Friday Night Out Bowling With New Britain Democrats – February 24th

New Britain Democrats’ 3rd annual Bowling Party will be held on Friday, February 24th at Newington’s Bowl-A-Rama, 2143 Berlin Turnpike from 6 to 8 p.m.

The evening includes two hours of bowling, shoe rentals, pizza, soda and cash bar.  Net proceeds swill benefit the New Britain Democratic Party’s voter engagement and party building activities. $30 per person. $50 for two. Like pizza but don’t bowl? $25.

More information:, 860-505-8901.

Think globally. Act Locally. Join New Britain Democrats

Any costs associated with this message paid for by New Britain Democratic Town Committee, Post Office Box 2112, New Britain CT 06050   Approved by Bill Shortell, Chairman; Shirley Black, Vice Chair; Ann Speyer, Recording Secretary; Alicia Strong, Corresponding Secretary; John Valengavich, Treasurer; Chris Govola, Assistant Treasurer.

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Opposing Trump, GOP Agenda: Hartford, New Britain Part Of Historic Women’s March For Equality, Economic Justice

By John McNamara

[Photos by Frank Gerratana]

The Women’s March on Washington the day after the inauguration of Donald Trump spawned marches from Augusta, Maine to Anchorage Alaska.

Millions of people, connected by the same social media so deftly and divisively used by Donald Trump, answered the call of the women’s march to respond to the 2016 Election:

The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us – immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault – and our communities are hurting and scared. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.

The Women’s March’s response to the 2016 campaign and Trump’s election is a  Mission and Statement of Principles  in pursuit of women’s rights and social justice summed up in the phrase “women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights”

Trump apologists and GOP flacks, however, are dismissing one of the largest demonstrations of dissent in U.S. history as the work of “snowflakes” and “whiners.” But the only whining all weekend came from Trump himself, quickly backed by  his fact-free White House flack carping about crowd sizes. By early Sunday Trump’s handlers, realizing the public opinion damage, attempted to recover from Trump’s erratic and divisive messages on Saturday by tweeting “peaceful protests are a hallmark of democracy.”

CT residents who did not get on the 80 busses headed for D.C. rallied in Hartford 10,000 strong on the north steps of the State Capitol.

Participants in Hartford and elsewhere realized early on that turnout would overwhelm even the most optimistic estimates. That’s because march leaders and their followers were exponentially joined by an intergenerational grassroots uprising of men and women from all occupations, children, the disabled immigrants, retirees and students.

And where do the marchers go from here?

President Obama’s Farewell message “to take up a clipboard” and get involved locally was heard from march podiums and marchers on Saturday.

The New Britain Democratic Town Committee invites you to join the committee and local efforts to work for women’s rights and human rights in our community.   Email: Telephone: 860-505-8901.

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Save Health Care Rally Sunday 1 p.m. 1/15 On Steps of State Capitol….Women’s March Mobilization Now Includes Hartford Rally…Town Committee 1st 2017 Meeting Is January 19th


The Republicans believe the wagon train will not make it to the frontier unless some of our old, some of our young, and some of our 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

Resistance To Trump, GOP Agenda Begins Sunday 1/15 Outside State Capitol At First Stand Rally For Affordable Health Care

Members of Connecticut’s Congressional delegation including Senators Chris Murphy, Richard Blumenthal and US Reps Elizabeth Esty and Rosa DeLauro are expected at a “First Stand” Day of Action for affordable health care

Hartford is one of hundreds of events launched by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and his colleagues.  It will be held outside the State Capitol in Hartford from 1 to 3 p.m. as part of the growing resistance to the agenda of the incoming Trump Administration and Republican Congress.


In the call for a Hartford First Stand Day of Action in Hartford organizers stated: “At a time when the United States remains the only major country on earth not to guarantee health care to all as a right, the Republicans want to throw nearly 30 million people off of health insurance, make massive cuts to Medicaid and defund Planned Parenthood. At the same time, in the midst of a grotesque and growing level of income and wealth inequality, they want obscene tax breaks for the top one-tenth of 1 percent. Tell Republicans loudly and clearly: You are not going to get away with it.

Women’s March On Washington January 21st Adds Sister Marches In Hartford, Boston and New York City

“We believe that Women’s Rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are Women’s Rights.”

In solidarity with hundreds of thousands of participants in Washington, D.C., Hartford local organizers will hold their  own Women’s March on the North steps of the Capitol Building in Hartford for a rally Sunday January 21st from 1 to 3 p.m. providing a local option for those who cannot travel to D.C. that day.


“Like many cities and states around the world,” organizers say, “we will join in calling for honoring EVERY voice that upholds dignity, justice, unity, and equality for all. If you are interested, please learn more about the values we are trying to express at

In addition to the D.C. march major rallies are being held in Boston, New York City, Stamford and in hundreds of communities around the nation and the world. Below is a link to the movement opposing the Trump and GOP agenda against women’s rights and human rights.

And don’t forget….All politics is local…..

Democratic Town Committee Meeting Thursday, January 19th at City Hall

The January meeting of the New Britain Democratic Town Committee will be held Thursday, January 19th at 7 pm at New Britain City Hall, Room 504, 27 West Main Street.

The first meeting of the year will include discussion of the city’s current water crisis and legislation to protect watershed against corporate takeovers and amendments to the DTC’s rules.

Members will hear reports from elected officials and committees, including planning for candidate recruitment for the municipal election.  The DTC will endorse a slate of candidates in July for all city offices including Mayor, Town and City Clerk, Tax Collector, Treasurer, At Large Common Council (5), District (Ward) Council (10), Board of  Education (3), Board of Assessment Appeals (2) and Constable (4).

All Democrats and interested persons are welcome to attend.

NOTICE – If you do not wish to receive updates from New Britain Democrats write “cancel” in the subject box and reply to editor, John McNamara.


Labor donated. Any costs associated with this message paid for by New Britain Democratic Town Committee, Post Office Box 2112, New Britain CT 06050   Approved by Bill Shortell, Chairman; Shirley Black, Vice Chair; Ann Speyer, Recording Secretary; Alicia Strong, Corresponding Secretary; John Valengavich, Treasurer; Chris Govola, Assistant Treasurer.

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President Obama’s Last Weekly Address: “Our success depends on our participation.”

If something needs fixing lace up your shoes and do some organizing. If you’re disappointed by your elected officials then grab a clipboard. Get some signatures and run for office yourself.
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Happy New Year: Looking Back and Moving Forward With New Britain Democrats

January 1, 2017

League of Women Voters Hosts Brunch With Legislators Saturday, 1/7

Legislature Opens On Wednesday, January 4th

New Britain area League of Women Voters’ will host a public brunch with New Britain area  legislators on Saturday January 7th at 10 am at the New Britain Public Library’s Community Room, 10 High Street.

The Connecticut General Assembly opens for the year on Wednesday, January 4th and concludes on June 7th.  Lawmakers will be dealing with projected budget deficits that are posing threats to vital public services, city and town aid and the funding for the educational cost sharing. The Malloy administration will be introducing its biennial budget for the next fiscal year in February.

“Tapped” Documentary To Be Presented Thursday 1/5 at Public Library

A showing of the documentary “Tapped” about the bottled water industry and ecological impacts on public water supplies will be presented by Save Our Water CT and Protect Our Watersheds CT on January 5th at 6 p.m.

The event will be held at the New Britain Public Library’s Community Room.

Following the film organizers invite questions and discussion on watershed issues including the Stewart administration’s move with Tilcon Inc. to lease the city’s watershed land for trap rock mining that is now the subject of a controversial study by Lenard Engineering and state regulatory review. The project and the sale of New Britain’s Patton Brook Well to Southington amid drought conditions have drawn strong public opposition.

Protect Our Watersheds CT is opposing the Tilcon project and Save Our Water CT was established to oppose the Niagara Bottling Company’s Bloomfield facility that is tapping Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) water supplies.

DTC Voter Registration Committee Meets With Incoming Registrar Pawlak

The DTC’s Voter Registration Committee held a meeting in December with incoming Democratic Registrar Lucian Pawlak to discuss working together on voter education, voter identification at the polls and strengthening voter registration.

Committee members and Pawlak  discussed the annual voter canvass that sets the number of active voters on the list before the next election.  Pawlak and the DTC committee will meet early in the year to discuss voter contact during the canvass to occur between January and April.  The Presidential election raised the number of eligible voters in the city to 31,032 — a number that include more than 800 voters who registered on Election Day at City Hall.

Serving on the committee are Mario Santos, Isabelita Cancel, Don DeFronzo, Willie Justiniano, Bobby Berriault and DTC Chair Bill Shortell.

New Britain Democrats’ Year In Review: A Look Back At 2016 In Pictures

In the nation a gerrymandered electoral map did not favor Clinton-Kaine on November 8th. A campaign of vulgarity and dog whistle politics prevailed in sections of three battleground states to win the night, notwithstanding a nearly three million vote victory for the Democratic ticket in the national popular vote.

In New Britain  the 73% (22,683) turnout of 31,032 eligible voters — thousands of them newly registered or brought off the inactive lists during the year as well as  817 Election Day Registered (EDR) voters– gave every Democratic candidate on Row A convincing margins of victory.

City voting results district by district  posted by the City Clerk showed Clinton-Kane, US Senator Blumenthal and US Rep Elizabeth Esty with 70% or better.

The 2016 election capped a year of party-building and mobilizing around key issues such as voter access and preserving polling places, opposing the sale and development of the city’s watershed lands and turning back two of three charter referenda (four-year terms) that would have reduced participation in municipal government and local elections.

–Year In Review text by John McNamara and photos by Frank Gerratana


Bill Shortell was elected DTC Chair in March succeeding John McNamara


The DTC strongly opposed GOP moves to shut down polling places stating in a resolution: “changes to polling locations and voting district boundaries should be based on population changes every 10 years and not done for political expedience” and “negligible” savings.” Democrats asserted that “the closing of polling places in neighborhoods with high concentrations of African-American, Hispanic and elderly people will make it harder for those residents to exercise their franchise.” A March rally pressured city officials to back off from the plan.


Party building activities , endorsement meetings and conventions were held during the half of 2016.


Delegates Bobby Berriault, Larry Hermanowski and Shirley Black


New Britain delegates help to re-nominate Cong. Elizabeth Esty at Waterbury convention.


The Black Democratic Club held its annual Soulfood Fest on August 20th at Spottswood AME Church.

DTC’s Alton Brooks receives Congressional citation at August Soulfood Fest of Black Democratic Club.


Volunteers with State Senator Terry Gerratana at her Main Street headquarters.


State Comptroller Kevin Lembo at New Britain phone bank for the August Primary.


Senator Chris Murphy visited Democratic Headquarters to talk to volunteers getting out the vote before Election Day.


NOTICE – If you do not wish to receive updates from New Britain Democrats write “cancel” in the subject box and reply to editor, John McNamara.


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 Bill Shortell.

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Obamas’ White House message for a Merry Christmas……

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In Memoriam: Thank You Betty Boukus

New Britain and Plainville Democrats have always shared a strong political kinship for more than 30 years.  In the 1980s when our state Senate district was part of Plainville it was State Senator Joe Harper and Plainville’s State Representative Gene Millerick who helped lead New Britain-Plainville delegation in Hartford.

And for the last 20 years State Rep. Elizabeth (Betty) Boukus, who succeeded Millerick, has kept our city -town bond  going with part of her 22nd district  always  in New Britain  — the  DiLoreto School  for the last three election cycles.

Rep. Boukus, who diligently carried on her public service through health challenges in recent years, died suddenly Friday less than a month after the November 8th election.

Win or lose  Boukus’ leadership, positive attitude and concern for her constituents was  present this year as it was through her long string of victories and legislative accomplishments.

Rep. Boukus, a warm and inclusive public servant to everyone she met, rose through the ranks to become one of the Legislature’s most respected and effective lawmakers — a respect that transcended party and ideology.

Garnering more legislative clout through the years never changed Betty’s approach to legislating and to being fair to all concerned.

The best thing you can say about a politician is that he or she never forgets their roots and the voters who brought you to the dance. Betty Boukus never forgot.

New Britain Democrats extend deepest sympathy to Betty’s husband, Gary, the Boukus family and her constituents and colleagues.

Betty Boukus at a voter registration event before the November 8th Election

Betty Boukus at a voter registration event before the November 8th Election (F. Gerratana photo)

Governor Malloy, who immediately ordered flags to half staff on Friday, said, “Betty Boukus was one of the most passionate and most energetic legislators in the history of the Connecticut General Assembly.  She loved being an elected official, specifically the opportunity to serve the people of her towns Plainville and New Britain in order to advocate for their best interests –  and she made sure everybody knew it.  With every meeting of any committee that she attended, she brought the ray of sunshine into the room, even on the gloomiest of days.  The State of Connecticut has lost one of its most vociferous advocates and honorable public servants, and we are all deeply saddened by her loss.  On behalf of the people of our state, I would like Betty’s family to know how much we appreciated her spirit, her generosity, her character, and her service.  She will truly be missed.”

Rep. Boukus at the dedication of Alton Brooks Way with Alton Brooks and Rep. Rick Lopes. (F. Gerratana Photo)

Rep. Boukus at the dedication of Alton Brooks Way with Alton Brooks and Rep. Rick Lopes. (F. Gerratana Photo)

Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman, who served in the Legislature with Rep. Boukus, said, “This is a very sad day for Connecticut.  We’ve lost a truly dedicated legislator and an extraordinary woman.  She was smart and well-informed, and even during the toughest debates, she always led with compassion and humor.  My thoughts are with Betty’s husband Gary, her children, and grandchildren.  I want to thank them and her entire family for sharing her with her Capitol family.  She did lasting good work for Connecticut.”

 — John McNamara.  Photos by Frank Gerratana

Rosemary Morante and Betty Boukus at Democratic State Convention (F. Gerratana photo)

Rosemary Morante and Betty Boukus at Democratic State Convention (F. Gerratana photo)


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