In this together
I hope this message finds you all safe, and healthy!
So much has happened over the last few weeks. We’ve had to reprioritize our lives, make changes to keep our loved ones safe, and adjust to working from home, or not working at all. Our hearts and thanks go out to those on the front lines of this pandemic; to the health care workers, the scientists, and others providing essential services. Please join me in expressing your gratitude to the Governor and his team for their thoughtful, data-driven leadership. We also must that thank our Minnesota legislators who took bipartisan action to secure $200 million in funding for health care providers in their fight against COVID-19, and to members of the US Congress for passing COVID-19 related bills.
The political landscape, along with everything else, has changed dramatically.
States are postponing primaries. The DFL has moved to online balloting instead of conventions for all that are scheduled before the state convention. (Read and become familiar with the new rules and procedures posted here. ) We are grateful to Ken Martin and the DFL staff, as well as the Constitution and Bylaws Committee, and State Executive Committee for their fast work on this. One change you may not be aware of is that delegates AND alternates will all be counted in the online balloting. This new rule does not apply to the state convention which as of today, is still taking place in Rochester on May 30-31.
The work of the DFL Environmental Caucus has also been impacted.
Our lobby day, that was planned for Earth Day, April 22, has been cancelled along with all other in person activities at the Capitol. Our endorsement subcommittees have completed much of their work but still have a few races to consider. Our campaign committee will need to rethink how we support our endorsed candidates since all in person DFL events have been cancelled up to the state convention. Our Executive Committee will continue to meet monthly via Zoom.us Our next scheduled full caucus meeting is set for the morning of May 30, at the DFL State Convention in Rochester but will be postponed if the convention is cancelled or postponed.
Benefits we have seen from the all of the shut downs caused by COVID-19 include reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and improvements in air and water quality.
Yet we know the benefits will not last once restrictions are lifted unless we restructure our transportation and industrial sectors, and embrace carbon-free energy sources. Will this pandemic be the life-changing event that causes the world to finally respect the advice of health experts, and climate scientists? We are staying home to protect ourselves but also for the collective good of society. Neighbors are reaching out to neighbors to make sure they have what they need. School districts are delivering meals and providing daycare to families, while planning and training educators (myself included) to deliver instruction to their students in fundamentally new ways. The only thing constant lately is that life is changing daily. The point being that we can and must adapt to our changing climate AND this pandemic. Having good leadership and planning based on the best available data are critical to preventing chaos and loss of life.
We are all in this together.
You may have a very full plate and not have any more energy or time to give to the caucus right now. That is totally understandable, but if you are finding yourself with spare time on your hands, and wanting something to do, please email us and let us know.
· Our Communications Committee could use your help, getting our message out through our website, social media, and prepared literature.
· Our Campaign Committee is working on messaging and support for our endorsed candidates.
· Our Outreach Committee will need volunteers to table at events once our social distancing restrictions are lifted.
· Our Legislative Committee will be contacting legislators through email and social media and could use your help.
Finally I leave you with a bit of history, for Women’s History Month.
Here are some of the pioneering women in the environmental movement as written by board member Steve Johnson, linked here. Stay well and keep in touch. We are stronger together!
“When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future.”
- Dian Fossey, murdered Dec. 1985, Rwanda
Veda Kanitz, Chair
DFL Environmental Caucus