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Transit Advocacy Depends on a Strong Democracy

Transit, bicycling, and walking are essential to creating a more joyful and sustainable world. They are essential to creating communities that work for all of us—people of every race, age, income, gender, and ability. That’s why we spend our days fighting for these transportation choices and everyone who relies on them.

How do we do it? By connecting people to their elected representatives. The goal of our advocacy is to influence and inspire decision-makers, whether in government agencies or elected office.

Advocating, mobilizing, and organizing for change depends on a functioning democratic government that represents the will of the people. We’re all better off—and our democracy is only truly functioning—when all eligible voters are able to cast their vote and have their vote counted. That’s why we’re lending our voices to those demanding a fair and just conclusion to the 2020 elections.

Our Advocacy Depends on a Functioning Government

The way Move Minnesota and many other nonprofits pursue change relies on our democratic system.

Our elected officials are accountable to the people. They require affirmative support from voters to be reelected; and if or when they are defeated in an election, they will depart and be replaced by the winner. Because decision-makers know their actions have consequences, your voice is effective in getting decision-makers to act.

We depend on our elected officials and agencies to uphold laws. For example, if a city council and mayor pass a budget that includes $10M for bike infrastructure, we expect them to spend $10M on bike infrastructure.

Democracy is imperfect. U.S. history is littered with unfair and unjust laws. Sometimes shifting realities on the ground change how theories operate in practice. Sometimes laws are unjustly enforced, and sometimes money in politics exerts undemocratic influences on politicians. But these imperfections can themselves be addressed through democratic means. It is our collective work to repair these issues and build toward a more just society.

Recent years—including this election season—have produced rhetoric and actions designed to weaken our democracy and cheat the system. But this is far from inevitable. Because both our personal rights and our collective movement depend on a fair and functioning democracy, we speak out here in defense of our democratic systems. A complete ballot count is critical to our work. A peaceful transition of power is critical to our work. Accountable elected officials are critical to our work. An unsuppressed vote is critical to our work. An informed citizenry is critical to our work.

Our Values are Democratic Values

Yet we do not just defend democracy because it is necessary for our work; we defend democracy because our values are democratic values. Move Minnesota believes strongly in the power of we the people. And when we speak out in defense of democracy this election season, we’re fighting not only for our nation’s laws and the ideals in our United States Constitution and Declaration of Independence. We’re fighting for we the people—no exceptions.

A strong democracy ensures that we can have a direct say in our collective future. That we can continue striving for the just, sustainable, and caring society we know is possible.

In any election, we the people are the decision-makers. When we come together we can demand not only that our streets and transit systems be for all, but that liberty and justice be for all. We can achieve our collective promise when people of every race, gender, income, and identity have equal rights and equitable access to opportunity. We must all do the work to strengthen, protect, and live out these ideals for ourselves and for the next generation.

We join our allies in saying: Everyone counts. Every vote counts. This is why we pledge support to a complete process of tallying, counting, and following the will of every vote cast this election season.

Our State’s Institutions are Strong

While the few have tried to divide us and undermine our democracy, we know that Minnesota’s many voters and our leadership is strong. We are confident that Minnesota can and will continue its proud history as a democratic leader.

Over the coming weeks, we will keep in mind Minnesota’s strengths and will support our institutions as they ensure a fair election and complete vote count.

To strengthen our government and to be a part of a critical democratic tradition, we hope you join us in voting. Important offices from local and state seats to the presidency are on the ballot. Find out how and where you can vote today. Make your plan and encourage friends and family to do the same. We’re all in this together.