Advocate Rebecca Cotto has filed to run as a Democrat for State Representative in the 6th Representative District currently represented by Democrat Debra Heffernan. There was some thought that Heffernan might retire, but that appears to be not the case, so we are going to have a primary in this race.
That is if Debra Heffernan and her allies in the House Leadership do not draw Becca Cotto out of the new 6th RD after redistricting. Because if they did that, it would indicate to all that Heffernan does in fact deserve to be retired. (Update: see the comment below, the new RD does not cut out Cotto).
Cotto has been involved as an activist for several causes and through several organizations like Delaware United and Network Delaware for years. She is the Director of Racial & Social Justice at the YWCA Delaware, where she organized the organization’s anti-racist programing and planned educational events on racism and other social justice topics. Prior to that, she was a small business owner.
Here is what the current 6th RD looks like now. To cut Cotto out of the district, they would really have to gerrymander this thing, since she lives in the heart of the district off Marsh Road, so their intent would be obvious if there any major changes to the district.
I posted this and already got an answer: Apparently the new 6th RD still has Cotto as a resident. So no shenanigans. Good, so let’s have a good clean primary race.
I’ve known Becca since 2013 and have ALWAYS thought she should run for office! Her greatest passion is creating a loving and just world of equal opportunities where we all choose how we want to thrive.
As a long-time resident of the 6th RD I have been the beneficiary of both the professional and volunteer work of the individual who has just announced running for the position representing the 6th RD. I can say this individual’s work has , increased my immediate understanding of my community, the state, and the operations of the Delaware General Assembly in Dover. I am very glad to see that there is going to be a primary for this leadership position as I have been trying for several years to figure out how to engage with the current holder of this office on issues that are important to me. I respect the work the current holder of this office has completed for the state. With the world moving to Zoom I have watched the House of Representatives debate legislation and provided public comment, seeing this representatives work first hand. However, as a resident of the 6th RD I have no sense of contact, or support from this office for my interests. The work I see this representative complete must be based on interests, however, this work has never included an avenue for my input. I have gone as far as reaching out to my Senator to try and learn how I might be in contact with my 6th RD leader. Letters have not been answered, speaking with the administrative assistant has led to a solid wall of no answers, there are no group constituent coffee hours offered, etc. At advocacy meetings the advice that was shared with me was to follow this representatives Facebook page. I find this level of non-communication more than disheartening, I find it insulting. I am a busy citizen wanting to be actively, positively engaged in my community and in my government. I find this opportunity with other elected leaders in my area but not with the elected leader of the 6th RD. In researching earlier years in this leaders representative seat I find a great deal of outreach and community engagement. Actually the current representative has an impressive history in this seat of leadership as far as community engagement is concerned. It might be time for a change of representation for the 6th RD as this impressive history of engagement does not serve my current needs for engaged representation. I have been told there are understandable reasons for this change in representation. While I have compassion for what has been shared with me for this change in how this representative engages with the community as a former director of agencies these reasons do not hold up to competency standards. There is a job to be done and these reasons need to be met without impinging on the quality of the work output for the 6th RD. My current experience is one of being taken for granted, rather than respected which is not representation that I want to support. There is a Facebook event for the 6th RD representative coming later this month for some kind of fun activity, with another representative. I plan to attend as this will be my very first opportunity to actually say hello to my 6th RD representative. However, as this event is a type of party I do not imagine an actual conversation of any merit will be possible. I plan to be engaged in this primary for the 6th RD and look forward to discussing with my community what their expectations for our local leadership in Dover might encompass for them.
Do you care about disability rights? Ensuring access to women’s reproductive health care? Protecting the LGBTQ community? How about making sure juveniles are treated as kids in the justice system? Is paid family leave something you support? Are environmental justice issues important to you?
If yes to any of those, thank your current state rep for all her work on these and countless other issues.
If none of the above is a priority for you, then maybe email your state rep via the address provided on the legislative website and share your thoughts directly with your rep instead of complaining on a blog about not knowing how to get engaged. Seems like a much more productive solution, don’t you think?
Thank you for your comments and guidance. Not sure why your tone feels a bit off putting, maybe there is some lecturing going on. Totally unsure. I will say I am finding it difficult to focus and find the value points in your comments. However, I will strive to as I am sure there are many shared in the comments. I wouldn’t go further here, as I am very pleased to have confirmed my attendance at Representative Heffernan’s Constituent Coffee with Treasurer Colleen Davis at Einstein Bros. Bagels (1732 Marsh Rd, Wilmington, DE 19810) on Monday, October 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. I understand that the event will be outdoors. I hope to have the opportunity to meet you and we might be able to share backgrounds, interests, the work we have done and the work we plan to do. If this is not an event you are going to be able to make I would be interested in connecting with you another time. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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I think you mean that she has announced a run for the seat, since no candidates can file yet (filing fees haven’t been set, and we don’t even have district lines).
She filed a statement of organization with the Commissioner of Elections Campaign Finance Reporting System opening up her campaign finance committee for the 6th RD. You can check for yourself here: https://cfrs.elections.delaware.gov/Public/ViewCommittees
The actual filing for office, though, happens after Filing Fees are set and the DOE opens the window to file. Opening a campaign finance committee lets you start fundraising. Actually paying the filing fee with the DOE gets your name on the ballot.