Bowling With Democrats Today (2/27) At Bowl-O-Rama…..24th DTC Members Hold District Meeting…..Municipal Candidate Endorsement Information

Bowl. Fight. Win  With New Britain Democrats Friday 2/27

Bowl the February blues and snow away at a DTC’ bowling party today, February 27th, at the Bowl-O-Rama 2143 Berlin Turnpike Newington at 7 pm.

A $25 contribution includes two games of bowling, shoe rentals, pizza and soda.

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DTC Members Hear Rep. Lopes, Discuss Issues At 24th District Meeting

Democratic Town Committee (DTC) members from the 24th State Assembly District got a briefing on a “tough” state budget and its impact on the city from Rep. Rick Lopes at the year’s first meeting of Town Committee members and Associate members from the 24th State Assembly district on February 14th.

DTC District Leader and Corresponding Secretary Mario Santos organized the grassroots caucus of  the DTC members who represent voting districts Vance (1), NBHS (2), Roosevelt (3) and Gaffney (4) and  Slade (5). Besides Lopes and Santos, participants included Alton Brooks, Bill Shortell, Chris Govola, Cora Bradley, Peter Kochol, Brian Keith Albert, Tom Shields and Tonilynn Collins.

Mario Santos, DTC Officer and District Leader

Mario Santos, DTC Officer and District Leader

Rep. Lopes said finances will be very tough for the state in the upcoming year with a projected budget deficit causing  cuts across the board this year to balance the 2015 budget and the prospect of revenue shortfalls for the new, two-year state budget that begins July 1.

“What this means to New Britain is that we will not be seeing the very large increases in state funding to our education budget that we have seen in each of the past four years,” said Lopes.  “This will lead to one of two outcomes, either the city finds the money to add to the education budget, or the school system will need to cut back on programs and services.”

DTC members expressed concern for education in New Britain and asked if anything else could be done.  Unless there is a dramatic change in direction at the state or federal level that leads to tax reform and increased aid to struggling cities “it is very doubtful that we will see any relief in this next year.

Alton  Brooks, who represents the Roosevelt School District, emphasized the importance of finding jobs for residents of the city, emphasizing that new job training and development efforts can reduce poverty. Others agreed and said access to employment is one of the city’s greatest needs.  That need extends to homeless persons whose numbers appear to be growing in New Britain, several DTC members said.  Santos and others cited the need to have more active members of the DTC; recruiting more people into the process is important this year.  Even when members of the DTC disagree they have to support one another and work toward progress in our city. “Residents of New Britain are over burdened with property and car taxes.  The services we receive for these taxes are not equitable for the amounts we pay.  The more people can get involved in the political process on fixing our problems, the better the solutions will be.”

Alton Brooks

Alton Brooks

Santos, Bill Shortell and Brian Keith Albert spoke about the importance of district meetings in the Assembly Districts to encourage civic engagement and dialogue on issues and the challenges city residents face.  “This type of grassroots organizing is the best and only way to create change that is driven by everyday residents of our community.”

Organizers said neighborhood-based political meetings and small group discussions are important. “Residents of New Britain are over burdened with property and car taxes.  The services we receive for these taxes are not equitable for the amounts we pay.  The more people can get involved in the political process on fixing our problems, the better the solutions will be.”

A second meeting of the 24th District DTC is planned for Mayor.  The organizers will urge the members of the 22nd, 25th and 26th Assembly Districts to organize grassroots dialogue in their districts.  The DTC is comprised of 47 members elected every two years from the city’s voting districts.

CAMPAIGN 2015: DTC Seeking Candidates For July Endorsements

It takes 27 individuals who reflect New Britain’s diversity and strengths to form a municipal slate for all city offices.  On the November ballot will be elections for Mayor, Tax Collector, City Treasurer, Ward and At Large Council, Board of Education, Board of Assessment Appeal.

The DTC invites prospective candidates for all offices to discuss issues, share ideas and submit a candidate information form that is online  http://newbritaindemocrat.org/municipal-candidate-information-2015/

March Town Committee Meeting – March 26th

The next meeting of the Democratic Town Committee will be Thursday, March 26th. Please mark your calendars for 2015 meeting dates. All Democrats are welcome.

March 26
April 30
May 28
June 25
July 23 ENDORSEMENT MEETING FOR MUNICIPAL OFFICES
August 27
September 17
October 29
November 3   ELECTION DAY (Meet at headquarters)
December 3

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Labor donated. Any costs associated with this message paid for by New Britain Democratic Town Committee, Post Office Box 2112, New Britain CT 06050   John Valengavich, Treasurer. Approved by John McNamara

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Obama’s Weekly Addresses Paid Leave and Child Care For Families To A Congress Certain To Reject His Plan

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“Convoy of Hope” Documentary Premieres Tonight (1/31) With Recognition For Alton Brooks…..Bethune Club Program Focuses on History of African Americans In New Britain On Super Sunday…..Wanted: A Democratic Slate That Reflects The City’s Diversity and Strengths

Alton Brooks To Receive Lifetime Achievement Award Following Premiere

“Victory” Documentary On New Britain’s Convoy of Hope Premieres Sat. 1/31

 

“Victory: Fire in the Heart of the City”, a documentary about a 2013 “Convoy of Hope” initiative organized by Bishop Rasheen Brown, his ministry and others, will premiere Saturday, January 31st at 6 pm at Trinity-On-Main.  Alton Brooks, DTC leader and longtime civil rights activist in the city, will receive an achievement award following Akintunde Sogunro’s documentary.static1.squarespace

The documentary chronicles the organizing and events of August 17, 2013 at  New Stadium when over 1,200 volunteers gathered to feed over 4.500 residents of a city once glorified as the hardware capital of the world.  Fire in the Heart of the City” is a documentary film that will cover all  stories, interviews, fundraisers and testimonies of hope which sum up to the Convoy New Britain Event — the third community event held as part of the “Purpose” movement.

Admission to the premiere is $10.

Bethune Club Program Focuses On New Britain African Americans Sunday, February 1 at CCSU’s Downtown ITBD Center

New Britain’s Mary McLeod Bethune Club will kick off Black History Month in the city with a Sunday afternoon, February 1, program on the history of African Americans in New Britain.

The program will be held at 3 p.m. at CCSU’s Institute for Technology and Business Development (ITBD) in downtown New Britain (185 Main Street).

Dr. Evelyn Phillips, CCSU Anthropology Professor and organizer of the Afro-American Oral History Project, will be the guest speaker.  Janice Edwards, member of the Bethune Club, says “we will feature the first Black Americans who came to New Britain and the achievements of the past and present.” The history project is adding information and personal histories of the city’s African American community to the New Britain Public Library and CCSU’s Elihu Burritt Library.

CAMPAIGN 2015: DTC Seeking Candidates For JulyEndorsements

It takes 27 individuals who reflect New Britain’s diversity and strengths to form a municipal slate for all city offices.  On the November ballot will be elections for Mayor, Tax Collector, City Treasurer, Ward and At Large Council, Board of Education, Board of Assessment Appeal.

The DTC invites prospective candidates for all offices to submit a candidate information form that is online  http://newbritaindemocrat.org/municipal-candidate-information-2015/

Labor donated. Any costs associated with this message paid for by New Britain Democratic Town Committee, Post Office Box 2112, New Britain, CT 06050. John Valengavich, Treasurer. Approved by John McNamara.

If you do not wish to receive updates from New Britain Democrats write “CANCEL” in the subject box and reply to newbritaindemocrat@gmail.com.  THANK YOU.

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DTC Meets Thursday Jan. 22nd….Municipal Endorsements…..MLK Day In New Britain…..Tony Norris’ Dinner For Urban Oaks Farm Jan 31st

Town Committee Meets January 22nd At City Hall

The Democratic Town Committee will hold its first meeting of the year at New Britain City Hall Room 504 on Thursday, January 22nd, at 7 p.m. The agenda includes state legislative issues, committee updates, municipal endorsement activities and Justice of the Peace appointments. All Democrats are welcome.

Campaign 2015: Nominations Committee Begins Work On Municipal Endorsements

A DTC nominating and candidate recruitment committee has begun work on endorsements for city offices this year. The Town Committee will endorse candidates for Mayor, Tax Collector, Treasurer, Common Council, Board of Education, Board of Assessment Appeal and Constable between July 21-28.

Members of the DTC on the nominations group include former Schools Supt. Ron Jakubowski, DTC District Leader Jahaira Jimenez, Associate DTC member Rosemary Klotz, former BOE President Peter Kochol, Democratic State Central Committeewoman Emma Pierce, DTC Recording Secretary Ann Speyer and DTC Chairman John McNamara.

McNamara said the committee will consider all potential candidates and make recommendations to the 47-member DTC prior to July endorsements.

“The DTC is discussing a mayoral run with  several high-profile Democrats who have  the experience, maturity and skills to lead the city in 2015,”  said McNamara. “The nominations process involves identifying a diverse slate of candidates who are representative of residents and who are attuned to community needs.”

Interviews with municipal candidates will begin in early February.

The DTC invites prospective candidates for all offices to submit a candidate information form that is online  http://newbritaindemocrat.org/municipal-candidate-information-2015/

New Britain Events For MLK Day Monday  1.19.2015 

Mary McLeod Bethune Club To Hear NBHS Principal

“Strengthening Our Youth and Children to be empowered in the 21st Century” is the theme of the Mary McCloud Bethune Club’s program on the Martin Luther King national holiday January 19th.

David Chambers, Principal of New Britain High School, will be the speaker for the annual King Day observance that will also include an appeal for scholarship giving.  Joining Bethune Club members will be Cong. Elizabeth Esty (D-5) and leaders of the New Britain branch of the NAACP.  The event will be held at 2 p.m. at Spottswood AME Zion Church, 25 Crestwood Lane in New Britain.

The city’s Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities program will include a ceremony after 10:30 a,m, at MLK Park at the corner of MLK Drive and Stanley Street after the Commission’s traditional  morning breakfast at Angelico’s Restaurant.

DTC Associate Member Duane Hinkson, Janice Edwards and Hinkson's children at 2014 MLK Park Ceremony  (DTC Photo)

DTC Associate Member Duane Hinkson, Janice Edwards and Hinkson’s children at 2014 MLK Park Ceremony (DTC Photo)

The New Britain Museum of American Art, 56 Lexington St., will observe the King holiday with a special Community Day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., The celebration will include a range of activities including art activities, film showings and photographic images on display. Children and families are invited to create a bumper sticker in the Stanley Works Center featuring an inspiring King quote.

The historic “I Have a Dream” speech will be shown throughout the afternoon. Admission is free for all. For more information, call the museum at (860) 229-0257 or visit www.nbmaa.org.

 Tony Norris’ Dinner For Urban Oaks Farm To Be Held January 31st

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The 3rd annual Tony Norris Dinner will be held Saturday, January 31, 2015 at Central Connecticut State University’s Memorial Hall. Tickets are $45 and may be purchased at our farm stand or by calling (860) 223-6200. All proceeds will go to Urban Oaks Organic Farm.

End Quote

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”   the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Happy New Year from New Britain Democrats….Legislature Opens With Hopes For Property Tax Relief….BOE Schedules Budget Meetings…The Year In Pictures…

A Quote For The New Year…….

“The difference between Democrats and Republicans has always been measured in courage and confidence. The Republicans believe that the wagon train will not make it to the frontier unless some of the old, some of the young, some of the weak are left behind by the side of the trail….We Democrats believe that we can make it all the way with the whole family intact…….”

Mario M. Cuomo (1932-2015) from the keynote speech at the 1984 Democratic National Convention. Governor Cuomo died January 1st at the age of 82,

Legislature Begins New Session Wednesday, January 7th: NB Delegation To Discuss Priorities, Issues At League of Women Voters Breakfast January 10th.

The Connecticut Legislature will open its 2015 session on Wednesday, January 7th, to adopt a two-year budget that will be hampered by projected budget deficits for the two-year period beginning July 1st.

The Office of Legislative Research (OLR) has released a report on key issues for 2015.

House Speaker Brendan Sharkey and Senate President Martin Looney have signalled that property tax reform  to reduce burdens on municipalities will be among the key issues to be  considered.  Among the proposals will be legislation to revise Payments in Lieu of Taxes aid that reimburses cities and towns for non-taxable institutions and state property.  The city’s legislative delegation will be focusing on property tax relief measures amid the Stewart administration’s 11 percent property tax jump, major fee increases and projections of new cuts to local services.

Four members of the city's legislative delegation celebrate a victory at the Pulaski Club on Election night. They begin their new term this week, From left Rep. Bobby Sanchez (25), Rep Peter Tercyak (26), State Senator Terry Gerratana (6) and State Rep. Rick Lopes (24). Rep. Betty Boukus (22), representing  the DiLoreto School district in the city, celebrated her big win at Plainville Democratic headquarters. (F. Gerratana photo)

Four members of the city’s legislative delegation celebrate a victory at the Pulaski Club on Election night. They begin their new term this week, From left Rep. Bobby Sanchez (25), Rep Peter Tercyak (26), State Senator Terry Gerratana (6) and State Rep. Rick Lopes (24). Rep. Betty Boukus (22), representing the DiLoreto School district in the city, celebrated her big win at Plainville Democratic headquarters. (F. Gerratana photo)

According to the OLR Key Issues report “rising property taxes strain many property owners’ finances.” Legislators may consider proposals geared toward supplementing municipal revenue streams, encouraging economic development, or providing tax relief to property owners.  Also on the agenda may be implementing a statewide motor vehicle tax  reducing the tax burden on certain populations.  City Democrats are expected to call for extending income limits beyond current state levels on property tax bills to reduce new and higher property taxes.

The Berlin/New Britain League of Women Voters will host member of the New Britain delegation at a Saturday, January 10th breakfast meeting from 10 am to noon  to be held at the New Britain Public Library’s Community Room on High Street.

Upcoming City Meetings

Common Council: January 14 and 28

The Common Council will hold its first meeting of the year on Wednesday, January 14th at City Hall’s Council Chambers. The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m.

Public participation is scheduled at 7 p.m. The regular meetings of the Common Council are held on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month, except for the months of July, August, November and December.

Board of Education: January 14 Budget Hearing At High School

The New Britain Board of Education (BOE) will hold budget meetings this month in the first steps toward setting municipal spending for the fiscal year that begins on July 1st. Scheduled are a special meeting on Monday, January 12th and a Wednesday, January 14th 6 p.m. public hearing to be held at the Tercyak Lecture Hall at New Britain High School on Mills Street. The BOE will adopt a budget to submit to the Mayor and Council on January 20th. Mary

Rev. King Holiday Program Sponsored By Mary McCloud Bethune Club, January 19th

“Strengthening Our Youth and Children to be empowered in the 21st Century” is the theme of the Mary McCloud Bethune Club’s program on the Martin Luther King national holiday January 19th.

David Chambers, Principal of New Britain High School, will be the speaker for the annual King Day observance that will also raise funds for scholarships.  The event will be held at 2 p.m. at Spottswood AME Zion Church, 25 Crestwood Lane in New Britain.  The Bethune Club program will be preceded by a morning breakfast and Martin Luther King Park ceremony organized by the city’s Human Rights and Opportunities Commission.

Town Committee Meets January 22nd At City Hall

The Democratic Town Committee will hold its first meeting of the year at New Britain City Hall Room 504 on Thursday, January 22nd, at 7 p.m. The agenda includes state legislative issues, committee updates, municipal endorsement activities and Justice of the Peace appointments. All Democrats are welcome.

New Britain Democrats 2014: The Year In Pictures

The photos below highlight the year in pictures for New Britain Democrats. To view the complete 2014 Gallery go to

NEW BRITAIN DEMOCRATS 2014

New Britain's Emma Pierce accepts the William A. O'Neill award at the JJB Dinner in September. At left is State Chairwoman Nancy Dinardo. (Gerratana photo)

New Britain’s Emma Pierce accepts the William A. O’Neill award at the JJB Dinner in September. At left is State Chairwoman Nancy Dinardo. (Gerratana photo)

 

NB Democrats crowded party headquarters to hear Governor Malloy. From left Francisco Cuin, unidentified volunteer, Eva Torres-Luciano, Senator Terry Gerratana, Rep. Bobby Sanchez DTC Deputy Treasurer Willie Justiniano and DTC Corresponding Secretary Mario Santos.

NB Democrats crowded party headquarters to hear Governor Malloy. From left Francisco Cuin, unidentified volunteer, Eva Torres-Luciano, Senator Terry Gerratana, Rep. Bobby Sanchez DTC Deputy Treasurer Willie Justiniano and DTC Corresponding Secretary Mario Santos.

 

New Britain Delegates at the May state convention: From left Bill Shortell, Ann Speyer, Donna Crockett and Ald. Shirley Black.

New Britain Delegates at the May state convention: From left Bill Shortell, Ann Speyer, Donna Crockett and Ald. Shirley Black.

 

At the August Soul Food Fest From left: Rev. John Morris, the pastor of Spottswood Church, Alton Brooks. Lt. Governor Wyman, Alderwoman Shirley Black and Cong Elizabeth Esty.

At the August Soul Food Fest From left: Rev. John Morris, the pastor of Spottswood Church, Alton Brooks. Lt. Governor Wyman, Alderwoman Shirley Black and Cong Elizabeth Esty.

Labor donated. Any costs associated with this message paid for by New Britain Democratic Town Committee, Post Office Box 2112, New Britain, CT 06050. John Valengavich, Treasurer. Approved by John McNamara.

If you do not wish to receive updates from New Britain Democrats write “CANCEL” in the subject box and reply to newbritaindemocrat@gmail.com.  THANK YOU.

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Merry Christmas from New Britain Democrats

President Barack Obama opens a Christmas gift from Personal Secretary Ferial Govashiri in the Oval Office, Dec. 19, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama opens a Christmas gift from Personal Secretary Ferial Govashiri in the Oval Office, Dec. 19, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

White House photo of the day | from whitehouse.gov

 

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Labor donated. Any costs associated with this message paid for by New Britain Democratic Town Committee, Post Office Box 2112, New Britain CT 06050   John Valengavich, Treasurer. Approved by John McNamara

 

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DTC Looks Ahead To 2015…..Don DeFronzo “Retires” From State Service…..USMC Care Package Donations Sought….In Memoriam: Paul Amenta

DTC December Meeting And Party: Gearing Up For 2015

The Democratic Town Committee (DTC) held its last meeting of the year at Cafe Beauregard on December 11th,  collecting food donations for the Spanish Speaking Center and discussing plans for 2015 that will include endorsements for municipal offices and a review of party rules.

The municipal nominations committee released its candidate information form for prospective candidates in next year’s city election at the meeting.

December Town Committee meeting at Cafe Beauregard.  DTC members donated food items to the Spanish Speaking Center (F Gerratana photo)

December Town Committee meeting at Cafe Beauregard. DTC members donated food items to the Spanish Speaking Center (F Gerratana photo)

More DTC meeting photos below

Commissioner DeFronzo Becomes Citizen DeFronzo in January

Department of Administrative Services (DAS) Commissioner Don DeFronzo will step down in January at the start of the second term of Governor Dannel Malloy.

In an announcement from the Governor’s office, DeFronzo, a two-term mayor and four-term state senator, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to oversee a DAS that took on major new responsibilities. During DeFronzo’s tenure DAS consolidated  functions of state government including the Department of Public Works (DPW) and “produced $40 million in direct savings and new revenue resulting from strengthened procurement techniques, more aggressive bidding procedures, lease consolidations and use of new technology.”

In appointing DeFronzo to DAS four years ago Malloy said “there have been a lot of rumors as to where Senator DeFronzo might end up in my administration, but there’s no where I’d rather him be – and nowhere where I have more confidence in his abilities.”

Don DeFronzo campaigning with Governor Malloy in 2010 in New Britain.

Don DeFronzo campaigning with Governor Malloy in 2010 in New Britain. (j, McNamara photo)

Last week Malloy praised DeFronzo for his service: “Don and his management team have carried out our mission to streamline state services with professionalism and dedication, Under his leadership, DAS has identified millions in savings and made state government run more efficiently so that it can better serve the public. I want to thank Don for his commitment to making government work better for our citizens, and also commend him on a remarkable career of public service.”

For DeFronzo “retiring” from state service doesn’t mean he’ll be stepping away from politics and community involvement. In 2014 DeFronzo rejoined the Democratic Town Committee  where his political career started . He was a leader of the DTC’s summer voter registration drive in the run up to the state election.

Supporting Our Troops: Donations For Marine Corps Care Packages Due By December 21st

Braithreachas, Inc. and the Marine Corps Family Foundation are seeking for donations of care package items and are raising funds to offset the cost of shipping the care packages to deployed military. The campaign, “Operation Santa Care Package”, has been organized since 2008 by Marjorie Hackett-Wallace of New Britain.  “This year we are way behind collecting items for the care packages,” said Hackett-Wallace, founder of the non-profit organization Braithreachas Inc. “We need snacks, personal care items and things like puzzle books and playing cards, items that distract the guys from where they are” said Hackett-Wallace.

“A lot of people think that the US doesn’t have any military deployed, they think that the guys will be home with their families. The US still has 10,000 military deployed to just Afghanistan that won’t be home with their families. We have 860 guys that we will send a care package to.” Said Hackett-Wallace. “It’s not too late to help out. We will be packing boxes until December 21. We need snacks like Mac & Cheese, cookies, granola bars and personal care items like shaving cream, toothbrushes and soap. We also need help packing boxes and getting those care packages to the post office.”

Hackett-Wallace’s son, Sergeant Ryan Hackett USMC was deployed to Rawah, Iraq.  “These snacks help remind these guys of home and why they are out there” said Sergeant Hackett “they can’t go down to the local store and pick up what they need and most forward operating bases don’t have a PX or a commissary.” Last year the group shipped more than 8,000 pounds of snacks and personal care items to active duty military deployed to Afghanistan. With the cost to ship these packages ever-increasing, the group is seeking monetary donations, as well as supplies. Each care package costs $15.90 to ship.

Donations may be sent or dropped off at 103 Elbridge Road, New Britain, CT 06052 up to December 21st. The campaign is also seeking volunteers to help pack the care packages and transport them to the post office. Boxes will be packed for shipment to Afghanistan right up to December 23. For more information, people may contact Marjorie & Craig at 860-224-7635 or 860-280-6686 or by email at mhackett@snet.net.

IN MEMORIAM: PAUL S. AMENTA, LABOR LEADER, STATE SENATOR

Democrat Paul S. Amenta, a New Britain labor leader, state senator and board of education member, died on December 8th, at the age of 92,

A World War II veteran,  Amenta was a longtime civic and political leader in the city, including  service of 30 years on the Board of Education and six terms in the state senate. Amenta continued his efforts on behalf of working people as the political and legislative director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME Council 4). Former Senator Amenta’s funeral was held Saturday, December 13th.

New Britain Democrats extend condolences to the Amenta family and to Senator Amenta’s many friends and colleagues in politics and the labor movement.  Memorial donations may be made to New Britain High School, 110 Mill Street New Britain CT c/o The Paul Amenta, Sr. Scholarship Fund.

Carmen Boria and DTC District Leader Jahaira Jimenez at DTC meeting (F. Gerratana photo)

Carmen Boria and DTC District Leader Jahaira Jimenez at DTC meeting (F. Gerratana photo)

Harriet Geragosian and State Central Committeewoman Emma Pierce at DTC meeting and party December 11th  (F. Gerratana photo)

Harriet Geragosian and State Central Committeewoman Emma Pierce at DTC meeting and party December 11th (F. Gerratana photo)

End Quote

“And now we’re watching as Congress passes yet another provision that was written by lobbyists for the biggest recipient of bailout money in the history of the country. And it’s attached to a bill that needs to pass or else the entire federal government will grind to a halt. Think about this kind of power. A financial institution has become so big and so powerful that it can hold the entire country hostage. That alone is a reason enough for us break them up. Enough is enough.”

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaking on the floor of the U.S. Senate last week about the “rats” contained in the Omnibus Budget legislation.

Labor donated. Any costs associated with this message paid for by New Britain Democratic Town Committee, Post Office Box 2112, New Britain, CT 06050. John Valengavich, Treasurer. Approved by John McNamara.

If you do not wish to receive updates from New Britain Democrats write “CANCEL” in the subject box and reply to newbritaindemocrat@gmail.com.  THANK YOU.

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