The Hillsborough Democratic Alliance held its last meeting of the year on Dec. 5.
Meryl Bisberg, current president of the organization, highlighted the major events of the year, including several neighborhood Open Houses, Obama calling parties during campaign season, an Obama debate watch party, and multiple Politics Book Club sessions. In addition, local civic organizations, Somerset County Democratic candidates, the Princeton Democratic Club (PCDO), Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula, and candidates for NJ Assembly 16th District, had all been guest speakers at monthly meetings in 2012. Elections were held for officers for 2013. Re-elected were Meryl Bisberg for President, Jim Bergstrom for Vice-President, and Howard Greenberg for Treasurer for 2013.
After the election, guest speaker Charlie Kratovil, 2003 Hillsborough High School graduate and currently editor of New Brunswick Today, addressed the group on the topics of investigative reporting and community organizing. Charlie was energetic, knowledgeable, and very grass-roots oriented. He spoke about the importance of attending township government meetings so that you are informed on issues, recruiting people to stand up for their rights, and being willing to engage a wide spectrum of people. He said that organizing a ballot question is a great way to pull people together especially when there is an issue involved that people really care about. In November, Charlie and a group of New Brunswick citizens were able to pass a ballot initiative to have school board candidate elections for the first time, after many prior unsuccessful attempts to end school board appointments.
“Charlie’s talk was refreshing,” commented Bisberg after the meeting, “and it’s great to see a young person from Hillsborough so engaged in his community and so willing to work for real change , not only by using the Internet but also by knocking on doors and working with the constituency, neighborhood by neighborhood. Our own HDA by-laws state that we should build ‘camaraderie with fellow Democrats and other citizens who support [these principles of] transparency in government, responsible fiscal and social policies, accountability of elected officials, and community involvement and voter participation.’”
To that end, the Alliance is planning to continue its open houses, book groups, and engage Hillsborough Democrats. The next monthly meeting is scheduled for Jan. 10, 7 p.m., at the Avalon at 393 Amwell Road. A book club meeting is scheduled for Jan. 17. The book to be discussed is “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism” by Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein. Put it on your holiday list and contact firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP. President Obama’s inauguration follows on Jan. 21.
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