Democratic View: The candidates

There’s an election in November. You may not have recovered from last year’s election, but there’s a new one coming.

You may not have given it much thought, but some people have. Some of them have recruited candidates. Some of them are running for office. And others are lining up to help.

It’s a municipal election. We’ll be choosing members of boards and commissions here in town.  Local elections like this one don’t get as much attention as the ones we hold in even-numbered years, the ones where we choose presidents and choose the people who will represent us in Washington and in Hartford. A lot of people won’t get involved. A lot of people won’t pay attention to the issues. A lot of people won’t even show up to vote on Election Day.

But our town government, like other town governments, keeps on working. We have schools, a library, concerts in the park, and fields for kids to play on. There are people who protect us and who show up when we need help. There are people who work every day to make this a better place to live. And there are people who oversee all of that, people who work to make sure it’s done well, done openly, done fairly. We get to choose the people who do that. That’s what local elections are about. And that’s why local elections are important. Most candidates for local office are chosen at party caucuses, and there are opportunities for other candidates to force primary elections and even to get on the ballot through petitions.

Running for office is hard. It takes time and energy and hard work. Holding office is hard too.  There are meetings, of course, but there’s work between the meetings, and there are subcommittees to serve on too. There are issues to study and solutions to propose.    

The Democratic slate for 2017 is a blend of incumbents and first-time candidates. They have experience, academic and professional credentials, judgment, roots in the community, a history of service, commitment, and a willingness to work hard and to make things better for all of us.    

You may know some of them already, and you’ll have opportunities to meet the others before the election. They’ll be out there, shaking hands, answering questions, and listening to what you have to say. You can meet them at the Pie and Politics event sponsored by the Democratic Town Committee on September 10. You can meet them — and their opponents — at the Candidates Forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters on Oct. 3. You can meet them at receptions organized around coffee or lemonade by your neighbors. And you can meet them at Democratic headquarters. They’ll be there with members of the Town Committee and other volunteers, making phone calls, stuffing envelopes, eating pizza, and trying to change the world.            

The Ridgefield Democratic Town Committee provides this column. Tom Madden is the DTC’s chairman.