It’s Not “Just” Another Election
Hello River Citizens,
Some say next month’s election is just a Congressional election—like it is less important just because presidential candidates aren’t on the ballot. But the fact is Congress has an immense role in deciding how government will impact our lives. How much should the United States spend on the military, on national parks, on education, on managing the Mississippi River in a thoughtful way? These are fundamental decisions that affect our daily lives and Congress makes them. Yet, somehow, many voters regulate Congressional elections to the back burner.
Well, here is our rallying cry to change all that. You see, the people sitting in Congress put their pants on one leg at a time just like us. They have families and mortgages and a “to do” list, too. They have to balance all of the pushes and pulls of society while listening to the constituents they represent (that’s you!).
But they cannot represent you if you don’t make your opinions heard. The 1 Mississippi campaign encourages all River Citizens vote in the election on November 4th (or vote early) but to also do a little research first. Find out for yourself whose opinions you respect, who you think will be true to the principals you care about, who is thinking in a long-term, responsible manner and who deserves your vote.
According to recent polls, Congress has an abysmal 13% approval rating. By voting for candidates who affirm your personal values, hopefully we can get a fresh mix of people who will work collaboratively with our countries, and our River’s, best interests at heart.
Vote in people who care about River Citizen issues
Why do Congressional elections matter? It was Congress who passed the Farm Bill that included provisions needed to create a healthier River. Senators approve (or reject) Supreme Court nominations and appointments to the President’s Cabinet. The people who fill these positions make important decisions for our lives. For example, the Secretary of Agriculture—who was approved by Congress- recently took the great step of naming the Mississippi River a Critical Conservation Area (CCA). This designation is a WIN for the River since it is an incredibly important step to accelerate conservation, reduce nutrient and sediment loading to local and regional water bodies and to improve efficiency in using water supplies in the Mississippi River Basin.
The devil’s in the details and the inner workings of the government are no exception. There are 36 Senate seats up for grabs in this election, and we need people in those seats who care about protecting the River for future generations.
Yes, it will take a bit of effort. Yes, it can be annoying to slog through candidate statements and voting records, but it is worth it. So do your homework and vote this November. Let’s make sure they hear from River Citizens, because ultimately, you’re the boss.
P.S. Thank you to all the River Citizens who took our annual survey.
The first 50 River Citizens who took the survey can expect their waterbottles in the mail shortly!
Learning about the past is essential in making good decisions about the future. Our most recent blog post, “Maps: You Are Here – Now Get Lost” talks about the importance of maps to our collective understanding of the world. Which explorer named St. Anthony Falls, the only waterfall on the Mississippi River?
a. Louis Hennepin
b. Jean Baptiste Bénard de La Harpe
c. Daniel Boone
d. Hernando De Soto