By Geri Katz
Single Payer Healthcare Specialist
Caring, compassion, and community. These are the values at the heart of registered nursing. National Nurses United, which represents some 190,000 nurses nationwide, seeks to uphold that positive vision for the health of this country by endorsing Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for president.
Senator Sanders was the only candidate to score 100 percent on NNU’s issue questionnaire: he’s the only candidate with us on safe and quality nurse staffing, universal healthcare or Medicare for all, and a fee on Wall Street speculation or the “Robin Hood Tax.” His campaign is exceeding expectations at nearly every turn. He won the New Hampshire Primary by a landslide, came from far behind to virtually tie with his opponent in Iowa and Nevada, and his poll numbers keep rising.
Nurses across the country have been volunteering for Bernie and engaging with voters around Bernie and the values we share with him. Now to put Bernie over the top, the most important thing we can do is get out to caucus!
Minnesota’s precinct caucuses are on Tuesday, March 1 at 7:00 pm. Registration begins at 6:30 pm.
Each political party holds a separate caucus meeting, so to support Senator Sanders, attend your precinct’s Democratic Farmer Labor (DFL) caucus. Locations can be found here: caucus-finder. It’s important to note that your caucus location may be different from your usual polling place. Here’s some FAQs about caucusing.
For starters, what is a caucus?
Don’t worry if you’ve never caucused. It’s easy! A precinct caucus is just a local political meeting with the people who live in your neighborhood and who affiliate with the same political party. This year, Minnesota’s precinct caucuses take place on Super Tuesday, the day when almost half of the states in the U.S. hold caucuses or primaries to determine nominees for President.
Who can caucus?
To caucus, you must:
- Live in the precinct in which you are caucusing.
- Be 18 years old by the general election date (November 8, 2016)
- Be at least 16 years old to introduce and vote on resolutions.
- Not be an active member of another political party; you cannot attend the precinct caucuses of more than one political party during the same election cycle.
How do I caucus?
You can choose how involved you want to be in the process. You can register, submit your Presidential Preference Ballot, and be done. If you choose to be more involved, you can stay for the meeting with your neighbors, which will include discussion and voting on policy resolutions and volunteering to be a delegate to your senate district/county unit convention (necessary in order to run for state and national delegate).
What’s a resolution?
Resolutions are policy positions that that have the potential to included in the official DFL Ongoing Platform and Action Agenda. MNA has two sample resolutions about Safe Staffing and Healthcare for All, which you can find here.
Can I bring my kid(s)?
What if I can’t go on Tuesday at 7:00 pm?
You can submit an Absentee Participation form if you want to be elected as a delegate to the Senate District/County Unit convention, or another upcoming convention. http://www.dfl.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/09.28.15.PrecinctCaucusAbsentee.pdf. Unfortunately an Absentee Form will not count toward the Presidential Preference Ballot. You have to be present to vote.
What if I’m not a Democrat?
If you don’t usually identify as a DFLer, but to support Bernie, you can still attend a DFL caucus on March 1. If you identify with a different party and attend that party’s caucus, you can still participate in the process, but you won’t be able to have an impact on Bernie Sanders’ campaign for President.