By Katie Gjertson
MNA Political Coordinator
Anyone who spent any time at the Minnesota State Fair quickly realized that candidates have launched their political campaigns for governor. Campaign teams were gathered around the candidates, and everyone talked in animated conversation. Colorful signs with logos and slogans outlining the candidate’s positions were around every corner. This one is a pretty big deal for Minnesota, and this election will determine our collective destiny.
No matter our differences as Minnesotans, we all want pretty similar things: respect and dignity at work; access to quality, affordable health care when we need it; to be able to provide for our families; to supply our kids with shoes and everything they need for a school year; to be safe in our communities and to arrive safely at work or school; to have access to fresh fruits and vegetables; to be able to take the time off work when we or a loved one is sick; clean water, clean air, and clean lakes; to afford the occasional vacation; and to be able to retire with dignity.
No matter how hard we may not want to admit it, our ability to achieve this idealism is inherently political. Our lives will always be influenced by who writes the rules and makes the laws. This next governor’s race is another big moment for Minnesotans register their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with our elected officials.
Minnesota nurses have a chance to weigh in on this election very soon. In fact, the Minnesota Nurses Association gubernatorial candidate screening is this weekend. This is the nurses’ opportunity to hear directly from the candidates, listen to their stances on issues that matter to us, discuss our decisions with other nurses from across Minnesota, and have a say in what direction we want our state to go in. Nurses will submit their decisions on each candidate and weigh in on which candidate deserves MNA’s endorsement. The MNA Board will consider every comment and consideration of each candidate when the directors vote to endorse the final candidate nurses will support.
The format for the screening is a little bit different this year: after an issue briefing in the morning for MNA members, Democratic, Republican and Independent candidates will be interviewed by small groups of MNA members. The candidates will rotate so that nurses will be able to compare their answers. Two sets of candidates will rotate through these small interviews in the morning and afternoon. All candidates are invited to mix and mingle with MNA members during an open lunch. Finally, the event will conclude with an ice cream social and endorsement recommendation straw poll of MNA members.
The governor’s screening will be held at the Minnesota Nurses Association offices at 345 Randolph Avenue, Suite 200 in Saint Paul this Saturday, September 9 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.. Only those present for the entire day will be able to vote in the endorsement recommendation straw poll.To get more information or to RSVP to the MN Governor Candidate Member Screenings, you can click here or contact Jackie O’Shea, MNA Political Organizer, at Jackie.OShea@mnnurses.org.
There’s a great quote that’s been attributed various times to a Benedictine monk, Woodrow Wilson, and Woody Allen, which is “the future belongs to those who show up.” It still holds true. We hope to see you at MNA on September 9 to determine the next governor of Minnesota.