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Cabinet Lead Policy Roundtable with Statewide Leaders

Madisen Lo brought the members of the Governor-appointed Young Women’s Cabinet and their guests to order as she kicked off the Young Women’s Initiative Women’s History Month event with a presentation of the Young Women’s Cabinet’s policy agenda. Attending the March 21 event at the Women’s Foundation were Cabinet members and their guests, along with statewide leaders and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan, joined by her daughter and her team.

Dr. Reatha Clark King Fellow Janett Jimenez planned the event in partnership with Maricruz Lozano Rios from YWCA St. Paul, which leads the Cabinet’s convening and leadership development. Cabinet members had a chance to engage directly with state officials and bring along someone in their lives – a parent, sister, roommate, or friend. By sharing the policies that impact their lives and the lives of their peers, and discussing them with elected and appointed leaders, they were able to gain experience and insight into the process of advocating for yourself and your community.

Policies on the Cabinet’s agenda represent areas of health and wellness, education, family and caregiving, and housing, including:

  • Requiring statewide health standards in schools
  • Increasing mental health services for young women and girls
  • Increasing access and affordability of high-quality childcare and early education

After briefing the group on the Cabinet’s policy agenda, and why they chose these areas for legislative action, attendees moved into small groups to discuss policies and solutions with each of the leaders attending: Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan; Rosa Tock, Executive Director of Minnesota Council for Latino Affairs; Linda Sloan, Executive Director of Council for Minnesotans of African Heritage; and Maria Sarabia, Assistant Commissioner of the Department of Health.

This occasion not only marked a celebration of Women’s History Month, but also served as a platform for young women across diverse communities to absorb and interact with influential leaders actively driving the positive changes advocated by youth during this legislative session. In small groups, they discussed learnings the elected officials encountered throughout their careers. Many shared anecdotes highlighting the significance of their engagement in advocacy from a young age and the importance of taking up space to continue their advocacy work.

Following group conversation, Lt. Governor Flanagan shared some of her experiences and the importance of advocating for your place at decision-making tables and in the Capitol. She encouraged them to continue to stand out and make their voices heard as they help build a more just, equitable, and inclusive Minnesota.

The Cabinet look forward to hosting Claiming Our Power: Day at the Capitol alongside the Women’s Foundation on April 4, from 9 a.m. to noon. Guests who register will learn more about the Cabinet’s policy agenda and have a chance to advocate with legislators who represent them. Register for Day at the Capitol to add your voice for our policy agendas for women, girls, and gender-expansive people.

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