MNIPL Monthly Newsletter
I write with deep gratitude for the ways you are speaking out for justice and caring for community in this profoundly challenging time. This morning brought further troubling news about the unprecedented wildfires sweeping the West Coast, as we see the impact of the ecological crisis playing out before our eyes. It matters that we connect these events to the climate emergency and human activity — because we can address these causes. We know that our power lies in our interconnectedness, our ability to act together, to make change, and care for one another.
With the November election approaching, we have a major opportunity to shape the future collectively, by voting for candidates who will prioritize action for our climate and social justice. If you plan to vote by mail and haven't already made your ballot request, request your absentee ballot today! In addition, each of us has significant power to mobilize our communities to vote. In fact, research shows that you are the most effective messenger to build turnout in your networks. Below, you’ll find a collection of resources for engaging community around the election.
Finally, I want you to know that this will be my last newsletter, as I’ll be leaving my position as MNIPL Communications Director later this month. I send my warmest regards to each of you, for the spirit, generosity, and love that you bring to our shared movement for justice. I first joined the staff in May 2018 and want to thank the MNIPL community, staff team, and board for the opportunity to collaborate during this time. I look forward to continuing as a friend of the organization.
Voter Engagement Opportunities
Make your plan to vote!
What is your plan to vote in the General Election? Whether you will vote by mail or early in person, making your plan to vote is one of the most important things you can do right now. Here are tips for making your plan based on how you want to vote:
- Make sure your registration is current. Check your registration or register to vote at mnvotes.org.
- Request an absentee ballot today. A ballot will be mailed to you in mid-September, 46 days before the election. Make sure you fill your ballot out carefully, and send it back early, or drop it off at the Election Office that sent you your ballot. You can check that it was received at mnvotes.org.
- Vote early in person. Minnesota allows for in-person early voting starting 46 days before Election Day (September 18th). Contact your local election office to learn more about early voting in your area.
- Vote in person on election day. Many people may still prefer to vote at the polls on November 3rd. If you can safely vote in person on Election Day, we urge you to plan to allow as much time as possible at the polls, double check your polling place location, and don’t forget to bring a mask and hand sanitizer.
Organize for Transformational Change and GOTV!
The 2020 election is an opportunity to shape what’s possible for a livable future, and each of us can mobilize our communities to vote by mail in 2020. Help us reach our goal of conversations with 3,000 people by November!
Then, join us for phase two of this campaign by joining a General Election training in mid-September! Whether you joined a summer training or are new to this campaign, these 90-minute virtual trainings are for you. You will learn about how you can make a difference this election. Sign up for one of our September General Election trainings:
- Sunday, September 13 1-2:30pm Register here!
- Tuesday, September 15 4:30-6pm Register here!
- Thursday, September 17 7-8:30pm Register here!
Text-bank with MNIPL to get out the vote!
Did you know 10 million environmentalists didn’t vote in 2016 that were registered? You can help reach them!
Invite members of your green team, youth group, or friends to join virtual, non-partisan Get Out the Vote text-banks with MNIPL! We will meet on Zoom for a training, then spend an hour texting Minnesotans who are people of faith, alarmed on climate, and infrequent voters. This is an easy and effective way to make an impact! Choose from these three dates and register below:
Host a 'Voting Your Values' event with your community
MNIPL is partnering with faith communities and community groups to discuss the importance of voting our values in this fall election. Join us to co-host a 60- to 90-minute virtual event on how to vote in this fall’s elections, and explore the values that matter to you. These events are non-partisan. If you are interested in hosting an event in your faith community or group, fill out our interest form and an MNIPL staff member will follow up with you.
Chalk the Vote!
Get your faith community together for a fun, socially-distanced action to spread the word about voting - with chalk! Decorate the space around your house of worship as well as other public spaces (bus stops, parks, etc.). Read this google doc for ideas about hosting a chalk event and sample language. We encourage you to do this on the weekend of September 25-27, to spread the word that early voting has started!
If you plan to host an event, please let us know here. We'll be amplifying your messages on social media, and would be happy to send a photographer out to your event.
MNIPL will also be meeting outside our office (4407 E Lake St, Minneapolis) at 10:30am on Friday, September 25th to write chalk messages in South Minneapolis. Feel free to join us, or share pictures from your own event with [email protected] and post on social media with the hashtags #MNVotes, #FaithInAction, #Vote2020 and @ your faith community, @MNIPL
Read the Faith Values Voter Guide by IPL
Interfaith Power & Light and Faith in Public Life have released a faith values voter guide to explore how people of faith and conscience can engage in this election. This guide covers issues including racial justice, the climate crisis, immigration, and voting rights, along with questions for reflection. We value this guide for its discussion questions and the conversations that it can help start, and we also acknowledge that it is written from a primarily Christian perspective and may not be the right tool for every faith community or individual.
Opportunity to improve your home's energy efficiency
As we spend unprecedented amounts of time in our homes and begin gearing up for winter, it's a great time to make energy efficiency improvements to lower costs and energy consumption. MNIPL is partnering with the Home Energy Squad, backed by Xcel Energy and CenterPoint to help you reduce those costs! Please follow this link to receive 50% off your service. You may also qualify for a free visit depending on your neighborhood or income. If you have questions, please reach out to Jayda Pounds at [email protected]
Solar Power Lunch
Take a break from your work and daily routine, and find out about how the fastest growing energy option can work for you or your faith community. Solar Power Lunch is a free lunch hour webinar packed with bread-and-butter facts about solar energy, juicy morsels from special industry guests, and glassfulls of how-to steps for going solar. Join MNIPL’s Solar Outreach Manager, Buff Grace, for this informative talk. Click here to log in to any Thursday lunch.
- September 10 @ noon – Buff Grace on MNIPL’s current options for homes and churches. Watch the video recording here.
- September 17 @ noon – Bobby King of Solar United Neighbors on the benefits of Solar Co-ops. Tune in here
- September 24 @ noon – Behnaz Beladi of Apadana Solar Technologies on how to get and understand a solar proposal. Tune in here
Green Team Summit
MNIPL is co-sponsoring a Green Team Summit, held virtually on the evenings of September 13-17th. Organized by Faith in Place, the Illinois affiliate of IPL, the Summit welcomes hundreds of people of faith to gather for environmental education, connection, and advocacy. Together we will explore ways to create “A Just Recovery” as we face the challenges of climate change, COVID-19, and environmental and systemic racism. Recordings will be made available to all who register. Register for free today.
Community Involvement for Environmental Justice
Looking to get involved in your community? The City of Minneapolis Sustainability Division collaborates with three appointed boards and commissions to advise the City on issues of environmental justice and help develop policies: the Community Environmental Advisory Commission, the Northside Green Zone Task Force, and the Southside Green Zone Council. These appointed bodies currently have vacancies for the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 terms. Learn more about these opportunities here, and apply here. Questions? Contact [email protected]
Join the Muslim Climate Action Circle
In August, MNIPL launched a Muslim Climate Action Circle similar to other faith-community specific circles in our network. The circle centers the values of Islamic teachings in approaching climate action, and the need for faith-based organizing and relationship building within the Muslim community. Please join us! Sign up here:
Wednesday, September 23rd at 4:00 PM-5:00 PM Register here!
Wednesday, October 28th at 4:00 PM-5:00 PM Register here!
Round Two: COVID Community Action Duluth!
As the pandemic began, members of MNIPL generously donated to our efforts in supporting Duluth area nonprofits serving those in need. Thanks to you, this spring we delivered $4000 of meals, groceries, and additional support to those most in need. The beneficiaries were AICHO, Gloria Dei/CHUM Warming Shelter, Life House, Loaves & Fishes, and the Steve O’Neil Apartments.
As we move into the fall, we realize that the need to support others in our community continues to be high. We thus have restarted “Duluth COVID Community Support Actions” every month at an average cost of $750 per month. Between donations from WFC, Gloria Dei, and our own members, we have already raised the $3300 necessary to make this happen!
Line 3 Resistance update
In mid-August, Governor Walz faced a decision on the Line 3 pipeline: whether to refile an appeal by the Department of Commerce, which has argued for the last three years that the oil pipeline is not needed in the state of Minnesota. Thanks to a huge outpouring of advocacy from many groups including MNIPL congregations led by our volunteer team, we succeeded in pressuring the Governor to appeal.
As appeals play out in the court, the project enters its final permitting stages this Fall and could begin construction this winter. We now turn our attention to the Pollution Control Agency which is deliberating the water permits for the pipeline. Join our volunteer team on Monday evenings to help strategize an interfaith response in advocacy, education, and direct action. Contact [email protected] to get involved.
Movement Builder Team
This is our core group of volunteers dedicated to building the interfaith climate movement. In this team, you'll receive ongoing training and support to lead, recruit, and mentor volunteers and congregational teams as we take action on climate. Email [email protected] to get involved!
Our Policy Team works to bring a moral voice to the public debate about climate change-related policy at the federal, state, and local levels. We meet virtually every other Monday evening. Contact Sam Benson at [email protected] to get involved.
Line 3 Interfaith Response
Join our team to shape a spiritual and moral response to the Line 3 pipeline, a massive tar sands pipeline proposed in Northern Minnesota. Contact Joe Meinholz at [email protected]
Do you love writing, design, creative arts, or social media? We invite you to join our storytelling team to amplify inspiring and personal narratives and grow our impact. Contact Liz Loeb at [email protected]
Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light