On Saturday night I want to the 33rd District Lincoln Day Dinner, an event which is held every year. I went as a Representative of my town and also one who holds an elected office. The event was well attended, with many familiar faces from the past and a few new. I haven't been to this event in a while for personal reasons and I need to give you a little insight why.
About three years ago I had stopped attending my local Republican Town Committee not feeling like the party was going in the direction it needed. I had volunteered many hours for fundraising, worked on town elections and spent time going to Republican Town Committee meetings feeling like there was a lack of interest with voters, no one seemed to care that their taxes were going up, no accountability with elected officials and not much interest on what happens to the town we live in. My town has been tagged as a "bedroom town", very little industry, people come here to live in a house with a yard, away from the city and commute into Hartford or New Haven. They just want to send their children to school which accounts to pouring as much money as they can into the school system without any regard to where it is going and keep it as rural as possible. The town is growing and residential property taxes is not going to be the answer to keeping up with the schools, Fire Department or lowering our taxes. Our town use to have budget votes for the school that have been turned down up to 11 times! Now it is not even a question about why there is an increase, where the money is going and passes on the first referendum. To me, that is just laziness, careless and not being fiscally responsible. I now have a two year old who will be entering the school system and it is my time to start pushing change, something needed in this town and is long over due. I know I am not the only one, and many people say "I am too busy" or just do not want to get involved. I have always said that you CANNOT complain unless you are involved and all politics are local.
So, here we are, 2009 and I am back on Republican Town Committee with a new attitude and happy to see some new members have joined. I went to the Lincoln Day Dinner with hopes to hear the same from people I knew I would see from the past, the state central GOP members and new faces. I walked away with just that feeling. The State of CT GOP Party Chairman Chris Healy spoke, pointing out where we are and where we need to be, how we are moving in the right direction. Ken Gromback, my RTC Chairman spoke about how past, present and future generations will effect us with politics and the labor force, evidently I was born during the lowest birth rate time, right after the baby boomers, a few extra burdens placed on my generation with employment, health care and just plain getting old, eeek! And how the generation Y, will put us back into the top of the labor force again, not China, the USA! Very interesting, he does have a book out about this, worth reading. We also had one of the candidates who may be running against Chris Dodd for the Senate seat speak about Lincoln and why he may be running for this seat. In the end, I walked away with more faith that we are moving forward, with exception of a few towns I know(Clinton, there was NO ONE who represented this town, and I use to be on their RTC before I moved my present home!).
In the coming months to our local town elections, I will be posting a lot about politics, from local to national level. Maybe this will inspire someone else who I do or do not know to get involved. Don't think you cannot make a difference because you can and starting local is the best way to do so.