By Cathy Schuchart, SNA Staff Vice President of Government Affairs and Media Relations 2016-09-27 14:25:00
Stay Engaged as a Participant in the Process ONLY A FEW WEEKS REMAIN IN THE LONG, LONG CAMPAIGN FOR U.S. PRESIDENT THAT BEGAN 18 MONTHS AGO. While many Americans may feel understandably fatigued by the duration of this process, it is important to do our part on November 8 and go to the polls to cast our votes for all the races that will be decided that day. Approximately 150 million U.S. citizens are qualified to vote. Unfortunately, many of them don’t see this foundational American freedom as a responsibility. Today, only about half of those who are eligible to vote in this country exercise that right on a regular basis. That’s a sobering statistic, and one with far-reaching implications. It means that half of us decide who will represent all of us in our nation’s government. Which half are you? Unlike millions of people around the globe, we have the good fortune to live in a country that provides the majority of its citizens with access to the political process. Next month, we have the opportunity to play a role in choosing our leaders at the national, state and local levels. Those leaders are charged with creating policies and laws that will impact you, the lives of your family, your community and the children you serve. I urge you to take time this month to research the positions of the candidates for all offices, making sure you understand where they stand on the issues that are most important to you. Then, make time to follow through and let your voice be heard by casting your vote in each race on November 8. But this is not your only opportunity to let your voice be heard, especially on child nutrition issues. Our work continues after the election is over. There will be new faces in both houses of Congress. There will be new appointees at USDA. And that’s just in Washington! There will also be new leaders in your state capitols—and on your boards of education. They all will be making decisions about school meal programs, whether it’s appropriating funds, developing (or relaxing) rules or evaluating initiatives. It will be your job to ensure those decisions are informed ones. You can also let your voice be heard by contributing to the SNA PAC, responding to SNA Action Alerts, providing feedback on priorities for the 2017 Position Paper, voting for the SNA Board of Directors and attending the Association’s Legislative Action Conference next spring. Your opinions matter, and they will be reflected when you stay engaged in the process. Mark Your Calendar DAYS OF NOTE NOVEMBER 8, 2016 U.S. Presidential Election 2016 Election also of all members of the U.S. Congress, one-third of the U.S. Senate, plus state and local races JANUARY 3, 2017 Beginning of the 115th Congress of the United States JANUARY 20, 2017 Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States FEBRUARY 15-28, 2017 Election of the SNA Board of Directors Election also of representatives to the SNA Leadership Development Committee APRIL 2-4, 2017 SNA’s 45th annual Legislative Action Conference
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