‘Justice through change’ Milford advocates hope to swing Georgia runoff election

Photo of Sandra Diamond Fox
Some members of Milford Speaks Out. Far left, Jeanne Cervin, far right, Laura Fucci.

Some members of Milford Speaks Out. Far left, Jeanne Cervin, far right, Laura Fucci.

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MILFORD — Two local women are hoping to make their voices heard all the way to Georgia, through an advocacy group called Milford Speaks Out.

Jeanne Cervin and Laura Fucci are leading an effort to win a Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate in the upcoming run-off election in Georgia, on Jan. 5, 2021.

“The Georgia run-off for two U.S. Senate seats will determine whether Democrats or Republicans will run the Senate,” said Cervin, who is co-chair of Milford Speaks Out with Fucci.

Runoff elections are held between the top two vote-winners when no candidate wins the required majority of votes. Georgia is holding two runoff elections for the U.S. Senate. Democrats need to win both seats to take control of the chamber. Republicans need one more seat for a majority.

The Democratic candidates in Georgia running for election are Rev. Raphael Warnock, a civil rights activist and the pastor at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church; and Jon Ossoff, an investigative journalist and small business owner.

To achieve their goal, Cervin and Fucci are encouraging Milford residents to help with the Georgia run-off by sending postcards and writing letters to voters, donating to the candidates’ campaigns and making phone calls on their behalf.

In Connecticut, Republican leaders are urging their supporters to support the Republican candidates in the Georgia runoff — incumbents David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.

The effort, according to Nicholas Stone, finance director for the Connecticut Republican Party based in Southington, is through WinRed, which is the official online fundraising platform designed to help the GOP win.

Founding of Milford Speaks Out

Milford Speaks Out is a four-year-old nonprofit that was created after the 2016 Presidential election.

“We formed the group four years ago after Donald Trump was elected. There was grave concern that we were going to be losing some of the core values of democracy under his presidency,” Cervin said. “We consider ourselves an advocacy group dedicated to bringing about a fair and just community.”

Through the years, Milford Speaks Out has advocated on issues like climate change, the environment, and immigration law.

“We deal with local, regional and state and country issues, Cervin said. “We are a group of people who want to bring about equality and justice through change in our community.”

Milford Speaks Out also connects its members to other, like-minded groups, such as the Indivisible Group — a national group formed after Trump was elected.

“They’ve been very, very active international efforts,” she said.

More recently, Milford Speaks Out has also been involved with issues relating the Black Lives Matter movement that began this summer as a result of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Group members helped campaign for Milford Democrat candidate Bryan Anderson, who ran for state representative in the 119th District; and Frank Smith, who was elected to represent the 118th District.

Milford Speaks Out, which can be reached through milfordspeaksout.com, has about 350 subscribers on its mailing list, according to Cervin.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the group was meeting monthly in the Fowler Building on New Haven Ave. Currently, all in-person meetings have been canceled until further notice. However, the group’s steering committee, which consists of eight people, has been meeting monthly on Zoom.

According to Cervin, if the two Democratic candidates in Georgia win the election and join the senate, it would “give an opportunity to bring about necessary change in this country in terms of equality, and it would bring about a more balanced democracy,” she said.

“We want people to do what they can should they want to participate,” Fucci said. “The U.S. Senate and the direction of our country is in the balance and we want everyone who is eligible to vote in Georgia to be able to vote without obstruction or suppression.”