John-Michael Parker receives endorsement as Democratic candidate for State Representative in the 101st district, representing Madison and Durham
John-Michael Parker became the endorsed Democratic candidate for State Representative in Connecticut’s 101st District during a convention held via Zoom on May 18, 2020. Support for his candidacy was already evident when he announced his intentions to a packed room in February. That support continued to build when John-Michael was able to raise over $5,000 from more than 175 constituents in less than a week, meeting the requirements to qualify for public campaign financing. Now he will have a second opportunity to unseat incumbent Noreen Kokoruda who managed to retain her office in 2018 by only 18 votes.
More than 40 people joined virtually for the convention proceedings. In his invitation to friends and delegates, John-Michael acknowledged the public health crisis that forced the convention into a digital format:
“Our community has suffered in ways big and small during this crisis, and it is not lost on me that the profound duty of public service has taken on an even deeper meaning in these trying times. I’m grateful for the opportunity to run as the Democratic candidate in this important race, during this important year.”
He also encouraged those joining the convention to support Madison’s local businesses by purchasing takeout or a treat to be enjoyed during a digital celebration following the event.
In a nominating speech given “with the fullest measure of enthusiasm and delight” by Selectman Al Goldberg, participants were reminded of the special qualities that have made John-Michael Parker “someone we have learned to respect, to treasure, and to love.” Among these qualities are John-Michael’s deep roots and commitment as a citizen of Madison, his immense intellectual curiosity, and his being grounded in “values that last – values like honesty, hard work, responsibility, fairness, generosity, and respect for others.” John-Michael brings a “fresh approach into the public arena” and “is committed to a campaign of integrity, honesty and vigor.” These qualities are even more important during a world turned upside down by a global pandemic that has shaken up the status quo and laid bare many deep-seated problems where “the old ways of doing things just too often don’t work.” In a world that needs new energy, new ideas, and new faces to make things better, “our shining district deserves a shining new star…John-Michael Parker, JMP for Connecticut!”
Martin Anderson from Durham seconded the nomination saying that he first met John-Michael during his run for State Rep in 2018 and was impressed with how John-Michael was able to engage with anyone he met, not only asking for their votes, but also asking about what was most important to them. Martin gave an account of the hard work and dedication that John-Michael put into that first campaign, even though he came up short on election night. But 2020 is not the same world as it was in 2018. “We are in dark and uncertain times, and we need—the state needs—someone like John-Michael right now who is full of energy and ambition, kindness, intelligence, love and respect of others…to lead us and be attuned to our local needs.”
After a unanimous vote by acclamation, John-Michael gave a round of thanks as he accepted his nomination.
Since his first run for state office in 2018, John-Michael has strengthened his roots and commitments to Madison by serving on a variety of boards and Town commissions. He is now working as the Executive Director of Arts for Learning Connecticut, the State’s premiere provider of arts in education serving over 175,000 students in 100 towns across Connecticut each year. In his time there, he has tripled the organization’s contributed income and launched a high-level partnership with the Connecticut Office of the Arts, working to bring their service to every student in the state. John-Michael also spoke of the profound experience of losing his father in the past year and learning that “through community and the support of our friends and family, loved ones and neighbors, we can find the resilience to persevere through life’s greatest challenges.” He could not be prouder or more thankful to live in this community that has given him so much, and he is ready to do his part to make that community even stronger.
John-Michael described how campaigning in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic will be different from the door-knocking campaign that he ran in 2018. “It is yet to be seen if we will be able to go door-to-door, shake hands, and meet people where they are. We’ll have to rely on old tools like mail, social and digital media, and phone calls. We’ll have to get creative and come up with new ideas for how to reach people and be sure that they are listened to now, so that in 2021 they can be truly and fully represented.”
The campaign is hosting a virtual gathering for volunteers on Sunday, June 28 at 6 PM. If you’re interested in learning more and supporting, please visit www.jmp4ct.com to register to join the meeting (which will be held via Zoom)—or to connect with John-Michael.