Thank you for expressing interest in organizing a caucus at Netroots Nation 2023!
Below you’ll find an overview of caucuses that includes best practices for submitting and organizing a caucus. Please take a moment to review the information below, and reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Much like our other content, we look for well thought-out proposals that provide a value add to the community–without astro-turfing. They are not a training or panel. Caucuses are about creating spaces for engaging conversations and building community.
What is a caucus?
Caucuses are community-driven spaces that foster discussion around issues within a specific identity or affinity group, or an issue or policy area. They are not run by the Netroots staff, but by attendees that agree to help organize and facilitate the caucus.
What kinds of caucuses are there?
Caucuses can be focused on identity or affinity groups, on a policy or issue area, or geographical region. They can also be open or closed. An open caucus means anyone can attend, but a closed caucus means attendees must identify as part of the community outlined in the description. Some examples:
- Geographic region: State or regional caucuses (Illinois Caucus, Southeast Caucus)
- Policy or issue: Pro-Choice Caucus, Immigration Caucus, Environmental Justice Caucus, Labor Caucus
- Affinity or identity group: LGBTQ+ Caucus, Black Caucus, AAPI Caucus, Faith-Based Caucus, Parents Caucus, Women’s Caucus, Youth Caucus
- Affinity/identity caucuses can also be multi-identity caucuses, for example: Black Women’s Caucus, LGBTQ+ People of Color Caucus
- Most closed caucuses are affinity/identity caucuses. Please respect those spaces and do not join those sessions if you are not part of the group.
What does a well-thought-out caucus proposal look like?
A good caucus provides a value add to the community and is well-facilitated. A caucus is not a panel or training. Caucuses offer space to explore a variety of perspectives and empower attendees to connect at the conference and beyond. Some examples of well-drafted caucuses from prior years are below:
What is the organizer’s role?
Caucus organizers are responsible for collaborating with fellow organizers to create some structure, promoting the caucus, and serving as facilitators and time managers on the day of the caucus. We usually suggest 1-2 folks work together to organize and facilitate a caucus.
Allowing folks to engage is central to a good caucus. A few ways organizers can facilitate and encourage participation:
- Have a loose agenda for the time, but let the community weigh in about their priorities.
- Leverage small group discussions and report backs. Groups can be split up into topic areas, or a set of topics can be provided to each group to discuss.
- Create social spaces for folks to connect before and after the caucus. It’ll help drive turnout and engagement!
What are the room logistics like?
Netroots Nation provides easels, easel pads and markers for each caucus space. Caucuses are either set up as small rounds or in theater space. The room sizes vary, but most accommodate 40-80 folks. Caucus rooms do not have AV, as they are not meant to be trainings or panels where one person presents.
If you need any accessibility accommodations for your caucus please, note them in your submission or email us at email@example.com.