By Bethany Winkels, Move MN Field Director
With a new session on the horizon, elected officials are primed to address Minnesota's transportation needs, which span all modes and all areas of the state.
The last few months have been busy for the Move MN campaign. We have been traveling the state, meeting with supporters, businesses, and community groups—from Minnetonka to Duluth, Owatonna to Moorhead, and Worthington to Burnsville. It’s clear that people throughout Minnesota want to see greater investments in transportation. Thanks to the hard work of everyone involved in the campaign, we successfully made Minnesota’s urgent transportation needs a key issue this fall.
As we move forward, we are excited to report that transportation funding will be a top issue during the 2015 legislative session! Governor Dayton, Presumptive House Speaker Kurt Daudt, and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk have each acknowledged the need for a transportation solution next year. The type of solution will be up for debate. Move MN will continue to advocate for a funding package that is balanced, comprehensive, sustainable, and gimmick free. We know that we need investments statewide, from Greater Minnesota to the metro region, and suburbs to cities.
Minnesotans also favor a multi-modal approach. A recent poll released by the Minnesotans for Healthy Kids Coalition showed that a majority of Minnesotans from every region in the state want bicycle and pedestrian investments included in new transportation funding. We also need more public transit options both in the metro and in Greater Minnesota, and we need safe roads and bridges in all of our 87 counties. Our transportation system needs to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks per year. We need reliable, predictable funding to make sure that it can. No gimmicks!
The only way to ensure that we see the right solution come out of a bill this legislative session is by staying engaged and organized. On February 12, Move MN will be holding a rally for Transportation Day at the State Capitol. Mark your calendars! We will be delivering 10,000 postcards to lawmakers in support of transportation funding. If you can’t attend in person, there will be other opportunities to get involved. In the meantime, check out the Move MN website and take action online. You can let your local community know that you support investments in transportation by writing a letter to the editor, contacting your lawmaker, or signing our petition. We can move Minnesota forward, but only if we have strength in numbers! Keep up the good work!
For more opportunities to get involved in the Move MN campaign, contact me at 651-789-1406 or firstname.lastname@example.org.