Monday, January 18, 2010

JNS Will Party Like It's 1,999!

Guest post by the Hawthorne Hawkman. Above stock photo by the Hawkman. Photos below by Bryan Thao Worra.

Two milestones are upon us here at Johnny Northside. Precinct caucuses for many political parties are coming up on February 2nd, and this particular post is blog post 1,999 for Barring an urgent blog post, I'll have to let John do the honors of number 2000.

We'll post all in one place, several parties' plans for 2010 precinct caucuses, beginning with...

...the Minnesota DFL, with the caucus going from 7-9 p.m. on Feb. 2nd. You can find your precinct here, and this is regardless of your political party. Here is a list of DFL precinct caucus locations for Senate District 58. I believe that covers all of NoMi, although if I'm wrong I will correct that on this blog.

In Senate district 58 (which includes all of NoMi and part of downtown) there is a contested race between incumbent Linda Higgins and challenger Raymond Dehn. I know them both and while I appreciate Mr. Dehn's hard work and dedication to our community, I have to put my personal support behind Senator Higgins. She's been just phenomenal as a servant of our community and I see no reason why anyone else is more qualified for the job. (This is not a formal endorsement by JNS - yet.) A debate between the two will be held on January 26, 6 p.m. at UROC.

Joe Mullery is the Representative in 58A, everything north of Lowry, and there are no known challengers at this time. I'm also going to throw my support behind Joe as well. He knows mortgages maybe better than anyone and every year he's got a new piece of legislation that takes some arcane mortgage-related issue and changes it to make real impacts on people in our community who are affected by this crisis. He's the kind of guy we need to re-elect so he can keep on getting the job done for us.

Bobby Joe Champion represents the southern half of NoMi and once again, there are no known DFL challengers. Out of our three state officials, I've had the least contact with Rep. Champion, but what I have had has been positive. He's a marked improvement over his predecessor in terms of understanding our community and delivering positive change.

My one complaint with the DFL Precinct caucuses this year - and it's a BIG one - is the timing. There's something else incredibly important happening on the same night.

Look - even our PRESIDENT doesn't have the guts to interrupt the season premiere of the last season of Lost. But here we have the DFL - MY PARTY - callously scheduling an event during what is only the single greatest television show of all time. Furthermore, I'm wearing my Red Wings' jersey in the photos above for a reason too. I'm also going to miss a marquee hockey matchup that night as well. If only there were a political party that didn't require personal sacrifice for the greater good.

Oh, that reminds me. Here's a link to the Republican precinct caucuses for Senate District 58.

If you're a member of the Green Party (like John still is), you can go to this site for information about their precinct caucuses.

The Independence Party will be hosting an online precinct caucus. I don't see that turning out too well. I don't think the kind of dedication gets built up to create a strong grassroots movement by building your party base in this way. Then again, I could watch all the Lost and Red Wings hockey I want, so this bears looking into.

In all seriousness, I really encourage as many people as possible to participate in politics at this level - regardless of party affiliation. I've had the honor of being a state delegate four years ago, and it was disheartening to see how many people even at the local level were people who looked just like me. At the time, I was living in Frogtown in St. Paul, which is also quite diverse.

So the way this works, at least in the DFL, is that the number of delegates is calculated using turnout numbers from the last election. That typically means that there are far more delegate spots available at the caucus level than there are people who show up to do that work. There's a lot that one can accomplish just by being willing to show up and do the work. People are needed to volunteer on various committees such as the rules and the credentials committees, and to help out at the senate district convention. Getting involved at this level is a terrific way to build up a voice for your community or to prepare for your own run for office one day.

A word to the wise, though: make sure you understand the rules of these committees and their processes before wasting valuable time and effort trying to challenge endorsements that were properly made in the first place. Just sayin'.

But get out and caucus with your party on February 2nd!


Anonymous said...

just a quick clarificaitn - 58A (Mullery's district) isn't just north of Lowry. I'm south of Lowry and Mullery is my rep. There are some very confusing boundaries that go up one block and then back south down other blocks. Even the candidates have a hard time - last cycle Bobby Jo called me and I had to explain to him I wasn't in the district he was running for.

So, if you are in city council precincts 5-2 or 5-10 - watch the boundaries carefully and double check maps.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

Thanks for pointing that out, Anon 7:43. That's sort of like the division between the 3rd and 5th Wards in NoMi too. The border runs along Emerson and then just before Lowry it zigs and includes a few properties in Hawthorne. Right now those properties are all vacant lots or businesses, with no voters residing there. But it's still awkward.

So a reminder to all JNS readers: The best way to participate is to find your precinct at the Secretary of State website, and check with whatever party you're affiliated with to confirm the location of your precinct caucus.