Whether it means a hill of beans or not, as this paper reported I was elected the Chairman of the Democratic Town Committee this past Thursday.
I gave the following speech that night. Love to hear your thoughts….
Thank you very much for your support and confidence
I am pleased to know all of you in this room. At one level or another, whether it has been your support for one of my political campaigns, or whether you and I discussed Planning and Zoning matters, or whether we just spent time talking, I would like to think that I know a little bit about all of you. And while we are all so very much different in so many ways, we are united in our belief that the principles and values of the Democratic Party are the best for our Town, our State, and our Country.
I believe the values of the Democratic Party are simple and straightforward. We believe in people, we believe in working together for the common good, and we believe that our government, properly and respectfully led, can be a force for the betterment of all our lives. Since we have made the commitment to serve as members of this Democratic Town Committee, I think we also believe that these values should be guiding principles for Greenwich.
Our values demand that we fight for some of what we believe to be the most basic conditions. As Democrats, we know that we must have a strong public school system, independent, structurally sound and properly funded, because great education is the foundation of any American community. We will support the people who will give our kids the best possible education, with the great gifts we have in this Town.
Our beliefs tell us that no man or woman is greater than any other, and that we benefit from the contributions of all to our Town, regardless of wealth, station in life or background. As Democrats, we aim to preserve and cherish this diversity, and will support efforts to strengthen it, whether it is in the areas of housing, social services, employment or support for the aging. Democrats don’t just look out for our own, we look out for us all.
Our experience tells us that good financial stewardship of this great Town is one that gets and demands results for all people, not one that begins and ends on artificial budgetary constraints. Being responsible with money is an absolute requirement of governing, but jeopardizing our future — in education, public safety, social services, flood control, and infrastructure – is not “fiscal responsibility,” as many of our opponents argue. When people are hurt, and the government doesn’t work for all the people, it is not fiscal responsibility – it is an utter lack of responsibility.
I believe with all my heart and soul that if you just barely scratch the surface of the ordinary Greenwich Republican and Unaffiliated voters, you will find broad support for these ideals. The vast majority of people in this town are intelligent and well meaning, and they understand that the best way this great Town can move well into the 21st century is if we work together. Many, including good friends of mine, are Republican because they thought it might be good for business, or because their father or Grandfather was a Republican because that was the only way to get a job back in the old days. When our message is delivered in a way that all people can see its real and tangible benefits, people proved it by registering in our party by a factor of 10-1. Yes, that is an absolutely correct number! While we have been busy welcoming 4000 new Democrats, our friends across the aisle have welcomed only 400. That tells me that we have a better message, better messengers, and the future is squarely on our side.
This is what I see my job being for the next two years – demonstrating to the people of Greenwich that the values and ideals of the Democratic Party are the future, and it is time for people to get on board. I believe I have to clearly, kindly and frequently demonstrate how Democrats feel about issues of the day ranging from affordable housing, to how the cleanup of the most recent storm would have been handled by our side. And through all this, registering Democrats, working to field candidates for all seats in local, State and Federal office, and above all, electing Democrats wherever we can.
I also know that, far, far more important than me, or this one job, is you. I’ve spoken to you all, and I know that there are a lot of emotions about our party in this room right now, and have been since the last elections. More than anyone ever has done before, I need you to reach deep down, right now, and commit yourselves to the success of this organization. I need you to stand up and put your name in for Boards and Commissions, because the incumbent is showing a huge lack of interest in bi-partisanship and we can’t complain about it if we aren’t willing to do something about it. I want you to find people in your neighborhood, register them, bring them to our meetings, get them, and yourselves involved. I pledge I will do my best to make it worth all your whiles. With your commitment, we can grow this organization, take risks, and call attention in your social circles to how the Democratic Party and our values are so much more valuable to the Town of Greenwich than the same old thing.
This is a great Town, and we offer a great vision for its future, a vision of a Democratic-led Greenwich, with a responsible fiscal policy and a compassionate and forward-looking view of the strength of our society. I look forward to working with all of you on this great and important goal and seeing it through.