I went to the Democratic caucuses last night, to be honest it was a disappointing experience at first. The address provided for us on http://caucusfinder.sos.state.mn.us/ led to the address where our precinct caucuses would be held 28 miles from my house. The address led us to three schools and of course we walked into all of them before we found the right spot. Also, it was below zero freezing, so if I were geriatric, didn’t have a driver’s license or even if I was so passionate about politics that I wanted to walk… it would still be 28 miles one way for me to cast my vote for whom I support in Democratic campaign elections coming in November of 2018.
At these meetings they tell you the name of the representatives running in your preferred political party, but they cannot tell you what issues these names stand for, or anything else you would like to know. What?! Okay so that’s on me, now I know for next time I have to do more research on the candidates before I go so I am able to make an informed decision. I didn’t know this before, but now I do and I am passing it on to you for when you decide to indulge your inner political junkie.
If you know me, you know that I am a political person, I will debate you in good will for as long as I have the energy. I try to stay ‘in the know’ about the issues happening in D.C. However, after I left this Caucus meeting feeling two things.
- Say what now?! Again; Clear as MUD! I didn’t understand a darn thing that happened. No wonder people don’t pay attention to politics, it’s confusing and made me feel dumber than before I walked in the door. I saw that of the 5 of the 10 precinct tables set up to represent our district only half of them had people sitting there, and half of those people there were young kids of nonvoter age from the school where the caucuses were stationed. They were doing homework and filling out worksheets, I seriously wanted to look at the worksheet to see if they could explain it any better than I understood.
I am a 41-year-old woman who is interested in politics and even I did not understand 75% of the BS that went down on caucus night. Yet I was responsible to represent my entire neighborhood with my X on Rebecca Otto’s name because she is endorsed by the MN Environmental Partnership group. Environmental protection is an issue I am extremely passionate about and I want to make sure I support the candidate that best represents those issues. That’s why I was there after all.
- There is currently NO Democratic representative running in my precinct…. Say What now? You’ve got to be kidding me? My precinct has dozens of cities in it yet not one of the Democrats I know who are spunky, opinionated and pissed off about the state of political affairs, nobody in the whole area has stepped up to represent the democratic beliefs of central MN? My mind was blown, like the emoji on my phone.
A state representative is supposed to ‘represent’ the people of their precinct so I thought “Okay. Who are these people in my precinct? What are the cities that are represented?” The tables are labeled 13B and 14A, tables marked with its precinct number, it could have been eleventeen… the numbers didn’t mean anything to me. Well I guess they do, I knew I was in precinct 15 so that’s where I sat. It just would have been nice if there were more clarity in the room. Why can’t we know who our neighbors are?? We are all like minded people in the same room voting for the same Democratic party.
I sit at my kitchen table here tonight looking for myself, researching my precincts and you know what I found? More mud, no cities no community connection to the people we share our lives with on a daily basis. We are labeled by color coding on a state map, referenced by townships, not even our cities. Why does this process to elect State officials meant to represent ‘the people’ to the highest extent of the laws that literally affect in the way we live our daily lives, raise our children, and care for the planet, divide us, color code our zone and dehumanize us?
I digress, the whole reason for me going to these caucus was to make sure that I submitted my “Resolution” to Save the Boundary Waters Canoe Area from impending toxic sulfide mining. The State of Minnesota is currently under pressure to grant sulfide-copper ore mining permits to PolyMet Corporation an overseas Chilean affiliate. This was my whole purpose of going to the caucuses. To let elected officials know the issue that is most important to me. I want to keep Minnesota’s natural environment clean and beautiful.
I am an environmental activist, that’s what I do. I act to make change. I adore my state with my whole being. Minnesota is beautiful you guys, if you’ve never been to the north shore, if you’ve never been to the Boundary Waters or any of the Minnesota’s parks, you are missing out on the chance to see where God lives. I have been around enough to know that every time I ‘come home’ from vacation, that I am thankful to be in Minnesota to enjoy all her seasons.
Did you know that’s what caucuses are for? It’s a way for regular people to share their concerns with their local State Representative in hopes to make a change for the better. It honestly surprised me to see such a small turn out for a large precinct. All the time I hear Democrats upset and wanting to change the direction this country is currently going, and not even 25 adults show up to help the process?
Once I started asking questions while the die hard, dedicated democrats saw the passion in my conviction of wanting clean air and water, and they ask me “Are you going to run?” The few passionate people that were there, I had seen before two years ago at the presidential caucuses, so I knew these were my people. They get me, and they understood the importance of being ‘involved in politics’ and urged me to ‘look into’ the possibility of running. One local business owner even offered to throw me a fundraiser and I didn’t even know what the heck I needed one for yet.
Long story short, I don’t like not knowing the facts of what all entails to run for a MN state representative seat, so I came home with the intention of finding out. I decided I would send out inquiries to the DNC to find out more about the open Democratic position in my precinct. They were extremely helpful and willing to answer any questions I had. Turns out campaigning it’s not as daunting as I thought, well sort of, but if there is a will there is a way. Turns out I am extremely willful, just ask my mother and my husband!
Word travels fast in small circles and it got a round to other State Representatives that I was ‘thinking’ about running to represent my precinct. The coolest thing happened the next day, one of the current sitting State Reps called little old me on the phone to talk to me about it! How cool is that? I thought it was anyway. Now I am setting up more meetings with my new political tribe of friends to see if they can guide me through the process of building a campaign team.
I told myself, “God would not hand me this life changing opportunity or midlife plot twist for nothing!” I truly feel like I am being called for a higher purpose, I just never thought my burning desire to change the world for the better, could be a reality, at least not in this way! But here I am, ask and you shall receive; right? I vow that if I can find a campaign manager and build a team that is as passionate about democratic politics as I am then I will run. And so, it is.
Holy moly! Pray for me friends! LOL
Did you go to the caucuses? How was your experience? I would love to hear about it!
Wishing you an abundance of joyful blessings,
Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister
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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister
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