This session as the chair of the House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Division, I’ve worked to reimagine public safety in Minnesota and reform our criminal justice practices. When we approach these issues through a community-centered lens, we can thoughtfully determine how to best achieve the results and outcomes we want to see from the system in keeping Minnesota safe.
When people leave incarceration, ensuring they can become reconnected with their community is absolutely necessary as we seek to reduce recidivism. One of the easiest ways to do that is to ensure access to voting, one of the most fundamental civic responsibilities. Unfortunately, as long as those convicted of a felony are “on paper,” they aren’t able to vote.
For several years, a bipartisan effort has been ongoing at the State Capitol to Restore the Vote for Minnesotans once they are released into the community. This year, the House approved the measure, but the Senate – with Republicans in control – blocked it.
The work involved in building a coalition to get this important legislation across the finish line isn’t over. You’re invited to join me for a bipartisan Restore the Vote Roundtable tonight at the University of Minnesota’s Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (Room 105). I’ll be joined by several of my legislative colleagues including Majority Leader Ryan Winkler, Rep. Raymond Dehn (chief author of the legislation in the House), Rep. Rena Moran and others, along with Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon and Restore the Vote advocates. The roundtable will give us an opportunity to discuss a plan to engage Minnesotans in a conversation about restoring the vote and talk about the importance of the legislation.
Who: Majority Leader Ryan Winkler, Rep. Raymond Dehn, Rep. Carlos Mariani, Rep. Rena Moran, Rep. Aisha Gomez, Rep. Nick Zerwas, Sen. Bobby Joe Champion, Secretary of State Steve Simon, Restore the Vote advocates
What: Restore the Vote Roundtable
When: Monday, August 12, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Where: University of Minnesota Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center, Room 105, 2001 Plymouth Ave N, Minneapolis, 55411
If you have any questions about the event, please let me know. As always, I hope you will stay in touch with your viewpoints and input about this or any other issue. It’s an honor to represent you.
Rep. Carlos Mariani
381 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155
Chair, House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Division
Legislative Assistant: Jason Chavez, 651-296-9676