Monthly newsletter for members of the League of Women Voters Northfield - Cannon Falls
October, 2014 (October 21, 2014)
For the League of Women Voters—Northfield/Cannon Falls, the weeks and months leading up to elections are a busy time. That is certainly true this fall. In August, we held primary candidate forums for Northfield City Council primary elections. Now that we are only a few weeks away from the general election, we have LOTS MORE forums coming up. On October 23rd and 25th, we’ll be hosting candidate forums for a variety of seats— everything from local Northfield school board and city council, to Rice County Attorney, to U.S. House of Representatives (2nd Congressional District for Minnesota). Come hear the candidates, ask questions, and be informed when you get ready to vote on November 4th.
The Northfield-Cannon Falls LWV budgeted $5000 in dues income for the 2014-15 financial year, which ends next March. Although we also get about $1500 from other sources, our membership income is—as you can see—our most important resource. So far this year, dues income has run well below expectations. About half our fiscal year is past (it ends at the end of March), and we've raised less than $2000.
Voter Service Chairs Jeanne Agee and Terry Stead, along with their committee members, have been hard at work for many weeks making preparations for our upcoming Candidate Forums. Thanks are extended to the many members who have helped in so many ways to ensure a successful series of forums. We have invited trained moderators from the Winona and Golden Valley Leagues to serve as moderators. All forums will be held in the Northfield City Council Chambers in City Hall at 801 Washington Street.
Last summer our go-getter voter service chairs and their committee secured a grant from LWV-MN to enable us to do even more to get out the vote in our community. A significant chunk of the grant was used to create and purchase VOTE TODAY signs with our LWV logo on them. Let’s blanket the town with our signs on November 4th. Let nobody forget to vote in 2014!
Sunshine filled the Cannon Falls Library as candidates and voters gathered on Saturday morning to meet and discuss issues at the traditional election year “walk-about” sponsored by the League of Women Voters Northfield-Cannon Falls. Democrat, Republican, Independence and Libertarian parties were represented for positions where party affiliation is designated. County commission and city candidates are considered non-partisan positions.
Our members and student volunteers have turned in over 50 completed applications— and sent quite a few more home with people who couldn’t remember their ID numbers or didn’t have time to complete the form at our table. We also registered at least one person online right at the table—an exciting new option this year.
Thanks are extended to Joe Pahr, Arcadia Charter School teacher, and Brian Stevens, Northfield High School (NHS) Senior Economics teacher, for welcoming us to their classrooms to talk to students about voting rights and responsibilities AND register them to vote. Local League members Ann Richards and Bonnie Jean Flom visited both schools to carry out this important work; and a dynamic St. Olaf student, Alyssa Berg, was a member of the team that visited NHS. After a brief introduction on voting by Bonnie Jean, Alyssa took the stage and inspired the seniors with her stirring presentation. Having spent the last two summers interning in Washington, DC, Alyssa communicates a passion for politics and voting that is contagious.
LWV Northfield-Cannon Falls was one of several cosponsors helping Carleton College celebrate the 227-year-old U.S. Constitution last month. The event on September 17 allowed many members of the community to weigh in on the document’s significance and on how Americans use and misuse it.
A new community event came to life last spring—Northfield Reads! Northfield Reads! is a collaboration of the League of Women Voters, Northfield Human Rights Commission, Northfield Library, Arcadia Charter School, and Carleton College’s Humanities Center.
The idea originated with the Human Rights Commission. Its goal for the community reading program is to bring people together from many segments of the Northfield community in a way that will encourage conversation and understanding. A common reading seemed to be a useful tool.
On October 8th at the Carleton College Alumni House, Terry Kalil of LWVMN presented an inspiring and practical guide to moderating candidate forums. Enthusiastic attendees included four high school students, five Carleton students, three St. Olaf students and six League members.