top of page
  • Writer's pictureTommy Zurhellen

Good Trouble

Monday, June 26th

Dear Friends: Thankfully, the promised thunderstorms held back on Saturday long enough for a delightful afternoon in Rhinebeck supporting my friend and amazing teammate Kenya Gadsden as our next Dutchess County Clerk. The energy was undeniable! While I was there, it suddenly occurred to me that Saturday roughly marked the halfway point in our campaign. That sounds incredible, doesn’t it? (Time flies when you’re having this much fun and this much anxiety.) But it’s true: with a little over four months left until Election Day, it’s also been about four months since we all stood up on that stage at the Poughkeepsie Day School back in February to accept our nominations as countywide candidates. Oh, I remember that night in February very clearly. The whole theatre was packed, and I was already extremely nervous, even before someone asked me if I had my acceptance speech ready. Speech? Umm, there’s a speech? Luckily, with 22 years of teaching experience under my belt, being unprepared in front of a crowd of strangers was nothing new. So when it became my turn at the podium, I simply grabbed the microphone and shouted, “Who’s ready to get into some good trouble this summer?” The crowd went wild, and I shouted it again. Honestly, I don’t recall anything else I said that evening – and if you were there, you probably don’t either. Of course, I was channeling our beloved civil rights icon John Lewis, who told us, “Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get into some good trouble, necessary trouble.” When I said those words that evening, I had touched on a restless energy shared by everyone in that room, and thousands of families across our county. They all wanted change. They wanted to get rid of a crusty, tone-deaf county government that has controlled Dutchess, unbelievably, for the last 32 years. That memory from February put a smile on my face while I listened to all the energetic, hopeful voices at the Cookout for Kenya this Saturday. I was smiling because it reminded me of all the work we’ve done over these past four months, as my teammates and I have attended hundreds of events and interacted with thousands of folks across Dutchess County. It reminded me of all the good, necessary trouble we’ve already gotten into together. But at the same time, it was also a sobering reminder that we have a long way to go. Sadly, this past Saturday also marked the one-year anniversary of the reversal of Roe vs. Wade by the Supreme Court. And closer to home, last week the Republican majority in the Dutchess County Legislature voted to move forward with their abominable plan to put our homeless population in the old jail, over the objections of all the Democrat Legislators as well as the concerned citizens (including myself) who watched the proceedings in shock and horror from the gallery. Even with these pressing problems (and more) affecting all our families in Dutchess County, I hear some people call 2023 an “off-year” for elections. They probably say that because our heroes Pat Ryan and Michelle Hinchey aren’t on the ballot this year, which might mean a low voter turnout for any candidates who are on the ballot for 2023. Off-year? Listen, I don’t want to live in a county that shoves its homeless folks into an old jail for a second, much less a year. Do you? Friends, this is your call to action. What are you waiting for? Now is the time to get involved, and get into some of that good trouble. We have an incredible, fearless slate of countywide candidates in Kenya Gadsden, Anthony Parisi, Jim Rogers, and myself who are working hard every day to bring real change to our community. But we can’t do it alone. Simply voting on Election Day isn’t enough. We need you to square your shoulders, grit your teeth, and get active. Talk to your neighbors. Host a barbecue for a candidate. Help your friends, neighbors, and adult kids register to vote. Write an op/ed for your local paper. Knock on some doors in your neighborhood. If we all work together, we can turn this “off-year” into the year Dutchess County changed, for good. Who’s ready to make some noise? Who’s ready for some good trouble? I hope you will join us in our quest to share our message of hope and inclusion with every resident in Dutchess County. Please consider a donation in any amount to our campaign using the secure Act Blue link below. Also, please consider donating your time and talents to our campaign by joining our team – just email to get started. And don’t forget to share your energy at any of our upcoming Team Tommy events listed on our monthly tour calendar, which is available on social media. The July tour calendar will be up soon – please check it out! Thanks to Kenya Gadsden and her team for hosting a wonderful event this past Saturday. And thank you, for listening. See you next time! Respectfully, Tommy


Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page