Death of Don Fraser, June 2, 2019 Print E-mail
Written by Carol Woehrer   



In Fond Remembrance of Don Fraser


don fraser

Don Fraser, who served Minnesota as Minneapolis mayor, congressman, and state senator, died on June 2, 2019 at his home surrounded by his family.  He was 95 years old. 

Don Fraser was one of the original founders of our nonprofit, Think Again MN, a forum organization based on many of his values, including human rights, civil rights, and voting rights for everyone; supporting the rights of people of color, young people, and women, and protecting the environment.  In recent years, he promoted closing the achievement gap in education through the monthly Achievement Gap Committee which promoted universal preschool as well as opportunities for all students, especially in high school and post high school through training and college that would prepare them for well paying jobs and careers.

Mr. Fraser served eight terms in the U.S.House of Representatives from 1963 to 1979.  During this time, he was one of the nation’s most outspoken opponents of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.  As Chairman of the House Subcommittee on International Organizations, he led hearings that exposed the conspiracy by South Korean intelligence officials and the Rev. Sun Ayung Moon, founder of the Unification Church, to buy political influence and manipulate U.S. foreign policies and currency laws.  Don Fraser led the Commission on Party Structure and Delegate Selection that changed the Democrats’ nominating structure after the party’s 1968 national convention, in which Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey was nominated for president even though he hadn’t competed in any primaries.  The restructured Democratic party’s process of nominating presidential candidates gave more power to rank-and-file members.

In 1978, Don Fraser ran for the U.S. Senate seat that had been held by Hubert Humphrey who had died that year.  However, he lost the primary to Robert E. Short due to his support for abortion rights and gun control which alienated rural voters.  Short was defeated in that election by Republican David Durenberger. 

A year later in 1980, Mr. Fraser was elected as mayor of Minneapolis, a position he held until 1994, the longest tenure as mayor in the city’s history.  As Mayor, he promoted a business-government partnership that oversaw extensive downtown redevelopment.

Don Fraser was preceded in death by his wife Arvonne who died last August and by two daughters, Lois and Anne.  He is survived by four children, Thomas, Mary, John, and Jean and seven grandchildren.







MN's Leading Election System

With Secretary of State Steve Simon


steve simon


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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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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