The word "caucus" may derive from an Algonquin Indian term describing their advisory form of representative democracy. In the Pitkin County experience, the word connotes representative democracy at the most local level where policies are formulated and recommended by the people whom they most affect. Once formulated at the local caucus level, these policies provide elected and appointed County officials with recommendations to enact just laws and policies.
Pitkin County has long recognized the value of representative democracy, especially in rural county settings where geographic areas within the county may differ in priorities and values. The Pitkin County Home Rule Charter defines the statutory parameters of caucuses. The primary functions of Pitkin County caucuses include making recommendations to the county on matters affecting the caucus area including:
- Development of county laws
- Budgetary appropriations
- Land-use approval
- Rules and regulations and work-program matters
Recognized caucus areas reflect geographically contiguous areas with social, economic, cultural and environmental communities of interest. Below is a link to information on each Pitkin County Caucus area including geographic area, bylaws, master plans, meeting announcements and minutes, and caucus contacts.