We have a big CONECT (Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut) event in the planning. It will take place on Thursday night May 5th (the night of Ascension Thursday) at St. Rose Church in New Haven. Our turnout goal is 15 people and a sign-up sheet is in the hallway and transportation will be provided.
Senator Murphy will be at the gathering. One reason he is coming is because we will turn out 500 people for this event. That is where I need some of you. Community organizing is about putting together organized people and money to encourage power (governmental or corporate) to respond to the needs of the common person.
This gathering will be about both a local and a national issue. Locally, it will be the parish of St. Rose in New Haven trying to get a local school to respond to the problems of parishioners in that school: late busses so kids miss the morning breakfast, security issues, and trying to get responses to why more is not being done to address the educational needs of the students. The Superintendent of Schools for New Haven will be there to respond. For him to listen, he has to see that people beyond a few parents are watching to see how responsive he will be.
Since the Congregations in CONECT support each other, people without children in that school will turn out to encourage the superintendent to respond. If 500 people of different races and religions show up, we will get his attention.
Senator Murphy will be there because we will also be working on the national issue of gun violence. We have a strategy called DO NOT STAND IDLY BY. It has captured the attention of both Senators Blumenthal and Murphy who are working with us to try and end gun violence WITHOUT restricting the rights of gun owners.
I hope many of you will get to attend so you can see how engaging our public actions are. You will have fun even as you watch powerful institutions learn to respond to the needs of average people.
We live in an age of extreme individualism resulting in a political scene where politicians are at war with each. CONECT is a model for getting politicians and others to sit down and work with each other for the common good. If you come that night you will see different races and religions coming together to work for the common good. It is an impressive thing to see.