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Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

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Easy access to Twin Cities politics

Take advantage of the many political opportunities around the University.

Next week is an important one for local politics in the Twin Cities. On Tuesday, Minneapolis and St. Paul will hold primary elections for city council members and mayors. University students should make the most of their metro location to get involved in local politics – they are, after all, members of the community, and mayors and city councils have the ability to affect students’ daily lives.

The University is the ideal place for young people to get their feet wet in local politics. Student groups representing political parties are numerous, including DFL at the U of M, Campus Republicans, Campus Libertarians and College Greens. Most are active during elections and some have frequent meetings throughout the year.

A quick visit to Coffman Union’s student group site provides contact information for each group’s officers and a short description of their purposes and activities. These groups are ideal for students just getting started in dorms and in campus life.

It is also not uncommon for students to run for city council positions. Last year, University students Amanda Hutchings -on the Republican platform – and Dan Miller – on the DFL platform – both ran for positions. Students should not discount the idea that they can be more than just involved with local politics, but a working part of them.

Even if joining a political group or running for public office isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, University students must get involved at the most basic level of local politics: voting. Before next week’s primaries, students should educate themselves about the candidates. How many will know there is a white supremacist running for the Minneapolis City Council?

Then, they must go out and vote. Many decisions made at the city level affect students directly – from parking regulations to citywide events that involve the University. Being involved with local politics gives students a say in what the quality of their life at our institution will be like. New and old University students can make a political difference at the local level. Opportunities are there. We must take advantage of them.

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