Caucuses are coming up. I suspect a lot of us think that a caucus is just about a political party. It’s when Democrats or Republicans get together to do Democraty and Republicany stuff. I suppose that’s part of what happens at a caucus. But it isn’t the whole story. At least not to me.
I think the most significant aspect of a caucus is that it is organized by precinct, or neighborhood. At a caucus, people who live in a certain area choose to be involved in public life and meet to talk about important issues and decide which politicians best represent their community’s values. They say all politics is local. I think that’s only partially true. I think all politics is about neighbors.
A neighborhood is more than a location. It’s a set of relationships and a kind of recognition. You can live next to people for years but not consider them neighbors. Or someone can move in down the block on a Tuesday and feel like a neighbor by Wednesday. I recognize my neighbors as neighbors when I drive by someone shoveling snow on my way home and I know I’m about to do the same thing. Or when i go to the mailbox on the first day of spring, meet my neighbor, neither of us wearing a coat, and we smile and know why. Or when I’m helping someone chase their escaped dog through the neighborhood, knowing next week we’ll be chasing mine. In these moments, we share parts of our lives with each other, and more often than not we find that we have more in common than we knew.
The caucus can be just that kind of moment. It doesn’t have to be or feel partisan, but it can and will feel neighborly. Hope to see you there.
The DFL caucus will be held Tuesday, February 6th at 7PM. Check out this link to find out where you should go: http://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/how-elections-work/precinct-caucuses/
Want to be a precinct captain for Aric? Shoot us a note.