Election fever may be several months away, but the Macomb Township Republican Caucus is already organizing its first events with the aim of raising resident interest in the actions of township government and school boards.
With a starting membership of around 30 residents, caucus chairman John Wolfsberger Jr., 58, said the next few months will be spent growing membership, fund-raising and increasing engagement.
“We’re organized around the township, so our primary focus is going to be on municipal government and school boards,” Wolfsberger said. “That’s not to imply that we see a problem with Macomb Township, actually Macomb is very well run and we are in a very good financial situation, so we want to see to it that it stays that way.”
The caucus will operate primarily on a township level–only endorsing state and national candidates after the primaries–and organize by precincts.
“The idea is that precinct delegates should represent the people through the party,” Wolfsberger said.
As the caucus grows, Wolfsberger said an issues committee would be formed to target specific areas of concern for township residents.
An example of one of the issues the committee is likely to address is the township’s lack of sidewalks along main roads and crossroads.
“I hope it doesn’t sound like we’re saying this is earth-shattering, or disastrous, but these are issues on which we could improve the community and the quality of life,” Wolfsberger said. “We could work with our city government, our elected officials to build a consensus or facilitate a discussion on what ought to be done in those areas.”
In the realm of schools, Wolfsberger said the caucus plans to check various textbooks being used in the township’s schools against the grading system created by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a nonpartisan research and educational institute.
“We want to find out what our kids are being taught,” Wolfsberger said. “We don’t want to create problems where there aren’t any. If we dig into it and find out that all four of the school boards that cover Macomb Township are using an economic textbook that got graded A, then well done.”
Although the Macomb caucus is one of the first of its kind in the area, Wolfsberger said as neighboring caucuses develop, it would work with fellow caucuses on issues that cross borders, such as those concerning school districts.
The November 2012 election and following school board elections will be the focal point of the group, but the group will host monthly events to keep members engaged and active.
“The danger of any political group is that it turns into a once-a-month social club, so we’re going to develop activities to build the organization and make it interesting,” he said.
There are dues to join the caucus and, by affiliation, the Republican Committee of Northern Macomb County but voting members of the caucus can be as young as 16 years old.
The caucus meets monthly, with the next meeting at 7 p.m. on Aug. 29 at Aspen Restaurant.
A RCNMC fundraising dinner will follow on Aug. 30 at Zuccaro Banquets and Catering in Chesterfield. The 2011 Reagan Leadership Dinner will feature Congresswoman Candice Miller, R-Harrison Township, and Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson as well as Macomb County's state representatives and senators.
For more information on the caucus, or to inquire about membership, email email@example.com.
On the opposite side of the political spectrum, Macomb Township is served by the Macomb County Democratic Committee, as no township-specific committee exists at this time.