March 2023

Join our mailing list  


We will keep this short because there's so much to read below. We are again headlining the Wisconsin State Supreme Court election because it's so consequential. With just 30 days to go, please read below for the various ways that you can help. If you want to know what our political engagement can achieve, read further below to celebrate some recent election results where Democratic activism has scored significant victories. As always, we hope you enjoy our news briefs and events calendar. Don't forget to send us your own news and announcements.

We are still building our distribution list, so if you like this newsletter, please forward it to your friends. We welcome readers from Salisbury as well as anywhere else.

As always,

Your faithful editor


The upcoming April 4 race for a State Supreme Court seat in Wisconsin is probably the most important election nationwide of 2023. No exaggeration. A win would flip the court to a Democratic majority and that would have huge consequences for Wisconsin as well as the entire country. It would open the door to overturning Wisconsin’s ban on abortion and challenging Wisconsin’s gerrymandered election maps, which will impact the 2024 state, Congressional, and even Presidential elections. The race pits Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Janet Protasiewicz, a liberal judge, against former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly, a MAGA conservative endorsed by Donald Trump. There are many ways you help in the month remaining until the election:

Jessica Craven's Chop Wood, Carry Water newsletter has compiled a great list of activities, including writing postcards, phonebanking, and donating money, among others. Click here to find an activity that’s right for you. 

Saving Democracy, a group spearheaded by Kathy Voldstad, Sarah Zarbock, John Hoffman, and Sophia deBoer, is organizing postcard-writing gatherings for Wisconsin at the White Hart. Find out more by contacting Kathy Voldstad at [email protected].

Focus for Democracy, an independent advocacy group, will be holding a briefing call about the Wisconsin State Supreme Court election on Thursday, March 9 at 8pm. The organization's analyses are always informative and include recommendations of grassroots organizations that are worth supporting. Caveat: The Focus For Democracy calls conclude with a fundraising pitch for the groups that they are recommending. However, donations are not required for anyone to participate in their calls. Click here to sign up for the call.


In what may have been its final legal hurdle, the Salisbury Housing Committee (SHC) won a victory in Superior Court against a lawsuit to block SHC'S proposed Holley Street affordable housing development. On February 17, a judge struck down legal challenges to the planned development on town-owned property at 11 Holley Street in Lakeville.  

The legal decision opens the door for the project to proceed, which will result in the construction of 12 rental units for individuals or families at or below 80 percent of the median income level for Litchfield County. The project had been tied up in court since the lawsuit was filed in June 2021, following the Planning and Zoning Commission’s approval of SHC’s application in May 2021. This legal action has cost the town significant legal expense to defend the plan. The Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) along with SHC had been named as defendants in the lawsuit, which was brought by two abutting property owners, 12 Millerton Road, LLC and RJS Holding, LLC, and an individual, William Muecke. The plaintiffs still have 20 days from the ruling to appeal. Read more about the project and the court decision in The Lakeville Journal.


Sunday March 5 at 3-5pm: Women’s Leadership Celebration. Join Northwest Corner Democrats and Nancy DiNardo, Chairwoman of the CT Democratic Party, along with Congresswoman Jahana Hayes, Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz, Secretary of State Stephanie Thomas, Rep. Maria Horn, Rep. Michelle Cook, First Selectwoman Denise Rapp (Litchfield), First Selectwoman Jean Speck (Kent) and Patricia Del Monaco (New Fairfield). The event takes place at 174 Sherbrook Drive, Goshen. Bring a dish to share. RSVP to Audrey Blondin at [email protected].

Friday March 18 from 10am-12pm: Lakeville Village Planning Study Public Engagement Program. The Salisbury Planning and Zoning Commission and Colliers Engineering & Design invite public input to shape and refine the ongoing Lakeville planning study, which is focused on pedestrian and bicycle access, public greenspaces, traffic circulation and safety, parking, and stormwater management. This event will take place at The Grove. There will be a brief kick-off presentation to explain the study, followed by smaller, breakout sessions where attendees can provide input on specific topics. For those unable to attend, information as well as a response form will be posted on the town website at Comments and suggestions will be welcome until April 1.

Friday March 18 from 5-7:30pm: Corned Beef Dinner sponsored by the Lakeville Hose Company Ladies Auxiliary. The event takes place at the Lakeville Firehouse and will include a Chinese Auction. Take out is available. The cost is $17 for adults, $14 for seniors, and $11 for children under 10. 

Tuesday March 21 at 6pm via Zoom: Salisbury Democratic Town Committee. The SDTC will hold its regular monthly meeting. Meetings are open to the public and welcome the input of all citizens. The SDTC is committed to promoting good government and democratic principles at every level of our civic life. The SDTC recruits candidates for local elective and appointed offices, and supports the most qualified Democrats to run in municipal, state, and national elections. Meetings are usually on the third Tuesday of every month. Until further notice all meetings are by Zoom. The schedule is posted on the SDTC website. Contact Al Ginouves to receive a copy of the agenda and the link to the meeting.

Tuesday March 28 at 7pm via Zoom: The Salisbury Forum will present "A Conversation with Carol Browner." Browner has had a lifelong commitment to securing environmental and public health protections, working in the private sector as well as serving two presidents, a governor, and two senators. As Director of President Obama’s White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy, Browner oversaw the coordination of environmental, energy, climate, transport, and related policy across the federal government. From 1993 through 2001, Browner served as the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator under President Clinton. Previously, she served as Secretary of Environmental Regulation in Florida. Currently, Browner is a Senior Counsel at the law firm Covington and Burling helping clients navigate climate change policy. She also serves on the board of Bunge Limited, a multinational agribusiness corporation, and is Board Chair of the League of Conservation Voters. Browner will be interviewed by Vivian Garfein, a member of the Salisbury Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission and former Central Director of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Click here for details.


Let's celebrate some positive election results around the country in the last month, evidence that hard work and persistence are paying off:

  • In Virginia, Jennifer McClellan achieved a landslide win in the 4th Congressional District, over-performing her Democratic predecessor by almost 15 points. McClellan will be the first Black Congresswoman from Virginia. 

  • In New Hampshire, a do-over election for a state house seat in Ward 4 resulted in a solid Democratic win. In fact, the result represented a considerable out-performance for Democrats. Joe Biden carried the district by about 5 points in 2020, but Democratic winner Chuck Grassie ran 12 points ahead of his opponent. Republicans now have the slimmest margin in the New Hampshire House in the state’s history (just 201-198).

  • In Pennsylvania, Democrats won three special elections. Although it was an expected result, it nevertheless marks a sweeping change in Pennsylvania’s capitol. The wins give Democrats 102 seats in the 203-seat chamber — the party's first House majority in a dozen years — and it resolves a stalemate over control that had left the chamber in limbo this winter. 


CT Legislature Exploring Options For Buying Power. Amid frustration with high electric rates this winter, Connecticut is considering more alternatives for obtaining power. At the request of Gov. Lamont, the Connecticut General Assembly's Environment Committee will examine the state's energy sourcing alternatives. Under the bill, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection would be able to "issue multiple solicitations for long-term contracts from providers of resources," thereby sidestepping the central market for electricity overseen by ISO New England, the region's independent system operator. Read more in CT Insider

Lamont Proposes Erasing Medical Debt for Thousands of Connecticut Residents.

Governor Lamont wants to help CT residents who are struggling to pay outstanding medical bills through a proposed plan he says has the potential to erase more than $2 billion in debt at no cost to state taxpayers. The governor's plan calls for the state to use $20 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. The money would be given to a nonprofit that buys medical debt and pays it off at a fraction of the original cost. Read more in this piece from WSHU.

Tensions Fly Over Proposed Bullet Tax. Connecticut gun owners filed hundreds of objections last week to a legislative proposal for an ammunition tax – specifically, a nickel-per-round excise tax on most forms of ammunition. The revenue from the tax would be used to fund gun violence prevention programs. Read the story in CTNewsJunkie.

Biden Restarts $10 Billion Tax Credit for Clean-Energy Makers. The Biden administration is restarting a popular tax credit for manufacturers of solar panels, wind turbines, fuel cells, and other clean energy equipment after getting a $10 billion infusion from the Inflation Reduction Act. It will fund clean-energy projects that expand domestic manufacturing, reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions, or help create a domestic supply chain for critical minerals. The first round of funding, some $4 billion, includes $1.6 billion devoted to projects in areas where coal mines and coal-fired power plants have shut down. Read the story from Bloomberg.

It’s Not Over: How Congressional Maps Could Change Before 2024. The majority that House Republicans won in 2022 is so slim that many Democrats are eager for a rematch in 2024. However, there’s a big wildcard. In a number of states, the maps used in 2022 may not be the ones used in 2024. States may also have to pass new maps depending on the results of federal lawsuits. Before the midterms, federal judges in Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana ruled that the Voting Rights Act required each state to create an additional Black congressional district. But the redrawing of the maps is currently on hold while the Supreme Court hears an appeal of the Alabama decision. Meanwhile, a raft of litigation continues in states across the country. Read this excellent analysis from the Brennan Center for Justice to learn how voting rights may soon change for better or worse. 

The G.O.P.’s Long War Against Medicare and Social Security - Op-Ed by Paul Krugman. Politically, the most crucial moment in President Biden’s State of the Union address was his declaration that “some Republicans want Medicare and Social Security to sunset every five years.” Right-wing news media — well aware that Biden hit a nerve — has gone into overdrive insisting that his claim was false. But, of course, many Republicans do want to eviscerate these programs. To believe otherwise requires both willful naïveté and amnesia about 40 years of political history. Read the full opinion piece in The New York Times


We are continuing to add recommendations to our picks for worthwhile sources of news, information, and context:

The Brennan Center for Justice publishes concise, cogent analyses and recommendations for how we can make our democracy work better. This non-partisan law and policy institute works to advance reforms in a range of policy areas, including voting rights, electoral reform, redistricting integrity, campaign finance reform, criminal justice reform, and liberty and national security, among others. Learn more and sign up for their bulletins.

Letters from an American is a daily newsletter by Yale history professor Heather Cox Richardson that offers historical perspectives on today's politics. Subscribe free here.

Robert B. Hubbell’s daily newsletter provides his clear-headed perspective on what’s going on in our democracy and what we can do as concerned citizens. Read issues and subscribe free here.

Chop Wood, Carry Water is a weekday newsletter from Jessica Craven providing easy, effective political actions we can take to make change and stave off despair. Sign up here.

Ultra, a podcast by Rachel Maddow. This eight-part series tells the all-but-forgotten story of how our democracy was almost brought down just prior to World War II by extremists aided by members of Congress. You will no doubt see the parallels with our perilous times in this engrossing story. Get the podcast here.


Want an easy way to help the library? Drop off your receipts from LaBonne's Markets at the library, and LaBonne’s will make a donation based on a percentage of the total. It’s as easy as that!

Also, the Friends of Scoville Library are currently accepting donations of books for their ongoing book sales. All proceeds benefit the library's programs. Donated books should be clean and in good condition, relatively dust free, not discolored or written in, and structurally sound with intact binding and pages which are not ripped. Please no textbooks, encyclopedias, dictionaries or travel guides older than four years. Donations can be dropped off on Mondays between 10am-12pm, or contact the Friends of Scoville Library to make other arrangements.


Salisbury Family Services, a local non-profit organization, offers summer camp scholarships to children of qualifying families. Assistance is available for sleepaway and day camps as well as special needs, arts, and sports camps. To apply, contact Patrice McGrath at (860) 435-5187.


With higher energy costs as well as growing concerns about climate change, many of us are eager to explore energy options for our homes. One source of information about greener and potentially cheaper energy alternatives is EnergizeCT. It is an initiative of the Energy Efficiency Fund, the Connecticut Green Bank, the state, and local electric and gas utilities with funding from a charge on customer energy bills. The group can help with energy assessments to find savings opportunities and optimize energy use. It can help customers choose a new supplier for their energy generation services, which may lower their cost, and explore rebates and incentives for energy efficiency upgrades, such as insulation, heat pumps, appliances, and more. The group also provides assistance for those struggling to pay their energy bills. Learn more at


Please send us any news or announcements that you would like us to share with our community. We publish on the first of each month, so please send us any submissions at least one week earlier. Please submit to the editor at [email protected].


All previous issues of this newsletter are available on the Salisbury Democratic Town Committee's website.

Join our mailing list

Paid for by the Salisbury Democratic Town Committee,

PO Box 465, Salisbury CT 06068, Pamela Kelley, Treasurer

Editor: Lee Greenhouse, [email protected]

Associate Editor: Sally Andre


LinkedIn Share This Email