“Suzio’s views on reproductive rights can best be described as condescending with a side of archaic.”
Last night, the Connecticut state senator for district 13 (which includes Middletown), Len Suzio, hosted a town hall meeting at Russell Library. The unexpectedly large crowd contained over 100 Wesleyan students, expressing deep concern about a “parental notification bill” introduced by Suzio, HB 5566 which would inform the parents of a minor if said minor wished to obtain an abortion. Many concerned Middletown residents were also in attendance, and the meeting had to be moved to a larger space in order to accommodate the audience. Read past the jump for more on what transpired at the town hall and a video of an exchange with the senator.
From Ben Florsheim ’14:
Today is Election Day, and there are a number of important local races in Middletown. For the first time ever, Connecticut voters can register in person on the day of the election and vote, so whether you are already a registered Middletown voter or not, it’s time to inform yourself and cast a ballot.
The Office of Community Service is providing shuttles from 9 AM until 8 PM to all polling locations that serve Wesleyan students, as well as City Hall where new voters can register and vote. Shuttles will be leaving from Wyllys Ave outside Usdan.
So what’s going on? Mayor Dan Drew (D) faces only token opposition this year, from registered nurse John Kilian, the founder of the Middletown Realistic Balance Party. However, the man who Drew defeated two years ago, former mayor Sebastian Giuliano (R), is mounting a campaign for City Council, along with 7 other Republicans and 8 Democrats. Also in the mix for council are two Republican incumbents who were denied renomination by their party and are now running as independents, along with local activist Fred Carroll, running on the Realistic Balance line. The current council composition is 8 Democrats and 4 Republicans; the Democrats are hoping to preserve their majority, while the Republicans are gunning for a comeback, even if they didn’t put forward a candidate for the city’s top job.
In Wesleyan-related news, Steven Kovach ’13 (D) is a candidate for Board of Education, and biology professor Stephen Devoto (D) is a candidate for the Planning and Zoning Commission. The sample ballot has the names and party affiliations of all candidates, and is worth perusing before you head to the polls. Further information can be found on the 90s-tastic websites for the local Democratic and Republican parties.
Local politics may not be flashy, but these are the races where every vote truly counts, and as community stakeholders like everyone else, Wesleyan students have the right to be involved in the process. So, whoever you end up supporting for the many races being contested this year, DON’T FORGET TO VOTE!
Date: TODAY, Tuesday, November 5
Time: 9 AM – 8 PM
As of Monday, January 30th, the State Elections Enforcement Commission is no longer considering former Middletown mayor Sebastian Giuliano to be its Executive Director and general counsel, and the agency is now re-posting its job offer. This reversal is due in large part to the concerns expressed by Connecticut politicians and Wesleyan students alike.
This decision was made only a couple of weeks after the Commission announced its plan to hire Giuliano for the position. Concerns were quickly raised, however, most notably by state officials and a group of Wesleyan students. The students who expressed concerns ultimately filed an official complaint with the SEEC against the former mayor due to the unprecedented difficulties students had getting out to vote in the Middletown elections last November. The complaint accused Giuliano and some of his affiliates of engaging in patterns of behavior that sought to “intimidate, mislead or otherwise discourage [Wesleyan students] from voting.” This complaint helped lead to the postponement of the SEEC’s vote on Giuliano’s appointment – until today.
Coming atchoo live this thirsty Thirrrsday from Crowell Concert Hall: the Middletown Mayoral Debate, starring Republican incumbent Mayor Sebastian Giuliano, Democrat candidate Dan Drew, and moderator Peter Frank ’12. Sponsored by the Wesleyan Student Assembly, in conjunction with Wesleying, The Middletown Eye, the Center for Community Partnerships, WesDems, Wesleyan Republicans, Woodrow Wilson Debate Society, and Psi U. (Yes, this blog is cosponsoring, and yes, we will also be liveblogging for those who can’t make it.)
The candidates are the same as in ’09: Sebastian Giuliano is again the incumbent candidate and has been mayor of Middletown since 2005. Drew remains the fresh-faced Democratic challenger, with a nifty website, Facebook page, and some well-honed fundraising skills.
Tonight, the League of Women Voters is hosting a debate in the Middletown Council Chambers at City Hall between the two candidates for Connecticut’s 100th Assembly District, which includes parts of Middletown and the neighboring towns of Middlefield and Durham.
Democrat Matt Lesser, a rising leader in the progressive community and former Wesleyan student, squares off against incumbent Republican Ray Kalinowski, a traditional conservative and former secret service agent in the Nixon White House. The differences between Lesser, 25, and Kalinowski, 68, extend far beyond the age gap, including substantive disagreements on education, the environment, and major social issues.
Tonight’s debate at 6:45 is a great opportunity to show your support and hear straight from the candidates what their visions are for the future of the 100th District.
What: Political Debates
Who: Local candidates Matt Lesser and Ray Kalinowski
Where: Council Chambers, Middletown City Hall, 245 deKoven Drive