You can make history this year… starting at your Precinct Caucus

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A surge of grassroots participation in the political process is sweeping the nation. As the Labor Review went to press, the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary saw record voter turn-out. Here in Minnesota, our turn to make history comes Tuesday, February 5, at 7:00 p.m. That’s when our state’s major political parties will convene Precinct Caucuses.

If you want to help shape the future of our nation, I urge you to attend.

The Precinct Caucuses will help determine party nominees for President, for U.S. Senate, for U.S. House, and for the state legislature. In addition, resolutions passed that evening will guide the development of party platforms.

Regardless of your party, it’s important for you to be in attendance at your Precinct Caucus when the votes are counted. If you want your concerns to count, you must show up to be counted! Working families have a lot at stake in 2008. Our economy is slipping into recession. Minnesota job losses are growing. Our public schools are starving for funds. We’re delayed — an even fear for our safety — in getting to work each day and back home each night because of the state’s lack of investment in transportation. The natural resources we treasure in Minnesota are threatened by lack of action on global warming.

In addition, we’re diverting financial resources that could be used to address these concerns at home to an unending war abroad.

We pray for the safety of our loved ones serving in Iraq and Afghanistan — sons, daughters, husbands, wives, friends — and we hope for their speedy return.

Here at home, we’re in a fight to preserve the American dream and the middle class that depends on the wages, benefits and retirement security won by the labor movement.

If we can elect a worker-friendly President and a larger worker-friendly majority in Congress, we can pass the Employee Free Choice Act and strengthen protections for union organizing. This legislation — like the landmark Wagner Act of 1935 — is vital to our future as a labor movement.

If you live in the Sixth District, you have a special role to play. In the Sixth District, we have a champion who’s running for DFL endorsement for Congress — Elwyn Tinklenberg. He is a former mayor of Blaine and former state transportation commissioner. Tinklenberg is endorsed by the Minnesota AFL-CIO. If you live in the Sixth District, he needs your support February 5.

Wherever you may live, attend your caucus. Run for delegate to your district convention. Tuesday, February 5: it’s a night to stand up and be counted.