I am Jan Carey your state public policy chair. AAUW-MN is fine-tuning public policy issues that reflect national priorities. Some issues cross governing lines and ideals. But, in doing so, AAUW members are reminded AAUW is “nonpartisan, but not nonpolitical”. AAUW works across the aisles on legislation that is often politically partisan. However, the anticipated outcome is always consistent with AAUW’s mission, vision and goals.
From the State Convention in Grand Rapids, April 2019
Resolutions: post passage
Two resolutions passed at the State Convention. The implementation section of each Resolution will require action by the VP Public Policy.
AAUW ERAMN: AAUW Branches will actively support and advocate for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment within Minnesota and nationally. Activities to achieve this may include but are not be limited to:
- Branches educating their members about the Equal Rights Amendment to include for example, visiting the ERAMN.org website, and watching “Equal Means Equal” or “Legalize Equality” videos
- Letter/postcard writing campaigns to Minnesota and U.S. Legislators advocating for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment
- Personal visits to both Minnesota and U.S. Legislators advocating for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment
AAUW DACA: The State Board of AAUW Minnesota will encourage its branches to stay informed on the progression of DACA legislation and the impact it has on education in Minnesota. Policy chairs will inform State and Federal representatives of AAUW’s studies of correlation between education and a more productive life.
The VP Public Policy will assist branches through research and keeping current to the issues in order to disseminate information.
AAUW Public Policy Priorities 2019-20
Public Policy Priorities are now in process of adoption by national vote. However, at the State Convention a motion to approve the 2019-20 National Public Policy Priorities de facto, carried. AAUW members received an email from National on or before April 24th. Voting is now open in AAUW’s National Election! This is the culmination of the biannual process to update our Public Policy Priorities, and State Public Policy Chairs have been involved every step of the way, from submitting survey feedback to commenting on proposed changes.
ERAMN provided literature and voting postcards for all AAUW members. Those present were also given a 30-minute DVD titled ‘Legalize Equality’, which branches can use and view. Branches not present will be mailed a copy to your branch president.
An AAUW branch member share this information in which a particular statement shocked me. I was totally aware the 2016 MN Legislature had passed a bill establishing a presidential nomination primary. MN had only had a Caucus process for determining nominees.
The information below is copied from the MN Secretary of State webpage. The section in bold and underlined can be interpreted as alarming. There are hyperlinks in blue that should be read.
What is certain is this new Primary process will be highly suspect to voter discrimination and give leverage to incumbents. District election judges are receiving training and assumedly will be prepared. But will the public be prepared to have their vote suppressed? As public policy chairs/contacts, you must be vigilant to this process.
MN Presidential Primary
i. In 2016 legislation was passed establishing a presidential nomination primary. Common questions about the presidential primary are answered below.
- When will the presidential nomination primary take place?
- March 3, 2020.
- Will all parties participate in the presidential nomination primary?
- No, only major parties will participate.
- Will all parties be on the same ballot?
- No, each major party will have a separate ballot.
- Who decides which candidates will appear on a party’s ballot?
- The chair of each party will submit a list of candidates for the party’s ballot no later than 63 days before the date of the presidential primary (December 31, 2019).
- What if a candidate drops out before the primary?
- Once a party’s list is submitted, changes will not be made to candidates that will appear on the ballot.
- Will there be a place to write in a choice or vote for “uncommitted”?
- Only if it is requested by the party chair. Party chairs will need to submit names of write-in candidates to be counted seven days before the primary.
- Will any other offices be on the ballot?
- No, only presidential candidates from a major party will appear on the presidential primary ballot. Other offices with a primary will be on the primary ballot in August.
- How will I be able to vote in the presidential nomination primary?
- Registered voters will be able to vote at their polling place on presidential primary day or by absentee up to 46 days before presidential primary day (January 17, 2020). A voter must state which party’s ballot they want and will be given a ballot containing only that party’s candidates. If you refuse to select a party, you will not be able to vote in the presidential nomination primary.
- Will other people know which party’s ballot I request?
- Yes, a voter’s choice of party ballot will be recorded and will be public information. How a voter voted on the ballot will be secret.
- Will parties have to abide by the primary results?
- The presidential primary results must bind the election of delegates in each party.
- Who will pay for the presidential nomination primary?
- County and municipalities will be reimbursed by the state for the primary costs.
- Will there still be precinct caucuses?
- Yes, precinct caucuses and local and state nominating conventions will still take place to conduct other party business.
In conclusion, Public Policy is an essential element of AAUW MN and reflects the priorities set forth by AAUW National. As your VP of Public Policy, I will remain vigilant and as proactive as possible to ensure information is provided to branch public policy chairs & contacts in a timely manner.
Moving Forward – Collectively Advocating
For additional guidance and information, go to the AAUW website. Read the research publications. Learn more about the numerous issues AAUW has published. AAUW’s nationally-acclaimed research easily guides individuals through AAUW’s priorities and issues, whereby you can communicate the information to individuals and elected officials.
What can you do?
HELP ONE ANOTHER TO MOVE FORWARD AS ONE VOICE
- National priorities inform state and local action. Biennial priorities for national action are chosen according to the criteria of viability, critical need, strong member support, and potential for distinctive AAUW contribution or leadership.
- Use the priorities to be informed so you can inform.
- Solidarity is a most effective tool.
USE AAUW NATIONAL PLATFORMS
- To support a strong system of public education that promotes gender fairness, equity, and diversity.
- To achieve economic self-sufficiency for all women.
- To guarantee equality, individual rights, and social justice for a diverse society.
SHARE AND COMMUNICATE TO ALL MINNESOTANS
- Initiate vigorous public policy programs at the branch level.
- Invite elected officials to branch events.
- Utilize local print media, social media and public access television channels to promote branch initiatives & events.
- Communicate your thoughts and ideas to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
AAUW MN Public Policy Updates