Greater Minnesota is beautiful — and key to our success
The ideological divide between urban and rural America is never more apparent than when talking about guns and gun violence in Minnesota.
45% of Minnesota homes have at least one gun, and a disproportionate number of gun owners live outside the Twin Cities.
If Protect Minnesota is to succeed in blocking gun lobby efforts to pass dangerous bills like Permitless Carry, Stand Your Ground, and the repeal of gun-free zones, we need to start educating, organizing and mobilizing gun violence prevention supporters in Greater Minnesota.
Back to our future
26 years ago, Protect Minnesota started as a coalition of 16 respected statewide groups working together to prevent gun violence. Now we are returning to those roots by creating action teams relating to specific targeted constituencies. These action teams act like doorways, through which our members in can organize with and through partner organizations throughout the state of Minnesota, helping us “Paint It ORANGE!” for gun violence prevention.
The action team format allows us to target our messaging more effectively and engage in both “grass roots” and “grass tops” organizing simultaneously. Most important, it enables motivated volunteers to immediately engage in activism within their own groups through both peer-to-peer and member-to-leadership action. Asking someone to organize the whole state of Minnesota is hard; asking someone to organize a group that they are a part of and whose inner-workings they understand is not.
Our action teams
Interfaith Alliance for Gun Safety
This action team enables us to reach individual people of faith and faith groups from all traditions, but also to engage statewide judicatories on the issue of gun violence. People of faith are one of the largest constituent groups in Minnesota, and since even the tiniest rural community in Minnesota has at least one church, we see the faith community as key to our geographic expansion.
Health Care Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence
This action team connects our work in the fields of public health and health care by recruiting and organizing public health professionals, physicians, nurses, home care providers, and social workers in efforts to educate all Minnesotans about gun violence as a public health issue. Every town in Minnesota, little or big, has health care professionals of some sort that live and work there.
Coalition for Gun-Free Schools
This action team engages educators, administrators, K-12 teachers, college faculty, education unions, parents and students in the work of gun violence prevention. Although Minnesotans vary widely in our views about guns, reasonable people every-where agree that allowing guns in schools and on campuses is a dangerous idea.
Responsible Gun Owners Protect Minnesota
Hunters, sport-shooters, veterans, licensed gun dealers, and other gun owners who support sensible gun legislation will be key to any success we have at changing hearts and minds in Minnesota. This action team recruits and trains gun-owning Protect Minnesota volunteers to staff exhibits at gun shows and game fairs, reach out to veterans at VFWs and VA Hospitals, and share information about the need to keep guns out of the wrong hands.
Minnesotans OUT for Gun Safety
The successful “Minnesotans United for All Families” campaign for marriage equality demonstrated that the LGBT community and its allies have become one of the most well-organized and powerful constituencies in the state. This action team will enable us to make use of existing relationships within the LGBT community and the statewide network of PRIDE festivals and advocacy groups to organize and mobilize the LGBT community around gun violence as a hate crime and the high gun suicide rate of LGBT youth.
Safe Communities Partnership
Gun homicide grows out of conditions of disparity and disproportionately impacts urban communities of color. The Safe Communities Partnership facilitates our partnering with social justice organizations, social services, law enforcement, faith groups and community leaders in urban neighborhoods, to call for full implementation of group violence intervention programs and assist in providing safe futures for those most at risk.
Here’s how you can help
- Become a member of Protect Minnesota by going to clicking on the JOIN US button. Give us your email address so we can keep you informed about the issue and how you can participate in our work.
- Join one of our action teams. Email us at [email protected] so we can sign you up.
- Attend one of Protect Minnesota’s Organize to Mobilize trainings or Leading the Conversation house parties. If you would like to set up an event in your area, contact us at [email protected].
- If you live in the Twin Cities, contact your friends, family and colleagues in Greater Minnesota and encourage them to join one of Protect Minnesota’s action teams.
- If you live in Greater Minnesota, consider becoming a regional organizer for Protect Minnesota. Contact [email protected] for more information.