Update for October 30, 2014 – Great schools begin at the ballot box

Update for October 30, 2014 – Great schools begin at the ballot box

If this is the first Parents United Update you have received, “Welcome”! We are an organization of parents for parents, have been around for 12 years, and our agenda is simple: we don’t speak for parents but work to provide credible, timely information about education policy and the law-making process so parents can speak for themselves. Truth be told, Parents United is a translator of complex terms and policy implications, as well as a navigator for a legislative process often oblique to the public.

 

Great schools begin at the ballot box

Election Season is in full swing and on November 4, levy questions, school board seats, state house members, and representatives in the U.S. Senate and House all hang in the balance. We also elect a governor this year and that has particular meaning in Minnesota. Since we are the only state in the Union without a state board of education or elected education commissioner, our governor selects the Commissioner of Education and this selection deeply impacts local schools.

 

Minnesotans need to be clear where each and every one of their candidates stands on public school issues.

 All of these decisions will be made by those who choose to vote. It is as simple and as complex as that. If you are not registered to vote, register. If you don’t know WHO to vote for, check out candidate websites, talk to friends and neighbors, and tap into organizations like the League of Women Voters. Democracy is NOT a spectator sport. It requires us to participate.

 

Running for office is a daunting and lonely task.

I have nothing but respect for anyone who throws their hat in the ring; if you want your candidate to win, help them Get Out The Vote: Call friends, help neighbors and volunteer in these last days. Make it a priority to elect them.

If you are not sure who represents you, check here. Looking for how your legislators voted? Here are the tallies for the E12 Policy bill and the supplemental appropriations bill.

 

What should I make of all of this campaign literature stuffing my mailbox!

As you sift through the multitudes of campaign literature you receive every day, consider this. Thomas Jefferson said, “Information is the Currency of Democracy.” Today more than ever, it is critical for you to consider deeply who is paying for the information you rely on.

Our advice: Find out who is providing the money for the mailers/advertising for the various candidates and what THEY stand for. Then decide if you align with the funders’ beliefs.

A point of interest: In the U.S., we have been schooled that false advertising is illegal, so we tend to believe at least some things in political lit must be true. But the little known fact is that political “advertising” falls under the first amendment, qualifying as free speech; and unless I yell “fire” in a crowded theatre I have the right to say pretty much anything I want.

So do some research, be sure to vote, and have a great Election Day!

Mary Cecconi, Executive Director