By Tim O’Brien
New Britain has a great need for dedicated advocates for voter empowerment. Our community has a very real history of voter suppression by those charged with operating our election process.
That is why it is more important than ever that New Britain’s people remain highly organized to fight for their rights and to support the rights of others. It may be unfortunate that it is necessary to fight city hall in order to have a real local democracy, but it is good to know that there are good people in our city who are prepared to organize and advocate.
One organization dedicated to voter empowerment is New Britain’s Black Democratic Club. Led by Third Ward Alderwoman Shirley Black, this organization has, for years, worked to encourage people to participate in the political process and to exercise their democratic rights.
On Saturday, the Black Democratic Club held its traditional “Soul food Festival,” an opportunity to support its important work. Here, Ald. Black explains the event and we also see the Club honoring Mr. Alton Brooks’ 95th birthday.
While a great deal of work needs to be done to overcome voter suppression from city hall and while empowering voters to exercise their democratic rights is a job that never will end, it is good that our community has the longstanding, dedicated work of the Black Democratic Club.
Tim O’Brien is Treasurer and a member of the Board of Directors of the New Britain Independent, and is a Columnist for the Independent. He is the former Mayor of New Britain, and also served as State Representative for parts of New Britain and Newington and was a New Britain City Alderman.