Election season means something different in 2016.
Social media and the 24-hour news cycle allow us more access to candidates, policies, and issues than ever before, but the constant flood of information can be as isolating as it is exciting. As we spend more time in digital spaces, it's getting easier to feel like everybody's talking, and yet nobody's really listening.
Our colleagues at Go Vote MN have a solution for that, and the answer might be simpler than you'd think. They believe that the best way to get engaged with politics this year is in the company of good people and great music. Ideally, you've got a beer in one hand and an ice cream cone in the other.
"We wanted to build events that would appeal to a broader spectrum of young people who love music, art and who care about their community but wouldn't typically go to a political event," said Sally Miller, Go Vote MN's director. "Our goal was to show that being engaged can be as simple as pledging to vote or having a conversation with your friends."
Go Vote MN's Beerocracy events have gone beyond just emphasizing voter turnout, providing a positive, nonpartisan atmosphere to learn, and foster deep discussions about community. If that all sounds a bit too much like eating your vegetables, well, that's where the rock 'n' roll and treats come in.
You can register to vote while sampling a fun new IPA, find your polling place with a DJ accompaniment, and absorb a little information through malty osmosis. Previous Beerocracy events have featured sets from awesome local artists like Night Moves, Silverback Colony, and ZULUZULUU against the backdrop of big brewing tanks, and Go Vote MN's partnership with with Ben & Jerry's means that there's always plenty of free ice cream on hand.
A viewing party for the most-recent presidential debate was held at the Uptown VFW.
"We had Lady Heat's DJ Christy Costello and Fort Wilson Riot performing live before the debate," Miller said. "We handed out bingo cards and coloring pages of the candidates during the debate to keep the mood fun and light, and relieve some stress."
In addition to their parties, Go Vote MN is also working with empowering nonprofits like Pollen and tech innovators at Civic Eagle to give you even more opportunities for meaningful municipal connections. Their website GoVoteMN.com is your one-stop cheat sheet for clarifying the finer points of party platforms, and incidentally, also a great place to see what Snoop Dogg thinks about the latest debate.
With just under a month until election day, Go Vote MN has two final events planned.
The last Beerocracy will take place at the newly minted InBound Brewing Co. in the North Loop and feature musical performances from off-the-wall party-starter Tiiiiiiiiiip and indie-pop duo Holidae on October 20. An Election Night Eve bash is slated for November 7 at Mill City Nights with rising rapper Allan Kingdom and more special guests to be announced.
"In the spirit of Kanye's amazing show this week, we just want people to know that voting is easy," Miller said with a laugh. "We'll see if #VEEZY catches on!"
Look for Go Vote MN murals popping up around the Twin Cities. Here's one on the side of the Triple Rock Social Club.
Have you checked out our mural at @triplerockmpls on the West Bank? ~ With artwork by the crazy talented @mike2600, we worked with the brilliant @wzzwnshp + Nick from @brlsq's #PublicWorksDivision to bring it to life. ~ Look for our second #mural in Uptown at @knoxjewelers! ~ Share pics of you at the #murals here, Twitter (@GoVoteMN), or Facebook (Facebook.com/GoVoteMN). ~ And, of course, go vote on NOV. 8!
A video posted by GoVoteMN (@govotemn) on Oct 12, 2016 at 12:51pm PDT