Welcome to the newsletter of the Sherman Democratic Town Committee. Our goal is to share with local Democrats news and resources to help us stay involved for positive change on a state and local level. We are committed to working for and with the citizens of Sherman to promote issues, initiatives, and candidates that will make Sherman a better place to live and work.
|Changes to Board of Selectmen Meeting Format|
First Selectman Don Lowe announced significant changes to the format of BOS meetings in regard to public participation: Public comment and questions will be allowed after each agenda item. This more open and interactive format will encourage audience members to ask questions or provide information as topics are covered.
Complete minutes from the Sherman Board of Selectmen meetings are available at www.TownofShermanCT.org
|It’s Budget Season|
From the Town of Sherman website: Town budgets are presented in two components: one supporting municipal activities and the other funding education. Budget preparation begins in January, and the Board of Selectmen, acting as the Board of Finance, reviews budget requests in March. A public hearing on the proposed budget is held in April. The Board of Selectmen acts as the Board of Finance in finalizing the budgets that are presented to voters in May.
Registered voters and property owners are eligible to vote on the budgets, which are considered separately. Once budgets are finalized, they are mailed to all residents. They will also be posted on-line. Copies of the budget also are available in the Selectmen’s Office.
Sherman’s fiscal year is July 1st to June 30th.
|Looking Toward The 2018 Election|
Sherman Democrats won significant victories in 2017. On to 2018!
The general election will be held on November 6. If there is more than one Democratic candidate for a position, a primary will be held on August 14.
What’s at Stake?
We are currently represented in Washington by Democratic Representative Elizabeth Esty and Democratic Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal. Esty and Murphy are up for re-election.
Governor Dannel Malloy is not running for re-election. Most outside observers regard the 2018 race as a tossup. No less than 15 Republicans and nine Democrats are still in the running.
All 151 seats in the State House of Representatives are up for election. The Democrats currently control the House by a 79 to 72 margin. In 2016, the Republicans gained eight seats. The Republicans need to gain only four more seats to take control. Our own representative, Republican Richard Smith (representing Sherman, New Fairfield, New Milford and Danbury) ran unopposed in 2018! (Know anyone who wants to run? Have them contact the Democratic Town Committee!)
All 36 State Senate seats are up for election. The Senate is currently evenly split, 18 to 18. The Democrats maintain effective control of the chamber only because Democratic Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman can cast tie-breaking votes. A gain of one seat by either party would give that party control of the State Senate. As of this writing, only one candidate, Julie Kushner, is running against McLachlan, (Ken Gucker, who ran against McLachlan in 2016, had initially announced that he would contest the nomination, but in early February he withdrew. Instead, he will be running for a seat in the Connecticut House of Representatives, representing the 138th District which is comprised of parts of New Fairfield, Danbury, and Ridgefield.
The State Senate Race
Our own State Senator, Michael McLachlan (representing Sherman, New Fairfield, Danbury, and the Stony Hill section of Bethel) has been in office for ten years. He is very powerful and he is very conservative.
He is currently Senate Minority Whip; Vice Chair of the Judiciary Committee, Vice Chair of the Labor and Public Employees Committee; and a member of the Government Administration and Elections Committee.
According to the “lifetime scoreboards” of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, and American Conservative Union, he is the third or fourth most conservative member of the State Senate. He was a Trump delegate at the 2016 Republican Convention.
But McLachlan is beat-able. Although he defeated political neophyte Ken Gucker by a margin of only 4.6% in 2016, the four towns in the district, taken as a whole, voted for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by more than seven percent. (The comparison is not exact: Only part of Bethel is in McLachlan’s district).
Introducing Julie Kushner
Julie Kushner moved to Danbury from New York City in 1993 with her husband Larry and her three children, who all attended Danbury public schools. She grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and graduated from the University of Wisconsin.
Julie has been a political and union organizer for more than 30 years. She is the (about to retire) director of United Auto Workers Region 9A, which covers eastern New York, New England, and Puerto Rico. She is only the second woman elected director of any region in the more than 80-year history of the UAW. She has participated in many successful organizing drives, including clerical and administrative support staff at Columbia University, teachers and research assistants at UConn, child care workers in Stamford, taxi drivers, and the dealers at Foxwoods Casino. She is an experienced negotiator for union contracts and she has had extensive experience working with legislators in Hartford on behalf of the union.
Julie’s activism extends far beyond the labor movement. She is co-chair of the Connecticut Working Families Party (whose cross-endorsement she will seek for her election) and she has a long history of political involvement in the region. She has served as a delegate or alternate delegate to every Democratic National Convention since 1996. She is a member of the Coalition of Labor Union Women, a member of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, and a lifetime member of the NAACP.
She describes herself as committed to the fight for workers’ health and safety, public pre-kindergarten, tuition-free college, paid family and medical leave, meaningful investment in local infrastructure, protection of the local environment, and promotion of women’s and family issues.
|Upcoming Sherman Events|
Sherman Democratic Town Committee Regular Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, March 21, 7:30pm
Old Town Hall (Senior Center)
All registered Democrats from the town of Sherman are welcomed and encouraged to attend our monthly meetings.
Board of Selectmen Monthly Meetiing
Thursday, March 22, 7 PM
Mallory Town Hall
March for Our Lives
Saturday, March 24th
Protest march against gun violence
Marches will take place in Washington and around the country. Search “March for Our Lives” on Facebook for details.
|Contact Your Representatives|
Sherman is lucky to be represented by two Democratic senators and a Democratic representative in Congress–but don’t think that your phone calls in support of their votes and actions do not matter. Senator Chris Murphy, speaking recently at a campaign-training event, made it clear that tallying up those supportive calls from his constituents helps him maintain a strong case for his positions. Sherman’s state-level representatives are both Republicans.
Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D)
(860) 223-8412 (202) 225-4476
Senator Chris Murphy (D)
(860) 549-8463 (202) 224-4041
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D)
(860) 258-6940 (203) 330-0598 (202) 224-2823
State Senator Michael McLachlan (R) Senate District 24
State Representative Richard Smith (R) House District 108
We are an organization of inclusion, not exclusion. We have a longstanding history of attracting both Democratic and unaffiliated voters and endorsing both Democratic and unaffiliated candidates. We work to represent the wide variety of Sherman citizens who hold many different viewpoints and opinions.
Paid for by the Sherman Democratic Town Committee, Thomas Conley Treasurer