I informed Elizabeth that I will not be seeking the chairmanship of the DTC. While I continue to believe that my vision for the future of the party is the best one to move us into a position of strength and viability, to get Democrats elected, grow the party through racial, socio-economic, and geographic diversity, to manage this period of change, and to build a lasting, self-sustaining and adaptable infrastructure, I cannot commit to this endeavor.
There are several reasons, a few of which I will outline in this email. The first is an obligation to my family in terms of both time, and commitment to pursue our collective goals. I have three young children who need a very present father in their lives. I intend to provide them with the best of me, and that includes being available for them first and foremost.
I also have considered the current constitution of the party. While our elections have brought in a few new members, the core group remains the same. I am nearly completely convinced that our group is not interested in making, nor working towards, meaningful change that this party so desperately needs. There has been no mention of two recent, and utterly concerning, articles in the news concerning the mistreatment of poor and minority people by both the town and the Board of Ed.
Many of our residents live in apartments that are infested with mold, rodents, roaches, and have brown water coming out of their faucets. One resident said that they have to go to Stamford every night in order to bathe themselves and their child. The soil at Armstrong Court is contaminated. Children are getting sick, families are ignored by the housing authority, and the changes that they so desperately need are never on the agenda.
It has been exposed that although overall disciplinary actions at schools have decreased, there is still a disproportionate number of disciplinary consequences for minority students. Greenwich in essence, has fallen right in line with the rest of the country in over punishing, and perpetuating an unjust and disparate system of disciplinary justice in education.
The most disturbing point, is that this has all happened under the watch of the current DTC. How can anyone look to this group of people for the change that many people in this town so desperately need. We have reached an almost life and death situation in this town among thousands of our residents, while the DTC sat on its laurels. Make no mistake, there is no one in the party that can argue against this charge. At the heart of this disgusting display of apathy by our party, is a sickening lack of diversity within the party itself. This party seems not just resistant to diversity, but wholly inoculated from it.
The DTC remains firmly in the hands of people who would rather talk about change, than actually do the things necessary to make that change happen. While many in Greenwich, and some in the DTC, sit in their million dollar homes, people are essentially starving for basic resources. The DTC does not speak out against the clear socioeconomic and somewhat racial segregation that is clearly visible in this town. When one of my coworkers, a teacher no less, can say that she loves living in this town because it is diverse, but not integrated, there are two things that must be said. One, there is immense truth in what she says. And two, she is comfortable saying that in front of a black man – one who is on the other side of her diversity versus integration assertion.
I love this town. I have ever since I came here for the first time nearly 18 years ago. Nevertheless, I have never felt more isolated, discouraged, or powerless, until I joined the DTC. I came into this with the notion that there was a group of people who wanted to make a difference in the lives of people. I mean after all, we are Democrats! But, what I found was a group of people more interested in being part of a social club that they perceive as making them more important than the issues that our residents, all of our residents, face. I would be remiss if I said that people in our party do not work for some good. However, it is for the good of a particular segment of the population.
I have realized that I am a fighter in a room full of referees. We talk so much about staying in the middle of a fight, making sure that we don’t engage in fisticuffs. If any of us throws a punch, we are immediately vilified and demonized. Our party has no soul. It has no fight. It is dead.
It is for these reasons, which together comprise my second reason for not pursuing the chairmanship, that I do not believe that there will be any support for the radical change which I would propose for this party. I will be a vocal leader for change in Greenwich, in our party, and in the world. I will also not be afraid to take the DTC, or the RTC, to the mat for the lack of policies that will change people’s lives. I am not here, on this earth or as part of the DTC, for a position. I don’t care about meeting elected officials, knowing them on a first name basis, or having any sort of power. I care about people and changing their lives for the better.
I assure you all that I am all in as a member of the DTC itself. But, I am never going to bend to party loyalty, party politics, nor shy away from a fight on behalf of the people on Greenwich. I am committed to being a robust and active DTC member. Nevertheless, for the reasons that I outlined, I cannot in good faith seek this position. I hope that you appreciate my candor, honesty, and commitment to the people of this town. Perhaps my honesty will earn me a spot on the list of those clearly blackballed by the party. However, I need everyone on this committee and in our party, to know where I stand and what I stand for.
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