IRV passes Council
It's an amazing, historic day.
Today the Council referred Instant Runoff Voting to the Charter Commission to be placed on the ballot this November.
Going into the meeting, we IRV supporters knew we had just enough votes: seven Council Members (myself, Samuels, Glidden, Schiff, Remington, Benson and Hodges) had signed on to the measure to refer IRV to the Charter Commission.
Amazingly, the final vote was 11-1. The seven supporters were joined by CMs Hofstede and Colvin Roy (neither of whom voted for the measure in the IGR committee) and Goodman. Only President Johnson voted against the measure.
Congratulations to Jeanne Massey, Tony Solgard, FairVote Minnesota, the Better Ballot Campaign and the Minneapolis/5th District Green Party, which has been advocating for this for years. It was great to see Jeanne, Tony, Bill Barnett, Jim Cousins, Tim Jordan, Leif Utne and others from the campaign and the Green Party at the Council meeting today. When the final vote was taken today in the Council Chambers many (probably all) of them stood up and applauded.
On a personal note, I am espeically thrilled by the astounding progress that electoral reform has made since I first got interested in it over 10 years ago. I remember participating in a small study circle at Matthews Park on alternative voting methods in the mid-90s with Tony, John Kolstad, Ken Bearman, Dave Shove, Diane Hinderlee and others. I recall well gathering signatures in both of the previous campaigns to put IRV on the ballot (1997 and 2001). I have advocated for the system every time I've run for office and worked to make it something we use in Party elections and a top priority for the Greens.
After all this work over the years, hearing again and again how IRV would be great but it just can't happen in Minneapolis, I can hardly believe this ringing mandate from the City Council. It's a great day.
While there is still more work to be done to get this passed by the voters in November, as well as work on other important reforms like campaign finance reform, bringing ranked choice voting to the state and national levels and implementing proportional representation, let's be sure we take time to celebrate this significant, major milestone.
Thanks to everyone who has worked on this. Congratulations.