As the Fourth of July celebrates wind down and we return to our regularly scheduled summer activities, I thought it would be useful to reflect on how the two should be related. One of the great slogans of the American Revolution was "No taxation without representation". While everyone wants their taxes to be as low as reasonable and taxes is always an issue in campaigns, I want to focus for a moment on the final words of the phrase, representation.
I am running to represent the people of Woodbridge, Orange and Derby in Hartford. To do this, I need to spend time getting to speak with and know as many of the people as possible. The fireworks in Orange provided a great opportunity to do this. As I walked around the crowd, I asked people where they were from to see if they would be in the 114th Assembly District. Orange is now split into parts of three different districts, so I asked people from Orange if they knew who their State Representative was. Many did not.
I had heard, years ago that as many as 80% of people don't know who their State Representative is, a disappointing number I found hard to believe. Yet as I talked to the people at the fireworks, it seemed that this may be accurate.
We have people represent us in our local government, up in Hartford, and down in Washington because most people are too busy with their daily lives to be fully involved with legislative processes. A representative democracy is a good way of governing, but to work well, we should at least get to know our representatives and share our thoughts with them.
At a minimum, we need to get out and vote, yet turnout in elections is horribly low. What we really should be doing is meeting those that wish to represent us at campaign events and town committee meetings. As part of my campaign, I've spoken at town committee meetings in Woodbridge, Orange and Derby. I've recently gone to campaign events for Rosa DeLauro and Chris Murphy. I hope many of you will consider doing the same. The next Woodbridge Democratic Town Committee meeting is Monday at 7 PM at the Senior Center in Woodbridge. It would be great to see more people attend.
As we look at the Revolutionary war slogan of "No taxation without representation" and seek ways to achieve the most reasonable tax rates, let us not forget the other side of the quote. Let's work together to make sure that we elect officials who will represent all of us.