Monday, February 22, 2016

The roots of the grass roots

"Yes, this is the time more than any other during the election cycle when a voter can make his or her voice heard."

It is coming soon to this neck of the woods. It is our big chance to hang up our spectator glasses and "strap on the cleats". Yes, this is the time more than any other during the election cycle when a voter can make his or her voice heard. And it is exciting. It is a meet and greet, a gentle debate, a straw vote, and a chance to be a delegate at the local convention all rolled into one evening.

This year Minnesota has joined "the club". We are part of Super Tuesday. March 1st, fourteen states will cast ballots for who is going to be the Republican or Democrat Presidential nominee. Minnesota will be one of 14 states who will be having primaries or caucusing that day and evening. And any straw vote taken in Minnesota will be binding this year. So when you come to caucus, cast a vote, and it will count and be counted. That is exciting!

One of the things a caucus event will also do for folks is to introduce them to how the layers of political involvement work in a community. For example, in Minnesota we have what is known as a BPOU (Basic Political Organizational Unit).  A BPOU is made up of folks from your local senate district. Quite often, a BPOU will meet once a month for fellowship, political discussions, and education. Some even meet (mine does) at a venue where a meals and/or drinks can be ordered. 

Even though a caucus in only held once every two years, the BPOU meetings are held throughout the year. It is an excellent way to stay connected with what is going on. One of the things I have learned is the importance of our lower levels of government. How they can affect us all. School Boards, Mayors, City Councils, County Commissioners, law enforcement, and so on. It is a chance to get to know your state senator and representatives better. And trust me - they want to get to know you better also. 

So a week from tomorrow is the "big shebang". I am ready. I am pumped. And I will be there. If you are unsure of where your precinct caucus convenes, check your Secretary of State website. You should be able to find what you need to know there.

One more thing. As a friend of mine has said many times, if you don't vote, if you don't take part in the election process, you lose your ticket to complain or bitch if the results do not turn out your way. I could not agree more. This is our representative democracy folks. This is what so many have fought and died for to preserve. Let's enjoy it next Tuesday. I hope to see you there!  

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