Yesterday Patch , currently in Tampa attending the Republican National Convention. Today we'll shift to the Democratic side of the aisle and look ahead to next week's DNC convention in Charlotte, September 4-6. Orange resident Marilyn Cohen will attend as a Connecticut delegate. We spoke with Cohen about what she's looking forward to seeing and doing.
Marilyn Cohen has been a resident of Orange since 1958. After having spent most of her life as a teacher in Orange public schools -- including and -- she retired and became active in Orange's Democratic Party. She has served as chairman of the Parks and Recreation and Library commissions and stays active as an educational consultant and advocate, helping families develop programs that meet their needs in area schools from Fairfield to Guilford.
How did you get chosen as a delegate?
I had been on the Democratic Town Committee in Orange, but decided I wouldn't continue this year. But then I got an e-mail from the DNC inviting me to the convention! I called [former First Selectman] Bob Sousa, who had gone before, and he told me what a rewarding experience it is. I said, "I'm never going to get selected." But then I got a call from one of their people.
What does your timetable for next week look like?
I'm going down on Sunday -- they have a welcome party Sunday night. On Monday, Labor Day, Charlotte is putting on a big welcome to the delegates. The actual programs with the speakers are Tuesday and Wednesday. I'm really excited -- I'm going down by myself rather than as part of a group.
Will you be participating in any caucuses or discussions on the issues?
I've signed up for the Ethnic Council, and I hope to attend NARAL's (National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Actional League) caucus. I'm also thinking about going to the small business caucus, which addresses the whole issue of tax credits and that sort of thing.
The Ethnic Council includes trainings geared toward turning out ethnic voters, and I'm concerned with voter registration and the ability to vote. Voter registration laws -- it's unnerving to me. The small business caucus is a little broader -- it really has to do with tax equity. I was in the Berkshires recently, and the woman who runs the inn where were staying was upset because the tax issue stemming from Obamacare has has really affected them.
Do you support the Affordable Care Act?
I do support it. And I do believe he has made adjustments for small businesses so they wouldn't be adversely affected. But the message isn't getting across. Although what obama is promoting is in the best interests of small businesses and seniors, people ... they're just not knowledgeable about what the true facts are. I was hoping by being in these groups and seeing what came up, we can promote people having better info. You read the columns in the Times or Post and it's like they're preaching to the choir.
In Obama's news conference where he commented on "legitimate rape," they asked him about the economy. He taked about the programs he wanted to put in, but he never mentioned the jobs bill. I thought, why didn't he mention that? That's one of the major starters for employment. He talked about how the stimulus didn't work -- well, it did work, but people still don't think it did. I want to talk about communicating what Obama has done. It isn't making it through to the rank and file.