We Expect: An Open Letter To Dem Town Committee Members

Jeanine Oburchay, chair of the political action organization Better Bridgeport, pens this open letter to the newly elected Democratic Town Committee:

Dear DTC: Congratulations on your hard-fought win. And thank you for choosing to serve your neighbors and community in this way. Of course, now the heavy lifting begins, as the campaign was only the beginning. As custodians of the local chapter of our party, you are tasked not only with growing the Democratic Party and helping Democrats who stand for good ideas and good policies get elected, but also with supporting and promoting those Democratic ideals and policies. In that regard, and as your constituents, we wanted to share with you our expectations for our “new” DTC:

1. We expect that you will each choose a district leader who wants to make our party more inclusive and transparent (preferably not a city employee), and publish the voting results of that election

2. We expect that you will choose a DTC president who is above reproach–one whose ethics, proven by his/her actions, match those of the party–not one who has been deemed by the courts to be participating in voter fraud. And preferably not a city employee. Along with that election, we expect you to state clearly that we as a party will no longer tolerate voter fraud, no matter what, and we will work to root out the bad actors from our party leadership

3. We expect you to tell our mayor to get back to work–he is not getting our delegate votes for governor

4. We expect you to create a website, so that the public can know what is going on with our DTC. There are several great examples right here in CT of DTC websites. Please use them as a guide.

5. We expect you to create and publish on that website a meeting schedule, including times, places, agendas, and after the meeting, minutes

6. We expect you to publish financial reports, and to inform the membership of the Party–in advance–of a proposal to use DTC funds for purposes outside of the scope of the DTC’s mission

7. We expect you to make meetings open to the public. Again, it is our party.

8. We expect the website to list contact information for each member. We expect that our contact will be met with professional, prompt responses

9. We expect that any request to be removed from any mailing lists not pertaining to local or national elections will be met with a swift, professional, affirmative response

10. We expect you to publish on the website, Bridgeport DTC Bylaws and Rules/Policies, which would include but is not limited to:
a. Published Ethical Standards/Expectations/Best Practices
b. Purpose
c. Mission
d. Vision
e. Membership
f. Leadership (term limits)
g. Voting
h. General and Special Meetings
i. Roles and Responsibilities of Officers and Subcommittees
j. Campaign and Election Practices and Expectations
k. A Social Media Platform that includes ramifications for the misuse of Social Media by DTC members and their family members
l. A Print and Broadcast Media Platform that includes ramifications for the misuse of Print and Broadcast Media by DTC members and their family members
m. A statement of inclusivity and unity for ALL Bridgeporters who choose to join the Democratic Party, regardless of where they live, how long they’ve lived there or any other irrelevant qualification. This statement should welcome all participation and civic engagement in our city that aligns with the values of democracy.
n. An affirmation of the Democratic Process in our Institutions and Leadership

I am more than willing to help with any/all of these items, and I know many others who would also gladly help, so please feel free to reach out to me. We look forward to joining you, under the “Big Tent” that belongs to all of us, to make our party the best, most transparent, most ethical and accountable it can possibly be.

Jeanine Oburchay
Better Bridgeport



    1. Ron, REALLY!!!! Kind of like that seat in the front of the bus on the day that she was tired and sat down. Had she not, perhaps much of Rosa Parks long work for civil rights might have been unknown?

      So, is the battle for voting rights with integrity, the battle for our time, that cuts across racial boundaries? Tell us what happened in your 131st, please. Are you a wave of the future, or same old? Time will tell.

      1. JML, Lennie’s last post about the DTC election shows that the only REAL change happen in the 131th district and at this point and time the challenge slate has a 5 to 4 lead and if it stands they will have a new district leader, what about your district JML?

  1. “We expect that you will choose a DTC president who is above reproach – one whose ethics, proven by his/her actions, match those of the party – not one who has been deemed by the courts to be participating in voter fraud. And preferably not a city employee. Along with that election, we expect you to state clearly that we as a party will no longer tolerate voter fraud, no matter what, and we will work to root out the bad actors from our party leadership.”

    Good luck with that. Neither Mario Testa nor Joseph P. Ganim is known for ethical politics. Same old shit, different day.

    1. Donald…..is this humor to your taste? Or are you outraged by the absurd? When you stand for nothing, you can sure fall for plenty. Time will tell.

  2. *** There’s a lot to expect from the #90- member Dem. Town Commit. or the #9-member local district town committees. Both have kept any needed information concerning these town committees a word of mouth policy so to speak. Your local community voting residents really don’t know much info. unless they happen to talk to someone who is either on a committee or knows someone who is! This is one of the means of filtering & hopefully getting like minded democratic voters from the district on these town committees! However their nothing wrong with political dreaming, no? ***EDUCATE THE REGISTERED VOTING MASSES FOR THE NEAR FUTURE TO GET INVOLVED.***

  3. I am hysterical , I agree with Donald day. Your expectations? You will be lucky to get John Marshall Lee as your number one cheerleaer. These expectations are a joke.

    But, just for some shits and giggles, since all of your candidates lost. Could you suggest one candidate that could possibly replace Mario Testa? We should tell Mayor Ganim he should not run for Governor? I am just laughing my ass off- you expect? My expectation is that you vote and remain engaged. My expectation is that you respect the office of the Mayor and support his challenges. I expect you to go as a concerned citizen to Hartford and support the Casino. I expect yu to support Charter schools as parents have a choice. I expect Mayor Bill Finch to give Mayor Ganim his expectation of what Joe should do. Not one challenger won nd you are giving your expectations to those of that are 100 percent engaged in our own communities. I expect that most district leaders that are curently in place will remain so. I will support my ditrict leader. I do not know anyone that will not support theirs.

    Ms. Oburshay, I respect your opinion but this letter to me personally is about as laughable as you could possibly get. You must sit down with John Marshall Lee. Perhaps he can help you recruit and or lobby the DTC .

    Anyone can get involved and make their way onto the town committee. We just had an election just a day ago. People voted. We will vote for a leader and district leader. There were challengers. a few were successful. Those that were are old time political activists. You want new blood? Get involved. Create slates, knock on doors get signatures and votes and you too can either support the Mayor or not. Give him your delegate or someone else. But you lost. We as individual DTC members are not here to support your cause. We are supporting our council people and constituents.

    In the North we are dealing with Sacred Heart housing and parties. Our constituents have different concerns as the members of the East side.

    I do thank you for taking the time to write a fantasy letter that would be welcomed in some parallel universe.

    Again, I will ask the same question. Is there a candidate that you believe would make a great leader of the Bridgeport Democratic Party? Mario Testa is responsible for a little more than baking the brownies and making finger sandwiches for our meetings. The brownies btw are better than the Kool aide we are accused of drinking. 🙂

    1. STEVE,
      I think that you are right on the mark for the folks you hang with today. But far off the mark of where we need to steer the ship of state as far as course direction and crew. But of course you are right today.
      This was a DTC campaign, not an ELECTION. Think about that. March elections like this come and go bi-annually and no one notices. What happened to make this year different? Was something in the air…like a bad odor that needed a new wind to dispel? Was attention to politics and Ganim2’s future so important that routine City issues like improving educational outcomes and general public safety while still responsibly helping each generation of youth to mature with opportunity for skills and talents? Open, Accountable, Transparent and Honest…I repeat. It is truly simple, but not if you are deaf to your neighbors’ needs. Time will tell.

  4. Expectations are one thing….the rule of law is something different…..and routine political behavior in the City is something else again.

    But voters in other communities have higher expectations of their candidates and thus Ganim2 will require much lipstick? Will it fade under the hot lights?

    Will Bonny Roach receive an award for prophecy for her Oscar performance on youtube? Time will tell.

    1. And where do you put your outrage? Concern for people of color who got on a ballot with their qualifications called into question by the opposition most of whom live in the core of White Rock? Mentoring anyone in the 130 regarding jobs, future education, how to advance one’s station? Real enough for a retired public safety officer? Any time on your hands to do some active work for those who can benefit from your advocacy and talents, that you tell about rather than merely share negative opinions of others with whom you disagree? There…..Time will tell.

  5. I would suggest that since you are talking about people of color that you would address your concerns to your President of the NAACP who is supposedly the leader of the Black Bridgeport community. After you get a response from him then come back my way and I’ll hit you up.

    1. Donald Day,
      Can’t we just talk, man to man? Is the President of the NAACP the only person with a responsibility to “people of color”? Just asking? Do you enjoy making suggestions just to waste time…time that is doing telling, all the time? “Supposedly the leader of the Black Bridgeport community” as you phrase it. I see many people of color who exercise leadership talent. Perhaps there is a problem of “followership”. Perhaps that is something you will fashion with an opinion. Time will tell.

  6. I walked and canvassed with Jeanine. She has both feet planted on the ground. There may be some sense of higher standards in her message. BUT WHAT IS WRONG WITH THAT?. Do the People of Bridgeport need to accept low standards of governance. Maybe this statement is a game changer. Maybe we will no longer accept the Bullshit from Mario Testa,Joe Ganim and ALL of their co-conspirators.

  7. I’ve actively witnessed this Town Committee election on at least 10 other occasions… And, of course, its always about the “corruption!”

    “Reformers” in Bridgeport tend to be largely transient “new comers” to the city — mostly white, of suburban origins, here to address our ignorance and preach to us — the lowly and ignorant “natives”. Here to “save” us from the “corruption.” Most of these “transient” reformers are here only to gain political experience and exposure, and traction, as it were, in pursuit of their own political ambitions… Most of the time, their ill-defined message and amateur approach to bare-knuckle, “big city” politics places their arrogant pomposity on the short end of the vote — as it did in this TC election… (This isn’t to say that the “opposition” wasn’t salted with a representation of sincere, smart, real-issue-focused, real-Bridgeporters… But they were in the minority, as is usually the case…)

    Now, what will happen, as is also usually the case, is that the “reformers” on the losing end of the vote will move on to “whiter” pastures (Shelton, Milford, Stratford, et al….), where they’ll attempt to ply their Bridgeport-learned election skills toward securing a GA-numbered license plate for their BMW in lieu of that Hartford or DC gig that comes with a government car and driver…

    In the mean-time, the real Bridgeporters that they praised and stroked and lured into their loosing efforts will be left with their unemployment credentials or their minimum-wage, Stamford commuter jobs…

    Indeed, a goodly potion of the “reformers” are representatives of the real corruption, based in the elitist enclaves from whence they hail, that is engineered to secure the status quo in Corrupticut that keeps Bridgeport (et al.), and its populace, largely bare-foot, stooped-over, and postured to serve the elitists…

    So: Here’s to another Barnumesque electoral session in Bridgeport! Another batch of Gold Coast/suburban reformers dispatched… (This way to the egress!…) Now, to secure some salve for Bridgeport in Hartford and DC from the rest of the 2018 election-cycle process…

  8. I didn’t know before I bought my house and moved to Bridgeport that I would never be a “real” Bridgeporter. I wish I had known that getting involved in local elections, and having the right to express my opinions would not be open to me. Just to be clear, I think I am being told to just pay taxes, have no expectation of being able to get involved in this community, and refrain from expressing different ideas and perspectives that come from decades of involvement in communities where I have lived and worked. Is that the case? Should I wear a Scarlet “T” for transient or Gold “R” for suburban reformer when I go out in public?

  9. …(This isn’t to say that the “opposition” wasn’t salted with a representation of sincere, smart, real-issue-focused, real-Bridgeporters… But they were in the minority, as is usually the case…)…

    There’s my “mea culpa,” Tom…

    I think that defensive responses dripping with righteous indignation are excellent indicators of membership in the Bridgeport-activist “actors guild”… As are, simplistic, “anti-corruption,” election-eve mass-emails instructing potential voters about how to “save Bridgeport.” (The aforementioned was probably an “assignment” from one of the reformer “generals.”)


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