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Caucus Training Offered

a Democratic precinct caucus in Davenport in 2016

Hoping to encourage more people to participate in the Iowa Caucuses, several groups in the Quad Cities will hold a caucus training session Wednesday night.

One of the organizers, Maria Bribriesco, says the program will be non-partisan, starting with short presentations by both county chairs, explaining how each party will choose their preferred candidates for president.

“Not only are the eyes of the country on us, I believe the eyes of the world, because the U.S. is such a powerful country. And because of the times we live in. In fact I have a friend from New Zealand that’s coming because she’s so interested in the Iowa Caucuses - to be here and be an observer.”

And despite the importance of this first-in-the-nation competition for the candidates, she says relatively few Iowans participate in the caucuses.

“Íf an Iowan goes and participates in a caucus, their voice is amplified. So for every one Iowan that participates in the caucuses, it’s basically around 100,000 Californians. I heard that from a presidential candidate and I go wow, that’s probably right.”

As in the past, Bribriesco says Republicans will use secret ballots to decide who their favorite candidates are. New this year for Democrats - attendees will fill out preference cards with their first choice, and only have to indicate a second choice if their first does not receive at least 15 per cent (to become "viable”). The goal is make the caucuses less chaotic than in the past.

Sponsors of the Caucus Training on Wednesday night from 5 to 7 pm at the Davenport Library’s Eastern Avenue branch include Progressive Action for the Common Good, the American Association of University Women, Quad City Alliance for Immigrants and Refugees, and the Alliance for Retired Americans. 

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.