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What is the Metro Mayors Caucus?
The Metro Mayors Caucus is a voluntary, consensus based organization of mayors that work together on issues of regional importance. The Caucus was formed in 1993 at the urging of then Mayors Margaret Carpenter (Thornton), Don Parsons (Northglenn), Susan Thornton (Littleton), Linda Morton (Lakewood), and Wellington Webb (Denver) who felt that a non-competitive forum was needed for the region’s elected officials to build relationships and discuss issues of common concern. The Caucus is unique in that it provides a forum for the discussion of issues that are critical to our members, individually as cities and collectively as a region. In this forum, equal weight is afforded to the issues and positions of small and large member jurisdictions.
How is the Caucus funded?
The Caucus is dependent on voluntary dues contributions from its members. In 1995 and 1996, the Caucus received operating grants from the Department of Local Affairs. DOLA's primary interest was in helping to build the local capacity to address public issues and in expanding cooperation among local governments. Suggested member contributions are based on an annual per capita formula, currently .08¢.
Why isn’t the Caucus part of CML or DRCOG?
In 1994, John Parr and Peter Kenney (then with the National Civic League) approached the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) and the Colorado Municipal League (CML) to gauge their interest in providing strategic advice and staff support to the Caucus. Neither organization was inclined to take on staffing responsibility for the Caucus. The issue has subsequently been raised on a number of occasions and the general consensus has been that the Caucus should remain a separate entity. Because the Denver metropolitan region's issues and positions often differ from the broader statewide positions of CML, a separate and equally valid voice for the metro area is needed. DRCOG is a close partner of the Caucus and the two organizations' membership often overlap. However, the competitive nature of funding decisions at DRCOG as well as the variety of elected officials serving on the board have been viewed as obstacles to DRCOG's playing a role akin to that played by the Caucus as a regional consensus based body.
Initially, part-time support was provided by the National Civic League, where John Parr was President and Peter Kenney was Senior Associate. In 1997, when John and Peter formed the Center for Regional & Neighborhood Action (now known as Civic Results) the management of the Caucus was transferred to the new not-for-profit firm. Catherine Kearney Marinelli has provided management support and strategic advice to the Caucus since 1996.
What issues does the Caucus focus on and how are they selected?
The Caucus strives to address issues of common concern among its members. To this end, surveys are conducted to gauge member interests on an annual basis. The Caucus has dealt with many issues in its history including transportation, health and wellness, energy efficiency, water conservation, multi-modal transportation, youth violence, air quality & telecommunications.
How are leadership positions awarded within the Caucus?
The Executive Committee is the primary agenda setting body for the Caucus. The Caucus is governed and represented by the Chair and two Co-Vice Chairs of the Caucus (selected by members at the annual retreat). The Chair is ordinarily a Co-Vice Chair from the prior year. The Immediate Past Chair is retained as an officer of the Executive Committee unless he or she has left office.
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