For eligible District 109 residents who are interested in issues affecting our local schools, joining the Caucus is a great way to perform a vital civic service by participating in the process of candidate endorsement for the District 109 Board of Education.
Find Out More About the Caucus
and What We Do
and What We Do
What is the Caucus?
We are community-run organization that’s been around for several decades. Our mission is to find, vet, and endorse the best-qualified candidates to run for the 109 Board of Education. Our members all reside in the 109 community, and many have sent their children to 109 schools. They are business people, educators, innovators, lawyers, administrators, stay-at-home parents, grandparents, among others, and they all share a deep passion for education and public schools.
What does the Caucus do?
The Caucus is responsible for identifying, interviewing, and endorsing the most qualified candidates for each vacant seat on the 109 Board of Education, in addition to supporting the endorsed candidates during the election.
Caucus members accomplish this mainly through meetings over the Caucus session, generally five times, over a 15-month period that starts in February of even-numbered years before an election year. Meetings are held in the evenings during the workweek.
Who can join the Caucus?
Anyone who is a resident of District 109 for a year prior to the start of the Caucus in February and is registered to vote. However, if you work in D109, are a current board member, or are running for the BoE, you cannot be on the Caucus. (But we thank you for all that you do in these roles!) You can find out more here.
How many people serve on the Caucus?
The Caucus can welcome up to 24 members and two alternates—12 who represent the schools and 12 who are at-large members. Please contact Robyn Schwartz if you are interested in joining the 2022–23 Caucus.
Do I have to have children in DPS 109 schools to join?
No, in fact the Caucus would like for at least two of its "at-large members" to be residents who do not currently have children in 109 schools.
Are there any other requirements for Caucus members?
The Caucus requires that each of its members attend at least two District 109 School Board meetings (typically between February and October) prior to the Caucus meeting at which members vote on the candidates to endorse.
How long does the Caucus last?
It’s a 15-month process. We hold five meetings starting in February of the year before a consolidated election. The first two meetings are about logistics, learning about the process, learning about how a school district works and the issues before it, with lots of discussion about reviewing, discussing, and voting on interview questions and the application for endorsement.
The second two meetings typically take place in late fall, where we interview each candidate twice. We then discuss each of the candidates and then vote on whom to endorse. The Caucus only endorses as many candidates as there are open seats, and it can also choose not to endorse candidates.
Can the public attend meetings?
Yes, we encourage members of the public to attend all of our business meetings.
How is the Caucus organized?
In addition to its members, the Caucus has an executive committee composed of a chair, two vice chairs (one for publicity and one for finance), a secretary, and the chair of the select committee (membership).
Who funds the Caucus?
The Caucus is self-funded, and we also work with other organizations and individuals who are interested in supporting Caucus-endorsed candidates to get the word out and publicize them.
Does the 109 Caucus work with DPS109 and the Board of Education?
No. The Caucus runs itself independently of the District and the Board.
Do you have to apply for Caucus endorsement if you want to run for the Board of Education?
No. But we think coming before the Caucus is a good idea. It provides candidates with an understanding of what it means to be a board member. The detailed application and interview process helps candidates to understand the many varied and complex issues before the district. It also encourages them to think critically about why they want to run. During interviews, members ask very pointed questions, simulating what a candidate might experience being on a board when faced with tough questions on issues.
What does the Caucus do once it has endorsed candidates?
The Caucus helps to promote and advertise the endorsed candidates to voters in the 109 community. We also work with other organizations and individuals who are interested in supporting Caucus-endorsed candidates to get the word out and publicize them.
How can I find out more about the Caucus, or sign up for updates?
Other questions about becoming a member?
Please contact Robyn Schwartz, Chair of the Caucus Select Committee.