Democratic View: What’s next?

The election of 2017 is over. The votes have been counted, and the results have been certified.  The work of governing will go on.

Some of us will stop thinking about elections for a while, but other people are already thinking about the next election and the one after that. They’re planning for all the things that happen between elections: meetings, caucuses, and conventions that have to be organized, schedules that have to be met, notices that have to published, procedures that have to be followed.

We’ll hold a caucus in January to choose the 24 members of Ridgefield’s Democratic Town Committee for a term that will run from 2018 to 2020. The members of the DTC will choose officers at the first meeting of the new term in March. The caucus is open to all registered Democrats who live in Ridgefield. Any Ridgefield Democrat is eligible to make a nomination and to vote at the caucus, and any Ridgefield Democrat is eligible to serve on the DTC.

We’ll hold other caucuses for other purposes early next year. We’ll choose delegates for a convention to elect two members of the Democratic State Central Committee. They’ll represent Ridgefield, Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Weston, Westport, and Wilton. We’ll choose delegates who will join people from those same towns at a nominating convention for the 26th State Senate District. We’ll choose delegates who will join people from Danbury and New Fairfield at a nominating convention for the 138th Assembly District. (Our nominee for the 111th Assembly District will be chosen at a caucus in Ridgefield because that district’s boundaries are inside Ridgefield and no other towns are involved.)

We’ll choose delegates to the convention to nominate our candidate for Connecticut’s 4th Congressional District. And we’ll choose delegates to the state convention to nominate our candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of the state, and treasurer, and for one of Connecticut’s seats in the U.S. Senate.

There are local matters, too. There will be public hearings on budget proposals early next year.  Some things will be voted on at the Town Meeting in May, and others will be decided in a budget referendum soon after that. The selectmen have named a nine-member Charter Revision Committee. They’ll hold public hearings and may propose changes to the Town Charter. We’ll have a chance to vote on the changes in November. And we’ll get to vote for two registrars of voters then, too. Unlike most of our municipal officials, they’re elected in even-numbered years.

There are lots of things to do, and there are lots of ways to help. Stay informed. Join the debate.  And vote. We’re celebrating a 29% turnout in this year’s election. That’s higher than usual for an off-year election with no top-of-the-ticket race, but it still means that 71% of us didn’t show up at all.   

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