To the Editor:
I’m writing to say thank you to the voters of District 1 for allowing me to continue my role as your Democratic Legislative Council representative. I truly appreciate the opportunity.
To those who didn’t vote for me, I promise do my best to earn your respect and see if maybe next time around I can earn your vote too.
And to those of you who didn’t vote at all, please do me the favor of emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org to explain why not. I’d honestly like to understand. I know there are some legitimate, logical reasons. I have friends who were unable to vote because they were traveling for business, or just have a grueling commute for work. People are busy, tuned-in to their own families, not paying attention to local happenings, or maybe not informed enough to feel like they should weigh in with a vote. Whatever the reason, you are a huge majority in this town; roughly three-quarters of registered voters didn’t vote. Not good! Voter engagement is a serious challenge, and I believe we (as elected officials) need to try harder to encourage your participation.
Big things are on the horizon for Newtown over the next few years – potential redistricting and/or closing of a school if demographic trends continue, possibility of major commercial development around Exit 9, development of the Fairfield Hills campus, among other issues – all driven by continued pressure to control municipal and education spending while growing the commercial tax base. These things will absolutely matter to you. Yet, it’s not unusual that a mere 13-15 percent of voters tip the scales to decide our entire town’s future on major issues. That should make us all uncomfortable, no matter the issue or outcome. You owe it to yourselves and your neighbors to tune-in and participate through your vote. Do it.
I’ve found that we have an incredibly open and accessible town government, with lots of opportunities to get involved on town boards and commissions. You need only to step forward, and your talents and skills will likely be put to good use. I’m hopeful that a new wave of Newtown residents will step-up, get involved, and work toward trying to win my spot in 2015!
Legislative Council D-1
148 Currituck Road, Newtown November 11, 2013