As the year comes to a close, I am sharing a few reflections on the renewed commitment of the Stratford Democratic Town Committee moving into 2023.
Most importantly, it is a humbling experience to chair the DTC and I appreciate the support and respect given me. There are so many kind and talented individuals volunteering their time and spirit to the committee, as members, candidates, elected officials, and volunteers. May I return the respect and support always.
Our committee moved through many leadership changes during 2022 and I have been feeling a growing sense of unity and connection among the board and our active members. It’s like energy – a buzz – this coalescing around our shared concerns and values and I’m wrapping myself up in it!
While there have been challenges this year, I believe we are strongly positioned to meet our obligation of electing Democrats to local offices who will help build a strong economy, exceptional schools, and healthy neighborhoods throughout Stratford. We have members who provide a diverse reflection of our town’s residents, who have broad and varied expertise, skills, and experiences, and who are dedicated to our town, their neighborhoods, and the Stratford DTC.
To support the core work of the committee, we reset our foundation and concentrated on fundraising and membership and community outreach. A summer fundraising challenge, generous monthly donors, a new meeting location, our fall picnic, and four super donors have provided a nice bank balance entering a municipal election year. Aware that more diversification of donors/donations is necessary over the long-term, we are satisfied with the fiscal restraint that allows us to appropriately plan for the upcoming year.
A website redesign was on the wish list of membership and my, how that has helped! In addition to the sleek look and navigation, the content is updated regularly, and we are able to reach people that are not on social media or our mailing distribution. A primary focus for me has been making our monthly DTC meetings interactive, engaging, and accessible (Zoom offered based on our capacity to provide). Highlights included all of the statewide primary candidates addressing the membership and a panel discussion emphasizing the efforts of our members who are also union members. Our Fall Picnic at Boothe Memorial Park took a lot of planning, and the payoff was a huge success which brought us new volunteers and potentially, new members.
Community outreach included tents at both the Main Street and Latin Music Festivals, both filled with laughter, and great food, music, and conversations. New DTC brochures and drawstring sportpacks were designed and handed out, along with campaign literature for our four endorsed local candidates and other nominated Democrats. These were two of my favorite days of the year; they are very different events and I felt totally immersed in Stratford at both. I know that’s how our members feel at the biannual Lord’s Kitchen support. With the help of local volunteers, our members provided two well-cooked, home-style meals to many in town and we’re all grateful to the Stratford Clergy Association for their work in our community.
In our recent statewide elections, we were fortunate to have ten candidates across the Stratford town ballots that understood that the work of governing is complex and they all offered solutions to problems. DTC members and new volunteers helped our state constitutional office and our congressional delegation to big wins, along with the statewide early voting referendum. State Representative Joe Gresko was reelected and reappointed as Chair of the Environment Committee and Probate Judge Max Rosenberg was sworn in again this week. Big wins.
We also share respect for and appreciation to Phil Young for his leadership and service in Hartford and Chris Green for his inspired run. Stratford lost the opportunity of having them both represent our best interests at the Capitol. We acknowledge the voting situation in our town but cede nothing and are confident we will have Democratic representation back in Hartford for the north part of town.
So, into 2023 we go. We understand a bit about our voters, have some money in the bank, and are getting to know our neighbors and what matters most to them. We have some candidates ready to run to support the best interests of those they will represent; and we welcome new faces and ideas as we continue to rebuild our committee and our municipal slate for November and move our town forward!
Stratford DTC Chair