Many people think that after the ballots have been counted, that’s the end of the political process until the next election season. In a “direct to primary” system, that might be the case, but in Utah we have the Neighborhood Caucus and Convention system that puts the power (and responsibility) in the hands of some very special people.
WHO ARE THEY?
When you attended your Neighborhood Caucus, you and your neighbors elected Delegates and Precinct Officers. These people are mothers, fathers, school teachers, laborers, doctors, nurses, bishops, priests, rabbis – they’re your neighbors and they live right nearby.
They’re concerned about things that are important to them, their family, and their neighbors.
WHY IS THAT IMPORTANT?
The United States of America is a representative form of government where we elect people to research topics and issues, and cast votes on our behalf. That’s how a Constitutional Republic works.
The Pledge of Allegiance reminds us that we are members of a Republic, and Article 4 of the Constitution requires that the “… United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government …”.
Some want to limit this Republic to just individual voters and the officials they elect, which essentially silences your voice after you’ve cast your ballot (at least until the next election season).
Under Utah’s Neighborhood Caucus and Convention System, your Precinct Officers and Delegates are still in office after the ballots are in – and elected officials know that they’ve got to listen to these people (your neighbors) through their entire terms of office if they want to secure a nomination for re-election during the next convention.
Instead of writing a letter or making a phone call to an elected official’s office, you can walk down the street and have a chat with your Precinct Officers and Delegates. They can then amplify your voice when they bring your views to the attention of your elected officials.
Of course you still can contact your elected officials directly (and we encourage you to do so), but make sure you amplify your voice by involving your Precinct Officers and Delegates, too!
THE PROPER ROLE OF GOVERNMENT
From the DCRP Platform:
Government exists by the consent of the governed and must be restrained from intruding into the freedom of its citizens. The function of government is not to grant rights, but to protect the unalienable, God-given rights of life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. Law that governs the people should be made by their elected representatives and not by courts or government agencies.
We urge all citizens to understand government actions more fully and to seek ways to improve government’s performance.
ACTIVISTS & LOBBYISTS
Does that mean Delegates and Precinct Officers are “Lobbyists”? Since they’re not paid (these are entirely voluntary positions), no, they’re not lobbyists by the classic definition.
Are they “activists”? In a sense, yes! These people are active in current events and the political environment. They were elected by you and your neighbors to represent the views and values of your neighborhood, and to to participate in or provide political education (DCRP Constitution, Article I, Section D). Who knows what’s important to in your neck of the woods than you and your neighbors? YOU are “the People” that our platform and the U.S. Constitution talks about.
Some have asked if the DCRP has this authority. Yes! Our platform urges all citizens to understand government actions more fully and to seek ways to improve government’s performance, how better than to use the Delegates and Precinct Officers in your neighborhood to amplify your voice? Your Precinct Officers are charged with working with your Legislative District Chair and Legislative District Vice-Chair to further the business and events of the DCRP (DCRP Bylaws 5.6.1), and ultimately making sure YOUR voice is heard!
RECRUIT AND ORGANIZE
Congratulations, you’re one of our recruits!
Now, let’s get organized and help be the real voice in our Republican form of government! We’ll be publishing a series of articles on how to do this over the coming weeks, so make sure you bookmark our webpage, “Like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter (see the links below).
Your vote has been counted, now let’s make sure that your voice continues to be heard!
Vice Chair, Davis County Republican Party