Join grassroots democracy on Township Day, March 8
Minnesota's 1,780 townships will hold their annual meeting on Tuesday, March 8.
Known as Township Day, these annual meetings are held every year on the second Tuesday in March.
Residents of the townships will meet to voice their opinions about local issues with other township residents and also vote directly on their annual tax levy; direct democracy in action. Citizens attending annual meetings also often discuss and vote on other local issues.
In addition, many of the townships will hold their officer elections on March 8.
“Township Day 2022 will put grassroots democracy on display. We encourage all residents to show up, express themselves, and weigh in on topics like their tax levy and local elections,” said Minnesota Association of Townships (MAT) executive director Jeff Krueger. “If you live in a township, please participate in your township’s annual meeting on Tuesday, March 8. You can find the location and time by checking the published notice in the local newspaper, township website, or by contacting the township clerk.”
Minnesota’s diverse townshipsThere are approximately 914,174 township residents in Minnesota. Townships exist in every area of the state, including the metropolitan area. Some, with populations of more than 1,000, function in much the same way as a small city.
While many townships remain rural agricultural centers, others host a variety of residential, light commercial and industrial development.
The Township Day tradition According to MAT, the tradition of a town meeting has roots in colonial America.
New England town meetings gave citizens a way to exercise local authority. Those meetings were especially important in the development of democracy because they emphasized problem solving through group efforts.
Grassroots democracyTownships were the original form of local government in Minnesota, established in the 1800s when Congress ordered a survey that divided the Minnesota territory into 36-square-mile tracts of land.
Today, the term “township” generally refers to public corporations governed by a local board of supervisors and created to provide services to residents.
MAT is a non-profit corporation representing Minnesota townships. Its goals are educational and charitable, promoting an understanding of the history of townships and being a voice for its roughly 9,000 officers. It regularly conducts research and educational programs designed to foster efficient and economical town governmental services and acts as a liaison between township officers and other local government officials to encourage sustained cooperation.