As part of our core service of the League of Women Voters of St. Paul, informing the electorate, we completed two major projects in fall 2017: mayoral candidate forums and sharing voter registration and election information. This work wouldn’t have been possible without the help of 17 different volunteers, 30 St. Kate’s students, and the direction and efforts of Amy Perna and Sig Johnson. In all, 73 two-hour shifts were worked!
We hosted four mayoral candidate forums in four quadrants of Saint Paul. Each was a success! Our September 27 event at Hallie Q Brown had a full auditorium with 175 people in attendance. Our October 10 event at Wellstone Center was in a round table format and garnered 150 attendees. The October 11 event at Highland High School had a full auditorium with over 300 attendees! And, lastly the Minnesota Humanities Center, another round table format event hosted on October 17, had 100 people in attendance and required many extra folding chairs to be added to the room!
Besides the host community organizations, other community partners for these forums included: the District of Counciles of Highland, Mac-Groveland, Payne Phalen, and WSCO; the NAACP; the African-American Leadership Council; and the Neighborhood House organization.
We received kind praise for these forums:
“I really appreciate the League’s fairness and courtesy for a minority party advocate like me,” stated one candidate.
“I’m really glad I came. It helped me decide what candidate I want to vote for and who to choose for my second choice,” shared a forum attendee.
We also completed voter registration work and shared election information between September 6 and October 17. This included work at nine branch libraries in multiple shifts; two weekly shifts at food shelves at Merrick Community Services and Hallie Q. Brown; tables at Metro State, Century College, and Hubbs Learning Center; plus opportunities at Highland Fest, Mt. Airy Boys and Girls Club, and a Communications class at St. Kate’s University.
Through this effort we submitted 120 voter registration forms (with registrations and address updates). We also provided voters with the Voter Guide of mayoral and school board candidates, flyers on the candidate forms, and information on Ranked Choice Voting for the 10 mayoral candidates. We reprinted the Guide and flyers several times.
Thank you to everyone who made this work possible!