Saturday, February 1, 2014

Caucuses, Education Minn, the Gov and privacy

I went to my first precinct caucuses in 1972 under the umbrella of the "Peace Coalition" represented by a white dove.  I still remember the bumper sticker. The main purpose of the group was to stop our involvement in Vietnam.  Even though "vietnamization" was in swing with US ground troops down from their high in 1969, there was still our heavy use of air power and a fair amount of troops still in Southeast Asia.

Ever since then I have gone on to many state and district conventions.  I encourage "all" people to attend the caucuses of their choice.  It is fun and you can make a difference, particularly on those issue resolutions.

With encouragement by many elected officials and organizations for young people to attend the events next Tuesday night, I ran across an announcement that surprised me.

It was an announcement by Education Minnesota to motivate social studies teachers to encourage young people to attend the precinct caucuses of their choice.  There is nothing wrong with that.  Civic education and involvement should always be emboldened.  But what caught my attention was the involvement of Governor Mark Dayton in what is described as the, "Student Caucus Turnout Challenge".  The crux of the challenge is to have Governor Dayton attend the social studies class that has the most students attend the caucuses and there will be a drawing for one classroom if there is a tie.

But when the activity sinks in to me, several insights come into plain view.  One, it appears the challenge is primarily only for public schools, granted there could be some Education Minnesota members in non-public schools, but may not be as many as in public schools.  I do not think there is less interest to attend caucuses between public and non-public schools.  Secondly, the office of Governor is being used to foster civic involvement which is great, but seems primarily to public schools, why not others?

I have been a big promoter of civic education and involvement for decades from instructing students in Washington DC to talking with young people at the State Capitol in a non-partisan way to all people.  Did Education Minnesota take a broader approach to be inclusive rather than be exclusive?  If not, why not?

By the way, when the poll is taken the next day per the Education Minnesota flyer as to who went to their precinct caucuses it should be done in a way to respect the freedom of association, it is an important element of privacy and liberty.
Student Caucus Turnout Challenge
Student Caucus Turnout Challenge

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