The Skokie Caucus Party is committed to assuring progressive, good government in the Village of Skokie. The Party is dedicated to encouraging individuals to participate in the public affairs of Skokie. It is our conviction that the best way to promote honest and efficient government is through actively working to elect qualified candidates for public office.
Visionary Professional Good Government
In the decade following World War II, Skokie’s proximity to Chicago led to an influx of new residents in search of a suburban life style. It was at that time, that the Skokie Caucus party was established in an effort to bring professional, non-political management into government, to handle the operations and affairs of the Village of Skokie. Now, 50 years since its inception, the Party continues to ensure open, honest and good government in the Village of Skokie through a coalition comprised of Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Non-political types and residents of every ideology and background.
In 1957, a group of Skokie citizens took on the existing political powers and helped transform Skokie into a professionally managed Village that espoused open and honest government. The impetus of this change was the adoption of a public referendum by the citizens of Skokie. The referendum created the current form of government, known as the Council-Manager Form of Government. The structure of this governance utilizes a village manager to administer the day-to-day operations. In the same year as the referendum, the Caucus Party was established and it ran a slate of candidates who were the only candidates that endorsed and advocated the Council-Manager referendum.
Skokie grew from a population of 14,382 residents in 1950 to 38,000 in 1955. Newspapers called Skokie, “Chicago’s fastest growing suburb.” This dynamic growth, caused a tripling of Village budget, and was one of the rationales for the need of a professional Village Manager.
In the 1950’s, members of the Skokie Homeowners Council, made up of different homeowners groups, were concerned that Village decisions were being made by the Village Board, Plan Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals, without public participation. In fact, some meetings were simply held without public notice.
A Committee for Village Manager was formed in 1956 by residents and persons involved in the homeowners groups. The Committee did not endorse any candidates or political parties, but pushed for the proposed referendum that would bring in a professional Village Manager, immune from political interference while leaving policy decisions to the Mayor and Trustees.
With the help of the supporters of the new Caucus Party, the referendum prevailed by a vote of 8,681 in favor and 6,438 in opposition. The Caucus Party candidates did not fare as well, losing in their first try, but two years later it was a different story.
In 1959, Skokie Caucus Party candidates won and the Party has been successfully involved in the Skokie landscape since that time, ensuring open government that encourages public participation, and professional management. As a result, by example, the Village is the only municipality in the country with a fully accredited Police Department, Public Works Department and Fire Department, with an ISO rating of 1.