By Mindy MacLaren
Election Day was held two days ago. For me, this is always an exciting day, full of pride in exercising my right to vote and anticipation while awaiting the results. This year was especially meaningful being that it marks the 100th year since women earned the right to vote in New York state. And that several towns across Monroe County had Democratic candidates on the ballot, only increased my sense of hope for push back (at the local level) against Republicans’ ridiculous and cruel agenda.
I spent the day as an election inspector in the gym at the Southeast Bible Baptist Church on Fairport 9 Mile Point Road. Starting at 5 am, I signed in residents of the 29th and 35th districts coming to vote their conscience, helped them cast their ballots, and generally got to know some fellow Penfielders. It was all over at 10 pm: a marathon day, but totally enjoyable and inspiring!
I heard from many voters that they were disappointed the Penfield Democratic Committee (PDC) did not have any candidates on the ballot, while towns like Webster, Pittsford, and Perinton, did. Believe me, I was very frustrated, almost sad, repeatedly looking at a ballot with no opposing candidates running.
I was shocked to see an especially aggressive comment made on PDC’s Facebook page by a guy expressing his frustration and disappointment at the lack of choice, all the while blaming current PDC members for doing nothing to field candidates, claiming he would be more successful at finding them than we ever would be.
To this particular person, and to others who wish to criticize…and there were others…I have some advice: the only person needed to make change locally is YOU. Look in the mirror. Ask yourself: what am I doing to help my town’s Democratic Committee be successful? Are you willing to throw YOUR hat, time, and money into the ring to run for a seat on the town board?
Here’s what I’M doing:
-writing this blog
-working as an election inspector
-paying my yearly PDC dues
-attending monthly PDC meetings
-planning and supporting PDC-hosted events
-chairing a sub-committee
-participating on another sub-committee
-welcoming new Democrats in my district *in person*
-delivering informational folders to said new Democrats *in person*
-voicing my opinions and communicating with fellow dues-paying PDC members regarding issues
-coordinating & delivering canned goods donated by PDC to Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf
-taking an active interest in what’s going on around town
-attending town board meetings
Seem like a lot?? I’m a busy mom of twins, board member of a local non-profit, landlord, etc., but I make time for PDC because I care. I can assure you, PDC members are not crying into our lattes and pining for Obama! We are well aware of what needs to be done and are working proactively to develop a platform that is realistic and representative of ALL Penfielders….which you would know if you attended our monthly meetings.
Instead of criticizing, please consider joining Penfield’s Democratic Committee; we meet the 4th Tuesday of every month in the Senior Lounge of the Community Center at 7pm. As I hope you realize our committee could really use your help; share this information with your friends or family who want to get involved to make Penfield better. Many hands make light work! And, hopefully, will lead to success in 2019’s local election!