Sunday, July 28 — Volunteer David and I were talking with an Attleboro teacher this afternoon. She was telling us about the cut backs in the school system over the years. David and I were listening to her concerns when I noticed an Attleboro policeman walking up behind us. I had no idea what was going on.
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.
Someone in that neighborhood had called the police to complain that David and I were harassing the neighborhood. We had knocked on four doors and only talked with one other person besides the middle school teacher. The police said that we were soliciting without a license, an offense that carries a hefty fine. The policeman was very professional and we instantly stopped talking with the lady.
Soon three police cars were in the cul-de-sac area. They thought we were pulling a solar energy scheme upon the residents. At least that’s what one of the neighbors thought when they called the police. But fortunately, upon speaking with us, the police soon learned that we were on a political mission. We were told the only people that can freely knock on Attleboro doors without a license are political and church people.
Everyone relaxed when they realized I was running for city council. I told the three policeman that I was glad they were checking for soliticitors running a solar energy scam on the residents. As far as I am concerned, Attleboro’s finest were doing their job of protecting us and doing it well.
I have had several occasions to need help from the police in my sixteen years in Attleboro. Our police have always been very professional and fair in my experience. Jan and I support the Attleboro police at their annual fund raiser every year.
I’m glad I’m not peddling solar energy schemes in Attleboro! I plan to be very supportive of our police if I get to join the City Council in November.
Last Thursday, while knocking on doors in Ward 6A I drove my car to a small side road off South Main St. I parked across from the only house I could see. The car was nestled alongside a forest. There were no parking signs. I took off my bicycle and locked the car.
I knocked on South Main St. doors and a bunch of side streets for the next three hours until I finally had to take a break at Seabra, I had met dozens of people and sensed the campaign was going pretty well. As I was leaving the Men’s Room my cell phone rang. It was the Attleboro Police. “Please remove your car and find another parking spot. A neighbor has complained about where you parked.”
I thanked the officer, told him I was hopping on my bike and would be at my car in five minutes.
A few minutes later, while I was putting the bike upon the back of the car, a tiny woman came out of the only house I could see on the street. She walked straight towards me. I figured she was going to scold me.
Rhonda was really nice! She was thrilled that I was running for city councilor and am the Attleboro YMCA Social Worker. She invited me to park in her own driveway the next time I was in the area. Rhonda offered to call the police back and tell them I had been very prompt and was moving the car.
Just then a big garbage truck turned into the dead end road. I hustled my car up the driveway and waited for the city crew to do their duty and they quickly left the street. I had parked on this street on garbage day!
Then Rhonda offered to take one of my campaign signs. I looked at her and said, “But you hardly know me.” Before I could say a single word about my campaign she blurted out, “I WANT TO VOTE FOR YOU, TY.”
I almost hugged Rhonda and said, “but, you don’t know why I’m running for office yet?” Rhonda really didn’t care. She just liked me. I don’t know why.
The next time I’m on her empty street she wants me to park at the top of her driveway.
You have got to love Rhonda and the spirit inhabited by so many of the neighbors in Attleboro! Campaigning can be such a joy!