Editor, The Spotlight:
In this economic downturn, more and more families are in need of support from local governments, who are trying to provide such help with fewer resources. This has forced us to rethink government, pushing it to become more efficient and better able to respond to community needs.
As Democrats, our party is at the forefront of navigating this change, helping people find their way through changed governmental and political processes. One thing I have noticed is a growing resistance to politics-as-usual practices that have become entrenched in our party apparatus. Democrats are no longer content to accept old-style party bosses and back-room deals – in the age of social media, they want inclusion, involvement and transparency in their political party, and this is a change that can only benefit our communities and the political process as a whole.
The Bethlehem Reform Democrats are a great example of a community’s search for better politics and community involvement. They want a Democratic committee that conducts its business in the open, responds to the community’s needs and reflects its members. Over the last few months, I have followed this group’s progress closely on-line and in the press, and have been encouraged to see members of our community who understand the serious challenges we face and are willing to help address them.
Like the Bethlehem Reform Democrats, the desire for a more open and inclusive political dialogue is what originally brought me to politics. I have proudly been a Democrat my entire life, and yet the first time I tried to run, I was met with hostility and forced to run as an Independent. After winning, I returned to my Democratic roots and have run as a Democrat ever since, but a Democrat committed to a party in which regular people are welcomed for meaningful participation.
It is heartening to see the Bethlehem Reformed Democrats work to reform the political process; I wish them well in this endeavor and applaud their courage in working to make this community an even better place; and I look forward to meeting and working with like-minded people throughout my campaign.
Chairman, Albany County Legislature
Democratic candidate for State Senate