What is Move MN?


There has been a lot of buzz statewide about the Move MN campaign as the start of the legislative session on February 25th nears. Move MN has been covered by the Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, MinnPost, City Pages and several outstate newspapers – visit this page for a roundup. As someone familiar with Move MN through my employer, I want to provide an overview and then pose some questions for discussion.

Who is Move MN? As of today, Move MN has just under 150 coalition partners. A complete, up-to-date list can be viewed here at the bottom of the page. Move MN says their coalition is “a large, diverse group of advocates”; that description appears accurate as the list includes bicycle coalitions, consulting firms, county governments, environmental and health organizations, highway task forces, labor unions, social service agencies, transit associations, and young professional networking groups.

What is the proposed funding package? Specifics on the transportation funding package won’t be released until later this month, but the coalition has made the following principles clear:

  • Funding must be included for bicycle and pedestrian, road and transit systems throughout Minnesota.
  • Funding must be more transparent and efficient when implemented than it has been in the past.
  • Funding must be long-term and sustainable for all modes of transportation.
  • Funding must be balanced between greater Minnesota and the metro area.
  • Funding must be dedicated to transportation.

How can I get involved with and/or stay up-to-date on the campaign?

  • Official Website – The Take Action page includes email sign up for individuals and organizations, a petition and resources for contacting legislators and writing a letter to an editor
  • Social Media: FacebookTwitter

Streets.mn readers and contributors, what do you think of Move MN? Are there organizations you are surprised to see as members of the coalition or missing from the list? Do you think the campaign will be successful this session? Why or why not?

Laura Eash

About Laura Eash

Laura Eash works for the Minnesota Transportation Alliance and Minnesota Public Transit Association as their Program Coordinator. Previously, she served in the Minnesota GreenCorps where her host site was City of Saint Paul Public Works, Transportation Planning Division. She has her Master of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Minnesota and her BA in Geography from Macalester College. Laura loves Minnesota - Saint Paul especially - and has studied abroad in Argentina, India, the Netherlands, New Zealand and South Africa.

4 thoughts on “What is Move MN?

  1. Matt Steele

    It’s clear that engineering/construction dollars are driving this process more than actual mobility needs. That’s visible by looking through the MN Transportation Alliance directors’ affiliations and that 9 of 10 “gold level” sponsors are engineering/planning firms (the 10th is 3M which sells product when we build roads).

    MoveMN is not a progressive campaign.

    More roads are the last thing we need. This campaign, Dayton’s transportation perspective, and our track record are road-centric for the sake of growth.

    This approach was great at first, providing high quality mobility between cities and regions in our state. But there are diminishing returns. If some is good, more is not categorically better. We’ve gutted our cities and bankrupted our future for the sake of motordom, and it’s time we choose a different approach. I’m sure there will still be money in it for the engineering firms and the construction companies. But we need to do better.

  2. John Bailey

    Matt: I think you are confusing the Minnesota Transportation Alliance (MTA) with Move MN. I’m sure you are right about the directors’ affiliation of the MTA, which has been the main advocate for increased transportation spending and their board reflects the institutions, unions, and business that would benefit from that spending.

    However the MTA is not Move MN. Move MN is co-chaired by MTA and Transit for Livable Communities (TLC), and a 7 member steering committee that includes the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability, MN Philanthropy Partners, American Heart Association, SEIU, and Operating Engineers. (I may have missed one and been wrong about one of these.) Put simply, it’s a coalition of interests where some have been historically more interested in road spending and some more interested in transit/bike/ped spending but in the calculus of the legislature they realized that they’d all get nothing without working together on a single bill.

    Last session the Governor actually supported a 1/2 cent sales tax for just transit in the metro area and no statewide gas tax (roads), but (generally) rural DFLers balked at any bill that didn’t include funding for roads. Related to this was the Speaker’s nervousness about “forcing” swing legislators to vote on a tax increase (that would affect more than just the 4th tier).

    Regardless of the political “whodunnits” I think (unfortunately) that there will be no significant and sustainable funding to build out our transit system in the MN legislature without pairing that with additional funding for roads. I just don’t think the politics allows it.

  3. Walker AngellWalker Angell

    Sounds good on the surface, but the devil’s in the details and there are just about zero details that I could find. They talk about ‘balanced’ (geographically), but what is balanced? Per capita? Per Acre? Per Need? Per Wheelage?

    How about balanced modally? Every corridor has a separate and segregated cycleway and pedestrianway? Equal dollars spent? $1 on cycle/ped for each $100 roads? How much for transit? Buses, trams, trains, or pedicabs?

    I’ve no idea what they stand for, what their goals are, or what these are based on. It appears, to me anyway, to be nothing but nice sounding pablum.

  4. Dave

    I am skeptical anytime there is a grand bargain or diverse groups getting together to push for something. Seems like an excuse for policies with little merit to get wrapped up in bigger consensus issues and rammed through.

    Hard to see why this is any different. It seems like road and car funding is trying to hitch a ride on the shoe-in transit tax passage to me.

    And yeah, zero details about even high level goals or a philosophy which is frightening to me.

    I don’t buy the politics argument, though thanks for your response. Maybe each interest group should propose two seperate bills? I heard a while ago on the radio that Dibble said he was optimistic about the tax being passed this session, prior to this campaign.

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