Educate. Advocate. Reform. Where should we—LWVMpls—focus our time and our talents in this election year? What is most important? With all the rhetoric and constant news updates, are voters going to stay home because they are either too tired of the whole mess to make the effort, or feel disenfranchised because their candidate is out of the running?
What can we do to Educate voters and, just what do they need to know to get to the polls and make educated choices? Is it about registration, what’s on the ballot, what the candidates stand for, or where to find all of the above? How do we facilitate getting information to voters? Shall we compile a voter guide? How many candidate forums are needed? With whom should we collaborate?
What can we do to Advocate for open and easy voting? Should we work to expand early voting, pre-register 16 & 17-year-olds, modernize voter registration, and/or support restoring voting rights to those with past felony convictions? What about the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and their very real need for neighborhood parks funding?
What can we do to Reform our voting processes? What has redistricting done to our election outcomes? Should changes be made in our campaign process?
League of Women Voters is alive and well because a democracy is a work in progress. By its very nature change is possible and if no one is watching, changes that reduce its effectiveness can be made. We need to be ever vigilant.
Our May meetings will focus on our election year services to voters. We will begin with our Civic Buzz meeting on May 3. Our Secretary of State, Steve Simon will be our guest speaker. He will give us an update on the state of Minnesota election services and then he will take our questions. This should be a fun and lively evening event! It should also help us to see where the greatest need is for our services.
Our discussion (Unit) meetings during the month will focus on priorities, scheduling and specific planning for our action activities. Come to these meetings with your ideas and be ready to prioritize community needs. We need to make plans that most effectively use our member’s time and energies. Ideas, plans, etc. will be compiled and presented at the annual meeting where we will kick off this year’s voter service endeavors. Be there and make a difference. Each election is critical to a strong democracy. Let’s make this our best effort yet!