Throughout the year, our blog will feature AHA volunteer stories of survival and hope. We know there are thousands of stories like these - thats why we want to say “Thanks” to all of you for giving your time and sharing your lives with us. You can’t spell CURE without U! Thank you for all you do to build healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. YOU’RE THE CURE!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Part 2: What are your candidates saying about health care?

Register Today, Vote Tomorrow.
If there is one thing that all You're the Cure advocates know, it is that every voice makes a difference in the fight against heart disease and stroke. You may have responded to action alerts, written letters or placed phone calls to your legislators, or even shared your story in-person on Capitol Hill. However, with the 2008 elections just around the corner and campaigns gearing up across the country, you have another opportunity to make your voice heard. As Americans and You're the Cure advocates, it is our responsibility to vote.

Right now is the perfect time to make sure you are registered to cast your ballot in November. Registering to vote is quick and easy! Simply click here to fill out a registration form and learn more about registering to vote in Minnesota. Minnesota also has same-day registration on Electoin Day.

Where do I Vote?
The most important action you can do is vote. On Tuesday, November 4, plan your day so you have enough time to go to your polling place and cast your vote. Click here to find where you should go to vote.

Get involved in a campaign!
Volunteer or donate money to a campaign. Remember, the state of Minnesota has a Political Contribution Refund program (up to $50 for a single person or $100 for a married couple). For more information, call the Minnesota Department of Revenue at 651-296-4444 or visit the MN Department of Revenue website.

Hold candidates accountable!
Interaction with elected officials shouldn’t stop after November! This is just the beginning! After the election, write a letter to the person who won office and let him/her know that you would appreciate his/her support in preventing heart disease and stroke or strengthening physical education requirements in our schools. Include some information about your policy priority and be sure to state you will be following the officials’ actions in office. After receiving a commitment to support your issues, thank them for their support! Elected officials deserve and appreciate receiving thanks from their constituents!

Write a Letter to the Editor
Candidates, elected officials and decision-makers rely heavily on local news outlets to gauge which issues are important to their voters. A letter to the editor of your local newspaper gives you a chance to inform thousands of people about the critical issues surrounding heart disease and stroke. Let your candidates know fighting heart disease and stroke is important to you as a voter. Even if it’s not published, your letter may inspire an editorial on the subject. The American Heart Association has sample letters you can use and personalize with your story. Keep your letter under 250 words. You can send it by fax or e-mail. Be sure to include your contact information, including your hometown. The newspaper will most likely call you to confirm that you wrote the letter before they run it.Need help? Feel free to contact the American Heart Association's communications department.

Additional Resources
The American Heart Association of Minnesota has dedicated staff to help you be the best and most successful advocate you can be. Visit our Advocacy in Minnesota webpage, email the AHA’s advocacy staff or simply refer a friend to join the You’re the Cure network. Together we can make Minnesota a healthier state free from the devastation of heart disease and stroke.

Disclaimer: As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, the American Heart Association is prohibited from participating in any political campaign and does not support or endorse any candidate for public office.

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