Skip to main content

Democracy on display in townships

Minnesota's townships host annual meetings on Township Day, Tuesday, March 14

Minnesota’s 1,777 townships will hold their annual meeting on Tuesday, March 14.
Known as Township Day, these annual meetings take place every year on the second Tuesday in March and set townships apart from other forms of local government.
At these meetings, residents of the townships will voice their opinions about local issues with other township residents, and they’ll vote directly on their annual tax levy. It’s direct democracy in action.
Citizens attending annual meetings also often discuss and vote on other local issues.
In addition, many of the state’s townships will hold their township officer elections on Tuesday’s Township Day.
“Township Day 2023 will put grassroots democracy on display,” said Minnesota Association of Townships Executive Director Jeff Krueger.
 We encourage all residents to show up, express themselves, and weigh in on topics like their tax levy and local elections.” 
To participate in their townships’ annual meeting on Tuesday, March 14, residents can find the location and time by checking the published notice in their local newspaper, township website or by contacting their township clerks.
“Townships today include over 900,000 Minnesota residents, and we represent an extraordinary form of local government,” Krueger said.
“Township Day annual meetings are your chance to participate in grassroots government.”
Information on Minnesota’s townships
There are approximately 918,256 township residents in 1,777 townships 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 tradition of Township Day
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 it emphasized problem-solving through group efforts.
Background on townships
Townships 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.

You must log in to continue reading. Log in or subscribe today.