The Clarendon Hills Community Caucus is a non-profit organization that adheres to objectives, principles, and By-Laws that are determined by the residents of Clarendon Hills. It has served an important community role since 1944. All residents who are eligible to vote are automatically Caucus members and are strongly urged to participate and vote in open, public meetings of the Caucus. All Caucus meetings are publicly announced in local newspapers and other media
The Clarendon Hills Community Caucus Explained The Clarendon Hills Community Caucus is the process by which the slate of candidates for various village offices is developed for presentation to voters next spring. This article answers the most asked questions regarding the nature and operation of this long-standing institution.
What is the Caucus?The Caucus is a system or process by which candidates for local government offices are identified, examined and presented to the electorate. It is an alternative to partisan political activity in which issue-oriented and special interest groups compete for political control, often without making their objectives known to the voters. As a result, the caucus system is the most frequently utilized candidate selection process in primarily residential Chicago suburbs with educational, income and average home value characteristics similar to those in Clarendon Hills.
Who are the members of the Caucus? All eligible voters residing in Clarendon Hills are automatically Caucus members. Actual membership and participation in the process requires only that interested parties attend the Town Meeting, to be held in December. At the Town Meeting, candidates for various village offices developed by various Caucus Nominating Committees are presented and additional nominations from anyone attending that meeting are considered. Following this, a vote is taken of those present and the Caucus slate for the following spring is determined.
How are members of the Nominating Committees selected? Each nominating committee shall consist of at least three, nor more than twelve, members. Nominating committees are selected from interested member volunteers. If more than twelve members wish to serve, then the positions shall be subject to a vote of members present at the Kick-Off Meeting held in September. The committee candidates receiving the highest vote totals are declared to comprise their respective committees. These committees choose their own chairmen and proceed with their charge.
How do these committees develop a list of potential candidates? At the conclusion of the September meeting, all Caucus members present are asked to submit their recommendations for various office candidates to the appropriate committee. Similar requests are made to all Clarendon Hills’ residents through articles in the local newspapers, personal requests from committee members to friends and neighbors, the efforts of Caucus Officers and other actions. All potential candidates will be interviewed and considered if they indicate their interest in participating.
What are the committees looking for in potential candidates? Caucus By-laws state that “the office shall seek the candidate.” The Caucus By-laws forbid the Caucus from taking positions on local issues. Accordingly, candidates are selected on the basis of their interest in, and awareness of, local issues without regard to the position they might have on those issues. Other important qualities include evidence of interest in village activities demonstrated by active participation in village government or local organizations.