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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.

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.


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.


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 the following:

  1. Referendum campaigns can send up to two mailings and school board campaigns can send up to four mailings. Mailings must be targeted and sent to likely general public voters, parents, and Education Minnesota members.
    • The local must contribute $1/member for the costs of these mailings, with the remainder of the cost to be reimbursed to the local by the PAC.
  2. For non-mailing activities, each local is entitled to up to $2 of funds.
  3. Two $400 stipends for members to administer phone calling programs.

To find out if your local is eligible or for how much, please contact Education Minnesota staff member Kait Peterson at kaitlyn.peterson@edmn.org.

Education Minnesota is now paying stipends to members to fill Campaign Coordinator and Phone Bank Coordinator positions for referendum Vote Yes committees.  Please contact Jim Meyer regarding stipends and job descriptions.

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.

ACH Deposit for Local Election Reimbursement – Education Minnesota highly recommends locals use ACH (having funds deposited directly in the locals account) for reimbursement payments.  Please complete the ACH Authorization form and email to accountspayable@edmn.org to receive payments electronically going forward.  Locals will receive their reimbursement quicker than by check.
– Contact the Education Minnesota Accounting Dept. at accountspayable@edmn.org with any questions regarding ACH deposits.
Any questions regarding either of these online forms, please contact Kait Peterson.

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:

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.

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.

Education Minnesota contact:

Jim Meyer (jim.meyer@edmn.org)
651-292-4813, 800 652-9073 x4813

School Board elections:
Anna Brelje (anna.brelje@edmn.org)

Set a goal, write a plan, execute!!!!