I have a confession. The day after the November 6 election — and after a night of celebration in St. Paul where numerous winning DFL candidates thanked us for helping them win — I woke up and said to myself, “Now what do I do?” Let me explain.
As all of you know, I retired in January 2017 and Nancy passed away in March 2017. In the summer of 2017, I started supporting the Dean Phillips CD3 congressional campaign and the Tim Walz for Governor campaign. These activities helped to get me focused on moving ahead with my life and not to look back.
When 2018 arrived, I was fully engaged with both of those campaigns and with Melissa Hortman’s campaign for my Minnesota House district. I also started hanging out with Suzanne Perry who has a lot of interest in Minnesota politics. We were marching in parades, door knocking, making phone calls, attending the state convention, and celebrating with Tim Walz’s team the night he won the DFL primary election. When I wasn’t doing those activities, I was reading about the elections, both locally and nationally, to stay informed and ready. And then, BOOM, election night. And then the next day, when I wondered what I should do next.
To answer this question, I contacted four or five people who I met in the past year and whose opinions I respect. I asked them how I should stay engaged until the 2020 campaigns start.
The activity most often mentioned was to start monitoring and tracking the 2019 legislative session at the State Capitol. I had not thought about this. Up until then, I would have said that I was interested in how to run a successful campaign and not in how to get a bill passed. I assumed that if we got the right people elected, I would not have to worry about the bills being debated and approved.
I have never been to a hearing at the Capitol and have attended only one legislative session, so this is going to be new ground for me. I look forward to tracking the progress of bills that will be supported by Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota and a Medical-Aid-in-Dying bill that will be supported by Compassion and Choices Minnesota.
To explore other possibilities, I contacted two organizations who ask for volunteers to track state legislation. The first is Take Action Minnesota , the other a spinoff from the Indivisible movement, Indivisible Minnesota Legislative Action . I have not yet decided how committed I am to helping these organizations, but I am seriously considering them.
I welcome any other suggestions from my readers about other activities that could keep me busy in 2019.
Of course, my dilemma would be solved if Amy Klobuchar would just announce that she is running for President. I could then start planning campaign trips to Iowa all during the year!
No matter what happens, I’m looking forward to 2019 as we get ready to take back the presidency in 2020.