Hello friends and family. Its that time again! Your local elections are coming up this November. Lots of folks across the state are starting to think about running for a local office or thinking of how to help Democrats get elected to those offices. Well, we can help!
This is our third installment of the Municipal Campaign Training School. Everything will be online this year and while we will miss seeing you all in one place for a full day of classes and workshops, we are spacing things out through the month of March. Classes will be on Thursday and Friday evenings, plus two sessions on Saturday mornings. There is no overlapping, so you will be able to attend all the sessions if you so choose.
While this is a fundraiser for us here in Newtown, we are asking for a $10 donation per class or you can have access to everything for $50. Let us know if you are not able to donate and we will help out. There are 13 unique sessions as of right now and we may be adding some more over the next few weeks.
Take a look at the schedule and descriptions. Registration is live and underway. Any questions, please send us an email. Thanks!
Like most of us, I watched and listened to the assault on the Capitol building with dismay, shock and disbelief. In the hours after, President-Elect Joseph Biden and Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris’ election wins were certified in what should have been a simple ceremony required by our Constitution.
Hours before, Trump held another rally in which he spread lies and riled up his white nationalist base just blocks away from the Capitol building. The actions of the mob of insurrectionists should be no surprise from that point. Trump has been saying this would happen for 5 years if he does not get his way.
Watching the assault unfold and seeing the photos afterwards of terrorists climbing the walls of the Capitol, storming into the building and waving Trump flags, Gadsden Flags and Confederate Flags around in celebration of their attempted coup was appalling.
Seeing the photos of Senator Hawley cheering the terrorists on as he walked into the building earlier should be a stark warning that this attack was supported at all levels of our own government. President Bush was correct when he called this a sign of a banana republic, not a democratic republic.
And in case you thought this was a national issue, in Hartford on the day the CT State Legislature was being sworn in, white nationalists also showed up, waving those same flags and extolling the same lies and hate that come from Trump and his sycophants. There are frequent hate rallies in Southbury and at the Trumbull/Monroe border at Rt 25/111. The events on Jan 6th should not be a surprise. This has been building up since Trump announced his campaign for the presidency.
There are still so many unanswered questions. Why were these terrorists allowed to get that far? During the BLM protests this summer, the military and law enforcement presence was huge. Yesterday, it was minimal. These terrorists were white nationalists. And they were allowed to do what they did. They went home with their spoils. Photos taken in Speaker Pelosi’s office, the Vice-President’s chair in the Senate and throughout the building. And they went home. Not arrested.
Many people are saying that this is not America. This is not who we are. But it is. It is the culmination of years of racist hate that is spewed from the highest offices of our government. It is the result of Jim Crow, the results of generations of hate. Trump is just another symptom of our nation’s cancer.
There are calls to remove Trump immediately. His enablers are only now standing up to his hate and the 25th Amendment would require his Cabinet or Congress to remove him if initiated by the Vice President. That is not going to happen. His enablers are not cowards, but fully aware of who he is and directly benefit from his hate.
What’s next? I don’t know. I do know that we have to stand up to hate when we see it. We have to stand with our neighbors who experience discrimination and hate, call it for what it is and call out those who propagate it. We have to look at our understanding of white privilege and how it influences our perspective and how we interact with others. Removing Trump and his enablers will not eradicate the cancer of hate by itself. That can only be done if we all stand together against the hate. – Eric Paradis, Chair, Newtown DTC
First time voting absentee this year? Want to make sure your vote gets counted? So do we!
The application. Every registered voter received one from the Secretary of the State this year. It had a bar code that was unique to your Voter ID number. If you still have that, you should use that. This is a simple application to REQUEST an absentee ballot. It is NOT the ballot. This year, you can identify COVID-19 as the reason for voting absentee. You can drop that off in the ballot box at the door to the Municipal Center. You can mail it, but it is getting awfully close to the election. You can also call the Town Clerk’s office at 203.270.4210 to bring the application there and complete and turn in your ballot all at once. Please call first though.
The Ballot. Actual ballots were sent out starting 10/2 and many have been returned already. There are very explicit instructions on how to complete your ballot so that it gets counted.
Instructions: The ballot comes with two envelopes: the inner envelope and the outer envelope. Watch this handy video!
Mark your ballot using a black pen.
Please check the district on top right of your ballot and compare it to the district on the return envelope label with your name and address. The district on your label needs to be one of the districts listed on the top right of the ballot. If it is incorrect, please call the Town Clerk.
Place the marked ballot into the INNER envelope. SIGN, DATE, and SEAL the inner envelope. You’ll notice that this inner envelope has a bar code. That is unique to your ballot.
Place the inner envelope into the OUTER envelope (the mailing envelope), being sure that the Clerk’s address shows through the window. Seal the outer envelope.
We recommend that every voter deliver a completed ballot to the Drop Box located at both doors at the Municipal Center in Fairfield Hills. The door by the Community Center does not have steps. You may mail in your completed ballot, but if it is after October 20th, please use the Drop Box .
OtherAnswers: The Ballot MUST be turned in before 8:00 PM on Election Day. Why wait until then anyways!
An edited version of this letter will be going to the Newtown Bee.
The Newtown Democratic Town Committee is deeply disturbed by the hurtful letter from Legislative Council member Cathy Reiss. At best, she did not seriously think through the implications and errors of what she was writing, failing to comprehend the offensive and racist nature of such writing. She should apologize.
Author of How to Be an Antiracist, National Book Award-winning author Ibram X. Kendi says, “The heartbeat, historically, of racism has been denial…” Ms. Reiss’ words indicate her denial.
“Systemic (or structural) racism” is defined by NAACP President Derrick Johnson as “the systems and structures that have procedures or processes that disadvantage African Americans.”
Ms. Reiss claims there can be no systemic racism because “Americans voted for a black man to be president-twice (his name is Barack Obama) and Oprah Winfrey is a billionaire. In 1960, there were several wealthy African Americans in Alabama.” According to Reiss’ logic, there would be no systemic racism in the Jim Crow South. We still see evidence of systems and structures that have disadvantaged Blacks in today’s America. Consider:
In 2016, at $171,000, the net worth of a typical white family was nearly ten times greater than that of a Black family ($17,150). (McIntosh, et. al, Examining the Black-White Wealth Gap, Brookings Institute, 2/27/2020).
The student loan gap between whites and African Americans has continued to grow: Black college graduates have nearly $25,000 more student loan debt: an average of $52,726 in student debt, compared to $28,006 for the typical White bachelor’s graduate. (White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans)
There is also significant racial disparity seen in higher education. There are serious inequities even among students who do graduate from college. Using federal data on the type of credentials students earn and the majors they study, this analysis finds that, compared with white students, black and Hispanic graduates are far more likely to have attended for-profit colleges and less likely to have attended four-year public or nonprofit institutions. Black and Hispanic graduates also generally have attended institutions that have less money to spend on offering a quality education. And they are significantly underrepresented in important fields such as engineering and education, mathematics and statistics, and the physical sciences. (Libassi, CJ. The Neglected College Race Gap: Racial Disparities Among College Completers, Center for American Progress, 5/18/2018).
In 2019, 9.8% of non-Hispanic whites were uninsured, while 14.8% of Blacks were uninsured. (Rudden, Jennifer, Percentage of Americans Without Health Insurance by Ethnicity 2010-219, Statista.com).
The unemployment and underemployment rates between whites and African Americans remain significant even in prosperous times. From January 1972 to December 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reflected the Black unemployment rate to be twice or more than that of whites.
Painfully, Ms. Reiss excuses the scourge of American slavery with the same traitorous Confederate argument that it was “a world practice since at least 6800 BC.” She proceeds to claim the worldwide Black Lives Matter movement is “more a Marxist movement than a civil rights movement.” Despite loose Marxist roots amongst a few organizers, BLM is a worldwide civil rights movement with the obvious objectives of democratic and constitutional systemic changes for racial equality.
The rest of the quote from Ibram X. Kendi is “…the heartbeat of antiracism is confession, is admission, is acknowledgment, is the willingness to be vulnerable, is the willingness to identify the times in which we are being racist, is to be willing to diagnose ourselves and our policies and our countries. . .to be antiracist is to admit when we are being racist.”
We hope Ms. Reiss and like-minded Newtowners consider these words. Newtown deserves better.
Also please read the following letters from DTC members and friends.
Join us for a free screening of ACTIVIZED (36 min.), followed by a live Q&A with the director/producer, Eric Stange, and March for Our Lives New England regional director, Vikiana Petit-Homme.
ACTIVIZED is a short documentary film following eight ordinary Americans who — for the first time in their lives — have left their comfort zones and become involved in gun violence prevention, voting rights and immigrants’ rights. Interweaving their personal stories against the backdrop of the causes they fight for, we experience their motivations, successes and failures, their sacrifices, and victories. Above all, we celebrate these inspiring, courageous citizens for embracing one of the most basic of American traditions – dissent.
Don’t forget that our meetings are all online and we are using Zoom for the meetings. Information is on the calendar for the meeting.
We will also be having a special meeting on May 21st at 7:30 to nominate a candidate for the 106th State Representative District, the Democratic Registrar of Voters and Justices of the Peace. Please contact us for info. NewtownCTDems@gmail.com
Well, its a been a week since the frenzy of Election Day. Thinking back to this campaign, we are very proud of our slate of candidates. We were able to secure 27/31 seats on the various Newtown boards and maintained majority on the Council and Board of Education while splitting the Board of Finance 3-3.
There were two very close calls. LC District 3 finished in a tie between Alison and Carol for the fourth seat from that district. If you are not sure about every vote counting, our Registrar and her team of election officials made sure it did. After only a few hours of sleep, the recount began at 9:30 AM. It was an impressive effort on behalf of the Registrar’s team and they were very careful with each and every single ballot. In the end, a vote for Alison was not counted by the machines and she will be taking the final spot on the Legislative Council. Steve fell short of a return to the Board of Finance by 16 votes. Your vote matters! Don’t let it sit idly by.
We are proud of the way our slate ran this year. We stayed positive and talked about how we could make Newtown a better place for all of us. It was very disheartening to read the smears and attacks on social media about our candidates and incumbents. Thankfully, community matters more than lies and misinformation and the voters saw that our slate of volunteers were the type of representation they wanted.
Thanks to all who came out and voted, answered the door when we knocked, the phone when it rang and replied to our texts. The work begins anew.