Liam Nicoll was the Cheshire Young Dems President in the 2013-2014 school year. He recently graduated from Bowdoin College with a degree in Government and Legal Studies. He is currently working as an Associate Policy Analyst at Future Laboratories recommending policy improvements and system innovations to the City of Seattle and King County homelessness care infrastructures. Before that position, he was a United States Critical Language Scholar for Arabic in Meknes, Morocco.
A Letter to a Younger Me,
Growing up in Cheshire, I remember passing off the town’s commitment to community as an unremarkable thing. That thinking was wrong. In my final years living in Cheshire I saw that when our town unites on all fronts, truly beautiful things result.
It is the canal, the pizza, the pharmacies, and the people, especially young people that give the town life. With this hindsight, I call upon the young people of Cheshire to seek political action and to realize that your words and actions can bring harmony to our communities.
In high school two of my classmates and I were fortunate to co-found the club: BRAVE (Bringing Remembrance to All Veterans Everywhere) three years before I could vote. This was my first act of broader service. Our goal was to create community for veterans who never received a welcome home.
To our surprise the events grew to include thousands: our whole school, town, and our elected officials. As a 16 year old my peers and I spoke alongside Sen. Chris Murphy and Sen. Richard Blumenthal to the town about giving veterans due diligence for the futures they help us carve. When we spoke, our voices were heard.
I know that this type of community still exists in Cheshire as do the people who care most. I remember getting to meet Chris Murphy and his wife days before being elected to the senate and I remember being inspired by (former Cheshire Town Councilor and current Democratic State Rep. Liz Linehan) as she stood in the Highland parking lot with her infant son in hand ready to talk to students. These are people I believe in because of their compassion and commitment to their peers regardless of personal background.
As I move on in the world to learn Arabic, fight cancer, seek higher education, I take these moments with me as motivators to think that beyond party, genuine public service is an approachable concept for us all. The lessons from BRAVE make it clear that excluding community members from our governance framework is inadequacy and that any group of 16 year olds can bring a community together.
To the students, Young Republicans, and Young Democrats of Cheshire: demand the change you want to see in this world. Judge candidates by their character and their commitment to a common, unselfish good in our community. To all: reflect on what a more perfect union and town looks like. This November 6th vote your intuition of the candidates who care the most for the people in our community and let your voice be heard.