Thursday, December 1, 2011

CONECT is founded!

I was there last night at its founding as an observer.  It was a great founding!

Here's a story about it:

Churches, synagogues CONECT to join force to fight social ills by John Burgeson
A significant new multi-faith organization, united to fight such social ills as unfair banking practices, high health insurance costs and abusive treatment of immigrants, got a rousing start Wednesday night as about 1,500 packed an East End church to incorporate CONECT.

The name stands for "Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut." It's a multi-faith amalgam of 25 houses of worship in Fairfield and New Haven counties, encompassing Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims and Unitarians. Organizers said that CONECT might eventually span the state. The event took place at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit on Union Avenue, which was packed to the rafters with supporters.

There were about a dozen VIPs seated behind the pulpit, including Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who pledged to work with CONECT.

"I'm always happy to meet with your representatives," he said. Other politicians and officials there included state Sen. John McKinney, R-Fairfield; state Insurance Commissioner Tom Leonardi; Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch and state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, D-Westport.

Member houses of worship in Fairfield and New Haven counties pledged nearly $101,000 Wednesday night to get CONECT going, and another $70,000 in grant funds were taken in as well. Some small churches from poor neighborhoods pledged a few hundred dollars, while churches and synagogues from wealthier towns contributed many thousands.

"The idea is for people to get power ---- safe streets, quality health care and so forth," said Peter A Rosazza, auxiliary bishop emeritus of the Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford, and one of CONECT's founders. "These issue come from the people."

CONECT leaders said that they expect its numbers to swell.

"We have a number of faith organizations here who are observing us tonight who are interested in becoming members as well," said Elizabeth Keenan, coordinator of the Pastoral Council at St. James Parish in Stratford, and another one of the organizers. "We've gotten to the tipping point where we could incorporate tonight. We'll be here for a long time."
You can read the whole article here.

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