By Alex John Harris
At the Ridgefield Democratic Town Committee’s (DTC) meeting on December 12, 2019, I announced that I will not stand for re-election as DTC chair or officer when the new DTC term begins in March 2020.
This is a bittersweet decision, especially after the euphoric 2019 election results. Nonetheless, after careful discussion with my family, I know this is the right time to step aside. The main factor driving my decision is that I recently accepted an expanded role in my company, encompassing a range of new responsibilities and challenges that will allow much less time for DTC matters.
Stepping aside in March will also advance my objective of continuous DTC renewal. I am exceedingly proud that DTC has gained many new members over the last few years. Over 50% of current members have served on DTC fewer than three years and over 60% have served fewer than four. My fellow current officers have served on DTC fewer than four years and as officers fewer than two years. Through this influx of diverse new thinking and energy, DTC has been remade and reinvigorated.
I have served on DTC since August 2011, as Vice Chair from March 2012 to March 2018, and as Chair since March 2018. I’ve participated in many aspects of DTC fundraising, messaging, communications, logistics, operations, recruiting, strategy, and campaign execution. It has been my great privilege to collaborate with a wide, deep group of DTC members, volunteers, and candidates, and to build upon the great innovations of my two immediate predecessors. I put my best thinking into these last two years and now feel it optimal for others to step forward and implement their own fresh ideas and approaches. I will remain involved and make myself available as a resource to my successor.
I have spoken with a number of outstanding individuals, describing the commitment and demands of the chair role, and encouraging them to step forward. One of those terrific individuals, Joe Shapiro, has announced his candidacy and has my full and complete confidence.
I have greatly enjoyed my efforts with Ridgefield DTC. I am immensely grateful for having interacted with all the wonderful members, volunteers, candidates, elected officials, and townspeople. I especially thank my family, First Selectman Rudy Marconi, Selectwoman Barbara Manners, my predecessors Susan Cocco and Tom Madden, Ellen Darvick, Jessica Mancini, Karen Sulzinsky, and Joe Shapiro, without whose collaboration, support, and encouragement my tenure would have been far less satisfying. Most importantly, I thank all the people of Ridgefield for the privilege of civic participation in this wonderful town they make and remake every day.
On behalf of myself, my family, and all Ridgefield Democrats, best wishes for a bright New Year full of joy, health, and invigorating new opportunities.
Alex Harris is Chair of the Ridgefield Democratic Town Committee, which provides this column.