Where Do We Go From Here?
A personal update from Heather Reylek, Shelter Island Democratic Committee Chair, 3/6/17
Well, here we are in early March and many are asking what the local democrats and like-minded supporters are doing during this turmoil and time of dismay. Every day is a new assault on progressive beliefs, human rights, and honesty. It’s difficult to keep up with it. But, I am an eternal optimist and I encourage everyone to move forward and get involved.
Last Saturday I attended the Suffolk County Democratic Committee meeting. Normally, we meet as an Executive Committee, but this was very different. Chairman Rich Schaffer invited numerous progressive organizations to join us, share ideas and strategize. The room was filled to capacity. Everyone was given an opportunity to introduce themselves and their grass root organization. It was diverse. It was refreshing. The feeling was that we all wanted the “same result for different reasons”. Many were new to political realities and timelines, so Rich diligently explained that 2018 and 2020 were top priorities, and that 2017 was an opportunity for local elections. The SCDC casts a wide net to potential candidates. Even though 2018 is far away, they hope to have candidates for CD#1 (Zeldin) and CD#2 (Peter King) by May of this year. The many new groups, like Indivisible, Resist, and Let’s Visit Lee Zeldin will be included in the vetting of potential candidates. Democrats will engage these groups and will listen to local voices as we build relationships. There will be more centralized calendars. Ultimately, we will improve outreach, increase voter registration, build our grass roots, increase door to door contact, listen and organize. I know it sounds like a lot, but we can do it.
There are calendars of events at www.longislandactionevents.org , also www.suffolkcountydems.com and of course, our own site: www.shelterislanddems.com
Shelter Island has had a very good presence at demonstrations outside Zeldin’s Riverhead office to request Town Hall Meetings. Thank you to all those who braved the rain and cold. Thank you to everyone who participated in the Woman’s March. Every bit helps.
From what I’ve heard, Zeldin’s “phone in” Town Hall was unsatisfactory. The questions were hand-picked and only a handful of constituents were called. Remember, Congressman Tim Bishop never shied away from Town Halls, despite protests and adverse opinions. Last Friday I drove to Patchogue to see Zeldin at his well-advertised Mobile Unit. It was also unsatisfactory. I waited more than two hours before giving up because hundreds of people wanted to see him in that three hour period. There was a significant police presence. I’ll try to make an appointment to see him in Riverhead where the door is always locked and any protesters are labeled “liberal obstructionists”. I thought they just looked like constituents trying to communicate with their elected representative. Silly me.
So, stay engaged. Stay informed and hopefully join us at our May 21st fundraiser. Put it on your calendar. Peace, Heather Reylek
Where Do We Go From Here?