The Darien Democrats are back and we want you to march in the Memorial Day parade with us next Monday morning, May 31. 

As many of you may recall, we did this in 2019 and it was a smashing success – so much so that the RTC is copying us and marching this year. We would love a good turnout to reflect our increased presence in town, so please join us.

Please plan to meet us in the Goodwives Shopping Center parking lot by 9:30am. Parade steps off at 10am. We’ll probably exit the parking lot about 10:30. We should reach the end of the route by 11:30. You can be home by noon.

A few quick notes:

  1. ALL ARE WELCOME. DTC members and all Democrats, spouses, kids, everyone. Have friends or family visiting from out-of-town? Tell them “Yes, we can!” Dems from nearby towns without a parade? Bring them along too! Kids can ride scooters. Strong turnout essential.
  2. If possible, please respond to with a headcount of your attendees. But walk-in are welcome on Monday morning too.
  3. PLEASE WEAR BLUE! Best option is a blue top and white / light pants or shorts. But really, anything blue will do.
  4. Best parking option is probably Mechanic St. parking lot, behind the Darien Fire Dep’t.
  5. The complete 2021 parade marcher instructions are listed below.
  6. Note our impressive and professional signage! You may be invited to carry the banner identifying our group as the Darien Democrats! Let Frank know if you’re interested! Kids will love it!
  7. Feel free to bring American flags, but no overt political signs or messaging. It is not in keeping with the solemnity of the day. 
  8. Bring sunscreen!

I hope to see many of you next Monday morning.





Monday, May 31, 2021

ASSEMBLY: All units assemble at Goodwives Shopping Center at 9:00 AM.  Signs will indicate where each division assembles.  Marchers must be in position by 9:30 AM.  Step off is 10 AM SHARP.

PARKING: Police will direct traffic.  The Goodwives Shopping Center parking lot is for shoppers and parade vehicles only. There is NO parade parking.  Park at the YWCA, First Congregational Church, or the Mechanic Street lot behind the Darien Fire Station

CHILDREN’S MARCHING UNITS: If you are dropping off a child, the child’s group must have an adult in place.  Parents with children will not be allowed to linger or park their car.  This causes congestion and unsafe conditions.  **Parents who must wait with their child, because no adult is in place, are required to park their car, and walk their child back to the assembly area.**  

IMPORTANT: Please advise everyone in your organization about these parking rules. Rules are for the safety of our marchers and for the safety of our children!

Since social-distancing will not be practical, please wear a mask while in the assembly area.


Parade Route: Goodwives Shopping Center to Brookside Road to Post Road.  At Parade’s end, continue on Post Road PAST Hecker Avenue to the Post Road entrance to Spring Grove Cemetery, vehicles stay to the left and walkers to the right.  Vehicles are not permitted to stop and must continue straight past Cemetery.

Length of Parade Approximately 1.25 miles.  Make sure all marchers are able to complete the parade.

Marching Parade Officials will maintain a uniform cadence and a steady forward march at all times.  All units will maintain a reasonable distance from the unit in front of them.  All marching units will march at least six (6) abreast, with the exception of color guards.  NO PETS ARE ALLOWED IN THE PARADE!

Reviewing Stand Is located in front of Nielsen’s Florist on the Post Road where the parade will be reviewed by the Grand Marshal and other dignitaries.

Cemetery Ceremony Please join us at the Connecticut Veterans’ Cemetery to pay respect to the military people who have preserved our freedom with the ultimate sacrifice.

Emergencies In case of emergency the parade will move to the right side of the road and the necessary vehicles will pass on the left side of the road.

Other NO alcoholic beverages are permitted in the Assembly Area, along the Parade Route, or during the Ceremony.  NO throwing of candy, toys, or any other items in Assembly Area or along Parade Route.  Violators will be removed.

The parade is a procession to the Connecticut Veterans’ Cemetery to honor those who died in service of our country.  The spirit of the parade is to celebrate the lives of our war dead.  Participants are encouraged to identify the organizations they represent but are requested to refrain from advertisements or promotion of events that have nothing to do with Memorial Day.

All In-Person Voting in Darien Will Be at the Town Hall Gym!

IF YOU NORMALLY VOTE AT HINDLEY SCHOOL, YOU MUST GO TO THE TOWN HALL GYM TO VOTE IN PERSON in the Special State Senate Election to be held on March 2, 2021 in Darien Voting Districts 2 and 4. March 2 is a school day and Hindley School will not be used as a polling place.  Please spread the word.

ABSENTEE BALLOT APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE MAILED TO ALL VOTERS FOR THIS ELECTION, but may be obtained from the link below and MUST be promptly returned to the Darien Town Clerk’s Office, 2 Renshaw Road, Darien, CT  06820 so that an absentee ballot may be mailed to you.  Please do so right away if you wish to vote by absentee ballot.

If you would like to host a lawn sign for Pat, please sign up below and one will be brought to you.  Also letters to the editor and testimonials are needed:

Lawn Signs: We have lawn signs ready for pick up at the Stamford Democratic headquarters. Please share the link below among your network and we will coordinate with individuals who fill out the form to get them their sign:

Letters to the Editor: Please write a letter of support for Pat’s election as State Senator for Darien.  Letters should to be submitted to:, and

Testimonials: We are looking for people to submit brief quotes or video testimonials in support of Pat to post on social media. If you’d like to provide a quote, please send a headshot/picture that can be posted along with it to Lauren Meyer at

Happy Valentines Day to everyone and let’s share the love with Pat Billie Miller and get her elected as Darien’s next State Senator!


David Bayne

Darien DTC Chair

(203) 984-9679

“The town with the largest percent increase in the number of active registered Democrats from 2016 to 2020 in the state was Darien. The town saw a 27 percent increase in the number of active registered Democrats from 2016 to 2020, paired with a 12 percent decrease in the number of Republicans.”
We want to share DTC Vice Chair Ann Reed’s insightful piece in the Darien Times this week asking the political parties (the RTC in particular) to keep their hands off of our schools.
The Darien DTC could not agree more,and pledges not to inject partisan politics into the Board of Education. We have never told Democratic Board of Education members how to vote on an issue, or who to vote for to lead the Darien Board of Education, and we do not intend to start now. We nominate outstanding candidates and then let them do their job for all Darien schoolchildren, parents and residents. 
The Darien DTC is not running Michael Burke and Sara Parent’s campaign for Board of Education. We have contributed to it and we support it, but the campaign is an independent entity – as we expect Mike and Sara to be as Board of Education members. Ask whether the Republican candidates can say the same.
Please support Mike & Sara in this contested race for the Board of Education with your votes and with your donations:
David Bayne
Darien DTC Chair
(203) 984-9679

Darien Times Op-Ed by Ann Reed

As a resident of Darien, I appreciate our public schools and the link between the quality of that system and home values in our town. I have spent hours in Board of Education meetings for various town groups. As a result, I have endless respect for those individuals who serve as members. Last week, the Republican Town Committee published their platform for their Board of Education candidates. As I was reading it, I was struck that it espouses things that are false. It talks about “Act(ing) transparently with regard to budget priorities.” However, it was a group of Republican Board of Education members who held a secret caucus to discuss the budget last spring. While that caucus may have been legal, it was certainly not transparent.
Darien parents and residents should want members of the Board of Education to be independent, collaborative and to bring thoughtful, considered ideas to the Board table. The ideal Board member stands up for what they believe is best for our town’s children and does not just parrot the party line dictated by the Republican Town Committee, who are neither education nor policy experts.
The Republican platform uses the following language: “Protect and promote curriculum that emphasizes the ways in which western civilization and the American system have protected, enriched and elevated lives, while ensuring students are instilled with an understanding of the importance of social consciousness, community involvement and their responsibility to be inclusive and strive for continuous improvement.”
While this language is dressed up to sound like admirable goals, its cultural insensitivity and dark undertone echo the “culture war” themes being stoked by the Trump Administration. The Town of Darien and its school system are better than that.
Other parts of the platform talk about “Autonomy and local control – Darien First.” This is to make sure their voters know they are against regionalization. To be clear, no current Democratic Board of Education member has ever supported regionalization, and the Democratic newcomer on the ballot testified against regionalization in Hartford. To their point of “Darien First,” are they saying they want Darien to give up any and all state funding in order to be accountable solely to Darien residents? Are those residents ready to be solely responsible for fully funding our schools?
Differing viewpoints are worthwhile and necessary. Open and frank discussion among Board members often results in growth and development in our schools, but the political parties and their ideologies should keep their hands off of our schools.
Darien needs thoughtful candidates with their own ideas. The Darien Democratic Town Committee has never told a Board of Education member how to vote and pledges never to do so in the future. Can the Darien Republican Town Committee make the same claim?

Ann Reed is the vice chairman of the Democratic Town Committee.


Hi Friends,

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this summer I signed a new law that gives all registered voters in Connecticut the ability to vote during the November 3, 2020 General Election using an absentee ballot. While it is important to note that polls will still be open like normal from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Election Day and you can vote in-person if you want, all registered voters also have the option this year of voting by absentee ballot.

If you want to vote by absentee ballot in Connecticut, this is what you need to do:

  1. Obtain an absentee ballot application: The Secretary of the State has mailed absentee ballot applications to every active, registered voter in the state. If you haven’t received one yet, it should arrive in the mail within the next several days. You can also download the application online here. It is important to note that this is not a ballot – it is just an application that you need to fill out to request a ballot.
  2. Fill out the application: When you fill out the application, state law requires you to check a box indicating the reason why you need to vote using an absentee ballot. This year, all voters have the option of selecting “COVID-19” as a reason, in addition to the six existing reasons.
  3. Send the application to your Town Clerk: Once filled out, you must send the application to the Town Clerk where you are registered to vote. You can drop it in one of the secure ballot boxes that have been installed outside of every Town Hall, send it in the mail, or hand deliver it at your Town Clerk’s office.
  4. Once the application is processed, an absentee ballot will be mailed to the voter starting on October 2: Absentee ballots will be mailed to voters who requested one beginning October 2, 2020. By law, absentee ballots cannot be mailed prior to October 2.
  5. Complete your absentee ballot: When filling out your absentee ballot, make sure to follow all of the instructions as required, otherwise your vote may not be processed. Remember to sign the inner envelope, seal only your ballot inside of the inner envelope (one ballot per envelope), and seal the inner envelope inside of the outer envelope.
  6. Send your completed absentee ballot to your Town Clerk: Similar to how you returned your application, you must send your completed ballot to the Town Clerk where you are registered to vote. You can drop it in one of the secure ballot boxes that have been installed outside of every Town Hall, send it in the mail, or hand deliver it at your Town Clerk’s office.
  7. All ballots must be received by the close of polls at 8:00 P.M. on November 3: To ensure that the Town Clerk receives your absentee ballot in time and it doesn’t get held up due to delays in mail delivery, it is strongly recommended that you return your ballot by using the secure drop boxes that have been installed outside of your local Town Hall.

Additional Resources

For Connecticut’s voter information center, visit

Stay safe,

Bob Duff Photo

I was invited to speak to the Norwalk police union’s executive board on Friday afternoon July 24, two days after I hosted union leaders at my home to talk about the pending police accountability bill.

After arriving in headquarters, officers using expletives demanded to know what I was doing there. While discussing the pending legislation with the union leaders, others — rank-and-file members — entered the room in what was a show of force.

After the meeting ended, I was asked by an officer not on the executive board for a few minutes of my time. As we were talking, the single door opened and I saw one of the officers, and about twenty other officers behind him. He then looked at me in a menacing manner, and spit at me. Yes, spit at me. I was shocked and could not believe this was the Department I have supported my entire legislative career.

As I was driving away, police came out from the back of the station and looked as if they were going to surround my car. Whether that was their intention or not, I don’t know, but it appeared to be another bullying and intimidation tactic.

The two weeks after the bill passed, a motorist drove by my house twice a day, slowing down, stopping and shouting more expletives that were heard by my wife and kids.

I still believe that the majority of the Norwalk police do their job and do it well, but what keeps me up at night is the fact that if they treat somebody like me who’s white, has privilege, is elected and is the Senate majority leader, how are they treating others who don’t have that same platform and don’t have the ability to speak up like I do?

Senator Bob Duff
Senate Majority Leader



Process and Timelines for November General Election

Secretary Merrill Outlines Process and Timelines for November General Election

Every Connecticut voter will have the opportunity to safely and securely cast their ballot by the method of their choosing and make their voice heard

HARTFORD – Connecticut’s Secretary of the State Denise Merrill today outlined the process and timeline for the November general election in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Every Connecticut voter must and will have the opportunity to safely and securely cast their ballots, by the method of their choosing, and make their voice heard,” said Secretary Merrill. “My staff, and our partners at the local level, the hard-working registrars of voters and town clerks in each of Connecticut’s 169 towns, are busy ensuring the most important goal of every election – that every Connecticut voter who wants to participate has the opportunity to easily register and conveniently cast their ballot, and that every valid vote cast is a vote counted. Our efforts to expand absentee balloting, to deliver secure drop boxes to every town, to protect the health and safety of voters and poll workers in polling places, and to protect the cybersecurity of our election infrastructure from the foreign actors attempting to compromise it, are all designed to provide an election that is safe, secure, and accessible for every voter in Connecticut.”

The Office of the Connecticut Secretary of the State will be sending out applications for absentee ballots to all eligible (active, registered) voters on a rolling basis between Tuesday September 8th and Friday September 11th. Voters can check their registration status at voters are eligible to vote by absentee ballot for the 2020 election by checking the COVID-19 excuse on the application. Although absentee ballot applications will be mailed to every eligible voter, they are also available in English and Spanish at

“Mailing absentee ballot applications to all eligible voters makes it easier for every voter to exercise their right to vote without jeopardizing their health, if they choose to vote by absentee ballot,” said Secretary Merrill. “By including postage paid envelopes with the applications, and with the absentee ballots, we are using federal funds to make sure everyone who chooses to can vote by absentee ballot with no cost to the voters or to their towns. We are committed to using federal CARES Act funds to make sure that the town clerks have the resources they need to process and fulfill what will certainly be an unprecedented number of absentee ballots in November.”

Given the well-publicized problems with the United States Postal Service, Secretary Merrill is encouraging voters to use the secure ballot drop boxes to return their absentee ballot applications and the ballot themselves, in order to be sure that all critical mailings are received in a timely fashion. The USPS has made clear that they are not a reliable method for delivering election mail; the ballot drop boxes are and should be used to deliver the absentee ballot applications and the absentee ballots themselves back to the towns.

Additionally, several legislative delegations have requested more secure ballot drop boxes for their towns. To that end, we have used federal CARES Act funding to order 50 additional secure ballot drop boxes to be distributed to the towns that need them and to be installed in secure locations convenient to voters aside from town halls.

“The secure ballot drop boxes have been a fantastic addition to Connecticut’s democratic process by making it easier for voters to vote,” said Secretary Merrill. “They are even more critical because the United States Postal Service has made it clear that they are either unable or unwilling to help voters cast their ballots. I encourage all voters to not rely on the post office and to deliver their absentee ballot applications and their absentee ballots directly to the ballot drop box in their towns.

“I’m thrilled to be able to provide additional secure ballot drop boxes to the towns that want them,” Merrill continued. “Making it more convenient for voters to cast their ballots in a safe and healthy way is our most important mission as election officials.”

Although applications will be mailed to voters after Labor Day, voters should be aware that the absentee ballots themselves cannot be distributed prior to October 2nd, by Connecticut law. The small amount of time between October 2nd and November 3rd makes it imperative that voters return their applications and their ballots as soon as possible. Returning the applications and the ballots early will make it easier for the town clerks to do the work that is necessary to process all of the applications and the ballots. Connecticut law only allows the counting of ballots that have arrived by the close of polls, 8:00pm on Election Day November 3rd, so returning ballots early and not relying on the post office are the best way for voters to ensure that their votes are counted and their voices heard.

“If you choose to vote by absentee ballot, please return your application as soon as you can to relieve the burden on the local election officials who process them,” said Secretary Merrill. “By law, the ballots themselves cannot be mailed out before October 2nd, so please return them as soon as possible as well, as they must be received by 8:00pm on Election Day. And use the secure ballot drop boxes in your town to ensure that they are received on time!”

More information can be found at


Congressman Jim Himes Endorses

MikE Burke and Sara Parent as candidates for

Darien’s Board of Education.

Darien Board of Education candidates Mike Burke and Sara Parent were honored to receive the endorsement of US Representative Jim Himes, who represents Connecticut’s 4th Congressional district.

“I hope that you will join me in supporting Mike Burke and Sara Parent for the Darien Board of Education,” Congressman Himes said. “Mike knows how to open our schools safely, and he knows how to do what we need to do in the fiscally intelligent way that we like to do things in Darien.”

Himes continued, “Sara has led the CDSP (Council of Darien School Parents) for years. She, too, knows what Darien education is all about, how we can reopen schools in such a way that our kids get the education that we want them to get, but that they are also, of course, healthy and safe. Join me on November 3rd to support Mike Burke and Sara Parent.”

Of the endorsement, Sara Parent said “Mike and I are thrilled to have the support of Representative Himes. He cares deeply about doing what is best for the children and families of Connecticut. He represents us, and all of his constituents, with integrity and intelligence. Mike and I look forward to the opportunity to do the same for all children and families in Darien.”


Connecticut will hold the Dual Presidential Preference Primary on August 11, 2020. The Darien Registrars, Susan Gray and John Visi, along with the Town Clerk, Caryn Diller, have been coordinating for several months with Governor Lamont’s legal team and the Secretary of the State’s office. We are following state and federal agency guidelines to provide our voters with a safe election during the Covid-19 Pandemic, and safeguarding our CT voting database amid recurrent fears of election meddling from foreign agents.

In Person Voting:

Connecticut law mandates the opening of all poll sites for in person voting. To provide and maintain a streamlined, sanitized voting environment throughout the election day, the Registrars have submitted a Safe Poll Plan to the Connecticut Secretary of State, which includes:

•     PPE including masks, gloves, plastic shields, sanitizers, and disinfectant wipes for all poll workers and poll sites, purchased, in part, with funding from the U.S. Congress.

•     Sanitizers for voter use in poll site. 

•     New poll worker positions to assist in disinfecting poll booths and equipment, and to ensure adherence to safe social distancing at the polls. 

•     Signage alerting voters of the required 6’ social distancing at the poll site.

•     Signage alerting voters to wear masks while inside the poll site buildings.

•     Limiting of poll site occupancy to 50% of maximum building capacity.

•     Reduction of 4 voter capacity polling station booths to 2, and placement of booths at 6’ intervals.

•     Voting booths disinfected after each use, and poll site equipment and building restrooms sanitized throughout election day.

•     Stationary Plexi-glass shields with pass through openings separating voters from poll workers.

•     Voter ID shown through Plexi-glass shield. 

•     Ballots passed through opening in shield to voters.

•     Pens or pencils available for every voter, not to be re-used during election day. 

•     Voter option to bring #2 pencil or black or blue ink pen to poll site to mark ballot.

Absentee Voting:

For the August 11, 2020 Primary, due to the Covid-19 Pandemic and to ensure public health and safety, exceptions are being made to absentee ballot voting availability: 

•     All eligible Democratic and Republican voters will be receiving an absentee ballot application from the Secretary of the State’s office in early July, along with a pre-paid return envelope. 

•     When the Secretary of the State’s designated mailing vendor receives the voter’s returned and completed application, an absentee ballot will be sent to voter beginning July 21.

•     Absentee ballots are to be completed and returned in the pre-paid envelope either by the US Postal Service, or placed in the designated absentee ballot mailbox at Town Hall, or brought to the Darien Town Clerk’s office.

•     All absentee ballots must be received by the Darien Town Clerk’s office by Close of Election in order to be counted.

•     Per Executive Order 7QQ, Covid-19 may be used as a valid reason for voting by absentee ballot. 

Voter Registration:

•     Please refer to the Darien Registrar of Voters website for relevant registration dates.

•     Please note that there is no Election Day Registration in CT for primaries.

Please contact our office at (203) 656-7316, with any questions or concerns.

     Susan Gray and John Visi

     Darien Registrars