A chance to make an impact

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Joe Webb

Have you ever wanted to have a real impact on state and local politics? Are there issues and concerns that you wish to have brought to others attention? Is there a candidate who you wish to vote for and have others support as well? In Colorado, you can do all of this and much more on Tuesday, March 6, at your neighborhood caucus.
Every two years in Colorado as part of the political process, we have what is called a neighborhood caucus. You and your neighbors who are part of the same political party meet to accomplish several things. First, you elect a precinct committeeman to represent all of you on your local party’s central committee. Secondly, you elect delegates and alternates to your Jefferson County Assembly (Republican or Democrat) as well as delegates to higher assemblies like your congressional district and your state assembly. Lastly, you and your neighbors will choose which resolutions should be adopted at your county and state assembly.
While some decry caucuses as anachronistic and out of date, I beg to disagree. Like a town hall meeting from New England, the caucus system in Colorado is probably the best example of direct democracy in action in our state. Neighbors who share like-minded concerns meet to hash out issues and elect people to represent them in large political assemblies. Those who are elected as delegates or precinct committee people report back to you the average citizen. That’s accountability in a basic simple form. You can question those who wish to go on to assemblies or those who wish to serve as a precinct committee person. If you don’t like what they say then don’t vote for them.
Caucus is a good thing for Colorado on both sides of the political aisle. I would submit those who oppose caucuses and wish to replace them with a primary are doing so by diminishing the voices of the less influential in our state.
If you are elected as a delegate to a higher assembly, do attend. Consider it a form of service to your neighbors because you will pay for the privilege. On the Republican side in Jeffco, we have badge fees to pay for these assemblies at both the county and state level. If you wish to run as a delegate or alternate for the state assembly then you must also run to represent your neighbors at our Jeffco Assembly. Badge fees for Jefferson County in 2018 are $25, while the badge fees for state are $70 to be a delegate. Please bring your badge fees to the caucus if you are elected. Assemblies cost money to put on, and the collective costs of those assemblies are borne by the delegates on the GOP side.
These assemblies are a lot like the precinct caucus, but instead of being on a neighborhood level they are on a county level and, ultimately, state level. I would be suspicious of attending any caucus or assembly where the cost of participation is “free.”  People who call the tune ultimately must get paid. On the GOP side, the one who pays and decides what happens is we the people because no one should control our collective voices.
You should attend caucus for more reasons than I just elaborated. It’s on a weeknight and maybe babysitters will have to be found. It’s a way to connect with your neighbors, meet like-minded people and attempt to influence the course of Jefferson County and the United States. If you have never participated and are a qualified registered Republican, I personally invite you to attend.

Joe Webb is the chairman for the Jefferson County Republican Party.