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HUBBARD COUNTY DFL: Our elected leaders should mirror the diversity of general population | Park Rapids Enterprise

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Currently, in Minnesota, our population is made up of 49.5% males and 50.5% females.

The current racial composition of Minnesotans is 83% white, 6% black or African American, 4% Asian, 1% Native American and 6% other.

Studies have shown that diversity is valuable and desirable in aiding communication among people of different cultures, backgrounds and lifestyles and leads to greater knowledge, understanding and peaceful co-existence.

Likewise, a more diverse government better represents our diverse nation. In our government, these different perspectives, beliefs and ideas can be shared and later included in new laws, amendments and propositions.

If democracy demands a robust contest of ideas to thrive, then diversity is the best way of protecting the democratic foundation of the American experiment.

A diverse slate of candidates shows our next generation of voters who aspire to lead, that the door is open, and it is possible to crack this political glass ceiling.

A study released by the Reflective Democracy Campaign on the demographics of elected officials in the U.S. found white men hold a majority of positions at all levels of government. Despite white men comprising only 31 percent of the population, 97% of Republican-elected officials are white and 76% are male. On the Democratic side, 79% of elected officials are white and 65% are male.

In the upcoming 2020 election affecting the local area, we looked at nine elected offices – President/Vice President, U.S. Senator, U.S. House 8th District, Minnesota Senate Districts 2 and 5, and House Districts 2A, 2B and 5A.

The Democratic candidates include four white males, one black female, one Native American male and three white females. With this diverse slate of candidates comes progressive values, such as affordable and accessible health care for all, promoting renewable energy to protect our air and water, advocating a living wage, protecting medicare and social security, and setting progressive tax rates where everybody pays their fair share.

On the other hand, the GOP candidates for these nine elected offices are all white males. With them, come platforms to abolish the Affordable Care Act, promote the fossil fuel industries of oil and coal, maintain a low minimum wage, abolish the payroll tax and move toward privatization of social security, and tax rates that think the rich don’t have enough money and everyone else has too much.

In November, you can help our country pursue a democracy whose leaders reflect the life experiences and diverse backgrounds of all the American people. It is time for our elected leaders in the halls of power to reflect America’s diversity.

Editor’s note: Both the Hubbard County DFL and Hubbard County Republicans are invited to write columns for the Enterprise’s Opinion page.

This content was originally published here.

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