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Caucus process is our foremost opportunity to impact politics from the ground up

Attending a political caucus in Minnesota this year should be a no-brainer. At this point, there isn't enough rose-colored paint in the world for anyone trying to cover up what's happening all around us. Will any of us remain entirely immune to issues such as the Iraq war, a downtrodden economy and global warming? It seems unlikely.

In short, now your vote means more than ever. And even if you already actively vote every year, it's more worth your while than ever to get involved early on this time to help choose who will be in the race come November.

A caucus, while a strange word to be sure, is most generally defined as a meeting of supporters or members of a political party or movement. On Feb. 5, the caucus meeting is your chance to be involved in the selection of your party's nominee.

The DFLers and Republicans will vote for presidential candidates on Feb. 5, when voters in more than 20 states pick their favorites.

A caucus finder for Minnesotans is online at Information for Democratic-Farmer-Labor, Republican, Green, Constitution and Independence party members is on the site.

With so much at stake, people need to get involved in their American democracy. It's only as good as the people who participate - and it's time for more of us to get in there and show that we've got something to say about our future.

Lisa Baumann