October 2016 President’s Letter by Sara Staab

FROM THE PRESIDENTSara Staab

From the national AAUW website: “when women vote, they can determine the outcome of an election.”

I have been known to nag my two children to be sure to register to vote when they were old enough, and every time they moved since then.  I admit to sending them emails or text messages prior to elections as a reminder of the importance of voting.  I also recall a sense of pride when they let me know they had voted on Election Day.  The rights we have as citizens of the U.S. seem to me to come with a responsibility to be informed and vote, whether it is a national, state or local election.  Everyone’s vote matters – remember the close vote totals in the Minnesota race for U.S. Senate a few years ago, and the occasional news stories that talk about elections that were ties decided by a coin toss or some other method….

The current election season may seem to be longer, nastier, crazier than any campaign any of us remember.  It may be tempting to tune it out, to try to ignore it.  I urge you to resist that temptation and challenge yourself to become more informed about the issues and the candidates at all levels.

Thanks to our Public Policy Chair, Marilyn Morem, for the following information:
AAUW national has a “Get Out the Vote” campaign underway including online training to encourage voter registration, voter education and turning out the voters. They have also provided a 2016 Voter Issue Guide on the internet with suggestions on what to listen for when you hear candidates speak and suggested questions for candidates that reflect the mission of AAUW. See http://www.aauw.org/resource/aauw-voter-issue-guide

On the local level, the Rochester chapter of the League of Women Voters (LWV) is planning to distribute a Voter Guide (VG) this fall.  The VG will contain responses to questions submitted to all those seeking a seat on the Rochester City Council or Olmsted County Commission.

If you need a break from the campaign coverage, maybe a nice fall drive would help – check out the fall color finder from the Minnesota DNR http://dnr.state.mn.us/fall_colors/index.html

Sara Staab, Rochester MN President
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