On the Trail with Ty: 10/6/18

A few moments from Saturday during my campaigning in Ward 5B along Oak Hill Avenue via my bike:
1. I was exposed to a screaming tirade from a middle aged man who immediately questioned my political party. I said. “the City Council is non-partisan but I am a registered Democrat.”  The next moment he was yelling at me about Democrats lack of support for our president and Justice Kavanaugh. I stood quietly in his driveway, wondering if I should hop on my bike and get out of his range. During a brief lull in his tirade, I quietly said, “I didn’t come to your home to argue.” He firmly responded, “I am not arguing either.” He never took my palm card, doesn’t have any idea what my campaign thoughts are, and never asked me a question except for my political affiliation.
I turned and left without another word.
2. Ten minutes later, I was greeted by a younger man asking if I was Ty the social worker. He shared with me his experience with the Dept. of Children and Family Services. He and his wife have raised a nine year old girl for the past three years after she was removed from her home by DCF. They have been working towards an DCF goal of adoption. Then the case was switched to another city and the goal suddenly changed to reunification. The girl and her foster parents are dismayed and confused. The girl does not want to return to live with the birth mother, who is currently homeless.
Not sure how this will eventually work out, but I appreciated them seeking my council and did my best to help.
3. I was invited into an 85 year old man’s home. He lamented on the changes in his world and said he wouldn’t want to be growing up now. He lives alone with six children scattered around the country. We both enjoyed chatting for a few minutes at his dining room table. He repeated that he didn’t know too much about politics and hoped I’d come back and visit again.
I felt honored to visit this gentleman. I hope we can help him with a break in his property taxes in this home he’s owned for at least 50 years.

On the Trail with Ty: 9/22/18

It was a good day. I was greeted by lots of folks and put five signs on their lawns. Four of the signs went right along Newport Ave, Route 1A. South Attleboro always seems friendly, regardless of the busy traffic.
John and I were amazed by the beauty along Pitus Ave, surrounded by a peaceful forest. So close — yet so far from the highways.
Two men shared their concerns today, along with the frustrations of keeping their medical insurance. Yesterday, a young man told me about his stroke and seizure disorder. People are struggling with their own issues and need someone to talk to, even a stranger like myself. I referred two of these men to the Larson Senior Center to talk with one of our terrific Social Workers. I’m going to follow up with the Wellness Director at the Attleboro YMCA for the man recovering from a stroke. Perhaps we can help his recovery.
I’m convinced one of the most important skills a City Councilor can have is be a good listener. I try.

On the Trail with Ty: 9/17/18

1.This is the week my beloved Red Sox will clinch the Eastern Division vs. the Yankees. How fitting that my first experience today in Ward 5A (off South Main St.) was about baseball? As we were inserting a pair of signs at the corner of Mulberry and Lafayette St., a man walked by and told me he enjoyed my book about the 1918 Red Sox. His then 15 year old daughter had given my book to him almost 20 years ago. I signed the book for Steve last year at the Attleboro Community Theatre.
We ended up talking about some of the players of that long ago deadball era. This wasn’t Attleboro politics but it resulted in my putting a sign in Steve’s yard. Great way to start the day.
2. Jose and I met in front of his barn on Pine Street and had a conversation about the Attleboro dump. Jose pays his taxes, which takes care of his weekly trash. Jose feels the dump should remain free. He loves Attleboro. Originally from Portugal, Jose wants his grandchildren to be fluent in both English and his native language. Jose thinks our schools should be teaching several foreign languages at a younger age, instead of simply offering Spanish in High School.
3. Sara on Dunham Street introduced me to Brent, her nine year old son. Brent can hear the teachers better than in the open class he had in fourth grade. He loves doing math. Sarah (Mom) and Brent are delighted he finally has a classroom with real walls.
4. While biking up Park Street towards Sturdy Hospital, I had the good fortune to meet Brenda, who suddenly appeared at her front door. She has a strong feeling for the homeless of our city. Brenda hopes we eventually have a family homeless shelter so struggling families can have a sense of security and warmth. Brenda actually grew up in a shelter on the North Shore of Mass. She wonders if Attleboro residents realize we do have a homeless population. As I left, she mused, “I will suffer for our homeless till the day I die.”
5. While heading back to my car, I stopped my bike in front of a quiet house on Parker Street. I heard a voice from the leafy front steps. It was a middle aged woman bemoaning the fate of her 62 year old sister, who was in the house suffering from Alzheimer’s.  I suggested she speak to one of our social workers at the Larson Senior Center. She sighed again. Her sister wasn’t well and didn’t seem to be trying to help herself. She thanked me for stopping and listening. Wish I could have done more.
6. My last visit was to a past supporter on School Street. This senior lady wants the council and our mayor to get along better. She wants city leaders to be civil and respectful of each other. She wants leadership that does something positive. I was a little surprised when she looked me in the eye, and told me to put up my sign in her yard. Then she asked me to contact Jim Hawkins and put one of his signs up, too. I would be honored to serve her. She’s a tough cookie and a really good soul.
All in all, it was a good day in the heart of Attleboro. Ward 5A is our smallest precinct but a vibrant one.
                                       Keep your chin up.
                                                               Ty

On the Trail with Ty: 9/14/18

A day well spent in the neighborhoods off of Pike Avenue in Ward 4B. One man told me he had a stroke five weeks ago and was found by the fire department’s rescue squad, First Responders. They treated him on site, hustled him to the hospital, and may have saved his life.
Following recovery, he went down to the fire station with dinner for the men who helped him. The firemen were surprised and told him they had only been thanked once in all the time they drove an ambulance to an emergency.
We talked about the importance of thanking city employees whether they be our police, firemen, social workers, librarians, park and recreation, or DPW workers. Everyone who works for the city of Attleboro is deserving of our thanks.

It was humbling to meet this gentlemen.

It feels good to be back in Attleboro

Jan and I had a wonderfully relaxing vacation camping near the ocean in the Acadia region of Maine. After 8 days to recharge our batteries, I went out today along Holden and North Main Streets in Ward 3B.
I met a lawyer, policeman, construction foreman and a retired World War 2 veteran along with many other interesting people. I heard an elderly woman vent her concerns about speeding on Holden Avenue and the difficulty of walking across the street even in the crosswalks. I tried several times myself, very few cars let me across. They could use a crosswalk with lights.
I met a woman who helps DCF children reunite with their families and find affordable housing. We agreed that housing is a huge problem for many lower income families. It’s such a big problem that it will require a concerted effort by all of our Attleboro’s civic and political leaders.
I met a policeman who needs to be both a social worker and a counselor in his day to day patrol. I assured him I will be supportive and listen to our police, especially when handling tough situations. As a social worker, I have been assisted by police in Boston and Attleboro throughout my career. He had a John McCain sign on his front yard and we agreed that Senator McCain was a truly great American.
I was invited into the home of an 89 year old World War 2 veteran of the Army Air Force. He shared his Army photos and certificates displayed in his living room. We talked about the need to help the elderly and the importance of the great work our senior center does. This beautiful couple has been married 66 years and were delighted to bring me into their home. It was definitely an honor to be with them.
It feels good to be back in Attleboro.

This is a campaign for the people of Attleboro.

Today we put up signs for the first time this campaign season.

We went to 39 homes in Ward 1A in South Attleboro and Ward 6A near Capron Park and Thacher Street.  John and David prepared all the signs, handed out magnetic bumper stickers and buttons, and accompanied me around the city.

I was struck by the happiness I saw on face after face. Most of the homeowners were delighted to see me. It was awesome, as though I was Santa Claus bringing them a sleigh full of presents. Many of the folks were glad to accept our buttons and magnetic bumper stickers, and show me where they wanted us to put up their signs. One lady on South Main Street even helped us put up my sign on her front yard fence. She was having fun.

This is a campaign for the people of Attleboro. Seniors need to be helped, valued and served. Children need the best possible education. Our library needs the resources to help all those who enter its premises.

This is a people’s campaign. This campaign is for good government that is transparent, just, and responsive. This is a campaign for a city council that echoes and expresses the voice and will of our people, young and old, wealthy and poor alike.