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!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

What are your candidates saying about health care?

This fall campaign ads will be on TV and candidates will appear on your doorstep. You may be inclined to turn the channel or shut the door—DON’T! Election season is a prime opportunity for American Heart Association supporters to jump right in to help inform candidates about why fighting heart disease and stroke is a priority!

Below are a few ways you can help ensure that passing policies aimed at fighting heart disease and stroke is a priority for all of Minnesota’s elected officials.

2008 Election Guide
Check out this resource about what you can do to ensure heart-healthy policies are at the top of your candidates' priorities! 2008 Minnesota Election Guide.

Who Are Your Candidates?
This is an important election year in Minnesota. In addition to the Presidential election and Senate race, all of the Minnesota House of Representatives are up for re-election. This is a critical time to let those seeking office know that fighting heart disease and stroke is a priority in their community! Click here to find the candidates who want to represent you!

Attend candidate forums and town hall meetings!
This fall, you will have many opportunities to meet candidates and learn about their policy positions at candidate forums or town hall meetings. To find candidate forums in your community, check out the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits website or the League of Women Voters website.

Other non-profit organizations are also holding candidate forums:
Town hall meetings are generally organized by sitting elected officials. You will most likely find information about them listed in a mailing or on the elected officials’ websites. If not, call their offices and ask for the schedule.
Minnesota House of Representatives, 651-296-2146 or 800-657-3550
Minnesota Senate, 651-296-0504 or 888-234-1112

Ask the candidates their positions on our key policy issues!
When you run into candidates at the county fair or on your doorstep, talk to them! Ask them their position on prevention funding for heart disease and stroke. Or what they think about strengthening physical education in our schools. Tell them why passing these policies is important to you and offer to provide them with more information. American Heart Association staff will help you follow up and send appropriate information. Candidates need to know that these issues are priorities for constituents like you! Here are two sample questions you can ask candidates:

"Currently MN has no graduation requirement or statewide standards for physical education. Do you support legislation to create statewide standards and a graduation requirement for physical education?”
Click here to print off

"Heart disease and stroke combined is the #1 killer of Minnesotans. Do you support new state funding for prevention of heart disease and stroke?”
Click here to print off

Politics in Minnesota has also compiled a list of candidates with links to each candidate’s website—one of a number of places to learn about candidates and their positions. You can also check out Kaiser Family Foundation's new resource that compares the Presidential candidates' positions on health care.

If you talk to candidates, let the American Heart Association advocacy department know! We can help you ensure the candidates keep their word if elected!

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