Minnetonka High School's Student News

Minnetonka Breezes

Minnetonka High School's Student News

Minnetonka Breezes

Minnetonka High School's Student News

Minnetonka Breezes

A Basement of Stories
February 23, 2024

Democracy in District 3: Why Your Vote Matters

Allie Preston

Democracy is an ideology that has shaped Americans’ lives since the start of our country. There is much more that comes into play than just voting, but that doesn’t take away from the importance of voter turnout. Voting for your US House Representative is very important in linking your ideals to bills in Congress.
The United States Congress is a staple in the Constitution and it is what connects everyday citizens to the government in a more personal manner. The House was designed to be flexible with elections every 2 years, and this amounts to a lot of change in candidates and parties.

Jason Bell, an AP Government and Politics teacher here at MHS, shared his insight on this topic; “A republic such as the United States has their power resting with the people and their representatives. Our republic was set up in a way to allow us to directly elect representatives and indirectly elect the president. Like all rights and liberties, it is important that the people of a republiC execute such powers as voting to avoid tyranny of the state.”
This translates to the upcoming 2024 election which will feature an election for District 3’s House seat.

suiiiiiiiiiDean Phillips is District 3’s current House Representative. Minnetonka is located in District 3, as are surrounding cities such as Eden Prairie and Bloomington. Phillips is a two time re-elected Congressman who has recently announced that he will not be running for a fourth term in Congress. Instead, he will be running as a Democratic Presidential candidate in the upcoming 2024 election. In order to win the Democratic Presidential candidate seat, Phillips will need to beat incumbent Joe Biden.

In a recent newsletter published by Phillips he stated that, “It has been the honor of my lifetime to be your voice in Washington over the last five years (and counting!), but it’s time to pass the torch. That’s why, after three terms, I announced last week that I will not be seeking re-election to Congress in 2024”.

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This is an opportunity for many. A House seat is now open to a new candidate and many people are stepping up to the plate. Kelly Morrison, current MN Senator, has announced she is running for the now vacant seat. Minnesota Reformer reported on Morrison’s goals:

“Morrison told a crowd of supporters at a Minnetonka brewery that she’s running for Congress to expand progress that Minnesota has made on abortion rights, lowering prescription drug prices and improving maternal health care — among other issues — beyond the state’s borders to the rest of the country.”

Morrison is a current Minnesota State Senator for District 45. Her prior profession was an OB-GYN, which continues to help aid her in educating on the pro-choice movement, a staple in her campaign.

Ron Harris is the opposing Democratic candidate. Harris served as Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Minneapolis and as a Democratic National Committee (DNC) Executive Committee member & Midwestern Caucus Chair. The younger candidate Harris states,“I’m running to be one voice among many hoping to inspire young people to see elected office as a place to make meaningful change, to see civic participation as a worthy effort, and to see our generation as the one who can fix what’s broken in our society.”

Recent Republican candidate Blaize Harty has announced that he hopes to win the District 3 House seat. Harty considers himself a family man with a strong background in business. Information on his website states, “Harty aims to bring about change and ensure a brighter future for the average American. In his unwavering dedication, he exemplifies the qualities needed in today’s political landscape, offering hope for a better tomorrow.” With the ever changing political climate the United States has produced, it’s important to stay educated and use your right to vote to enact change. This new House opening for District 3 is just one opportunity to select a candidate to represent your ideals in our government.

The core principle of the United States is our Democracy. Those who are 18 or older, and able to vote in the 2024 election, should take the privilege they have to do so. According to pewresearch.org, in 2020, only 51.4% of eligible American voters used their constitutional right to vote. Voting is and will always be the strongest connection American citizens have to their government and it’s important that as a citizen you take advantage of that connection.

Politics are a multilayered set of activites that have broad effects not only on the people inside the country, but surrounding countries. In the US, it seems that things are only becoming more polarized, especially with Congress getting little done. In recent years there have been impeachments and members of Congress have even been ousted. There is a lot of talk in the media about what is wrong, but no one is actually taking action.

The 2024 election’s will change the trajectory of the United States depending on where the pendulum swings. Stay educated and up to date so that you can make a decision you feel confident will better our country. Whether or not you want to vote, that doesn’t change the fact that your lack of wanting affects everyone. It can be one vote that changes the future of the country.

Registering to vote is easy and can be done online or even when renewing your drivers license. Voting itself is even easier with mail-in ballots readily available. With how easy voting has become, there really is no excuse. Deepti Pillai, the founder of Minnetonka’s Youth in Government club stated, “Voting is vital to our democracy because it ensures all citizens have the equal opportunity to take part in our government and have their perspective and stake reflected in outcomes that affect them.”

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