Donovan To Visit New Britain Democrats at August Meeting
CT House Speaker Chris Donovan (D-Meriden), a candidate for Congress in the 5th Congressional District in 2012, will be the guest speaker at the August meeting of the New Britain Democratic Town Committee, Thursday, August 18th, at New Britain City Hall, 7 p.m.
First elected to the Connecticut General Assembly in 1992, Donovan has been a key sponsor of health care reform legislation and has worked to increase access to affordable, quality health care by opening up the state employee health care plan to municipalities, non-profits and small businesses. With a Democratic Governor, the Health Care Partnership legislation was approved this year after a three-year effort led by Donovan. Rep. Donovan, who earlier in his working life was a community organizer in New Britain, has led successful fights on campaign finance reform, stem cell research funding, and supplemental Medicare coverage, as well as expansions to the HUSKY program, minimum wage increases, school-based health clinics, school nutrition, and mass transit improvements including the push for the New Haven-Springfield commuter rail line. Donovan is a graduate of Villanova University and holds a master of social work degree from the University of Connecticut.
From The Chair: Remembering Ada Seaman
It was a privilege for me and anyone involved in politics and public service to have known Ada Seaman who died Monday at age 89 after a lengthy illness. Scrupulously fair to individuals of all political stripes, Ada was a Democrat who quietly possessed the strongest of commitments to help the less fortunate and to create economic and educational opportunity in her town.
In 2008 Ada was recognized with a Celebrate Our Communities Award given by the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain. A contribution of $2,500 went to the Friendship Center, just one of many organizations and causes that Ada supported through the years.
The nomination that led to recognition for Ada three years ago is worth recalling now if only to celebrate, not mourn the life of a good citizen.
Ada Seaman’s lifelong giving goes back to World War II. Between 1941-45, she served as a volunteer nurse’s aide. Her service on the home front was important to alleviate the shortage of nurses at local hospitals during the war. Answering the call to serve during the war years would continue:
– 25 years of service to the New Britain soup kitchen/shelter as a recruiter and volunteer. Beginning in 1983 Ada cooked and served walk ins, worked with individuals fulfilling community service sentences, and helped recruit volunteers.
– There was nine years as a patient helper at New Britain Memorial Hospital, now the Hospital for Special Care.
– 17 years as a tutor for Literacy Volunteers of America; three hours every week Ada tutored residents in basic reading and English as a Second Language.
– 11 years as member and publicity chair for the Greater New Britain Opera Association.
All of these works would be sufficient for a nomination, but it is Ada’s dedication to the Berlin/New Britain League of Women Voters that prompts this nomination. Ada has been part of the League since the local chapter’s founding in 1973 and has been on its board since 1976. She’s helped resident councils of public housing in Bristol and New Britain conduct council elections. She continues to coordinate volunteers for an annual public works hazardous waste collection day, a regional environmental project. Promoting citizenship, Ada has conducted voting machine demonstrations, led numerous voter registration drives and been the LWV’s official observer of New Britain Common Council meetings from the mid 1970s through this year. Her advocacy paved the way for televising of those meetings on local access cable several years ago. Now 86 years old, Ada remains a leader and indispensable part of the LWV chapter.
Ada’s quiet and unassuming manner belies a passion for service and citizenship that is appreciated by all who come to know her or have been asked to help in one of her many causes or projects. Her most valuable contribution may be that she has set an extraordinary example of community service that continues to inspire others.
“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 Cuomo, 1984 Democratic National Convention