The Bethlehem Democratic Committee (BDC) is stronger today, under the leadership of Jeffrey Kuhn, than it has been in recent memory. We are more diverse than ever before, with more women members than ever before. We believe in progressive, transparent government, support local business, engage in our community, take pride in our Town’s efficient services, and value our open spaces.
Earlier this year, the BDC overwhelmingly supported a slate of candidates who share these beliefs. Four of these candidates—including David VanLuven for Supervisor and Maureen Cunningham for Town Board—will appear on the Democratic line in November. Due to an unfortunate procedural error, two others—Daniel Coffey for Town Board and Giles Wagoner for Superintendent of Highways—will not. Dan and Giles will appear on the Working Families Party line, and if you share these beliefs, it will be worth the effort to look for them on the ballot in November.
If you are concerned about negative comments circulating through social media about our committee, or confusion about our nominating process, don’t be. It is true that two individuals who were rejected by the BDC as candidates successfully sued to remove Daniel Coffey and Giles Wagoner from the Democratic line. While we regret the mistake that created this situation, our mistake in no way detracts from the Democratic bona fides of Dan and Giles.
Change is hard, and the BDC has gone through a major transformation over the last five years. We have gone from a closed organization with power centralized in one man, to an open organization which welcomes diverse opinions and civil discourse on substantive and procedural issues. This openness exposes our disagreements, but disagreement is healthy in a democracy. What isn’t healthy is petty bitterness and personal attacks. This we do not support. And to borrow a phrase from a Democratic icon, when they go low, we go high.
In the end, voters in Bethlehem have important choices to make this November about our local government. Research each of the candidates carefully. Ask what they have done for the community and what they believe in. Do they approach difficult issues with a positive, problem-solving attitude? What is their vision for our community? How do they propose to balance our desire for open space with land owners’ rights? How will they continue to provide high quality services in a fiscally responsible way? The candidates selected by the BDC have positive, progressive answers to these questions. On November 7, vote for David VanLuven and Maureen Cunningham on the Democratic line, and take the extra step and vote for Daniel Coffey and Giles Wagoner on the Working Families Party line.
Cara J. Brousseau,
Bethlehem Democratic Committee Member