This posting is probably not something that will interest a lot of people, but I think it is significant.
The entire political process starts on the local level with the Town committee's, both Democrat and Republican. The importance of the local town committee members becomes even more apparent when contested elections are on the horizon, like they are now. The conventions are taking place at this time with the "delegates". mostly elected town committee members with a few others thrown in,meeting to select endorsed candidates for everything from State Central representatives to Registrar of Voters to US Senators.
It's interesting when you are walking through the grocery store or pumping gas and the cellphone rings and Susan Bysiewicz or Congressman Chris Murphy are on the other end asking for your support. If you really think about it, the people that the "delegates" eventually support will most likely be our elected officials for some time. It is not a decision to be taken lightly and I think we owe it to our fellow residents to make these decisions based on some intelligent reasoning.
Tough questions need to be asked and I don't think we can shirk our responsibility by being shy or just playing political gamesmanship. Character matters, and we have more than enough "characters" in politics, we need to start finding people of character.
Tonight history was made when three of Hartford's Democratic Town Committee's worked together. The 1st District, the 5th District (which now includes all of Windsor) and the 7th District( Asylum Hill and Blue Hills areas) actually worked together for the benefit of Hartford. (** Windsor was also instrumental as well as a vote from the 3rd District allocated due to redistricting)
State Central representatives are selected by State Senatorial districts. Each district has two representatives, one female and one male. Well over a decade ago, some have told me 16 years ago,north Hartford lost both of its state central seats. The 2nd Senatorial District, which encompasses North Hartford, Bloomfield and Windsor, was represented by one rep from Bloomfield and one from Windsor.
Tonight, both of those seats were returned to Hartford. It may not seem to mean a lot, but to me it is significant that three groups of people were able to work together, putting personalities, agendas and even grudges aside to do what we promised the voters that actually turned out and voted for us. I hope it continues in the spirit of doing what is best for Hartford and making sure our neighbors actually have a unified voice speaking for them.
The female representative is a person that I am very proud to work alongside as co-spokesperson for the 7th District. Vicki Fennell is a relative newcomer to the political process, but she is quickly finding her stride, is extremely organized and truly seems to understand that she has an obligation to work to make Hartford a better place.
The entire 7th District group seems to be energetic and ready to work together and bring about change, as we all promised when we were campaigning. It is a good feeling to see the entire group interacting like adults and seeing the consensus building and common goals being moved forward by such a diverse group.
The male rep elected is not a newcomer to Hartford politics but most likely is not a "familiar" political face. Jay Mullarkey is the spokesperson for the 1st District, (primarily Hartford's West end area). Jay has served the Hartford Democratic Town Committee as Treasurer for years. He stepped aside this year but still serves as the assistant treasurer. Jay strikes me as the type that prefers to be more low key, behind the scenes making things happen than being out in front. His efforts were instrumental in Hartford winning both seats tonight and his subtle "bridge building" can only benefit Hartford.
Like I said in the beginning, it may seem insignificant, but the little steps are the things that are going to restore integrity and respect to Hartford as a city and its political process after the stains of corruption start to wash away.
Next week the South end districts will be going through the same process we went through tonight. Can those two state central seats also come back to Hartford? Currently only one is filled by Hartford.They will have a few more challenges though as they will also be tested in their choices for State representative in the 4th District and the 6th District. (More on that in a later posting)
We are fortunate in the 7th District in the fact that we have a very capable incumbent who, as far as I know, is not being challenged. State Representative Doug McCrory is also a member of our 7th District town committee. I don't think there will be any challenge in the 1st District either, where freshman legislator Matt Ritter will be running for his second term.