Every four years Iowans have an opening-gate start to shape the presidential race with their first-in-the-nation caucuses. On caucus night, Jan. 3, Iowans will gather by party preference to elect delegates to the 99 county conventions.
The Democratic Party meets at 6:30 p.m. and the Republican Party meets at 7 p.m. Check with local media or the political parties for caucus sites. Remember that your precinct number is on our voter registration card. You can register to vote or switch party registration at the caucus site.
Charlene Merritt of Bettendorf plans to participate in a caucus and urges other Catholics to do the same and to urge their precincts to promote a pro-life platform.
“All Catholics should go en masse to their caucuses Jan. 3, understanding their obligation to demand a platform plank that protects the most vulnerable among us – the innocent preborn children,” she said.
Judy Weber of Richland also plans to participate in her precinct’s caucus. In a letter to the editor last week, she observed: “I attend my local caucus and the main object is to present a platform for the county. Every year I put a pro-life clause in our local meeting. It must be written. Could we have some suggestions as to what to write?”
The Catholic Messenger asked Tom Chapman, executive director of the Iowa Catholic Conference, for his suggestions. Here’s what he offered:
Typically following the presidential preference process, time will be available to present resolutions for approval by the precinct. Many groups will have resolutions ready.
To present a resolution, have each resolution on its own sheet of paper. You may wish to bring some extra copies to help in your lobbying of caucus attendees. Check at the caucus location to see if you need to use an official Resolution Submission Form.
You are also encouraged to volunteer or have someone nominate you to participate as a delegate to the county convention. The key to the caucuses is being prepared and organized.
Some examples of possible resolutions:
• Be it resolved that the right to life exists from the moment of conception. We support legislation that further restricts abortion, including late-term and “telemed” abortions.
• We support amending the Iowa Constitution to define marriage as a union of one man and one woman.
• We support parental choice in education by broadening financial assistance to families through tax credits or other means to allow their children to attend the school of their choice.
• We oppose disproportionate cuts to programs that support the poor and vulnerable.
• We support measures to preserve, protect, and improve the quality of the air, water, and land in Iowa.
• We support the basic human rights of documented and undocumented immigrants and refugees, and oppose efforts to give state and local police additional responsibility for the enforcement of federal immigration laws.
For more information about the caucus process visit: http://www.iowacaucus.biz/IA_Caucus_Howitworks.html. For more information on election issues, view the Faithful Citizen document at www.faithfulcitizenship.org., or visit the Iowa Catholic Conference website: www.iowacatholicconference.org.