• Stamford Democrats Use Public Name Calling And Private Threats To Attack Reform Democrats

    February 15, 2024

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    Stamford Board of Representatives (BOR) member Carl Weinberg is under fire after his op ed, which contains a disparaging sexist comment about the Democratic Majority Leader of the BOR, Nina Sherwood, recently appeared in the Stamford Advocate.

    In the opinion piece, he implies Sherwood is a "pig".

    Sherwood responded, "I was publicly referred to as a pig in the local newspaper. This isn’t new to me. Since 2017 I have been called many names including a socialist, communist, a Trumpster, an obstructionist, power hungry, and a radical republican to name a few. I have to admit “pig” is an interesting one, but I’ve become accustomed to this type of name calling by those who protect the “haves” in our community. Historically this is what happens when you speak up loudly on behalf of the “have nots.”

    Sherwood says that even though the stress from public attacks like this is taking a toll on her personally, she won't stop fighting for what she believes in because she loves the people of Stamford and thinks the city deserves better.

    For many years, Sherwood has been heavily involved in national politics, having organized thousands of people to knock doors for Democrats in over seven states up and down the East Coast.

    In 2016, her focus shifted to local politics after she realized that Stamford had big problems.

    "What I hated most about national politics was happening right here in my hometown: large corporations, law firms, well connected people and entities, were manipulating our local municipal government to benefit themselves at our expense," lamented Sherwood.

    So she decided to run for office and encouraged others to do the same.

    A group of eight, including Sherwood, assembled and fundraised under the name “Reform Stamford”.  The group believed that city government needed to be reformed to put people over profits. Sherwood and others won in 2017, and with that first win, their successful "Reform" movement started to grow.

    Sherwood won re-election in 2021, and successfully helped 19 other candidates run. All of those candidates dedicated themselves to putting the people over profits and the party.

    "As you can imagine, the powerful special interests in town do not appreciate that a group of scrappy elected volunteer representatives are successfully pushing back against them. Additionally, the people who lead the Democratic Party do not like their dirty laundry being hung out on display for the public to see," said Sherwood.

    Stamford is a heavily Democratic town. Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans two to one, making it a safe blue city. But for years the Stamford Democratic party has been captured by special interests with deep pockets.

    For instance, candidates need to raise about $500,000 to run for mayor in Stamford. Most people recognize that when a politician takes that much money, especially from special interest groups, it comes with certain expectations, whether they be implicit or explicit. Oftentimes those expectations come in direct conflict with what's best for the residents of Stamford.

    Sherwood says that "captured" elected officials in Stamford cannot argue about certain issues with the Reform Democrats because the public at large would side with the Reformers.

    "For example, regardless of party most Stamford residents believe the following: people who are expired on powerful boards and commissions should no longer be able to make decisions for our city; we should not sell our local community center to a big developer for a fraction of what it’s worth in order to build “affordable housing” that isn’t actually affordable; and we should be collecting 100% of the property taxes on all large residential luxury apartment buildings," says Sherwood.

    But when those issues are pointed out by Reformers, the captured establishment engages in name calling in public and resorts to issuing threats in private. The tone of the establishment message is clear: “if you don’t vote the way we want you to, you’ll never get the endorsement of the Democratic Party again.”

    BOR members who consistently vote against the wishes of the captured establishment know that they will not be supported by the party for re-election because they refuse to fall in line.

    Many Reformers are now running for the Stamford Democratic City Committee (DCC) in order to further change the culture of Stamford's Democrat party, and to ensure that elected officials in Stamford who have the courage to stand up to special interests and corruption are able to continue doing this hard and often thankless work, ideally without the name-calling and personal threats.

    When it comes to the BOR, this means the Reformers would be nominating and endorsing themselves for re-election.

    While the establishment democrats may balk at this so-called "double dipping", the party actually "manufactured this situation because of its predatory behavior against anyone that doesn’t toe their line," according to Sherwood.

    She says you need no more proof that the establishment retaliates against Democrats who don't toe the line than former Board of Education members Jackie Pioli and Fritz Chery.

    Sherwood contends that Pioli and Chery were not selected to be on the Democratic ballot line for re-election because they were not 100% obedient to the wishes of the party, even though Sherwood says they were arguably the hardest working and most passionate members of the Board of Education.

    "I’m not joking when I say we have a serious problem here," remarked Sherwood.

    "Forty people in our city decide the Democratic names you see on the ballot for municipal and state office each November when you go to the polls. By the time you vote, the decision as to who will win elected office has already been made by these forty people, because the Democrat always wins. These forty people are referred to as the Democratic City Committee or DCC. On Tuesday March 5th, the registered democrats across our city will have the opportunity to go to the polls and vote for who they want to represent them on the DCC. It is my hope that you vote for the Stamford Dems for Responsive Government candidates in your district. They won’t be the candidates with the money to send you numerous fancy mailers, they’ll be the candidates running on substance," says Sherwood.

    And coming back to the disparaging sexist comment made by Weinberg, which he claims is merely a reference to George Orwell's Animal Farm, Sherwood says that taking care of actual pigs is part of her job and Weinberg knows that.

    "They’re incredibly intelligent and resourceful creatures. They remove harmful insects and garbage from the land, they turn and aerate the soil for future successful crops all while having a wonderful and loving disposition. So in that sense, I relish the thought of being a political pig: removing what's harmful in our city politics, while building a foundation for future city success and doing it with love and passion has been the honor of my life. If that makes me a pig, so be it!" exclaimed Sherwood.

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    Lewis T

    Bravo to Ms Sherwood for standing up for the people in Stamford against the political machine and their self-appointed playground monitors.

    It’s time

    We need some common sense Reform Democrats in Greenwich. I know you are here; where are you?

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