Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A real after school After-School Special

It's forty-one days until Election Day--plenty of time for robo-calls as we sit down to dinner to ask if we knew that Candidate X drinks his bathwater and for half the rain forest to be turned into pulp for glossy unsolicited mailing materials for every political position under the sun. By the time we go to vote, we won't be able to hear ourselves think, which may be the point of all the hoopla in the long run.

Maybe we need a time out and some place with a level playing field managed by enthusiastic beginners instead of so many discouraged experts. The expression goes 'we have not inherited this world from our parents-we have borrowed it from our children.' If you don't mind a suggestion, tonight after dinner might be a good time to check up on how that process is actually working out.

Tonight, starting at seven at Teachers Middle School, are back to back candidate forums for the 19th District State Senatorial race as well as for Norwich Probate Judge. Both are sponsored by the Bully Busters who've been working within (and without) our school system for the last few years to teach our children, and, in some instances, our grand-children, how to resolve their differences through intelligent, and compassionate, conflict management, often behaving more like adults than adults.

For those youngsters working on projects like voter registration and candidate forums, it's really all about the democratic process. They're just getting started in it and are very excited to be taking part. For them, the opportunity to ask candidates for office questions about what they'll do and what they believe and how they see the way ahead is, what it should be for all of us, incredibly important.

The Bully Busters hosted the only forum last year for the special election to fill a vacancy on the Norwich City Council and as one of the geezers who sat in the back, I was impressed by how amazing our world can be when you're fifteen, sixteen or seventeen and the possibilities are endless. I don't remember any single question but I do vividly recall an overall impression that not everyone saw Norwich in drab colors or thought there were limits to what we who lived here could, or should, do.

Some, if not most, of the Bully Busters may not be able to vote (yet) but I can guarantee you that they can think and I can promise you now their questions tonight will make you think, too.
This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about everyone seeking your vote in two very important elections this November-so important that all of the candidates seeking office will be there. I hope they all bring their "A" game because the kids are alright and have been very patient waiting for their elders to relinquish the reins so they can get started on making this city, this state and this nation their own. Tonight's the night it starts.
-bill kenny

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