Caucuses need help now for spring election

Community is important to Hinsdaleans.

We see it in the way they volunteer at schools and other organizations, the financial contributions they make to philanthropic agencies and the support they offer to friends and neighbors in need.

The wonderful community here is woven together by many different threads. One of those threads is local government, and, by extension, the Hinsdale Caucus and the D86 Board of Education Election Caucus. And much as the school PTO or your church or the food pantry might call on you to volunteer, the caucuses are calling on you to get involved.

The Hinsdale Caucus will hold an informational meeting from Oct. 19, at the Hinsdale Public Library (see Page XX for details).

Caucus 86 is looking for delegates from all Hinsdale High School District 86 feeder schools, including those in Community Consolidated Elementary District 181. Read more about their efforts and how to volunteer on Page 7 of today’s paper.

Both groups have been identifying, interviewing and endorsing candidates for decades. The Hinsdale Caucus began its work in 1934, and the D86 Caucus was initially formed in the 1970s.

Both groups were prevented from convening for the 2021 election due to COVID-19, and the Hinsdale Caucus did not have enough volunteers to operate for the 2019 election.

And while the Hinsdale Caucus typically endorses candidates for village president, village board, library board and the Community Consolidated Elementary District 181 Board, they might endorse candidates in only one race this election cycle.

Some might question the purpose of a caucus, since individuals can run for these offices on their own.

And many do. But others need a little push. That’s where the caucuses comes in.

Delegates might know someone — or know someone who knows someone — who would make a great village trustee or school board member. Former District 181 Board President Mridu Garg told us last month she would not have considered running for the school board if she had not been approached by the caucus. Susan Blumberg-Kason said she never thought of running for a seat on the library board until she volunteered to serve on the caucus.

We do our own candidate interviews and our own endorsements for these local offices here at The Hinsdalean. In the past, in contested races, sometimes we’ve agreed with the caucuses’ picks. Other times we’ve expressed a different point of view. But we believe the work the caucuses do is valuable, particularly in finding qualified people to run who do not have a particular agenda or ax to grind.

Any registered voter who lives in Hinsdale may serve as a caucus delegate for the Hinsdale Caucus; those who live in District 86 are eligible for its caucus. Delegates need attend only a handful of meetings over a couple of months in the fall before the election, so the commitment is not overwhelming.

And volunteering has a variety of benefits, former delegates said, from learning more about the community to forming new friendships.

We encourage all who are interested to get involved.