Good Golly, Miss Molly–A State delegate?

Caitlin Robb

When the caucuses rolled around this year in Minnesota, a record number of voters young and old came to cast their ballots for their party nominee in districts all over the state.

But one BSM student went above and beyond and signed up to become a state delegate at her district caucus.

Molly Kelly-Goss is currently a pledged delegate for Ashwin Madia, which means she has agreed, and is more or less bound, to vote for him as a senator at the state level in representation of the members of the sub caucus who voted for her. She is a part of the third congressional district and the 42nd Local Senate District. It’s more than a little complicated, but it comes with the territory. “Welcome to politics,” she says.

At her district caucus in Minneapolis, in addition to voting for her presidential nomination, she signed up to be a delegate. Then she, along with 116 other delegates went to their local senate district convention where they broke up into individual sub-caucus groups.

During the convention, 12 delegate hopefuls including Kelly-Goss took turns giving short speeches about why they should be elected to the position of delegate at the state level. Kelly-Goss refers to this fondly as “the step-ladder speech” because the candidates had to stand on a stepladder in the middle of the crowded convention floor in order to give their speeches.

 

 

The speech that won her one of four delegate positions focused on the necessity of diversity in the delegate body and the unique perspective she would be able to provide as a teen. She asked the other members of her sub-caucus to give her the opportunity to learn, and they responded well. She became one of two female delegates as well as the youngest in a group of middle-aged adults.

Kelly-Goss says she has come to know the other delegates well, as they all happen to be from her district. “I think it’s something in the water,” she jokes. “They’re all old, and I feel like a kid” but they have helped her learn the ropes, especially one delegate whom she affectionately refers to as “Zip.”

Kelly-Goss admits the power of her position makes her feel “a little bit” like a superhero. “I still have a choice,” she says, unlike other candidates who are locked in for a U.S. Senator candidate. Though she is obligated to vote for Madia at the state level, she is able to vote for whomever she wants at the national level.

However, the responsibility of her position is also a bit more than she expected. “I didn’t realize quite how far down the rabbit hole this would go until I was already in it,” she says. In addition to meetings with other delegates, she gets, on average, one phone call per night related to the DFL. “I have people calling me,” says Kelly-Goss. That is, state representatives, Madia’s opponents, call to “discuss issues.”

Political involvement is something that’s important to Molly Kelly-Goss. As she simply said, “If there is stuff going on that is going to affect me, I want to have a say.” She doesn’t think, however, that she will pursue a career in government in the future: “I’m too short and poor to have a career in politics,” she jokes. Kelly-Goss plans for it to be more of a “super-hobby. I’d rather be the one behind the scenes,” she says.