To the Editor:
In last year’s election for mayor, I promised that, if elected, I would work with every resident. Friend or foe, Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal — everyone would have a seat at the table, where we would discuss the issues in a civil manner and come up with solutions together.
By running in the Democratic primary last year, I was asking my Independent and Republican friends and neighbors to throw aside their deep-rooted ideologies and party affiliations in favor of my own. How could I ask others to do something that I was unwilling to do myself?
Therefore, I have decided that this time around, in the spirit of unity and to demonstrate my willingness to work with everyone, I will set aside my own party affiliation. I will run for the Fourth Ward Council Seat now occupied by Councilwoman Susan McCurrie, as an independent candidate, in the general election, in November.
By running in the general election, unaffiliated voters and Republicans will be able to join Democrats in selecting leaders and determining the future of our town together. Having a contested primary, followed by an uncontested general election, means only one party has a say in determining leaders for the next four years, since anyone who is not a member of that party or who refuses to switch their party is barred from voting in that primary.
If I am to be elected, I want it to be on a bipartisan basis. I want votes from Democrats, Republicans, the unaffiliated, and everyone else in between, because as a councilman, I want to represent all residents of the Fourth Ward and our town, regardless of their party or ideology. We cannot lead effectively if a portion of our population feels disenfranchised, simply for being a member of another party.
My fellow Democrats, as a party, we are passionate about expanding voting rights. Well, we can start doing that right here, right now, in our own town by giving Republican and unaffiliated friends and neighbors the right to choose their local leaders, too. This time around, let’s proclaim loud and clear that every voice matters and every vote counts.
Lastly, I ask that we stop seeing one another as simply Democrat or Republican; we are all so much more than that. We instead should start seeing each other as fellow residents who simply want the best for our families and neighbors. We all want the same things, but we just have different visions of how to get there. Let’s stop talking above one another and start listening to one another again. Our great country was built on the ability of our Founders to compromise with one another; let’s heed their example.
In this political climate with change happening all around us, we have a real chance to start.
Sydney J. Ferreira