Weather Forecast


Better politics from grassroots

Tired of extremist candidates and bitter political fighting?

Here’s one option: Go to a political party caucus on Tuesday and support moderate candidates.

It’s as simple as that — the political process for selecting candidates in Minnesota starts with the caucuses.

If you want politicians who will work together, compromise and actually get things done for the common good, it starts at the caucus level.

This is the best grassroots opportunity to help select centrist candidates for higher office.

One problem with political life today is that the political middle in both major parties is rapidly disappearing. That leads to less compromise and more gridlock.

The state and federal government shutdowns of the best few years are a reflection of that bitter partisanship.

Government at all levels is more connected than most people realize — federal money is passed through to the states, and state money is passed through to the counties.

When Congress or the Legislature get stuck in gridlock, the common good loses, all down the line.

Locally, we enjoy a vibrant community with healthcare, education and government services that all contribute to a good quality of life.

A functioning political process, in the long-term, is crucial to maintaining that community well-being.

So get out and caucus with the party of your choice on Tuesday, and support the moderates.

The caucuses starts at 7 p.m. Becker County DFLers are meeting at the Audubon Elementary School.

Becker County Republicans are caucusing at two locations — the western two-thirds of the county is meeting at M State in Detroit Lakes, while the eastern third is meeting at the Wolf Lake Lions Club Hall.

Check the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website if you aren’t sure where to caucus.

*** The economic status of women and girls in Minnesota needs help.

The latest data reveal that the greatest barriers to economic security are poverty, the wage gap, and occupational clustering.

The data comes from the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, in partnership with the University of Minnesota Humphrey School’s Center on Women & Public Policy, which just released new economics-focused research (available at WFMN.ORG.)

Minnesota’s women-headed households are more likely to be in poverty. Since 2000, there has been a 64 percent increase in the number of families with children below the poverty line.

This is important, because working mothers in Minnesota are increasingly the primary breadwinners in their families.

According to the research, all full-time working women earn less than white men. White, Asian American, African American, American Indian and Latina women earn 80 cents, 74 cents, 62 cents, 62 cents and 57 cents on the dollar, respectively, compared to white men.

Occupational clustering is also a problem.

For instance, 29 percent of Minnesota’s white men work in sales, office and service, compared to 63 percent of African American, 62 percent of American Indian and 57 percent of Latina women.

There is still a long way to go to improve the lives of women in Minnesota.