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While I find myself following national politics reluctantly, I have to say I am a much bigger fan of people than I am of politics – which is probably why I’ve always liked the expression – “All politics are local.” It brings things much closer to home.
For about a decade now, I’ve been running what I like to call “Old man Sunday morning hoops.” It’s a collection of guys that get together to play a game we all love – but more importantly – to be with each other. It’s really the banter between games that I enjoy as much as anything else. In the decade, we’ve had our share of “regulars” and then folks that come and go more “seasonally” for different reasons.
The “banter” will often sway towards things deemed “political,” but it never comes close to the divisiveness we see played out on large television and social media networks. In our group are a healthy mix of Republicans, Democrats and “I don’t really cares.”
We have former mayors, town council members and board of ed members. All are great people, great parents, great community members. But the “rookie” in the “Old man” game is a young man named Liam Sweeney who I invited because I was his school counselor at Hall High School over a decade ago, I coached his sister Mariah, I always appreciated his great parents and he’s pretty darn good at basketball.
One of the joys of living in the town where you are a counselor/coach is getting to know your former students into adulthood. Liam continues to make me proud every day. He was a driven, active and thoughtful student, and in his professional life he has turned into a powerful advocate for educational opportunity. Liam co-founded Active City, a non-profit that provides close to 600 underprivileged youth access to high quality sport recreation options. As the founder of 2-4-1 Sports and a champion of Physical Literacy, this mission of Active City is something we all share.
Now Liam is running for West Hartford Town Council, and I know him to be a true servant-leader who has the best interest of West Hartford – a town we all love so much – in his best interest. Liam is a worker and a fighter, and I trust he will work and fight for us as a member of the Council. That means maintaining our great schools, our safe neighborhoods and improving our powerful local economy. Despite me helping to send him off to Temple University for four years, Liam Sweeney has always called West Hartford home, and it is that “home” that he will fight for on our behalf.
Please join me in support of my former student by voting for Liam Sweeney for West Hartford Town Council on Election Day. He’ll make us all proud – (and now he’ll likely leave me open in the corner for at least my next jump shot!)