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A new political party and new adventure begins in Minnesota

KW: I met Michael Cavlan when we were both members of  the Green Party. I respect him as someone who is sincere and who is an independent thinker – he is also fun and supportive via e-mail. Michael left the Green Party shortly before I did. He has been thinking about new ways to do politics, but also about other parties such as the Peace and Freedom Party in California (a feminist and socialist party from California which ran Nader for President in 2008 and has been exploring going national.)

Michael Cavlan sent out the report below. It is about the birth of an entirely new party in Minnesota, which will use as its inspiration the Progressive Party of Vermont and the Peace and Freedom Party of California. For suspense – and to follow the telling of the story – the name of the new party is at the read more…


Michael Cavlan writes:

April 28th, 2009 at the OK Corral Restaurant in Jordan, Minnesota a new political party was born.

After weeks of planning and organizing, we finally got together activists  from Minnesota.

Many of us have been active in organizing outside of the two party system  for decades.

After introductions and an opening statement by Michael Burger formerly of the Minnesota Independence Party, we quickly got down to business. Our first Convention was officially started.

Pam Ellison, former governor candidate and advisor for governor Jessie Ventura spoke on the need for openness, dropping of all labels and that paramount to have us move forward was to insist on a respectful tone with each other, even as we disagreed. Pam shared some of her experiences with the Minnesota Independence Party.

I then spoke on the need for working together for the common good. I also emphasized the principle of respect and an open and transparent process being paramount. I also spoke on my similar experiences with the Green Party. I also mentioned how shocked I was to have people there who helped me in my work in developing a solid media and communications network.

Our first order of business was electing a name.

After some deliberation we choose the Open Progressive Party of Minnesota. It has a very nice ring and seemed to reflect what we were doing and the spirit we were trying to foster.

We then elected party officers, including Party Chair and Co-Chair, Treasurer and Secretary. All of these offices have to be filled before we can file as a political party. Which we will be doing very shortly.

At our next Convention we will be working on our Platform, Constitution and By-laws. All of us present felt that the Progressive Party of Vermont best reflected ou[r] thoughts and direction, so we plan to lean heavily on their platform. We shall likewise look at parts of the Peace & Freedom Party in California for guidance.

We ended in good cheer and in very high spirits. It is a joy to meet people who are willing to treat others respectfully, who all agree that the two party system is the problem instead of the solution and will most importantly be willing to actually work with each other, as allies even when we disagree at times.

Like I said folks, keep your eyes on Minnesota.

Real change and real democracy is coming.

Michael Cavlan

8 Responses

  1. Thank Kim!!!!!!

    You are the best.

  2. Congratulations! I hope you are sucessful at building a third party in Minnesota. It would be great if you are able to hook up with Peace and Freedom Party. I think the time is ripe for a nationwide party. Good luck.

  3. While a number of our political views and stances differ (I’m an officer in the Constitution Party of Minnesota), I am happy to see more potential choices on the ballot than Corporate Candidate 1 and Corporate Candidte 2 (or, in other words, both branches of the Demopublican Party).

    • Dear Bill,


      Yup. I think it is great to let people see they have choices about who leads them, and what issues get talked about.

      I also think it is awesome to have politicians take note that there is a “Constitution” party. What a great reminder.

      Kimberly Wilder

  4. I’m an advocate for LT parties, or local t(hird) parties that contest only local elections and otherwise vote strategically together and engage in civil issue advocacy with others.

    I think this is a strategy, not unlike the Progressive Dane in WI and kind of like the Working Family Parties in NY, except that there’ll be much local autonomy and as little hierarchy as possible w.in the party. The chapters will dialogue, but not coordinate to contest or support 3rd party candidates for nat’l or state elections.

    And if a statewide election were contested, it would be a single-issue candidate, probably focused on strategic state-level election reform.



  5. Hi guys. Are you still using this page? Do you want us to link to you?

    • Hello! Onthewilderside is from Long Island, NY. This story about the Minnesota page is about friends of ours. There may be better ways to link to them. Maybe through the candidates names and new races. Peace, Kimberly

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