Faith, Labor, Nonprofit Coalition Brings Those Impacted By Cuts to the Capitol

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

St. Paul, Minn., May 20, 2011 - Entering the final days of the 2011 Legislative Session, the Invest in Minnesota Coalition brought the faces of those impacted by an all-cuts budget to the Capitol. Summing up its “20 Ways in 20 Days” campaign, the coalition of faith, labor, and nonprofit groups called on lawmakers to soften their cuts by including fairly-raised revenue as part of a final budget.

“Today is the culmination of our 20 Ways in 20 Days Campaign, and regular folks are here at the Capitol to illuminate how proposed cuts will impact their lives. We hope this will move lawmakers to compromise and take a balanced approach,” said Brian Rusche, Executive Director of the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition. "The evidence shows that a cuts-only budget will cause serious harm to Minnesotans struggling in tough times."

Throughout the last 20 days of the legislative session, Invest in Minnesota released a series of 20 testimonials, each detailing an important way a cuts-only approach to meeting our state’s needs will impact Minnesotans.

Jennifer Denmark, a small business owner who escaped an abusive relationship with the support of services now being cut by the legislature, was the first person to tell her story in the campaign.

“I wouldn’t have survived without the support I received in my time of need, and I’m dedicated to making sure other women and children get the same services that were so critical to my family,” Denmark said. “I support raising revenue to solve the current budget shortfall. I can afford to pay a little more and ask others to do the same so others in my situation get the services needed to save the lives of families escaping domestic violence.”

As the 20 Ways in 20 Days Campaign has illustrated, a cuts-only approach will cause serious harm to Minnesotans struggling in tough times:

  • Eliminating in-school mental health services for kids like Jim (way 8).
  • Taking away health care for people like Rebecca recovering from a traumatic brain injury (way 17).

A cuts-only approach also fails to invest in our future:

  • It leaves young adults like Lucas with unimaginable debt as the price of a higher education…a price many simply can’t afford. (way 15)
  • It cuts support for the initiative that helped entrepreneur Janet to grow her small business (way 19).

As part of a larger day of action, coalition members delivered 20 signed posters to lawmakers showing how cuts will harm Minnesotans and asking for a balanced approach, including revenue based on ability to pay, to meet the needs of Minnesotans and invest in our future.

See all 20 “ways” at www.investinmn.org/case.html.

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The Invest in Minnesota Coalition unites Minnesota’s faith community, labor and nonprofit organizations around the following core principles: (1) Revenue-raising must be a significant part of the solution to resolving the state’s budget deficit and (2) the overall package of revenue-raising must make the tax system fairer.

Endorsing organizations include:
A Minnesota Without Poverty, Affirmative Options Coalition, AFSCME Council 5, AFSCME Council 5 Retirees Political Club, AFSCME Council 65, AFSCME Council 868, Alliance of Low-Wealth Minnesotans, ARC of Minnesota, Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency, Bluff Country Family Resources, Child Care Works, Children’s Defense Fund – Minnesota, Churches United in Ministry, Clare Housing, Elim Transitional Housing, Inc., Emerge Community Development, Growth & Justice, HOME Line, Hunger Solutions, Integrated Community Solutions, Inc., Jewish Community Action, JOBS NOW Coalition, Joint Religious Legislative Coalition, Just Faith of North Branch, Kids at Risk Action, League of Women Voters Minnesota, Legal Services Advocacy Project, Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers, Metropolitan Interfaith Council on Affordable Housing (MICAH), Mid Minnesota Women’s Center, Minnesota Association of Professional Employers (MAPE), Minnesota AFL-CIO, Minnesota State AFL-CIO Retiree Council, Minnesota Budget Project, Minnesota Catholic Conference, Minnesota Citizens for Tax Justice, Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women, Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless, Minnesota Community Action Partnership, Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, Minnesota Housing Partnership, Minnesota Public Interest Research Group (MPIRG), Minnesota Recovery Connection, Minnesota Social Service Association (MSSA), Minnesota Youth Intervention Programs Association, Onesie Project, Packard Group, Progressive Action Alliance of Washington County, Project for Pride in Living (PPL), RESOURCE, St. Mary's Health Clinics, St. Paul Regional Labor Federation, SEIU, Sierra Club North Star Chapter, Take Action Minnesota, Teamsters Joint Council 32, Transit for Livable Communities, TSE, Inc., Unite Here Local 21, Wealth for the Common Good, YWCA of Minneapolis
 

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