Does your birth place determine your ability to lead?

What qualifications does a resident of Orange look for in candidates running for public office? Education and experience would seem the two most logical and important aspects to look at, though I’ve heard that some people actually consider where a candidate was born and how long they have lived in Orange as criteria.

For the record, I am proud to be Orange-grown and raised. Sixty-two years ago, I was born at St. Raphael’s Hospital in New Haven and came home to my family residence on Center Road Circle in Orange, where I lived with my family until I went away to Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. at age 18. I and my husband and son moved back to the family house in Orange in 2013.

I am proud of the schools I attended, and the friends and family I have here. Some of my friends date back to Mary L Tracy School and some are new friends many who were not born and raised here. They chose to move to Orange for its school system or location or both, and they are proud Orange residents.

Does it matter how long you have lived in the town to be qualified to run for and serve in office? Is someone who has never left Orange more qualified to be a candidate for office? I don’t think so, and I don’t think many people would pass that test, in this era of mobility and movement.

Or is the right person for the job someone who understands the qualities that make Orange great and has the experience to bring new and fresh ideas to the table?  Orange is not an island that operates in a vacuum. It is a town in a county, a county that is part of a state, and a state that is part of the United States of America, which in turn is part of the global village.

Being born and raised here was great, but it certainly is not the most important quality we should be looking for in our elected officials.

I have been fortunate in my career to have met many different people who have lived in many different communities over the course of their lives. Some of those communities were in Orange, CT, some in Brooklyn, NY, some in Accra, Ghana, and some in Pretoria, South Africa.

The one thing they all share is belonging to a community…community is where your heart, home and family are, not where your birth certificate was signed. My hope is that people choose their leaders not on numbers of years lived in one location, but on the qualities and experience they possess and that they feel will best represent their needs and interests.

Campaign Door Knocking 101

Door knocking for a political campaign can be a daunting task especially for someone who has never done it.

When I began my campaign for First Selectman in Orange, Connecticut, just a couple of months ago, I had no pre-conceived notions of what it would entail.

I have found it to be informative and exhilarating. Is it at times frustrating? What effort isn’t at some point? But when you connect with the person on the other side of that threshold, the reality of what you are doing and why, comes full circle.

I have met people in Orange who have never had a candidate knock on their door before. The appreciation they express just to know someone wants to hear from them is what keeps me going evening after evening and weekend after weekend.

Those concerns and observations of what the residents see as issues for our town are what drives me to run for office. Orange is a great small town and has continued to be so for nearly 200 years.

But the status quo does not mean there isn’t room for change and improvement. Who chants, “Yay, we are number 2”? We strive to be number 1.

Making improvements in a small town really does take a village. It isn’t about any one person. It is about listening to the residents and making a bipartisan decisions for the good of all. It is about engaging the business leaders. It is about engaging the town staff, from the person sweeping the floors to the clerk in the next office to the person maintaining our infrastructure. Listening to what all of the people in our town have to contribute is what a true leader does. Door knocking has afforded me the opportunity to listen.

Learning is an every day occurrence. None of us can have all of the answers, but collectively, as a team, as a village, we can do better.

Election 2019 Democratic Slate


Margaret NovickiMargaret


Paul Davis2015_paul_davis_bos

Mitch GoldblattMitch


Pat O’SullivanPat




PJ ShanleyPJ Shanley



Paul Kaplan




Susan Riccio


Betty Hadlock



Amy Esposito

2015_Esposito, Amy



Bob Shanleybob Shanley

Randy ThomasRandy Thomas

Santo Galatioto, Jr.santo


Marianne MillerMarianne Miller



O’Sullivan Award Dinner

The Annual O’Sullivan Award Dinner held in March each year

Past Honorees: Paul Davis (2015), Bob Shanley (2016), Trish Pearson (2017), Sue Cohen (2018)

The  recipient of the O’Sullivan Award for Public Service
In recognition of  years of service to our community


Paid for by Orange Democratic Town Committee, Stuart Crystal Treasurer

Message from the Chairwoman

The Orange Democratic Town Committee is a group of Orange residents, who are active in our town and serve our community in a variety of ways. Some of our members are elected, others are appointed, yet all of us are volunteers who want to be involved in the governance and betterment of our town, state and national government, by working to elect Democrats.

There are many ways in which folks can engage in the political process – volunteer on a campaign, make a financial contribution, attend an event, join us at one of our monthly meetings, or volunteer on Election Day at the polls. Even better, throw your hat in the ring and run for office! We are always open to new ideas and new faces .

If you took the time to check out our website, you must be curious about who we are and what we do. Once you get to know us – I think you will find that we are welcoming and generally a fun group. If you would like to have a conversation and learn more about the Orange Democratic party, feel free to contact me. I would love to sit down for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.

Most importantly, please Register and Vote! It is our right and our obligation. The link for online voter registration is on our site.


Jody Dietch, Town Chairman