Final Week of Campaign School!

There are still two great classes left to help get you up and running for office this fall, or to support someone who is!

Don’t miss these last two sessions that will put you over the top and to hit the campaign trail around your home town.

Dave is our resident expert in making sure your campaign has all the tools you need and how to use them correctly!

Sign up for Dave’s session!

Not sure how to talk to voters in person or on the phone? Prerna has logged thousands of doors and calls over the past few years and she will help you get over those nervous feelings that we all have when starting these conversations. After a while, you will even find them fun to do! Honest!

Sign up for Prerna’s session!

Municipal Campaign School Week #3

We are cruising right through some great trainings and discussions with experts from across the state on what it takes to mount and win a campaign for your town’s offices!

Week #3 includes a session on local fundraising with Jimmy Tickey, Understanding your WIN number with Eva Bermudez Zimmerman, a Deep Dive into Social Media with Andrew Gausepohl and by popular demand a more expansive foray into the Voter Database with Bill Hopf!

You can still register for all these sessions!

Exciting News!

The VAN 101 session was a hit and folks wanted to learn more. Bill stepped up and is offering VAN 102! The session will be Friday, March 19th at 6:30 pm.

A continuation of VAN 101 (not a prerequisite).  You will learn how to create a universe from which we will create a Virtual Phone Bank (VPB) and then cut turf for door knocking through MiniVan.
Among the topics of discussion will be:

  • Logic used to choose which cohorts of voters to include in the campaign’s universe of targets
  • Logical path used to include those voters within the VAN
  • The attributes the VAN has that enable our targeting of the voters we want
  • Factors governing turf cutting (you may have wondered when out knocking doors)
  • The reporting capabilities of the VAN

Sign up now!

Municipal Campaign School Week #2

We had a successful first week of our campaign school! If you missed it, don’t worry. For folks who have done the $50 all access pass (or who are going to), the videos are on Zoom and ready for viewing. Just go back to your receipt from the donation, find the link to the registration codes, those will be replaced with the links for the recordings in a few days after they happen.

Here is your week two preview!

You can register for Dave’ session, right up until it starts!

Can’t make John’s session? If you have registered for the all access pass, John will work with you at another time on this topic. Just let us know!

Are you going to be door-knocking for Nick Kapoor? Or yourself or friends this summer? Bill will walk you through how to use the mobile database so you know where you are going and what to do when you get there! Register today!

John and Janet are kind enough to make themselves available for those who have bought our all access pass, but cannot make the session. Just let us know you missed it and John and Janet will reach out to you directly! Register for the all access pass!

Municipal Campaign Training School Registration is ready for you!

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!

Insurrection Day

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

Voting Absentee? Got Questions? We have answers!

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 .

Other Answers: The Ballot MUST be turned in before 8:00 PM on Election Day. Why wait until then anyways!

You can see if your ballot was received by checking the Secretary of the State website.

You can still REGISTER TO VOTE and then apply for an absentee ballot

The Town Clerk takes the ballots from the box or mail, each ballot gets logged in and cataloged, then placed in the vault by district.

On the Friday before Election Day, the outer envelopes will get opened and logged. The inner envelopes secured back in the vault by district again.

On Election Day, the inner envelopes will be checked to be sorted by district and then opened and each vote run through the same counting machine you see at the polls.

At 8:00 pm, the Ballot Boxes will be locked or removed and NO ballots will be accepted after 8:00 pm.

Just Wrong

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,
  • 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.

Its Never Too Late by Connie Cooper

Confederate Statues by Richard Eigen

Find Hope and Courage in Activism by Jordana Bloom

A Long Way to Go by Betsy Litt

What Matters by Lea Embree

Lets Move Forward by Jessica Plouffe

Elected Officials Must Set the Bar High by Cara Reilly

Get Activized! Film Screening Event with Eric Stange and Vikiana Petit-Homme

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.
Register in advance for this webinar:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
More about the film at: