mnpACT! is a grassroots, progressive, non-profit organization. We began our work in 2003 as MNPA (Minnesota Network for Progressive Action) and renamed our group mnpACT! in 2005. We research, we think, we connect, we ACT!
Our modest beginnings
One morning in mid-2003, a quiet liberal suburbanite named Dave had just finished reading the newspaper. As usual, it was filled with disturbing news about an increasingly disturbing, conservative government -- locally and nationally. There was news about a bloody, pre-emptive war in Iraq. News about state budget sleight-of-hand. News about conservatives proclaiming their agenda as the answer to prayer.
He flipped on the TV. More of the same. Tried the radio. You know that thing they say about the media being the tool of liberals? Don't you believe it!
Dave didn't believe it either. He was totally fed up and rising. He decided it was time to act. Even though he and his wife believed they might be the south suburbs? lone liberals, Dave launched a relentless letters-to-the-editor initiative. Before long, five other frustrated folks came forward, declaring their shared passion for things progressive.
In December 2003, Dave and his wife hosted a viewing of "Uncovered: The Whole Truth about the Iraq War." Nineteen progressives showed up, which surprised the heck out of them. That same night, 130 people viewed the film at a small, progressive church in Burnsville, and 20 more at a Lakeville home. A progressive network began to take shape.
Like MoveOn.org, the MNPA e-community mushroomed quickly to nearly 500 names and the MNPA newsletter began circulating to member readers and beyond.
Our call to action
MNPA decided it was time to take to the streets. And so we provided caucus training in area high schools, delivered 8,000 flyers door to door in the south metro, placed caucus information ads in suburban newspapers, and hosted several "meet the candidate" events to connect candidates and voters.
After caucuses, MNPA members provided training sessions to prepare newly energized activists to participate fully in their local party organizations. Dozens of MNPA members and newsletter readers were elected to local party offices and as delegates to the State Democratic Convention.
Efforts to grow a progressive presence in the Twin Cities? south metro suburbs took root. MNPA's new progressive voice was heard! And that shook complacent conservatives to their collective core. Where in the world did all these progressives come from all of a sudden, they asked. The truth is, we were here all along. But until 2004, we didn't know how many of us there are. Now that we do, we are a force to be reckoned with! And here's a little secret. We're having fun doing this!
Our public presence
MNPA has continued our important work of locating, connecting, informing, educating and motivating Minnesota progressives who have been too quiet for too long. We host monthly speaker events on the second Friday of each month. Guest speakers have included school board and county commission members, state senators and representatives, local progressive writers, Attorney General Mike Hatch, and young adult activist Mattie Weiss from The League of Pissed-Off voters.
Our commitment to progressives
The cornerstone of our early success was connections. We work to connect progressives who want to improve government with candidates who share their vision. Activists develop strong commitments to candidates they come to know personally and candidates have a better understanding of the people they hope to represent.
We believe that connections like these result in a better, more democratic and more progressive government.
In early 2005, MNPA undertook a comprehensive strategic planning process. We honed our mission and our vision. We set an ambitious agenda. And then, we changed our name to mnpACT!, which reflects our commitment to moving progressive ideas into action.