On September 6, 2018, Planned Parenthood Action Fund supporters gathered in Minneapolis for our 2018 Fall Action Fund Event. Hundreds of passionate Planned Parenthood supporters came together to show their support and gear up for the fight to elect reproductive health champions in Minnesota over the next few months.
Supporters heard from an all-star lineup of speakers, starting with Sarah Stoesz, President of the Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund. Sarah opened the evening by highlighting the unprecedented and powerful amount of new activism we’ve seen right here in Minnesota:
“We all hear people asking: What’s going to happen in November? Will anything change? Will there be a red wave or a blue wave? Or a purple wave?
There’s a much bigger wave we’ve been seeing since November 2016: a pink wave.”
“This wave has compelled huge numbers of women and allies to seize the day, to step up in a really big way, to run for office and to make history by organizing, organizing, organizing. This wave has surrounded our clinics and it has filled the streets of every city in our country, not just in protest but in defiant and joyful celebration of everything we stand for. No one should underestimate this energy, which is so grounded in determination to set things right again.”
Next, attendees heard from Connie Lewis, recipient of the 2018 Planned Parenthood Action Fund Advocate of the Year Award. Connie Lewis received the award for her lifelong commitment to public service, progressive politics, and reproductive rights. For decades, Connie Lewis has set the tone for our broad movement for justice, and has made progress for women and families in places where no one, not even Planned Parenthood's closest allies, thought progress was possible. Even Senator Tina Smith weighed in on Connie’s contributions to our movement for justice.
After being inspired by Connie Lewis, Born After Roe co-chairs Holly and Laura highlighted how important it is, especially for young folks, to support an organization with the political expertise and grassroots momentum needed to elect candidates who will champion reproductive rights.
Laura Coates, CNN Legal Analyst and Minnesota native, took the stage next to deliver an inspiring keynote speech about staying the course in the face of adversity. She reminded us that democracy is not an exercise in futility. We cannot give up—we must remember that one person, one action, can make a difference. We must keep going.
The final speech of the night was from Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. Mayor Frey is a proud Planned Parenthood patient and supporter of reproductive rights.
To finish off the evening, supporters attended an afterparty featuring musical performances from HALEY and jeremy messersmith. The afterparty also featured a donut wall from Glam Doll Donuts, an advocacy table for folks to sign up for volunteer shifts, and a raffle for Hamilton tickets. Supporters had a great time mingling and doubling down on their commitment to resist, persist, and vote in 2018.
While the 2018 Fall Action Fund event is over, our work is just getting started. This year, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund is running the largest electoral program we’ve EVER run in Minnesota, and we can’t do it without you. We need all hands on deck to win in November. With less than two months until the midterm elections, your support is critical to help us mobilize voters and elect lawmakers who will fight for our values.
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