NEW BRITAIN DEMOCRATS EXTEND BEST WISHES TO ALL ON THE OCCASION OF THE EASTER AND PASSOVER HOLIDAYS………….
Secretary of the State Merrill At April 24th DTC Meeting
Secretary of the State (SOTS) Denise Merrill is scheduled as the guest speaker at the April 24th meeting of the Democratic Town Committee.
The meeting will be held at New Britain City Hall, 27 West Main Street and will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Merrill, a former House Majority Leader, is campaigning for re-election on voter accessibility measures in her first term, including implementation of Same Day Registration law, the advent of an online voter registration system and support of a constitutional amendment that would allow early voting in Connecticut.
Merrill and other Democrats seeking state offices this year are participating in the Citizens’ Election Program that bans lobbyist and special interest contributions and qualifies candidates for public financing if a sufficient number of residents contribute from $5 to $100 to candidate committees.
Merrill’s re-election campaign and donation information is available at www.merrill2014.com
The DTC agenda will also include a discussion of the municipal budget and nominations for vacancies for Justice of the Peace. All Democrats are welcome to attend.
Convention Delegates To Meet May 1st To Pick Central Committee Members
Democrats from Berlin, Farmington and New Britain will meet Thursday May 1st to elect a man and a woman to serve on the Democratic State Central Committee representing the 6th state senate district.
The meeting will be held at the Italian Independent Political Club, 16 Harding Street, Berlin at 7 p.m.
State Party Treasurer and New Britain DTC member Emma Pierce is seeking re-election for a new term. Delegates selected in March by town committees will elect a replacement for Superior Court Judge Nominee Kevin Murphy of Berlin who resigned after his recent nomination to the bench. Former Berlin Mayor Adam Salina is expected to seek the seat on the 72-member state party committee.
NB Politicus: City Council Adopts $10.10 A Year Early
Five of Six in Republican Caucus Oppose Increase
Council President Mike Trueworthy’s resolution on a $10.10 minimum wage for city employees not covered by labor agreements or other contracts won a 10-5 vote at the Common Council April 9th. It came on the heels of President Obama’s visit to CCSU to rally support for federal legislation that languishes in the GOP controlled U.S. House of Representatives. The point of Obama’s visit was that states and localities now need to lead and pressure Speaker Boehner & company to adjust the federal minimum which hasn’t changed in a long time.
Thinking nationally and acting locally worked. Nine Council Democrats were joined by Ward 4 Alderman Don Naples, an unaffiliated who ran with GOP Mayor Erin Stewart last year.
Ward Five Alderman Carlo Carlozzi, Jr. led the majority’s argument for the city to go to $10.10 in 2015-2016 after a council committee exempted independent contractors from the increase. Carlozzi, pretty much a fiscal conservative with a record of voting against municipal budgets, made the “moral’ argument. Invoking the experiences of his labor Democratic parents Carlozzi noted that the compromise measure on $10.10 won a unanimous vote in committee and he was surprised to hear opposition on the Council floor. “Are we really telling people we can’t afford paying them 50 cents more an hour?” asked Carlozzi, noting that the state minimum goes to $9.60 the year after next and won’t reach $10.10 until 2017. City officials estimate the impact of $10.10 for eligible employees would be somewhere north of $80,000. But Carlozzi, who delivered a budget-cutting soliloquy on ways to avoid tax hikes at the start of the meeting, insisted that even the most austere municipal budget should find room for half a buck an hour more for entry-level wages in city jobs. Approximately 160 employees, part and full-time, would be covered by the new minimum.
“Democrat” Daniel Salerno, a member of the Council’s Republican caucus, and Minority Leader Jamie Giantonio, led the opposition to the measure on jurisdictional and fiscal grounds. Salerno, being a good soldier for the Stewart Administration, argued minimum and living wages are not the concern of elected officials in local government. Giantonio, noting the precarious financial condition of the budget, indicated that the city could use the money for other things instead of upping the minimum for a limited number of city employees a year ahead of the state mandated wage policy.
The GOP Aldermen, wanting to have it both ways, quickly endorsed “living wages” that exceed $10.10 in theory but fell back on familiar arguments used whenever proposals to have minimums catch up with the cost of living: it’ll kill jobs and drive costs up for consumers (taxpayers).
Alderman Salerno makes a good point: if Congress, specifically the GOP House was doing its job to adjust the $7.25 federal wage, neither city nor state would need to debate the issue. The $10.10 an hour would already be in the calculations for the current budget let alone next year’s or the year after that. The Common Council, however, did the right thing in passing more than a feel good resolution backing state and federal action after the Obama visit. The need for constrained spending and austerity in municipal budgets is undeniable. But paying an additional 50 cents per hour for the least paid among city workers is a step toward fairness and away from the excuses and myths that always come from opponents. Excuses and myths are holding the minimum to $7.25 nationally but not in Connecticut nor New Britain.
From an insufficient government response to the suffering of our poor and hungry brothers and sisters in this country and throughout the world, save us, O Lord.
From the many corporations that reap huge profits from the use of sweatshop labor, that refuse to pay a living wage, that produce unsafe products, that pollute and dangerously warm our Earth, save us, O Lord.
From the military industrial complex that produces the guns used in many murders committed on our city streets, that manufactures the light arms, tanks, helicopters, fighter jets, war ships and drones that fuel the world’s wars and kill far more innocent civilians than combatants, save us, O Lord.
From the research facilities and factories that produce nuclear weapons of mass destruction, save us, O Lord.
From a government that is far more committed to astronomical military budgets and tax cuts for the wealthy than it is to funding programs for the poor and the middle class, to fixing the nation’s infrastructure, to helping family farmers, to trading fairly with poor nations, to legalizing our hard-working undocumented population, and to committing adequate funding for clean, renewable energy sources, save us, O Lord.
From a “A Holy Week Prayer….” by Tony Magliano – National Catholic Reporter
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