Friday, February 01, 2008

Good article on the Colorado Caucus in the Colorado Daily:
My media release of my NEWCOMERS GUIDE TO THE COLORADO CAUCUS (see below) has resulted in interviews: Tomorrow (Saturday, Feb 2) 7:20 a.m. on KOA Radio, Sunday (Feb 3) on TV News9. This afternoon, Denver Grassroots Rally, We'll decide whether or not to make it a weekly meeting.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

I'm about to send out this media release:

Thursday, January 31, 2008
Contact: John Wren cell (720)495-4949 TIPS FOR COLORADO CAUCUS NEWCOMERS.
or Veteran community activist gives advice.

Citing a lack of political voice for Colorado's grassroots, veteran community activist John Wren announced today that he is distributing a tip sheet for political newcomers (see my posting earlier this morning here on this blog below) who are planning on attending their neighborhood meeting for the Colorado Caucus next Tuesday, Feb 5. The tip sheet will be distributed to local media for publication, at the meeting of the Denver Grassroots Rally on Friday, Feb 1, 4 p.m. at Panera Bread, 13th & Grant and on Wren’s website Contact or (303)861-1447.

Announcing the effort, Wren said: "The USA used to be a nation of shopkeepers, but we are rapidly becoming a nation of clerks working for large corporations. Our founding fathers were small business owners and entrepreneurs; we must get more of today’s business owners and entrepreneurs involved in local politics and government if we are to preserve our Republic."

John S. Wren, MBA+ is an adult educator and consultant. He is outgoing president of the Denver South Optimists Club, and a member of the board of directors of the Denver Lions Club. He is the past-president of the Rocky Mountain Direct Marketing Association, the Denver City Club, the Colorado College Republicans, and the University of Denver Graduate Students Association. He is one of the founders of Save the Caucus which defeated Amendment 29 in 2002 which would have destroyed the neighborhood caucus-assembly system for nominating to the primary ballot. He has service as precinct committee person, district captain, and on the executive committee for state and county political parties. He formed the first Franklin Circle in Denver in 1996, based on the group Franklin formed in 1727 in Philadelphia.

Are you new to the Colorado political system? You are not alone!

Colorado has a wonderful caucus-assemly system for nominating candidates for local political office to the primary ballot. Unfortunately participation has dramatically decreased in the past couple of decades.

This year the Colorado Caucus is getting lots more media attention because of the fact on of the national conventions is going to be held here in Denver and other reasons.

Because of all the publicity, many political newcomers are thinking about attending their neighborhood precinct caucus for the first time next Tuesday.

Here are tips for these newcomers I'm sending to the local media today:

Just show up!

Next Tuesday, February 5th, will you show up for your neighborhood precinct caucus? The League of Women Voters has said it is at this bi-annual neighborhood meeting where the voices of the common person, people like me and you, counts for the most.

Tip O’Neill once said, “All politics is local.” Politics does not get more local than this meeting with your like-minded neighbors, held every two years here in Colorado since 1912. Everyone is welcome to attend, and those who were affiliated by last December 5 can vote.

My friend Sue O’Brien, long time activist and political reporter with the Denver Post, said it best when she was still with us:

“(The Colorado Caucus is) a vibrant neighborhood forum for hashing out ideas—the last remaining arena in which you can get on the first rung of the ladder toward political effectiveness by just showing up.” (Sue O’Brien, Denver Post Columnist, 10/6/2002)

Newcomers are sometimes hesitant to just show up, and that is really too bad. The meetings are usually short, a lot of fun, and they are a very good way to meet your neighbors, which we need to do at least every couple of years!

The meetings strengthen our neighborhoods, they improve our local government, and, most importantly, each is a place you can identify and encourage new, fair-minded, open, grassroots neighborhood leaders for the bi-annual renewal of our political system.

I’ve served as precinct committee person (or neighborhood leader) district captain (of an area of 40 or so neighborhoods) and on the executive committee at the county and state level, volunteered in several campaigns, and I’ve recently started something called the Denver Grassroots Rally to encourage more civic participation to improve our local government.

Based on my experience, here are 7 suggestions for using your neighborhood caucus to choose better political leaders and representatives, and to perhaps eventually get elected to serve yourself:

1. If you don’t do anything else on this list, just show up! Show up at 7 p.m. next Tuesday (Feb 5). Find out where to go from one of the presidential campaigns or your county or state political party listed in the phone book. It helps if you come early. Everyone can attend and participate in the discussion; if you were affiliated by December 5 you can vote. Without question, this is the #1 networking activity in the State! Just show up! Which party? Neither is perfect, just pick one and jump in! The political party is simply a tool for expressing your values and philosophy.

2. Take a few minutes between now and next Tuesday and talk with your precinct leaders in advance. Volunteer to help. Your county or state political party should be able to give you a phone number. If your precinct leader is open and welcoming, support him or her. If not, plan on getting elected as precinct leader yourself or supporting someone else who offers to serve.

3. Do something to help your precinct leader. Invite a neighbor or two to go with you. Bring cookies and an information sheet about yourself if you want to volunteer to be elected as the new precinct leader or delegate.

4. Just say “yes.” Volunteer to be a precinct leader and delegate to all the nominating assemblies. If others are picked by your neighbors for these elected jobs, be a good sport and volunteer to help whoever is chosen between now and the next caucus in two years. You will eventually get your turn.

5. Very few new players make the starting line-up at their first practice. Be patient and learn all you can. It may not be your turn to be a leader or delegate. But you can make a big difference by voting for precinct leaders and delegates who are fair-minded and open. And you can attend the county and state assemblies and conventions as an observer or, better yet, as a volunteer; contact your county and state party and tell them you’d be willing to help.

6. Get involved with the political party of your choice! Join one of the many political clubs such as the Young Democrats or Young Republicans or a group for the party, candidate, or issue of your choice. Don’t let the volunteers for the various presidential campaigns have all the fun! Volunteer to help in your neighborhood with a local political campaign for a candidate or cause that is important to you.

7. Finally, get involved in your neighborhood. Learn the names of the owners of the local businesses in your neighborhood. Start reading your local newspaper or newsletter, if you don’t have a good one in your neighborhood, start one! Get active in your local neighborhood association, the Neighborhood Watch program through your local police department, your local church, temple, or synagogue, and other local clubs and activities. You’ll improve your neighborhood, and you’ll be ready to help your neighborhood precinct caucus be even better in two years!

Every two years here in Colorado the torch of liberty is passed to fight the powerful forces that would deny us this privilege. Next Tuesday (Feb 5) you and I can show up and vote for neighborhood leaders and delegates best able to carry this torch and renew our system of self-government.

Brave men and women have died to give us this sacred privilege. After so many have given everything, is it too much for us to give just a couple of hours next Tuesday? And then, perhaps, for an hour or two each month until we meet again with our neighbors to select our leaders and delegates again in a couple of years?

After you attend next Tuesday, tell us about your experience and find out more at the new Denver Grassroots Rally. See our message board anytime or join us for our next meeting. Get more information and RSVP online at

What have I left out? Post your comments here, or better yet call into radio talk shows here in Colorado between now and next Tuesday and give newcomers your encouragement and the benefit of your experience. Feel free to use my tips above as a starting point, create your own list, and then email your friends and encourage them to attend.

Can you join us tomorrow (Friday, Feb 1) for the Denver Grassroots Rally? We hope to get some media coverage of us passing out copies of the above tips, and people like you getting up on a soap box to give political newcomers tips about the caucus. (Will someone bring a video camera and put it up on You Tube?) More info about tomorrows meeting and optional RSVP at

Finally, watch Channel 9 here in Denver Sunday (Feb 3) morning at 10:30 a.m., they will be talking about the Colorado Caucus and may even air a short video of me talking about it.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

It’s Mozart birthday today, who said, "When I am, as it were, completely myself, entirely alone, and of good cheer — say traveling in a carriage, or walking after a good meal, or during the night when I cannot sleep — it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best, and most abundantly. Whence and how they come, I know not, nor can I force them."

Probably not, especially since in this hotly contested election year, many who have never participated before are expected to show up. So you won’t be alone. Plus, these caucus meetings are scripted so that any average Joe can walk in and follow along or even run the meeting.

From the Colorado Springs Gazette;s well done Q & A on the Colorado Caucus today:

The Denver Post continues it’s daily profile of people who plan on attending their neighborhood precinct caucus February 5.

What does the Colorado Caucus mean to you? The Denver Post wants to hear about it: