March Meeting Thursday 3/24 At AFSCME Council 4:
Campaign for Middle Class, Fair Economy To Be Discussed
The Town Committee will meet Thursday, March 24th at 7 p.m. to discuss state and federal budget issues and coalition efforts for a fair economy. The meeting will be held at AFSCME Council 4, 444 East Main Street.
On the agenda will be an update on the endorsement process for city offices and a vacancy on the Board of Education. Persons interested in running for municipal office or contributing ideas may visit https://newbritaindemocrat.org/2011-endorsements/
Democrats will discuss state and federal budget priorities. A coalition of labor, taxpayer and consumer groups has been organized to seek “a fair tax structure to fund strong public services, an affordable healthcare system through the groundbreaking SustiNet platform, and real retirement security for all workers.” The public is invited to attend.
Will There Be Sunshine At City Hall?
Two New Britain Herald editorials in as many weeks about the availability of public information at City Hall prompted a Democratic response last week. A September 10th editorial chastised council Democrats for requiring that reports be made on contracts involving elected officials. A March 14th editorial promoted the idea of maximum access to public information at City Hall. Here is the Democratic response contending that the editorials contradicted each other. The new policy on full disclosure of contract work involving elected officials may face a veto from the Mayor.
The “Our Towns Need Sunshine” editorial of March 14th on the need for the public’s right to know at city and town halls was on the mark with the quote: “open government, with its inner workings transparent and accessible to all, is and should forever be part of the bedrock core of this republic’s centuries-old experiment with representative government.”
That is why it is ironic that the Herald chose to take City Council Democrats to task last week for adopting a policy of full and open disclosure of any municipal contracting awarded to elected officials who do business with the city.
A March 10th “More Bureaucracy? editorial against full disclosure by public officials falsely claimed that the resolution proposed by Ald. David DeFronzo “singled out” two GOP aldermen and their businesses and amounted to a “smear.” Your criticism is a blatant distortion of the spirit and letter of the disclosure policy as adopted and amounts to a mean-spirited attack on Council Democrats. Your statement that having open records and accessible reports for elected officials involved in municipal work constitute so much bureaucratic “red tape” is an affront to the principle of the public’s right to know. The issue is not whether businesses such as Sir Speedy nor New Britain Fence should have an opportunity to work for the city. They should as should other businesses here in the same line of work. The disclosure policy, however, is a necessary response to a continuing absence of transparency and the thorough politicization of the city’s ethics process over the last six years by the Stewart administration.
From the Chair: Party for Rep. Sanchez Affirms American Dream in New Britain
Family, friends and colleagues were on hand at the Puerto Rican Society Friday March 18th to celebrate the election of Bobby Sanchez as the state representative from the 25th Assembly District in New Britain. Sanchez, the Democratic Town Committee Vice Chair and Board of Education member, was elected in the February 22nd special election to the state assembly seat . He succeeded John Geragosian, one of the new state Auditors of Public Accounts.
Like many a gathering at the Puerto Rican Society the “Fiesta Latina” had plenty of home-made dishes of chicken, pork, rice and beans. Sanchez, a Washington Street resident and human services professional, welcomed attendees many of whom have worked with Sanchez through the years to register voters and promote turnouts on election days. Ward 5 Ald. Roy Centeno and DTC member Francisco Cuin introduced other elected officials during a brief program , including State Rep. Tim O’Brien, Ward 3 Ald. Shirley Black and BOE President Sharon Beloin-Saavedra.
Less than a month in state office, Sanchez says he’s absorbed in reading the many bills he’ll vote on. He faces a long week of sessions on the finance, revenue and bonding committee as lawmakers work on a state budget of “shared sacrifice.” His knowledge and career work in Head Start and social service programs will serve him well on the Education Committee, his other major assignment as a freshman lawmaker.
Sanchez, a New Britain native, reminded us that he was a child of the sixties. His immigrant parents enrolled him in the city’s first Head Start classroom at Saint Mary’s Church– the early childhood program that was part of the wave of social and civil rights laws enacted and for which people gave their lives to bring about just a generation ago.
The significance of the celebration for Sanchez was not lost on anyone in attendance. Sanchez’ election to state office is a milestone for the Latino community whose numbers, according to the 2010 census, rise rapidly in city and suburb alike in Connecticut. Pete Rosa came by to wish Sanchez well. Rosa, a former BOE member and New Britain Alderman, was New Britain’s first citizen of Puerto Rican background to run and win elective office. It was not so long ago that Rosa, for his willingness to run and hold office, endured phone threats from anonymous voices fixated on ethnic division and hate in the city.
That Sanchez has been elected a state representative is a solid sign of progress in New Britain. It says that people wanting to be part of politics and government will have opportunities regardless of ethnic background or economic standing. It says that New Britain is “a city for all people”.
Excerpted from NB Politicus
Republicans have gone from being fiscally irresponsible to morally reprehensible in only a few short months. Their goal appears to be the death of civil society by a 1,000 cuts. It’s time for Democrats to stand up and hold their ground. Republicans in Congress can’t balance the budget on the backs of the poor and middle class — there must be shared sacrifice.
Dr. Howard Dean, Former DNC Chair and Founder of Democracy for America