SIOUX CITY -- There is firm agreement by Republican and Democratic party leaders on one issue, as they jointly asked Woodbury County school districts and other organizations to hold no activities on a Monday night one year off, so the evening can be cleared for people to take part in the Iowa caucuses.
In a joint statement and then press conference Monday, the leaders of the two county political parties said the caucuses on Feb. 3, 2020, are an important kickoff to the process of picking presidential nominees.
Therefore, Woodbury County Republican Party Chairwoman Suzan Stewart and county Democratic Party Chairman Jeremy Dumkrieger asked county school district leaders and others to limit events on caucus night. Doing that will also potentially free up school buildings, where caucuses are sometimes held by the political parties.
“We also want to be able to use the most accessible of locations, such as schools and community buildings, for our caucuses," Stewart said.
"While we may not always agree on policies and politics, we do agree that our democracy is stronger when more citizens participate, which is why we are inviting local organizations and schools to be part of the solution and free up Woodbury calendars for the night of the 2020 caucuses."
After the city news conference, Dumkrieger and Stewart spoke directly on their proposal at the Monday evening Sioux City School Board meeting.
"If you can just make it an off-limits night," that would be ideal, Stewart told the board members.
"There have been big basketball games before" on caucus night, Dumkrieger said.
Unlike primary elections that occur in nearly all other states, in caucuses each political party sets up multiple venues in every county.
Democrats and Republicans handle the actual vote differently, but the key is that residents debate the issues and discuss candidates before voting. That vote is then tallied statewide.
“The 2020 Iowa Caucus promises to be one of the most consequential in our lifetime and we’re working hard to make sure it's transparent, accessible, and successful. Freeing up schedules, especially for busy working families, will help us achieve that goal," Dumkrieger said.