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XV. Mexican Civil Society Platform on the Start of Renegotiation of NAFTA

Mexican NGO's Insist on Transparency,

Sovereignty of Nations, and Human Rights

Over 70 Mexican non governmental organizations (NGO’s) gathered to discuss what a new NAFTA agreement should include.  Their agreement does not turn over economies to huge transnational corporations negotiating an agreement in secrecy and suing national governments’ in a court set up by the corporations.  Rather their agreement insists on transparency, the sovereignty of national governments, cooperation in the fight against corruption, and adherence to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and to other international and United Nations agreements that were ignored in the previous NAFTA agreement.  These include the Paris Climate Agreement, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Agenda for Sustainable Development 2030, the General Comment 24 of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Mexican civil society’s platform for the NAFTA renegotiation is a very thoughtful document.  It is well worth reading to gain an understanding of international trade agreements.  Past trade agreements have undermined human rights, ignored impacts of large corporations on global warming, caused big declines in farmers’ income in developing nations, and caused huge harm to the environment, including big increases in air and water pollution.  The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy has translated the document so it is accessible for everyone to read.1


1.  Hansen-Kuhn, Karen and Suppan, Steve, Dr.  “Mexican civil society platform on the start of renegotiation of NAFTA.”  Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, August 31, 2017.

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In June 2012, Think Again MN launched a history series that examines politics and policy-making in Minnesota during the last century from the immediate post World War II years up through the 1990s. That era witnessed fierce legislative battles at the State Capitol but it was also a time of shared values that cut across partisan lines. 

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MN's Leading Election System

MN's Leading Election System

With Secretary of State Steve Simon


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Listen to Secretary of State Steve Simon's excellent presentation on MN's outstanding election system emulated by many other states at the Think Again Brooklyns forum January 19, 2016.  Secretary Simon includes ways in which it can be improved, and he explains why it is important to vote.  He concludes with a quote from a tee shirt:  "Failure to vote is not an act of rebellion.  It is an act of surrender."

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Oregon's Automatic Voter Registration

How Oregon Became the Easiest Place to Vote in the US

By Lornet Turnbull
YES! Magazine
October 8, 2016

In January, Oregon became the first state in the country to begin automatically registering eligible citizens to vote when they obtain or renew their driver's licenses or state IDs, completely shifting the burden of voter registration from the individual to the government. 

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