Submitted by Karen Giannuzzi of March On Greenwich, Oct 31, 2017
In an editorial in May, the RTM Moderator said the best way for people to affect change in Greenwich is to run for the RTM – the Representative Town Council, or as he called it, “the People’s Legislature.”
March On heeded his call.
This year, March On successfully recruited over 45 people to run for the RTM. And for the first time in recent history, the elections for RTM will be contested.
The goal of March On is not about advancing a particular agenda but instead about getting people involved – people that have never before been involved in town government.
Our mission is civic engagement.
The candidates recruited by March On are not part of a “slate.” They are not part of a political organization and they are not a group with a hidden agenda.
The candidates of March On are running as individuals – each one with his or her own ideas and opinions. The candidates are moms, dads, retired women, retired men, women without children. They are Republicans, Democrats, Unaffiliated voters. Admittedly, many of the recruited candidates are people that have children or families in the Greenwich schools. But these are the very people that have been underrepresented on the RTM for years.
We don’t know how most of the candidates we recruited will vote. We didn’t ask them. And I personally don’t know what political party most of the candidates support. Instead, we just asked people to get involved. Run for office, attend town meetings, read the local newspapers. Learn what is going on in your backyard and talk about it.
Democracy is flourishing in Greenwich. People may not agree and they may have differing ideas. But through constructive dialogue and by getting people involved, residents will be more educated and better equipped to make the decisions that affect the the future of our town.
This success and the engagement in our town should be celebrated – not feared, not derided. Three cheers for civic engagement! It is alive and well in Greenwich, CT.
Karen Giannuzzi, member,
March On Greenwich