Clinton Democratic Town Committee

DTC Newsletter – June, 2019

Fellow Democrats – With summer just upon us, this is when Clinton shines brightest and we at the Clinton DTC are actively beginning work on establishing our slate for the November Elections. It is a wonderful time in our history as we shift to a Town Manager/Town Council form of government. Interested parties in our elected positions have presented to the DTC for their nomination.  Clinton is VIBRANT! Your contact with us is always welcome at Info@clintondtc.org — Respectfully, Andrea S. Reu, Chair

ON A NATIONAL LEVEL  the DNC announced that twenty candidates have been invited to participate in the first Democratic presidential primary debate.  Each candidate was invited based on the qualification criteria agreed to by the DNC and NBC News, announced publicly in February.

The first debate will take place over two back-to-back nights at 9 p.m. ET on June 26 and 27, 2019, in Miami, Florida. The debate will be broadcast in prime time on NBC, MSNBC, and Telemundo, and will be streamed online for free on a variety of digital and social platforms.

MY DAD WAS A WWII VETERAN – By DTC Member Larry Ouellette

My 97-year-old dad, Lawrence A Ouellette, was a World War II vet who served in the Navy on the aircraft carrier Hornet which was sunk by Japanese zeros flown by Japanese kamikaze pilots. The Hornet took part in most if not all of the major sea battles that took place in the Pacific, and most memorably, my dad was on the Hornet when Lieut. Col. James Doolittle took off from the Hornet with his squadron to mount the first air attack upon Japan. My dad was from a family of 15 children which included one priest and two nuns of the Marist order and served as missionaries in Bougainville, New Zealand. One of the two nuns, Sr. Mary Leo (my aunt Cecilia Ouellette, my dad’s oldest sister) was one of the state of Maine’s first female doctors who was in charge of running the missionary hospitals in New Zealand. The priest, Father Leo Ouellette, also served during the war as the chaplain on the battleship Missouri and served in that position when the Japanese surrendered on the deck of the Missouri. My dad’s other brothers also served in both the Pacific and Atlantic theaters of combat during WWII, in the various branches of the armed service. My dad’s father, John Ouellette was the head carpenter for the local papermill in Livermore Falls, Maine (my dad’s hometown), where he was put in charge of building the town’s Catholic Church along with hundreds of other volunteers. My dad’s large family still meets once a year in August in Rockland, Maine on Moosehead Lake for large family reunions in which members of this family have traveled from as far as Australia, Switzerland and the states of Oregon and Washington to celebrate and attend this great, annual family tradition. I have been proud to be a part of this family in which so many aunts and uncles have selflessly served their community and country fearlessly and without reserve.

This tradition of family service has also inspired me to find ways to give of myself and serve on many of Clinton’s commissions and boards including 12 years as chairman of the Clinton Democratic Town Committee, 10 years as chairman of the Clinton Historic District Commission, and eight years as chairman of the Clinton Conservation Commission, during which time I had the honor of meeting and serving with many other Clinton volunteers whose own length, breadth and quality of service made me proud and honored to be a member of the Clinton community and our democratic form of government- which my dad’s sacrifice and service, and that of his fellow veterans and citizens made possible.

In these days and weeks following Memorial Day, it is hoped that the stories of sacrifice and service by our ‘country’s’ veterans and citizens, will inspire the younger generations to step forth and serve their communities and country, so that America’s beacon light of freedom and democracy can continue to shine brightly, to inspire and give hope to the rest of the world’s oppressed.

BUDGETS PASS ON FIRST ROUND! – What more can we say, other than we are thrilled and thank all our Voters for turning out!  The diligent work our Board of Selectmen, Board of Education and Board of Finance Members did to provide us with responsible budgets to properly run our town and schools, and set the framework for Clinton to thrive in the years to come is greatly appreciated!  We are at a turning point.

TRAIN STATION CONSTRUCTION HAS BEGUN!

SOCIAL EVENTS AND FUNDRAISERS – Watch for our Events on Facebook and invite a friend!


Monday, July 1st – Happy Hour at Rocky’s Aqua!  Join us for appetizers and in a wonderful seaside atmosphere!  530-830PM $20 prepaid, $25 at the door. Cash Bar
Buy Aqua Tickets NOW


Thursday, August 15 – Pallet Painting Party, at 6PM at Indian River Complex, $15-$50 depending on size of sign! All ages, a fun creative outlet, supporting our candidates in November! Pre-registration required.

Stay Tuned!  We are hoping Chris Murphy will join us at the Town Beach for a Potluck and perhaps a wonderful Chocolate event is in our future…….more to come

JOIN US FOR A FUNDRAISER TO SUPPORT OUR CONTINUED EFFORTS!


Picnic and Paddle on the Blueway at “Indian River Marina and Kayak”
With Local Musician Brian May
58  Commerce Street, Clinton, CT
July 11 from 5 until 8 p.m.  – $35.00
Link to Facebook Event
Link to buy Tickets through Eventbrite

NEWS FROM OUR BOARD OF SELECTMEN – Just this week the BOS will reveal the new town logo and branding which will create an image of Clinton in the eyes of potential investors, visitors.  It will be instrumental in marketing Clinton for economic development, signage, as well as support our tremendous existing business community. First Selecman Christine Goupil has worked with CERC our consultant planning agency, and local graphic designer Rob Acampora who provided his professional services pro bono. Watch for it!

The Latest News From Boards, Commissions, and Committees


Registrar of VotersBy Registrar June Hanson- As most people only see us on Budget Referendum Days, Bonding votes, Primary Day or November election days the public doesn’t really know what we do the rest of the time. Here is a brief insight…

From January-April 30th we do our canvass. This consists of confirming addresses. We work in conjunction with the NCOA which is the National  Change of Address linked to the postal system. We also are linked to the DMV, and no I’m sorry we can’t renew your licenses lol. It is very important to have all addresses as correct as possible as we want to avoid embarrassment on the part of the voter.

We then move into budget season. As you know from years past this is a lengthy process…sometimes 4 Referendum to pass both budgets. We deal with a lot of absentee ballots, non registered but taxpayers can vote and now anyone on a trust can vote. These people must bring with them their trust instrument and sign an affidavit saying the trust is current. When I first started this job in 2000 I could go all day with only 800-900 people turning out to vote, now we are anywhere from 2,500-4,000 people voting. Primaries….National are held in August, municipal are held in September. If we have a two party primary we divide the room and run two events simultaneously. Different colored ballots so no one cheats.

November elections…our most detail oriented vote. We hire between 25-30 people. Our checkers, 2 ballot distributors, 2 machine tenders and 2 Registrars and moderator. That’s just in the green room. We also now have to have EDR which is Election Day registration. That is in our Rose room, as it must be separate from the polling area. This consists of 2 people to deal with the people who want to register, after they register we must check their last given address to make sure they haven’t voted there yet, this consists of a phone call to the Registrar in that town, and then they can proceed to the voting both and vote in the Rose Room.

We also have IVS set up for the seeing impaired. This also is in the Rose room. It is a specially programmed computer to enable the voter to listen to the ballot and vote using a touch screen. We have absentee ballots to deal with. Last November we had over 400 of them. They are opened and separated by outside envelope/inside envelope and the actual ballot. These are different color ballots and once opened and approved are run through the voting machines. At the end of a very long day we now have EMS which is Election Management System. This is a data entry program linked directly to the Secretary of State’s office. All results must be entered into this program and sent to SOTS before midnight. Of course we deal with hand-counts and write in ballots throughout the course of the day. These are not processed by our machines because they have marks that are not programmed by the memory cards.

Board of Education By Chair Erica Gelven – The closing of Pierson 4th/5th grade school, will save over $800,000 next year, with savings to be continued into subsequent years. While the Board was deeply saddened to make this decision, declining enrollment and the changing landscape of primary education made it the prudent one. Additionally, the transition to the State of Connecticut healthcare plan, negotiation by the Board and all bargaining units, allows for both a substantial cost savings to the taxpayers of Clinton and decreased exposure to the liabilities that go along with increased claims.

Conservation Commission – Current opening, let us know if you have a passion or expertise and are interested in serving on this Board.

The Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance of ClintonBy Chair Carrie Allen

On May 31st the Clinton Blue/Greenway received state recognition from the CT Council of Greenways, so our town trail will be added to the list of state bike/ped trails in Connecticut. Last week Laura Brown of UCONN’s College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources spoke to a gathering of economic development interests at Aqua in Clinton, providing us with data which confirms that these trails can indeed bring tourism and generate business if those trails connect people to their town. The Clinton Blue/Greenway is a trail that takes us through the historic district, the art district and passes thirty Clinton businesses, including restaurants, galleries, music venues and shops.

ON THE STATE LEVEL

FROM GOVERNOR NED LAMONT

Governor Lamont signs bill increasing Connecticut’s minimum wage to $15


Friends, This morning I had the opportunity to sign into law legislation we championed with the help of a number of state legislators and advocates – like you – to raise the minimum wage in our state to $15 over the next several years.

This is perhaps one of the most impactful pieces of legislation for working families that a governor can sign, and I want to thank all of you for your support and hard work to get this done on behalf of the people of Connecticut. By contacting your local legislators and voicing your support, you helped send this bill to my desk, and now thousands of hardworking women and men – many of whom are supporting families – will get a modest increase that will help lift them out of poverty, combat persistent pay disparities between races and genders, and stimulate our economy.

This is a fair, gradual increase for the working women and men who will invest the money right back into our economy and continue supporting local businesses in their communities.

Thank you for your advocacy. There is more work to be done to ensure that working families can share in Connecticut’s prosperity, and I look forward to continuing to work together.

Warm regards, Ned


FROM SENATOR CHRIS MURPHY – Hope you’re getting a chance to enjoy some beautiful spring weather! I wanted to take a moment to share a brief update from Senator Chris Murphy’s office. It’s been a busy couple of weeks.


Supporting those with Breast Cancer

Senator Murphy introduced a bill with Republican Senator Martha McSally that would waive the 5-month waiting period for Social Security Disability Insurance and the 24-month waiting period for eligible Medicare benefits for those diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. The bill is supported by the National Breast Cancer Coalition. You can read more about the legislation here.


Trip to the Middle East

Senator Murphy ended last month with a weeklong trip to Israel, Jordan, and Iraq alongside Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, his colleague on the Foreign Relations Committee. The stakes are high in the region as we await details of the Trump administration’s so-called “deal of the century” peace plan, whose details have not been shared with Congress. You can read about the trip here.

Wounded Warriors Bill – Senator Murphy introduced two bills to help wounded warriors by improving orthotics and prosthetics care, and expanding the current orthotics and prosthetics workforce. Find out more about those bills here.

The Hidden Cost of College

On Monday, Senator Murphy visited Middlesex Community College to unveil his new report on food and housing insecurity on college campuses and to take a tour of the college’s Magic Food Bus. Food insecurity in college students is far more prevalent that many people realize. Senator Murphy’s report intends to shed light on the issue and offer some federal solutions. I encourage you to take a look at the report. Earlier this year, Senator Murphy visited UConn to speak with students about this issue and incorporated some students’ stories in the report.

NEW FACES! One of my favorite things to hear is when I meet someone new in town who proclaims themselves a bleeding liberal, now that is not what all Democrats are, but it is a sign you might be one of us.  Welcome to town Celeste, and newly active Martin and Laurie Jaffe who bring them impressive resumes of activism and experience in law, education and planning.

You are cordially Invited to “LET’S TALK DEMOCRACY” – In a casual setting amongst friends and like minded folks in town, a gathering to talk about the state of our union, nationally and locally, a discussion of current events and worries, an idea exchange.  Please mark your calendars and join us on the last Sunday of each month – refreshments and desserts will be served! For more information contact us at info@clintondtc.org

A FINAL THOUGHT – Can Borrowing From Neighbors Strengthen Democracy? In the course of our daily lives, we may find abundant evidence that our social fabric has frayed. As Robert Putnam discussed in his 2000 book Bowling Alone, Americans have become increasingly isolated, drifting away from activities that stimulate civic engagement. Could the casual connection created through borrowing a cup of sugar from a neighbor help restore the sense of community needed to strengthen our democracy? While that notion may seem far-fetched, the act of borrowing creates opportunities to engage, connect and relate to people in our communities. Research has shown that even those who are initially reluctant to reach out to their neighbors are much happier when they do. In addition to improving well-being, building social capital through neighborly interaction can help to establish the habits of cooperation and reciprocity that underpin a healthy democracy. { read more }

Be The Change – Think of ways in which you can help to create a culture of social responsibility by building a sharing network in your community. A friendly hello and casual chat can be the seeds that blossom into a community garden, a tool swap, a rideshare or a citizens climate action group.

Clinton Democratic Town Committee!
Meeting dates: Second Thursdays, July 18 special meeting, August 8 and September 12 at 7PM in the conference room at the Clinton Police Station

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