The year for LWVNCF is off to a wonderful start. Over sixty community members were in attendance at the January 28th, Caucus & Primary Training event. Panelists Angelique Dietz (Rice County DFL Outreach and Inclusion Officer), Jennifer DeJournett (MN Executive Director, American Majority), and Denise Anderson (Rice County Property Tax & Election Director) presented on why someone might want to caucus, how to caucus, and how to vote in the new presidential primary in Minnesota.
This will be a busy year for the League. The Census will soon be taking place, and that will be followed by redistricting. Look for your Census information to arrive after March 12. The LWVUS and LWVMN are both working on People Powered Fair Maps. LWVNCF will make this work on redistricting the focus for this year. If you are interested in helping with this work, please let us know.
The Membership Committee will host a New Member Brunch on May 9. Save the date. More information will follow soon.
The Board is working on the Annual Meeting. More information will be forthcoming.
This is an election year, so our Voter Services Committee will be busy. Read the message from Melanie Freeze (below) and consider ways you would like to get involved.
For those of you who have renewed your membership, thank you! If you have questions or thoughts about what the Northfield Cannon Falls League is doing, please contact us.
Adrienne Falcon and Pat Johnson, co-presidents
Voter Services message from Melanie Freeze
Do you feel passionate about improving the quality and quantity of democratic participation in our local community? If you would like to make a real difference in 2020, the Voter Services Committee invites you to join our work. You may only be able to help with one aspect, or you may be able to invest a significant amount of time—any and all contributions are welcomed and greatly appreciated.
What is Voter Services and how can I help?
The two primary goals that motivate the Voter Services Committee are 1) voter education and 2) voter registration. To help lower the costs of political participation and boost turnout, the League hosts a wide range of events that help people learn more about the current slate of candidates and issues and help register people to vote.
You could help with voter education by:
- Participating in one or more of the following: Attend the May 16th Moderator Training and Event Planning training provided by the LWVMN; help identify what candidates will be running in the various local elections; draft and send uniform invitation letters to candidates; find and invite a League trained moderator; reserve a space for the forum, coordinate translation and video recording of the forums; recruit and organize volunteers to work at the forum; volunteer as a greeter, timer, or question facilitator at a forum; help create and distribute event posters.
- Helping produce a voter guide that provides more information on local candidates and issues.
- Identifying if there are any ballot propositions and organize an informational meeting.
- Organizing a Meet and Greet event where community members mingle and talk with candidates at an informal gathering (done in Cannon Falls and Randolph in past years).
You could also help with voter registration by:
- Identifying community events where the League could provide registration services and coordinating with the organizers (e.g., Rice County Fair, Forums/Meet and Greets, Defeat of Jesse James Day).
- Volunteering at these voter registration events.
- Finding people to volunteer. Manage voter registration events and volunteers through an online Sign-up Genius Account.
- Serving as community partner liaisons – for example, work with local colleges and high schools to find individuals who would like to help volunteer at League voter registration tables.
- Updating and creating voter registration training materials for volunteers. Training people who want to help register voters.
Learning about the issues and candidates and navigating the voter registration process can be very daunting, especially for new voters or people who are often passed by in the political system. The work we do in voter services is instrumental in empowering voters and increasing participation, but we cannot do this great work without you. If you would like to get involved in voter services, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to have your name added to the list of potential helpers.
Day of Action at the Capitol
On February 14, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the LWV, LWVMN held a day of action at the capitol. Brenda Weise and Pat Johnson attended for LWVNCF. The morning included a very informative presentation on the 2020 People Powered Fair Maps Campaign by Paul Huffman who is the LWVMN Census and Redistricting Coordinator. Then those attending delivered small pots containing sunflower seeds to the Governor’s Office and to the offices of all of the Senators and Members of the House. These were offered as mementos of the 100th anniversary and in honor of the yellow flowers carried by the suffragettes.
Legislative Interview Report from Ellie Hall-Holt
On a sunny day in late February Matt Little graciously drove down to Northfield to meet with three high school students, a science teacher, a League board member, Kay Brown, a former Minnesota State Legislature Representative, and myself. Each of my peers and I had prepared a few questions for Senator Little, but towards the end of our time together we were all so excited we scrapped many of our prepared questions and continued on pure curiosity. All four of us felt exhilarated and hopeful about the future after hearing about Senator Little’s agenda. It was a great opportunity to get to know one of the people who represents us in our State Government and learn some tips and tricks about how to make sure our voices are heard.
Education and Letter-Writing:
Our next education and letter-writing event is March 21, 2020.
We continue to have monthly information and letter-writing on the third Saturday of each month. Come to the Hideaway between 9:00 and 10:30 AM. This is an opportunity to discuss issues with other League members and friends; enjoy coffee, tea, scones, etc.; and to take time to write letters. Come and bring a friend.
In February we wrote 50 postcards as part of LWVMN’s work on the People Powered Fair Maps Campaign. We had such a wonderful turnout and enjoyed good conversation about the redistricting and the League’s Campaign as we wrote.
In March, Corinne Smith will be there to talk about how Census outreach and preparation is going in Northfield. She will share a proposed city ordinance which concerns access to multi-unit housing units. Renters and others who live in multi-unit housing structures have historically been at higher risk of being undercounted in the decennial census. Most Northfield renters live in multi-unit housing. The proposed ordinance seeks to ensure access to these structures for sworn decennial census workers.
If you are interested in organizing a letter-writing session on a topic of interest to you, contact Pat Johnson at email@example.com
State LWV update
Privatizing the Welfare State: Nonprofit Community-Based Organizations as Political Actors
There are several opportunities to connect with the State League and do advocacy work in the next few months connected to the Centennial and to the current session.
Monday March 16th, join League at Lobby Day at the Capitol and learn about how to lobby your legislator and try it out. Please register by Thursday March 12th: https://www.lwvmn.org/league-calendar.
Saturday April 25th, join us at the Statewide Council meeting where we will gather to meet other League leaders and learn about advocacy and voter services in this important election year. Our local league can send five delegates and only 2 have registered so far. If you are interested in attending please contact Pat Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org)and sign up here: https://www.lwvmn.org/league-calendar
If you interested in doing more advocacy work in general with the State League, let Adrienne Falcon (email@example.com)know and she can connect you with folks who are doing this work. You can receive legislative updates by signing up for the Capitol report and action alerts at: https://www.lwvmn.org/what-we-do
From the Board
We are eager for members to become more involved in the League. We do important work and have fun in the process! Come to the Annual Meeting, join a committee, help register voters, come to letter writing, come to a Board meeting.
If you are interested in attending a Board Meeting, they are listed on the calendar https://lwvnorthfieldmn.org/league-events/upcoming/ .
If you have thoughts about the newsletter or contributions you would like to offer, please contact Pat Johnson firstname.lastname@example.org
Dues: Information about dues and an online payment portal are at https://lwvnorthfieldmn.org/become-a-member/
You can also mail a check to: LWV Treasurer, P.O. Box 527, Northfield, MN 55057