24 July 2014

How Voting Works. A great explanation.

Just received this email from Marilyn MacKay in North Stonington. Her situation doesn't apply to where I vote but it is interesting and detailed.

To:  NS Democratic Party/Unaffiliated Registered Voters & Non-Registered Voters       
 On June 7, 2005 I was sworn in as a North Stonington's Registrar of Voters and have served our community ever since.  Despite having severed my party affiliation this year - am now an unaffiliated voter - North Stonington's Democratic Party endorsed my candidacy.

Now, because of a Primary challenge to be held on Tuesday, August 12, 2014, I need the votes of a majority of voting NS Democrats to retain this position.  If you are an unaffiliated NS registered voter, you can become a Democrat until Monday, August 11th to vote in this Primary.  Non-registered voters can register to vote by mail until receipt date August 7th and in-person until noon on August 11th.

Unfortunately, most people do not vote in primaries.  

If I have served you well over the past 9 years, please do take the time to vote between 6 AM & 8 PM.  If you are unable to so do, requests for absentee ballots are at http://www.ct.gov/sots/LIB/sots/ElectionServices/ElectForms/electforms/aabeng.pdf or are available from Norma Holliday, our Town Clerk, at New Town Hall.  

You may wonder why I became an unaffiliated voter.

Effective July 1, 2014 I was elected president of The League of Women Voters of Southeastern Connecticut, a non-partisan political organization.  In order to hold this position one cannot publicly be affiliated with any political party.  That is why I am now an unaffiliated candidate for Registrar of Voters.  

Connecticut's Secretary of the State requires all Registrars to be non-partisan and unbiased in the performance of their duties.   I am grateful to our local Democratic Party for continuing to support me.

Thank you for your time and - hopefully - your vote on Tuesday, August 12, 2014.
Marilyn Mackay, Registrar of Voters

Civic Background
Currently - North Stonington, CT
Elected Registrar of Voters since 2005
Elected Member, Economic Development Commission
Secretary, NS Business Association
Founder & Coordinator, NS Bulletin Board Website
President, League of Women Voters of SECT

Founder & President, NS Business Association
Appointed: Secretary, Affordable Housing Advisory Committee
Member, Agricultural Committee
Chair, NS Democratic Town Committee
Host, SECT Democracy for America

1999-2004East Hampton, NY
Chairperson, Citizens for Balanced Justice, East Hampton, NY, LTV Show
Producer/Director/Writer, LWV of the Hamptons Public Access TV Program                                     
Board Member, League of Women Voters of the Hamptons
Host, Dean for America presidential campaign
Poll Worker

1997-1999Rock Hill, NY
WJFF Public Radio Volunteer, Jeffersonville, NY
Fund-Raising, Editor, Bi-monthly Newsletter, On-air

1960-1998U.S. Virgin Islands
Organizer & 1st President of the Virgin Islands League of Women Voters
Board member, St. Thomas-St. John Hotel Association
Board member, St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce
Board member, American Sightseeing International

Educational Background
Bernard Baruch School of Business, CCNY, Major:  Advertising-Public Relations

18 July 2014

NJ Gov. "Chris Crispy" in CT for Tom Foley

CT Against Gun Violence is leading a multi-state coalition of grassroots gun violence prevention groups in a peaceful demonstration to call attention to GOP gubernatorial challenger Tom Foley’s pro-gun stance.
Foley has allied himself to Gov. Christie who recently vetoed a bill that would have limited high capacity magazines to no more than ten rounds. Christie refused to meet with Newtown families before he vetoed the measure.
Foley is no friend of common-sense gun laws, having stated "If I'm governor, any further attempts and restrictions on law-abiding gun owners by our legislature will stop at the governor's office.'' And  "Had I been governor, the outcome in Connecticut would have been different.''
So please join us as we meet on the route to the fundraiser which is to be held in the Belle Haven section of Greenwich.
WHO:            CT Gun Violence Prevention Coalition, led by CT Against Gun Violence, joined by Greenwich Council Against Gun Violence and many other groups.

WHAT:          Peaceful response to call attention to GOP gubernatorial challenger Tom Foley’s pro-gun stance and the importance of protecting CT’s gun safety laws, which are rated the second strongest in the nation.

WHEN:          Monday, July 21 at 6 p.m., to coincide with planned GOP fundraiser in the Belle Haven section of Greenwich, CT.

WHERE:  Shore Road, at intersection of Field Point Rd in the Belle Haven section of Greenwich.
We will line up on the sidewalk along Shore Rd. leading away from the Guard House at the entrance to Belle Haven. Parking is on the south side of Shore Rd. or as directed by local law enforcement. Do not enter Belle Haven, which is private property. Please do not be disrespectful (we're there to protest that behavior!).
This is a peaceful demonstration. Handheld signs encouraged! Children very welcome!
To sign up, click here. Detailed directions are included on the sign up sheet. Also please see the flyer below

Since 1984, there have been at least 12 mass shootings in which the shooter used magazines holding between 10 and 15 rounds, according to the Violence Policy Center. In the Tuscon, Ariz. shooting that injured former congresswoman Gabby Giffords, it was the 13th shot that killed 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green.  In a number of mass shootings, stopping to reload has given others an opportunity to subdue the shooter and prevent additional loss of life. Just last month, the shooter who killed one student and injured several others at Seattle Pacific University was pepper sprayed and held down when he stopped to reload his gun. In the Tuscon, Ariz. shooting, Jared Loughner killed six and injured 13 others using a handgun with a 31-round clip. But he was ultimately stopped when he stopped to change magazines. During the Sandy Hook massacre, several kids reportedly escaped while Adam Lanza reloaded his gun. 

CT Voters for Gun Safety Political Action Committee (CTVS PAC) is a nonpartisan political action committee committed to supporting candidates for Connecticut state office who support strong gun safety laws.

Paid for by CT Voters for Gun Safety. This message was made independent of any candidate or political party.

15 July 2014

Dear Mr President

Dear Mr. President,

We write with deep concern over a growing trend of laws and proposed legislation targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals in Africa. These laws, combined with the growing public vitriol by government officials and the media, threaten to usher in an era of widespread oppression of the LGBT community in many African countries. We believe the enforcement of these laws would be a human rights abuse in violation of the standards set forth in the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
Already this year, both Nigeria and Uganda have enacted laws that impose harsh penalties for homosexual activity and activism on behalf of LGBT people. Despite strong opposition from the United States and many other nations, Nigeria enacted the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act in January, and one month later, Uganda’s President signed into law the Anti-Homosexuality Act. In Nigeria, the legislation immediately triggered an outbreak of violent anti-gay attacks.

As you know, Uganda and Nigeria are among the countries eligible for AGOA, which has allowed for duty-free treatment of certain imports from sub-Saharan African countries since 2000. Congress passed this law with a clear intention to make the benefits of this non-reciprocal agreement contingent on these countries’ commitment to human rights. AGOA states that a country is only eligible for preferential trade status if that country “does not engage in gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.”

The jurisprudence in the area of international human rights supports respect of sexual orientation and gender identity as human rights. We therefore ask that your Administration review Nigeria and Uganda’s eligibility for AGOA’s trade preference and, if it is determined that those countries are not “making continual progress” in meeting the statute’s requirements, that you take steps to revoke AGOA eligibility to Nigeria and Uganda in accordance with 19 U.S. C. §2466a(a)(3). We believe that the discriminatory anti-LGBT laws in those countries represent a clear violation of human rights and hope that the interagency process charged with AGOA’s annual review will make this recommendation. We further ask that you not restore eligibility until these beneficiary countries have taken steps to eliminate harsh penalties for LGBT persons.

As the International Trade Commission (ITC) correctly stated when AGOA was first passed, “Congress never intended AGOA to be a blank check for all African countries, without regard to performance. It was meant to offer tangible incentives for African governments to improve their political and economic governance, not to underwrite poor policies.” Some of the leaders who promote the benefits of AGOA in their respective countries, including Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, are the same leaders now presiding over the deterioration of LGBT rights in Africa. By revoking AGOA eligibility, the United States will be sending a clear message that countries must choose between enjoying the benefits of AGOA and violating the human rights of LGBT individuals. We thank you for your attention to this matter and urge you to act swiftly.


Christopher S. Murphy
United States Senator

Tammy Baldwin
United States Senator

Martin Heinrich
United States Senator

Richard Blumenthal
United States Senator

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

Al Franken
United States Senator

Kirsten Gillibrand
United States Senator

Edward Markey
United States Senator

Sherrod Brown
United States Senator

Mark E. Udall
United States Senator

02 July 2014

Purple Is the Color of My Favorite Union


Workers from the Service Employees International Union, Connecticut’s largest union, held a press conference today to endorse Dan Malloy for governor and Nancy Wyman for lieutenant governor.
Today workers from every SEIU Connecticut local joined Governor Malloy and Lieutenant Governor Wyman to express support for their re-election.  Workers from locals 1199 New England, Connecticut State Employees Association (CSEA), 32 BJ, Connecticut Employees Union Independent (CEIU) and the Congress of Community Colleges (4 C’s) represent the more than 65,000 workers that belong to SEIU in Connecticut.  Workers range from health care workers, child care workers, sanitation workers, security guards and state employees.  On June 20, 2014 workers voted to endorse Dan Malloy and Nancy Malloy for re-election.

A worker from every local spoke about why an endorsement to Team Malloy Wyman is important to their communities.  “Governor Malloy is a tireless advocate for workers like myself,” said Matt Anderson, a security guard who was part of a successful union drive which organized about 450 state contracted security guards. “He stood with us in our fight to win dignified wages and health benefits and is clearly the best choice for all working families in Connecticut”.  

Today’s speakers touted Governor Malloy’s accomplishments on behalf of Connecticut’s workers highlighting the minimum wage increase and paid sick day legislation.  Workers vowed to stand by Governor Malloy and work tirelessly for his re-election so Connecticut can continue moving forward.

“I will be knocking on doors, making phone calls and doing everything I can to support Governor Malloy and Lieutenant Governor Wyman because I believe deep in my heart that all working families in Connecticut will have a stronger, brighter future with them being re-elected,” home care worker Terrell Williams said.  “I’ve had the privilege of meeting and speaking with Governor Malloy and Lieutenant Governor Wyman and I can tell you that there is no team that is going to work harder for the working people of Connecticut than Dan Malloy and Nancy Wyman.”

Dave Stevenson, a maintainer at Housatonic Community College, spoke on behalf of CEIU and Tim Riddle, a para-educator, represented CSEA.