Don’t forget to vote

Election Day is fast approaching here in Minnesota and your vote matters. 

True progress has been made for our state over the past two years. With Governor Dayton in office and a DFL-led Legislature, we’ve invested in priorities that Minnesotans broadly share, including education, job creation, and property tax relief. We’ve set an example for the rest of the country about what we can accomplish when our government works together.

As State Representative for District 61B, I’ve been proud to represent the people of Southwest Minneapolis. And as Speaker of the Minnesota House, I’ve been proud to lead our efforts to make progress for Minnesota’s future — not just now, but 10 and 20 years down the road. We balanced the budget honestly, with a projected surplus into the future for the first time in a decade. We invested in the middle class. Property taxes are going down statewide for the first time in a decade. We prioritized job creation strategies that work and our unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the nation as a result.

Quality education is crucial for the future of our state — and we made education our top priority. Our historic investments in education include the state’s first commitment to early education, funding overdue funding for all schools, all-day kindergarten across the state, and freezing tuition for college students.

We also passed the Women’s Economic Security Act, which supports women in the workplace across industries and skill levels. It aims to ensure women get equal pay for equal work and strengthens workplace protections for pregnant women and working mothers. It also expands employment opportunities for women in high-wage, high-demand professions.

We’ve also raised the minimum wage and made sure all Minnesotans have the right to marry the person they love. We’ve made true progress.

This could not have been done without the work of all Minnesotans. Your participation in the democratic process has resulted in government that works for the people of our state.

Voter turnout is typically lower in midterm elections. And when we see high voter participation, like we did in 2012, we get elected officials who care and a government that works.  That’s why your vote is so important in 2014.

This year, we made it easier than ever for Minnesotans to vote. With no-excuse absentee voting, every Minnesotan can vote early, by mail or in person, if he or she so chooses. In Minneapolis, you can vote early in person at City Hall. Minnesota has among the highest voter participation rates in the nation, and you can help make sure we continue this great Minnesota tradition.

Minnesota has momentum, but there is much more work to be done. Affordable child care, addressing student debt, and developing a real, long-term transportation funding solution are just a few of our priorities. We can’t go back to the days of government gridlock and priorities that put wealthy special interests ahead of the middle-class. With your help, and your vote on Nov. 4, we can keep moving Minnesota forward.  

Paul Thissen
Speaker of Minnesota House
DFL-District 61B