Dear Friends,

There is an unspoken code in the friendly Midwest: Don't talk about politics. It's just not polite. In fact, conventional wisdom says that Cherry Republic should keep things light and only talk about the weather and cherries and family. But never, ever talk about an election.

But I have to wonder, who does that serve? Does our company's silence help protect our Great Lakes -- the greatest freshwater basin in the world -- which is under threat from diversion, PFAS, Line 5, mercury, and a host of other dangers? Is our Midwestern silence in the best interest of our children and our children's children? How can we leave them pristine land and water and a stable climate if nobody is speaking for them? There are so many creatures and resources on this planet that do not have a say in how this earth is treated, so if Cherry Republic doesn't speak for them, who will?

And so I choose to speak in pure Midwestern bluntness, and it's just one word. Vote. It's your responsibility to represent all those precious things that cannot vote and to vote for those things closest to your heart, whether orchards or trails or coho salmon or the beach on the western side of Sleeping Bear Point.

Did you know that only 36% of eligible voters voted in 2014? That was the lowest voter turnout in 75 years. The shame is that all the creatures, wild places, public lands, were not represented by those 64% who did not vote. Those places that are most loved by this unrepresented majority got ignored for these past four years.

Let's not let that happen again.

Sincerely,

Bob