Caucus Party in Skokie employs new outreach methods
Updated: September 3, 2012 12:50PM
SKOKIE — The Skokie Caucus Party has increased its visibility in recent months, looking for more opportunities to reach out to the public, members say.
Those who visited Skokie’s Fourth of July Parade probably noticed a larger Caucus Party parade group this year, not to mention the manual back scratchers it passed out for the first time.
But the biggest addition to its outreach arsenal is a new question-of-the-week program that can be found on the Caucus Party website, skokiecaucusparty.com.
That’s where visitors can both ask and read answers to questions.
Every week, the party selects a single question from a citizen, and a Village Board member is filmed while answering the question; the response appears as an online video.
“Why does the village of Skokie purchase property throughout the village?”
“Why did the village bring a Walmart to Skokie?”
“Name a service that the village of Skokie has for families with small children.”
The question of the week has been running for the last couple of months, and Caucus Party representatives say website traffic has increased.
“Since we started,” said Shalom Klein, a member of the party’s board of directors, “we’ve received more and more questions on the website.”
Klein said the party receives six to seven questions a week before deciding which one to tackle. The party also communicates directly with those asking the question in addition to posting the online answer, he said.
“The question of the week is really an opportunity to address another few people who have serious, serious questions about their community,” Klein said. “In many cases, we have answers to those questions.”
Klein said the website has had 1,600 visits on YouTube since the question of the week was introduced, and traffic is “growing very, very quickly.”
While the party’s video question of the week program is a new feature, Village Trustee and Caucus Party Vice Chair Michael Lorge believes it’s in keeping with the party’s long-time mission.
“I think it’s really a continuum and nothing new,” Lorge said. “For the longest time I’ve been involved in the Caucus Party, we’ve had town hall meetings periodically to accomplish the same thing. To be vibrant as a political party, we have to be absorbing new ideas to reach the community.”
Lorge said all of the Caucus Party programs throughout the years have been about finding a way to engage people and to hear their concerns.
“The reality is that only the methods to accomplish this have changed,” he said. “If we’re not responsive to the electronic world, shame on us.”