ask them what they will do for nurses, patients, and working families. Now more than ever, the MNA Board of Directors needs your participation to make a decision that represents all of MNA’s members.
It is a crowded field already, with 14 months until the Primary Election and 16 months until the General Election, we have a lot of work to do to ensure MNA backs a candidate that will be a champion on our issues. To get more information about the MN Governor Candidate Member Screenings, you can click here or contact Jackie O’Shea, MNA Political Organizer, at Jackie.OShea@mnnurses.org.