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Raslan: Pledge of Civility & Endorsing Two Republicans

by Tarek Raslan | GUEST COLUMN | Aug 31, 2017 3:55 am

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Posted to: Ansonia, Ansonia Election 2017, Letters To The Editor

It’s 10 weeks until the Nov. 7 election, we are just getting started, yard signs going up, knocking on doors, and writing op-ed letters about the city. It may seem annoyingly familiar, but it’s a necessary part of our democracy.

We have just watched a presidential election that has set new lows with regard to negative commentary and personal insults in politics. I believe it’s hurting our country’s ability to find common ground, and turning off good ordinary citizens from getting involved.

I’m writing to make a pledge to all of you that I will not be participating in what has become politics as usual. I will be critical of Mayor Cassetti as a city manager, but he’s not my enemy who I must defeat by any means necessary, he’s a husband, a father, a brother. When I speak of David Cassetti the man, I will do so with the knowledge that his family are all listening. When debating Mayor Cassetti I will do my best to present accurate information with sources for the public to make informed decisions, and I will never call him a liar. If I can’t win with integrity, then I don’t want to win.

In this regard, I would like to briefly address a recent Op-Ed letter from Alderman Lorrie Vaccaro of the Second Ward.

Mr.Vaccaro, is on record calling me a “liar”, “sleazy”, and even “evil”. His article was regarding a Facebook image with two simple facts: 1) City Hall cut the police budget 2) We have had 9 shootings in the past two years.

Both are true and easy to verify.

Shootings: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

Police Budget: See photo.

Being held accountable for our actions can be upsetting, but Mr. Vaccaro’s words are concerning, as an Alderman it’s inappropriate, and as a community there’s no room for this kind of hate. His disrespect goes beyond partisan politics…here he is disrespecting Republican Alderman Lieutenant Colonel Phill Tripp, where Vaccaro argues AGAINST background checks for financial consultants for the city!

This is not the kind of collaboration we need from our Aldermen.

I’m not a partisan person. It was suggested that I call our slate, “team Raslan”. I considered it, but thought to myself, this country doesn’t need more division, we don’t need “team Democrats”, “team Republicans”, “team Raslan”, or “team Cassetti”, what we need is team Ansonia.

In that light, I’m endorsing two Republicans running for re-election to the Board of Aldermen, Alderman Joan Radin Fifth Ward, and Alderman Rich Kaslaitis Fourth Ward. I met Rich two years ago at a volunteer community park project at Gatison Park. Together we have put in dozens of volunteer hours for this city. Rich’s dedication to this city and the Board of Aldermen is an inspiration. Joan Radin is an experienced business owner of more than 40 years, she speaks out for residents, and for what she believes. Joan is an inspiration and an asset to the Board.

There’s a quote, “the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers”. This city needs to work together to embrace the individuality and independence which makes this city and country great. That’s the kind of leadership I will bring.

The writer is the Democratic party’s candidate for mayor of Ansonia in this year’s election.

Views expressed in guest columns (aka ‘letters to the editor’) and press releases do not necessarily reflect the views of The Valley Indy has a 550-word limit on guest columns.

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