Unsung Heroes #309

Today’s choice for Unsung Heroes is a no-brainer.

Election Day 2023 is over. It would not have been possible without hundreds of volunteers — phone bankers, door knockers, lawn sign placers — as well as the registrars of voters, Town Clerk office personnel, and temporary poll workers who do get paid, but only a paltry fee for spending up to 14 hours sitting, checking names, repeating the same instructions hundreds of times, and watching voters feed their ballots into machines.

“May I see your ID, please?”

We could not have elected dozens of our neighbors without you.

“Do you have any questions?”

The other Unsung Heroes are the candidates themselves.

It takes a leap of faith, a lot of courage, and a very thick skin to run for office.

Candidates and supporters, yesterday at 6:15 a.m. outside the Westport Library polling place.

This year especially, there was a level of vitriol aimed at some that was not in keeping with our usually civil elections.

So to all who ran — the winners and losers, the incumbents and challengers — thank you. You will serve us well.

Now, please: You and your supporters, pick up your lawn signs. Then you’ll really be heroes.

Take ’em down! (All photos/Dan Woog)

(The election is over. But “06880” keeps working for you. Please consider a contribution to your hyper-local blog. Just click here — and thank you!)

13 responses to “Unsung Heroes #309

  1. Great choice for your unsung heroes column today. And as for those who step up and run for office in this Town – I want to thank all candidates (regardless of party affiliation) – it does take courage, fortitude and a thick skin; it would be a better environment for all if everyone could try to steer clear of attacks on particular candidates and channel your energy towards supporting the candidates you favor.

    I make this point because it is becoming increasing hard to find people willing to run for public office in Westport, and I suspect the negative campaign environment has something to do with it – in fact I have heard that from potential candidates for a number of election cycles now. (Of course, taking heat for actions taken while you occupy an office, board or committee seat goes with the territory – I’m familiar!) Our wonderful system of Town government works best when there is an oversupply of people willing to run for office and serve, perhaps we can be more civil and positive.

  2. I agree completely. They also made it possible for many of us to vote against candidates who want to ban books. In Westport of all places.

    • Jack
      Trump is the poster child for personal attacks, name calling and outrageous lies – yet the remains the front runner and few in his party are willing to even chide him let alone request he be silent.
      “Civility” is a subjective slippery slope leading to censorship.

      I prefer demanding honesty and truth. Those who declare their unpopular but honest views in the face of hostility are to be commended for allowing others to understand their perspectives that can be debated, endorsed or rejected. Better to know than later be surprised.

      Voting records should be published. Anger towards injustice is obligatory. Passive capitulation should be discouraged. I wouldn’t ask to censor that.

      As Tom says, the so called “vitriol” might make some of us uncomfortable but it is useful and often essential to permit.

      • Personal attacks? Name calling? Outrageous lies? Look whose talking…”gang rape.”

        How two-faced.

        • Sharon,
          Thanks for adding further emphasis to my comment to my friend Jack Whittle about the inherent danger of demands for “civility”. Your description of what Trump’s “gang” did to our Capital on January 6th, and what those who are trying to do to our Constitution (as described by Chuck Shiver in his scholarly work) is a sentiment shared by many across the nation.

          And I agree with you that until Trump, his minions and the others in his “party” (who continue the personal attacks and name calling as again displayed by two candidates last evening) are urged to cease, requesting “civility” is indeed a “double standard”.

          But to restate: “Civility” is a subjective term, and demand for “civility” actually a strategy used to censor unwanted dissent and opposition – something we should not desire. So called “Incivility” in discourse was essential to the founding of our Nation, and has been a hallmark of what’s made our Nation the greatest on earth. And it will continue as long as our Nation’s Constitution survives.

          Most of us understand that far more important than the words being used (all of which is First Amendment protected) is understanding the basis for what is being stated.

    • Thank you. I’m pleased to understand your concerns. I have asked Tooker over 35 times if she voted for Trump. I have been attacked on this blog and bullied. Dan allows it. It is important to voters to know the voting record of candidates. Why ? It reflects judgement and character. Tookef is a coward.

      • I could not agree more with you Richard.
        Dan you last night allowed candidates to put forth what amounted to begging letters and yes it worked for kail ! Somehow she managed to get re elected… thank god well behind Jennifer Johnson.
        And thank you that Sal got elected also. So D9 is in for a rude awakening.
        Did we think it was ok to do that ? Nope !
        We did not.
        It was outrageous.
        But you let her and Wieser get the last word.
        Incidentally Sal got more votes than Wieser…
        Wonder what that tells us.
        Long live civility and democracy !

      • If Tooker had the spine of a jelly fish, Richard, she’d speak out against Trump…even the kind of timid distancing she proffered toward Riano would be welcome; doubt we’ll see such, however.

  3. And she does not tell the truth Richard.because when you look at her biography… there’s not a morcel of truth in it.
    Pro business ?huh ? With that Parker Harding literal fiasco that 100% of merchants are against ?

    Please read and tell me removing parking has any place in this.
    We will be counting on our voices and the newly elected PZ commission( tho the last one most certainly has our backs as they should and thankfully did. )
    There is no more room at the inn.
    Parking is number 1.
    If it’s a tree over a parking spot or a blade of grass the parking must win.

  4. why do you think there’s no talk of the ballot stuffing caught on camera in Bridgeport? is it fear of retaliation, of gtg canceled?

    Or is it certain that WSPT doesn’t have that because of some system in place in WSPT that Bridgeport didn’t have in place?

    it’s such a BIG IMPORTANT catch because it’s on camera, it’s indisputable what was going on (It’s just who was doing it, who ordered it be done, etc.); it’s just how widespread is ballot stuffing throughout the country.

    I think both political party heads admit there’s an amount of it ‘They’ consider acceptable but They won’t say what that ‘acceptable’ amount is that I guess the 2 political parties themselves & Their Judges (whenever it’s brought up w/in an issue before a court) have agreed on.

    • Hi Susan,
      It seems that what occurred in Bridgeport IS being talked about but just not as it pertains to Westport’s elections.

      Are you implying that similar activity probably also occurs in our elections, so a system needs to be put in place to prevent or catch it when it occurs? Or are you suggesting that if we do not yet have some system in place to deter it (such as video surveillance) we should institute one?

      I don’t know how the absentee ballot system works in Westport but I assume that our honest elections board has already considered this potential problem. But I might be wrong, and dependence upon honesty might be our premise.

      If this is really a big concern of yours, perhaps a conversation with those who oversee the elections might add clarification. If it is a valid concern for them as well, it might be something to rectify if deemed necessary – especially as some elections are decided by very few votes.

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