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Local elections

Local elections have a major impact on our communities—especially our public schools and the education profession.

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Education Minnesota can help your local create a campaign plan to win your levy or school board election this fall and in the future.

Local Elections Assistance Program (LEAP) Initial Reimbursement Application – All locals requesting financial help from the Education Minnesota PAC must fill out the Initial Reimbursement Application.
 
Local Elections Assistance Program (LEAP) Final Reimbursement Application – Reimbursable expenses for referendums and school board campaigns need to be filed AFTER the election using the Final Reimbursement Application.
 
Any questions regarding either of these online forms, please contact Brit Hiedeman at brit.hiedeman@edmn.org.

Local Elections Assistance Program (LEAP) Training (Required)

All locals requesting financial help in local elections from the Education Minnesota PAC must complete the online training. The training consists of an overview of resources provided by Education Minnesota including financial options for your local, campaign finance laws and the reimbursement process. It is recommended that the person who will be filing the campaign finance reports with the district and reimbursement forms with Education Minnesota complete this course.

The training is located on the MEA Online site. If you have used MEA Online before, you should have access. If you have not used MEA Online before, please email meaonline@edmn.org. Provide your full name and local. They will respond with an email when you have access.

Once you are in MEA Online, click on “Dashboard” in the upper left corner and choose “catalog”   Use the search function on the right side of the page to find the course “Local Elections Training for Referendums and School Board Races.”

The training must be completed within 30 days from the time you contact Education Minnesota regarding financial assistance.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Jim Meyer at jim.meyer@edmn.org.

Campaign Finance Reports

Here are the campaign finance reports required by state law that locals have to file for referendums or school board elections as mentioned in the LEAP training:

How Education Minnesota can help 

Campaign planning 
Education Minnesota will help you create a campaign plan to win your levy or school board election. Any successful campaign needs a plan of action. 

Data 
Education Minnesota uses the Voter Action Network (VAN) database to build targeted phone, door-knock and mailing lists. This is the same database that labor unions and political candidates in Minnesota use. We can create lists that target likely supporters and eliminate voters who may oppose your issue. Targeted lists reduce unnecessary work and help harvest supporters for your campaign. 

Equipment 
Depending on availability, locals can use Education Minnesota laptops and online phone lists.   

Designing and printing 
Education Minnesota’s in-house print shop and graphic artists are available to create and print mailers and other documents for your campaign.  Education Minnesota will only print documents created by Education Minnesota. 

Financial resources 
Education Minnesota’s Political Action Committee makes funds available to locals for use in campaigns. To be eligible, at least 90 percent of a local’s members must be contributing to the Education Minnesota PAC. Qualifying locals are eligible to receive between $5 to $7 per member with some matching local funds. All locals, regardless of size, are eligible for a minimum of $750 per fiscal year. To find out if your local is eligible or for how much, please contact Education Minnesota staff member Brit Hiedeman at brit.hiedeman@edmn.org.

Working with other organizations 

Parent group/Vote YES committees 
It’s important for locals to work with parent groups and committees on levy campaigns. Two or three representatives are advised to help keep campaign on task and to stay updated of campaign activities.  

School district/superintendent 
It’s important that a local stays informed/involved when district officials begin planning a levy, including the exact wording of the ballot question. A poorly-written ballot question can sink a campaign. School districts cannot use district resources to advocate for a levy.  

AFL-CIO Area Labor Councils (ALC) 
All members and locals are affiliated with an AFL-CIO Area Labor Council. ALC organizers can also help locals with levy and school board campaigns. ALCs have the ability to screen, help plan, organize other unions for support and help with community relations. It is highly advised that locals reach out to their ALC. If you are unsure which ALC you are affiliated with, contact your Education Minnesota field representative. 

To find out if your local is eligible or for how much, please email Brit Hiedeman in the Education Minnesota Public Affairs Department. 

Need help? Contact Jim Meyer for levies and referendums or Anna Brelje for school board races. 

Set a goal, write a plan, execute!!!!