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.

Margaret and Jody

Margaret Novicki with ODTC Chair Jody Dietch, after accepting the endorsement of the Orange Democratic Town Committee

Margaret Novicki to seek nomination for Orange First Selectman

(Orange, CT., June 16, 2017) — Former United Nations official and long-time Orange resident Margaret Novicki is seeking the nomination of Orange Democrats as their candidate for First Selectman in the November 2017 election.

“I’ve been motivated all my life by wanting to make a contribution for the greater good. I would like to use all the experience I’ve gained over my career to make Orange an even better place to raise our families,” Ms. Novicki said. “I love this town – it’s in my blood – it would be a privilege to serve the Orange community,” she said.

Ms. Novicki has had a long and distinguished career in public service, communications and management, experience which she will utilize to lead the Town of Orange. She retired from the UN in May 2017 after serving the organization for 22 years—12 years at UN Headquarters in New York and a decade in four African countries.


She has deep roots in Orange. Her late parents, Ted and Martha Novicki, raised their family in Orange and were active members of Holy Infant Church and the Paugusset Club, and her two brothers and other family members continue to reside in the town.


She lived in Orange for the first 18 years of her life, attending Mary L. Tracy grammar school, Holy Infant Junior High School and Lauralton Hall in Milford. She was admitted to Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Washington, D.C, where she received a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1977. She also attained a Master’s Degree from Columbia University’s School of International Affairs in New York in 1979.


In her last post at UN Headquarters before retirement, she headed the Strategic Communications Division, managing 63 UN information offices around the world and leading the Organization’s communications campaigns on key issues, including human rights, sustainable development, climate change, gender equality and peacekeeping.


From 1998 to 2008, Ms. Novicki served the UN in Africa. She headed the UN’s information offices in both Ghana and South Africa. She was the UN’s spokesperson for its 15,000-strong peacekeeping forces in Liberia and Sierra Leone—then the largest peace operations in the world that ended brutal civil wars in the two countries. Based on her peacekeeping experience, she was named UN Special Advisor to the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Ghana, providing training to military officers from West Africa. She also headed communications for the UN office on children and armed conflict.


Before joining the UN in 1995, she was for 13 years editor-in-chief of Africa Report, then the leading American magazine on African political and economic development. Over that period, she traveled widely in Africa, reporting on the continent’s post-independence challenges. Ms. Novicki was also a consultant on African issues for several UN agencies, private foundations and organizations.


Ms Novicki moved back to Orange in 2013, where she lives with her husband, Amadou Ndiaye, and their son, Thomas, a 2016 graduate of Carnegie Mellon University.




Election 2017 Democratic Slate


Margaret NovickiMargaret


Paul Davis2015_paul_davis_bos

Mitch GoldblattMitchJen Alfaro Jen Alfaro


Pat O’SullivanPat


Kristin Cerilli ZanjaniKrsitin Zanjani


PJ ShanleyPJ Shanley

Shirley FiedlerShirley Fiedler

Stu Crystal

 Stu Crystal


Mike SodinsMike SodinsMatt Norko



Mary WelanderMary Welander

Frank RenaldiFrank Renaldi

Charles Flynn

 Charles Flynn IV


Carla Imperati Eichler Carla EichlerRay Tuccio Ray TucciMark RawdenMark Rawden

John GagelJohn Gagel


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