We are currently experiencing the gravest existential threat to our organization since its founding over 100 years ago. Our public health crisis has shut down business everywhere and it is impacting the business operations of our posts throughout the state.
The American Legion Department of Minnesota advocates on behalf of the members of its posts across the State and indirectly for all veterans. Our focus is on our membership and the National and State programs of the American Legion.
Some Posts choose to have brick-and-mortar halls, bars, restaurants that may or may not be open to the public. In many cases, these facilities are critical gathering places for veterans and other members of the community. But the American Legion is a whole lot more than just buildings. We have color guards that walk-in parades and give final honors. We have the largest American Legion youth baseball program in the country. Our boys state, girls state, and oratorical programs are second to none. And we have a large and dedicated program of assisting veterans every year. Our programming and our contributions to charities and organizations funded thru charitable gambling operations are vital to the community at large.
The Department of Minnesota recognizes that bars, halls and food operations are important hospitality opportunities for the posts of this department. The decision to provide hospitality is the decision of the post involved. As your advocate in St Paul, the Department keeps hearing that posts with hospitality operations are suffering because of the very restrictive emergency executive orders issued by the governor. We are now encouraging posts who feel that those emergency regulations are too restrictive to combine/consolidate their voices to amplify their concerns to the state legislators.
We highly encourage the members of The American Legion Department of Minnesota to call your state representatives. Here is the link to find your legislators and voice your concerns: https://www.leg.state.mn.us/.
Tell them it is time to open bars and restaurants in Minnesota, just like in every state that surrounds Minnesota. We are the American Legion and we are good at following the rules. We can and will follow safety procedures and minimize risks. But we want to ensure American Legion Posts remain in existence for another 100 years. We want to continue serving veterans and our communities for generations, but we can only do so with our Posts open and serving its Veterans and the community.