Archive - May 2012
This evening, Democrats from around the Third Congressional District gathered at North Haven High School to select ten delegates and an alternate to go to the Democratic National Convention which will take place later this year in Charlotte, NC. As I arrived, I ran into a former chair of the Democratic Town Committee from Woodbridge. Inside, I saw many familiar faces; elected officials and Democratic Town Committee members from Woodbridge, friends from various campaigns around the state; all the usual suspects.
I also ran into a woman from West Haven who had read about the caucus in the notice in the New Haven Register. She had never been to a caucus like this before and wasn't sure exactly how things would play out. It became pretty clear, pretty quickly. A 'Unity Slate' was distributed listing five male delegates, five female delegates and one alternate that some group of people had united behind. I found it interesting that the Unity Slate had a union bug on the printing, but no statement about who was responsible for the printing.
Prior to the convening of the caucus many people were politicking, talking about various campaigns. Soon, everyone was writing their selections on the ballot, and the politicking resumed while the ballots were being counted. In the end, the 'Unity Slate' was elected. It included Matthew Brokman of New Haven, Marti Carlson of Guilford, Jayuan Carter of New Haven, Nia Holston of New Haven, Daniel Drew of Middletown, Tessa Marquis of Milford, Paul Wallace of New Haven, Lori Pelletier of Middletown, Gerry Weiner of Woodbridge, Carmen Reyes of New Haven with Walt Spader of North Haven as the Alternate.
Once the voting was completed and the results announced, there was a little more brief politicking and everyone headed home.
(Also submitted to the Bethwood Patch)
Below is a blog post I've written for the Bethwood Patch, announcing that I am resuming writing for them, this time as a blogger, as well as letting Democrats in the Third Congressional District know about the upcoming Democratic National Committee Delegate Selection Caucus.
Around a year and a half ago, I briefly wrote an 'Around Town' column for Bethwood Patch, before taking a new job as Social Media Manager for the Community Health Center in Middletown. I tried to keep up the column with my new job, but I was just too busy. I started a blog for work, I continued my personal blog, and I did hosted an Internet radio show with my youngest daughter.
Since then, various people have encouraged me to write a blog for Bethwood Patch. They even suggested that I could simply copy material from my other blogs and post some of the material here.
Recently, I started setting up yet another blog, where I intend to write about my run for State Representative in the 114th Assembly District which includes Woodbridge and parts of Orange and Derby.
With all of this, I have decided to accept the offer from the Bethwood Patch. I can't say for certain how often I'll be able to write blog posts here or how long I'll be able to keep up the blog posts, but I do hope for an ongoing discussion.
With that, let me add a little bit of local news to this blog post. Wednesday evening there will caucuses around the state at which the Democrats will select their delegates to the National Convention in Charlotte, NC later this year. Two Woodbridge residents, Gerry Weiner and Jen Just are on the list of possible delegates. The caucus for the Third Congressional district will be at North Haven High School, 221 Elm St. North Haven, beginning at 7:30 PM, with doors opening at 7:00 PM.
I hope they get a chance to go. I attended the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston in 2004 as a blogger, and it was a wonderful experience. I also hope that registered Democrats from Bethany and Woodbridge consider coming to the caucus. It is a great chance see firsthand how the political process works and even to get a little bit more involved.
It is Memorial Day weekend, and if I were doing the political thing properly, I would have been at the Memorial Day parade in Orange yesterday. But, it took place at the same time as church, and I had agreed to sing in the choir. Sunday was Pentecost. Many people wore red to celebrate the day and there was a baptism.
I know that voters in my district come from many different traditions and belief structures, and I want to be careful about not pushing my beliefs as part of the campaign. Yet during the baptism, all the members of the congregation recommitted themselves to their baptismal vows. As part of this, we all affirmed that we would
"strive for justice and peace amount all people, and respect the dignity of every human being".
No matter what your beliefs or religious tradition, this sounds like a laudable goal and one that I wish we would see more politicians seek.
This morning, I surfed through Facebook, and found I had been invited to the "Celebration of Hope" Spring Gala for the Beth-El Center, an organization set up "to alleviate homelessness and hunger in the Milford area". They have a story of a guy struggling to get by who found self-sufficiency through their program. I'm currently helping with the Meriden-Wallingford Coalition on Housing, and at work help promote the activities of our "Wherever You Are" program, which provides medical care to the homeless.
At work, one of my co-workers was discussing an athletic event that some of the staff are participating in. They are working to raise funds for a nine year old boy who has brain cancer. The boy has been working to raise funds for the Make A Wish foundation.
It's these sort of things that make you stop and take stock of life. What are you doing with your life? What is the meaning of life? Is it to help a person develop self sufficiency? Is it to help bring joy to the lives of kids facing horrible struggles?
How does this relate to the political process? Are the politicians you know running to get elected to help those around them, or to hold on to a job and protect the interests of their friends?
Is the political process, itself, making a difference in people's lives?
To get elected, I"m going to have to convince between six and seven thousand people to vote for me. I'm going to work hard on that, but along the way, I'm going to work hard on getting people more involved in their communities, finding more opportunities to help others, whether they be fighting homelessness, cancer, or whatever hurdles.
Ultimately, politics should be about helping make the lives of the people around us better, but if we aren't doing that along the way, maybe were missing the biggest opportunity.
It's evening and the chance of scattered thunderstorms has passed. So has much of my energy. I was up late last night for the convention that nominated me to be the Democratic Candidate for State Representative. I was up early to get a little campaign work done before heading off to my day job.
Back home, at the end of the day, I feel I should be reaching out to voters; potential supporters or donors. I should be writing my campaign biography or some issue statements.
My wife and daughters are off at various events, and I take a few moments to relax. Friends online are tweeting about idol on TV. Me? I play some YouTube videos of poets reading there works.
Then, it strikes me; a campaign in free verse. No, I can't talk about the issues in the style of Billy Collins or Ted Kooser. Or can I?
What are the issues? That the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation? That the best minds of our generation are being destroyed by madness, looking for an angry tax break?
At church the other week, the preacher talked about cultivating joy, not the artificial saccharine Hallmark Card happiness that gets pasted on the face of every politician when they say how happy they are to see someone they can't remember, but the sort of joy that is hard to grow, that comes from a minor victory in the face of a major struggle.
Yes, making sure that money is spent appropriately and effectively is important, and that no one has to pay too much, or more than their fair share, but what is it that really matters?
Helping people cultivate joy in a rocky garden and share a little kindness. Maybe that is more the task of the poet but maybe we need a little more poetry at the capitol.
It's evening and the chance of scattered thunderstorms has passed, for now.