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What is a Caucus?

A “caucus” is commonly defined as a meeting of persons belonging to a common group who get together to nominate candidates for public office, or to confer regarding measures of policy. It is often the "third leg" of the Council-Manager form of government, and is operating in one form or another in communities throughout the Northshore and beyond. 

What is The Winnetka Caucus? A non-partisan democratic system founded in 1915 to gather and apply resident input to the governance of the Village. All voting-age residents of the Village of Winnetka and communities that pay taxes to Winnekta's Parks, Library, Schools or Village are members of the Winnetka Caucus.

What is the Winnetka Caucus Council? The Winnetka Caucus Council (WCC) is the representative body of the Winnetka Caucus and serves as liasoin between residents and Winnetka's four governing boards. Up to 68 volunteers from the Village's 16 precincts plus at-large members from communities that pay taxes to Winnetka's governing boards serve on the Caucus Council. The Caucus Council assembles each year to survey residents on issues of importance, advise the governing boards via platforms based on survey data, and interview and slate qualified candidates for the open seats on those four boards. Serves as the liaison...

Is Winnetka Caucus Council a political party?

At this time, the WCC has chosen not to file a D-1 and register as a political party in the State of Illinois. Nevertheless, as a non-partisan Caucus, our candidates must register with the State Elections Board, and follow all its requirements to be qualified and placed on the Spring ballots, where they are listed, along with any other residents who choose to run from Winnetka, as "non-partisan" or "independent."  

Who can serve on the Winnetka Caucus Council?

Any voting-age resident who has lived in Winnetka for more than 1 year, or lives within the Winnetka Park District or Winnetka-Northfield Library District, is eligible to serve. Terms are staggered in order to continually bring in fresh ideas and talents while retaining a degree of continuity. Each member serves a term of 3 years with an option to serve a fourth.

What are the Committees on the Caucus Council?

There are five (5) Major Committees: Library, Parks, Schools, Village Candidates Selection and Village Platforms. There are four (4) Standing Committees: Rules, Communications, Fundraising and New Trier Township High School Caucus Nominators.  The New Trier committee operates only in even-numbered years and selects Winnetka delegates to serve on the New Trier Caucus, which in turn interviews and slates candidates for the New Trier School Board.

Who manages the Winnetka Caucus Council?

WCC is managed by an Executive Committee of the Caucus Council volunteers. The Executive Committee consists of a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer, of the WCC, and as Chairs of the five Major and 4 Standing Committees.

What are the Winnetka Caucus Council's core functions?

The Council's two main functions are to:

1.    Develop a Platform based on planks that reflect residents’ views and opinions to guide the work of the four Village boards.

2.    Nominate qualified candidates to serve as President of the Village, and to serve on the Library, Parks, District 36 Schools and Village Council Boards. 

How are the Village platforms created?

The WCC produces an annual survey, distributed to residents, that includes key issues affecting the Library, Parks, District 36 Schools and Village.  A platform is based on planks that reflect residents’ views and survey responses. The platform is to help guide the work of the four Village boards.

How are Candidates selected?

Each year, WCC slates qualified candidates for any open positions on the four Village boards by carefully reviewing each of the applicant’s written responses to the application, in person interview, references and background check. The approved slate of candidates is then presented to the full caucus for final approval at the Annual Town Meeting in the fall.  WCC then supports the slated candidates in the upcoming election.

How Can You Become Involved?

Contact us at any time through our website or email us directly at to volunteer. You can also participate by responding to the annual survey, attending town hall meetings, respond to volunteer calls and attend WCC board meetings.


How is the Winnetka Caucus Council Funded?

The WCC is funded through your donations. The WCC is an independent organization that relies solely on voluntary contributions. It receives no tax dollars or government funds. 

Want more? Here are our bylaws. and for more information, contact us.

Winnetka Caucus Explained
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