Minneapolis Election Guide: Ranked Choice Voting

As Minneapolis draws closer to the mayoral election on November 5th, the JLM Advocacy blog will run a series of posts which highlight the election including, candidate discussions of the Achievement Gap and other pertinent education issues.  The first post will highlight Ranked Choice Voting (RCV); a method of voting that allows voters to rank multiple candidates in order of preference.

Why Ranked Choice Voting?

RCV was passed by the voters of Minneapolis as an amendment to the City Charter in 2006 and was first used in the city in 2009. RCV combines the primary and the general election into one event.

What Offices are Elected through RCV? 

Ranked Choice Voting is used for Minneapolis municipal offices: Mayor, City Council, Board of Estimate and Taxation, and Park and Recreation Board (both At- Large and by District). Ranked Choice Voting is NOT used in elections for the school board, county, state, or federal offices.

SNAP Challenge: Eating on $4.50 per Day

$4.50 per day represents the average daily food budget for recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the US.  Ron Shaich, Panera founder and CEO, and 26 members of Congress are taking on the SNAP Challenge which encourages people to live on the limited food budget for a week.  Shaich quickly learned that he would have to load up on overly processed, carb-heavy foods and skip over meat, fruit and vegetables in order to stay within his budget.

Within the first few days of the SNAP Challenge, Shaich recognized the trials that many American’s in the program face on a daily basis:

“This isn’t going to be easy. In fact, it’s going to be incredibly hard. I haven’t even felt the first pangs of hunger, and I’m already gaining a whole new perspective into challenges that so many people in this country face in dealing with food insecurity — from the embarrassment of having to leave items at the register to the diligence and ongoing calculation required to constantly prioritize and rank every purchase and potential purchase, big and small”

Click below to learn more about SNAP’s impact:

Ron Shaich, Panera Bread CEO, Is Attempting To Live On $4.50 Per Day


Take Action!: Minnesota Reading Corps & Math Corps Tutors Needed

Do you know someone in career transition, retired or recently graduated from college or high school?

Minnesota Reading Corps, the nation’s largest state AmeriCorps program, and Minnesota Math Corps are recruiting individuals to join a team of over 1,000 tutors in schools across Minnesota. Tutors not only change the world of children who are struggling in school, they grow their own professional skills and network.

AmeriCorps tutors help kids become successful readers by the end of third grade, or proficient in math by the end of eighth, by implementing research-based strategies. Full-time tutors earn a living allowance ($480 biweekly), an education award of $5,550 to further their own education, and other benefits as eligible.

Applications are being processed to begin immediately:



More Play Equates to Better Academic Performance

A recent report from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences found that exercise can improve academic performance, cognitive abilities and health among children.  The study, also concluded, that the benefits of exercise (e.g. physical education. recess) during the school day outweigh the benefits from increased time in the classroom.

Finland’s school system is a prime example of how a focus on play and learning by doing, not testing, result in some of the highest test scores in the world.


Your Vote Needed! Target School Giving Campaign

Help Target donate up to $5 million to K – 12 schools through their Give With Target campaign.  Select your favorite school (including any schools supported by JLM initiatives) from a list of eligible schools & vote for it weekly until September 21st or until the $5 million goal has been awarded.

It only takes 25 votes to start a campaign at your school; after that, Target will donate $25 to your school and $1 for each additional vote up to $10,000.

Vote Now! 

Personal Connections to Close the Achievement Gap

Generation Next, an organization committed to closing the achievement gap among Twin Cities’ low-income students & students of color, conducted numerous facilitated discussions with older teens & youth and found that simple, straightforward communication, listening, and more and better personal relationships with caring adults are keys to closing the gap.

Based on these conversations, Generation Next developed 10 recommendations, which include:

  • Create a more accountable community and wider base for support in school, at home, in relationships, in our neighborhoods.
  • Have a more interactive classroom experience.
  • Teach real-life skills to improve readiness for college/career.
  • Have more resources for financial help.
  • Find positive role models and mentors.

The next steps is to identify the programs that will support Generation Next’s recommendations & achieve results.

Personal relationships help close the achievement gap