The roof of on Bank Street was the setting for the Green Party’s monthly meeting on Thursday night as members chose their candidates for the Board of Education and City Council.
Daryl Finizio, who is challenging Councilor Michael Buscetto III for the Democratic nomination for mayor in a primary this month, paid a visit to the meeting. “I will challenge as a progressive alternative to Buscetto,” he said. Depending on who wins the primary, either he or Buscetto will most likely win the election because New London’s Democrats outnumber Republicans by about five to one, Finizio said. He encouraged Greens to tell their Democratic friends to vote for him in the primary. After Finizio urged his supporters to “keep the energy growing as much as possible,” the Greens voted almost unanimously to officially support him.
For City Council, the Greens are fielding three candidates: Joan Sullivan, Jessica Cartagena and Ken Hanson. Sullivan and Cartagena spoke to the Greens about their positions. Sullivan noted her opposition to the proposed sale of . “Different socioeconomic groups use it,” she said. “Not everyone can afford to go to the beach.” Cartagena said that it was important that New Londoners see young people in the community who care about change.
For the Board of Education, the Greens nominated two candidates: Ronna Stuller and Mirna Martinez. Stuller is the first Green to actually hold a seat on the New London Board of Education, and she will run for that seat again this year. Martinez, a former teacher now raising young children, wants to see school children integrated more into the city. She hopes to use New London’s art galleries and cultural activities as an “alternative classroom.”
Tim Hanser was voted campaign manager. He has recently returned to New London after teaching in New York for several years. He said that “there are a lot of new faces. This means the party is growing.” Hanser stated that his goal is to grow the Green Party, and he sees a good mix of experience and youth in the Green Party membership.
The Greens also discussed drafts of the party platform and the education platform. The party platform draft includes sections on roads, parks and public safety. The Green Party hopes to develop a safe, vibrant city with more focus on rebuilding the “grid” system that existed before urban renewal created an “asymmetrical mishmash of varying gauges.” The Greens also hope to see more people use local parks and the city provide “access, things to do for the active, and places to sit for the sedentary.” The city and its parks should be policed by cops walking beats rather than sitting in police cars, in order to develop a greater rapport between citizens and policemen. The Greens also want non-violent drug offenders to be the police’s lowest priority.
The Greens are hoping to find a space where they can put a campaign office that is centralized and visible to the public. More information on the party is available at: http://www.nlgreens.org/wordpress/.