Caucus Primer: Back Your Candidates
By April 30
You have until April 30 to influence who is your next city council member. And the good news is you don’t even have to leave home!
Wait, you say, aren’t the city elections in November? Why are we talking about this now?
The short answer: Campaigns are already in high gear, and most candidates are in the process of vying for the DFL party endorsement. That’s a prize that gives winners a big advantage and makes them frontrunners.
If you sit on the sidelines now, you may regret the results in November. The process favors well-funded and organized extremists who advocate for police defunding and ultimately a “police-less society.” And how well has that worked out over the past year?
Our city needs to elect clear-eyed common-sense officeholders and say goodbye to unqualified radicals with poor judgment and no professional experience. You have the chance to make that happen if you sign up by April 30 to take part in the DFL endorsement process.
Small Effort, Big Impact
Whether you like it or not, this is a DFL town. This means that candidates who win the party’s backing – and access to deep resources – are usually tough to beat.
The DFL chooses its endorsees via a caucus process that is often dominated by a relatively small group of activists and extremists. These folks gather for a few hours one night early each election cycle and eventually settle on candidates who increasingly do not mirror the preferences of those who stay on the sidelines.
This year, due to Covid, however, the caucuses are moving online – which means you can participate effortlessly via your smartphone or computer. By investing a few minutes rather than several hours, you can conveniently weigh in on the issues of the day and make your voice heard. Small effort, big impact!
But beware: If you don’t step up, your void will be filled by radicals who will back candidates you may regret later.
Easy as 1-2-3
At the risk of making this seem overly simplistic, you really do have the opportunity to rally our city back towards pragmatic leadership in three easy steps:
- Choose your preferred candidates. To make it easy for you, our volunteers researched and interviewed a couple dozen office seekers, rating them on the two issues that matter the most to many of us: Their stance on public safety and qualifications to lead a city our size.
We endorsed up to three candidates per ward, in order of preference. We favored those who are for bold, urgent police reform but oppose defunding. And we leaned towards those with meaningful professional experience – business owners, corporate executives and leaders who’ve managed people and budgets and shown good judgment.
- Find endorsed candidates in your ward here, and pick your favorite(s).
- Learn more about our endorsement process here.
2. Contact your preferred candidates. You must do this before April 30. Offer to caucus for them either as a pledged delegate or as someone willing to vote for the candidate’s pledged candidates.
- You can access links to each candidate’s website and social media channels via our candidate endorsement page. Just click on their photos.
If you’ve watched a televised national presidential convention, you have a good idea of a delegate’s role. Persuade neighbors who live in your precinct to vote for you, so that you can move along the caucus process and eventually vote for the candidate you favor.
Everyone who registers by April 30 has the opportunity to vote for delegates who live within their precinct. It’s all done by computer or phone call between May 12-18. If you’re among the top vote-getters, you move on to represent and cast your vote for your preferred candidate, again online, during the ward caucuses June 2-8.
And remember, even if you choose not to run as a delegate, by signing up you can vote for delegates of your choice. The voting can be done anytime over the allowed period, making it convenient to spend a few minutes voting when you choose.
- Sign up directly through the DFL. If you’d like to bypass contacting a candidate and register directly with the DFL, you may. This video takes you step-by-step through the online sign up process.
If access to a computer is difficult, you can register by calling (612) 552-4215, or by texting “2021” to (612) 712-7461. Either way, someone will call back and take your registration information.
Two Tips to Know
Look for a postcard about two to five days after you register. You’ll need the information on it to identify yourself and protect your eligibility to vote.
When you sign up, you’ll be shown a list of all city council candidates running in your ward. You have the option to choose and rank multiple candidates. Follow these guidelines:
- Choose and rank only common-sense candidates who support reform and oppose defunding; our endorsement list makes it easy to identify them. Rank them top 2 or 3.
- Do not rank defunders at all; leave them off your selections.
- After you’ve chosen your preferred candidates, further down in the ranking order you can also indicate you’d like to be considered an “uncommitted” delegate as well, if the need arises. This gives you more chances to be chosen (and you’ll still be able to vote for your preferred candidate).
Step Up, Minneapolis Needs You!
“November can’t get here soon enough! I can’t wait to vote these people out!”
How often have you heard this over the past several months, as crime surges to terrifying heights and the immaturity and inexperience of council members are continually exposed?
Well, remember, if you wait until November to vote them out, it may be too late. If these incumbents survive the endorsement process, they will be well-positioned to extend their reign of chaos, divisiveness and inept governance.
You deserve better. Your family deserves better. Our city deserves better. Getting involved by April 30 in this relatively easy, convenient DFL endorsement process is a key step in helping to restore safety to our streets and sanity to our City Council. Step up, Minneapolis needs you!