FairVote Minnesota Board
Melisa López Franzen
López Franzen served in the Minnesota Senate for a decade after her first election in 2012 and was elected Senate Minority Leader in 2021. López Franzen made history as the first woman and first Puerto Rican to represent Senate District 49, serving the communities of Edina, Bloomington, Eden Prairie, and Minnetonka at the State Capitol. She is Co-Founder and President of NewPublica, a full service public relations and advocacy firm.
“Not only must we protect the most fundamental of rights, the right to vote. We must do everything we can to open up the political process to those historically excluded and encourage more candidates with diverse backgrounds and perspectives to run, and that’s what Ranked Choice Voting can do. RCV will ensure our elections more fully represent and reflect the people and provide the leadership we need for our communities to thrive and succeed.”
“It is not enough that every vote counts. Every vote must count for as much as possible. RCV helps achieve this worthy goal and has the added benefit of making our elections and our communities stronger in the process.”
Don’t try to put Jack Uldrich in a box. He’s a global futurist, speaker, bestselling author, and the former chair of the Independence Party of Minnesota. He’s served as an adviser to Fortune 500 companies and spoken to hundreds of businesses and organizations about emerging technologies and trends. His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, the Futurist, the Star Tribune, and numerous other regional and national periodicals. Uldrich has also been a guest on CNN, MSNBC, and NPR
Dr. Michael Osterholm
“Never have we needed good government more than we do now. It’s not about partisan politics, it’s not about party… Ranked Choice Voting is the legacy of my lifetime.”
In addition to having an impressive faculty resume at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Osterholm has also served as Science Envoy for Health Security for the US State Department, and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the Council on Foreign Relations, to name just a small portion of his credentials.
Dr. Osterholm penned the 2017 book, Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs on how the medical, scientific, and public health communities are working to prevent global pandemics.
“Ranked Choice Voting is a people-powered movement that holds the promise of breaking through the political gridlock that is impeding progress on racial justice and every other issue facing our nation. It is one of the most doable and impactful reforms we can take to create a more inclusive and representative democracy.”
Kim Nelson, a resident of Wayzata, is one of Minnesota’s most well-known women business leaders, served as President of General Mills $1.2B Snack Food Division and Senior Vice President of External Relations. Kim brings nearly 30 years of corporate, operating, communications and government relations experience to the FVMN Board and its mission to educate voters and transform our democracy for the better. Kim has been pivotal in organizing the business community in support of Ranked Choice Voting. Within months of joining FairVote MN, she had lined up support from more than a dozen of Minnesota business leaders and delivered their statement of support to the State Legislature. Kim currently serves on several corporate and community boards, including the Northside Achievement Zone, a community partnership focused on ending multi-generational poverty in north Minneapolis. Kim holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Columbia Business School.
Michael D. Minta is an associate professor in Political Science at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
He received a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is one of the country’s leading experts in the study of the political representation of African American, Latino, and women interests in the United States. His book, Oversight: Representing Black and Latino Interests in Congress is a valuable guide that scholars, political leaders, and the legal community consult when assessing whether diversity in legislatures improves responsiveness to minority interests.
Dr. Minta regularly teaches popular courses in U.S. government pertaining to African American politics, congressional politics, and interest group advocacy.
Former Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Senior Fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and Director of the University of Minnesota Center for Science, Technology, and Public Policy
James Dorsey is an attorney who specializes in resolving corporate conflicts with the goal of improving the work environment and allowing businesses to become more stable.
He has spent decades doing pro bono work in the field of human rights, including investigating human rights abuses in South Africa and Central America.
Dorsey represented FairVote Minnesota pro bono in the 2009 case at the Minnesota Supreme Court, which allowed the City of Minneapolis to uphold the use of Ranked Choice Voting in their municipal elections, where it has thrived ever since.
Emily Bowron Crabtree
Emily Crabtree has spent her career helping local communities thrive both as a teacher in Minnesota and Wisconsin and as Executive Director of the Luverne Area Community Foundation. Born and raised in Rock County and a graduate of Luverne High School and University of Minnesota – Morris, Crabtree understands the importance of including rural perspectives in the electoral process, and as a teacher she knows we must evolve outdated political systems to engage more voters and particularly the next generation in the political process.
“My decision to join Fairvote Minnesota’s board and support Ranked Choice Voting comes from a desire to re-engage the next generation in the political process and give younger voters, including my own children, a healthier, more civil political environment and more choices for political leadership. The system we have in place now does not speak to the generations that are the future of our state, and if we lose their engagement in the political process, we will lose so much more. I want to be a part of that change.”
Employment Law Attorney, HR Consultant, Author, Speaker
Board Vice Chair
“I’m a big believer in more choice for voters. With Ranked Choice Voting, the spoiler issue is eliminated and third party candidates have an equal chance. This makes democracy stronger for everyone.”
Whether he’s inspiring young students to learn math or creating craft cider, Jim Watkins is determined to make a difference. Watkins is cofounder and managing director of development at Sociable Cider Werks, the Twin Cities’ first craft cidery. This magna cum laude graduate of Carleton College studied economics with concentrations in Spanish and political economy and then worked in Citibank’s sales and trading division in New York City. He later joined the 2009 teaching corps with Teach for America in Miami. In 2010 Watkins was nominated for Miami-Dade County Rookie Teacher of the Year. An avid outdoorsman, Watkins also is passionate about civic life and political engagement.
“Ranked Choice Voting is an excellent way to focus on the issues, reduce the toxic rhetoric, and give all of us a bigger voice. It’s very energizing for me to have the chance to serve on the FairVote Minnesota board and work on this really important matter.”
With years of medical practice, nonprofit leadership, university governance and political experience, Maureen Reed brings valuable expertise and perspective to the FairVote Minnesota board. She also brings deep passion for making democracy work better through the use of Ranked Choice Voting.
A physician by training, Maureen previously served as medical director and vice president at HealthPartners, as a regent of the University of Minnesota, and as executive director of the Nobel Peace Prize Forum. Her interest in democracy has been punctuated by a run for statewide political office, participation on the Governor’s Health Care Transformation Task Force, and service as an election judge in Washington County. She currently teaches leadership at Gustavus Adolphus College and the University of Minnesota Undergraduate Honors Program.
Jeanne Massey is a Ranked Choice Voting and electoral reform powerhouse. She is recognized as a visionary leader who combines deep knowledge and pragmatic strategy to advance Ranked Choice Voting at the local, state and national level.
Jeanne engages diverse and cross-sector leaders in her work, including multi-partisan groups, voting rights advocates, electoral reformers and the business community. Her track record includes winning campaigns in Minneapolis, St. Paul and St. Louis Park, Bloomington, and Minnetonka, Minnesota—all of which have helped create statewide momentum around Ranked Choice Voting.
As the Executive Director of FairVote Minnesota, Jeanne is a frequent media resource on electoral reform. She also provides inspiration and strategy counsel to advocates from across the country.
She has more than 25 years of experience in nonprofit leadership and community planning and organizing. A former Peace Corps volunteer in Costa Rica, Jeanne holds an M.A. in regional & community planning and a B.A. in business & Spanish.
FairVote Minnesota Team
Chief of Staff
Political and Data Manager
Strategic Organizing Consultant
Field Organizer, Member, TNG-CWA 37002