Dear Boilermakers Local 647 Member:
In a couple of weeks, Minnesota’s political parties will begin the process of selecting their endorsed candidates for Governor and other statewide offices; the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives and the Minnesota House of Representatives.
I know we all like to bitch about politicians and our elected officials, but I’ve always believed that you can only complain if you show up to vote and participate in the process.
The first step is going to your local precinct caucus on Tuesday, February 6, 2018. Here is basic primer on attending your local caucus.
WHEN AND WHERE WILL 2018 PRECINCT CAUCUSES BE HELD?
The 2018 precinct caucuses will be held on Tuesday, February 6 at 7:00 p.m. Specific locations have not yet been announced. They will be released sometime in mid-January. You can click here to visit the Minnesota Secretary of State's website to find your local precinct and where it will meet.
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE IN A CAUCUS?
Pretty much anyone can participate in local caucuses. You just have to be eligible to vote in the November 2018 general election and live in the precinct. You also must generally agree with the principles of the political party hosting the caucus, but it doesn’t mean you have agree with everything in the party platform.
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE CAUCUS?
Each political party runs their caucus meetings a little differently, so check with your preferred political party for specifics. Generally, there are three main activities at a caucus:
- Local organizing. Campaigns are run mostly with volunteer help and politicians remember who helped get them elected.
- Building a party platform. This is the resolution process. They start at the local precincts and work their way up through Congressional District Conventions and then to the State Convention. We expect a push on the DFL side to prevent mining in Northern Minnesota, opposition to pipelines and elimination of all fossil fuel generation plants. On the Republican side, we expect to see some anti-union measures like Right-To-Work and opposition to Prevailing Wage and PLAs. Having representatives of labor in the room can help prevent these measures from moving forward. We will also provide you with some draft resolutions to introduce if you attend.
- Choose delegates who will endorse candidates at future conventions. This can be the frustrating part, mainly because the process can vary from location to location and it remains just the first step. In crowded caucuses with large turnout, the competition to be selected as a delegate to the Congressional and ultimately the State Conventions can be extremely competitive. In more rural precincts it can be much easier. Each political party has different ways of choosing delegates at the precinct level caucus. Contact your party for more information.
RIGHT TO TIME OFF WORK TO ATTEND CAUCUSES
You have the right to take time off work to be at a precinct caucus or political party convention (if you’re a delegate or alternate). You must give your employer ten days’ written notice.
Again, the 2018 elections are going to be important for our union. Let’s make sure our voices are heard, both at local caucuses and next November.
MN PAC Chairman
After the February 2018 Caucus, the MN PAC Committee will be looking for extra help/support from the membership. This can be anything from attending PAC meetings/events, meeting with local politicians, and anything to help spread the concerns regarding the future of the Boilermakers. If you would be interested in something like this please contact Matt Olsen at 612-209-5290 or email@example.com.