Lynn Abbott: Come to caucus
March 3, 2012
If you are a registered Democrat, you have the opportunity at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to attend your caucus and share your grass-roots voice with Routt County, Colorado and, ultimately, our nation as a whole. How is this possible? The answer is that caucus is the very first step in making important decisions that will carry forward to each level of the election process, culminating in the Nov. 6 election. Here's how it works:
Picture the caucus as the first rung on a ladder that takes your preferences from the precinct level to the county level and on up to the district and state levels with delegates carrying your preferences all the way up the ladder. At our caucus Tuesday, attendees will hear our candidates or their representatives speak. Next, individual precincts will gather to express their preferences and to elect delegates to represent them at the Routt County Convention and Assembly on March 31.
The next steps on the ladder will be the district and state conventions and assemblies April 13 and 14. At each step, delegates will determine the candidates who will be on the ballot for that level. The winners of the June 26 primary will go forward to compete in the Nov. 6 election. So, that's the process. Now, let's look at the specifics.
President of the United States: President Barack Obama
U.S. House, Congressional District 3: Colorado House Rep. Sal Pace
CU Regent at large: incumbent Steve Ludwig
CU Regent for Congressional District 3: Jessica Garrow
Colorado House District 26: Routt County Commissioner Diane Mitsch Bush
Routt County Commissioner District 1: South Routt School Board President Tim Corrigan and Oak Creek Mayor Nikki Knoebel
Routt County Commissioner District 2: Commissioner Doug Monger
To choose delegates at caucus, we will vote on the highest (and in this case, only) contested Democratic race, which is the Routt County Commissioner District 1 race between Corrigan and Knoebel. The delegates to the County Assembly will be selected based on the results of this vote. We encourage you to become a delegate; it's an exciting and fulfilling way to participate.
Democratic Party platform
One of the best parts of caucus is talking with your neighbors about your goals and aspirations for our future. You will help formulate our Democratic Party platform, a statement of our most important Democratic principles which provides guidance to our elected representatives. For the past year, Democrats from all across Colorado have been working on a draft platform which is available at http://www.routtdems.org (click "Platform and Resolution Info" on the main menu). You are encouraged to review this draft in preparation for your precinct discussions of the platform. If you wish, you may offer your own plank for the platform; the website includes the format and instructions for submitting resolutions.
If you would like to be an election judge or a poll watcher, this is your chance. Other Routt volunteer opportunities abound, as well; just sign up at caucus.
If you don't know where your caucus will meet, visit http://pollingplaces.raiseyourvote.com. If you have any other questions about the caucus, call 970-870-2896.
How lucky we are to live in a country where each individual's opinion is solicited and considered at the very beginning of the election process. So come hear the candidates, participate in good conversation, listen to your neighbors' ideas and enjoy knowing you are an important first link in this grass-roots launch of the November election.
Lynn Abbott is a member of Routt County Democrats.