Government

Westfield Activists Featured in ‘America Uprising’ Documentary

2e108052a0b895bef20a_82ff7c0577eb8bcbb090_Kathleen_Sebelius_photo_courtesy_of_Marci_Bandelli.JPG
Westfield 20/20 co-founders Marci Bandelli and Lillian Duggan with former Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius at an event in May. Credits: Courtesy of Marci Bandelli
2e108052a0b895bef20a_82ff7c0577eb8bcbb090_Kathleen_Sebelius_photo_courtesy_of_Marci_Bandelli.JPG

WESTFIELD, NJ — Activist group Westfield 20/20 was recently featured in the political documentary series “America Uprising.” Group creators Lillian Duggan and Marci Bandelli, along with group member and public education advocate Liz Mulholland, are featured in the production by Divided Films.

 

The documentary showcased the grassroots efforts of Westfield 20/20 and highlighted the efforts of group creators and members.

According to the group’s website, Westfield 20/20 is an all-volunteer based grassroots community of like-minded individuals who use the popular social platform to share news, information and actionable strategies.

Sign Up for E-News

The group has garnered much recognition, and many attribute the influence of group members in  this month's Westfield town council and mayoral election.

Group co-founder Lillian Duggan said that the group was organized in the wake of the presidential election of last year.

“I was very upset after the election,” said Duggan, who added that the only comfort she felt was knowing that Donald Trump’s term had a limit. While Duggan didn’t have a specific goal at first, she felt that people needed to have a place to connect with like-minded individuals.

“I felt that people needed to organize,” she said.

A few days after the election, Duggan met with Marci Bandelli, a local acquaintance. The two had children in the same elementary school together and only days earlier, pre-election, had shared a hopeful exchange at a grocery store.

Bandelli, who has a similar political ideaology as Duggan, felt the same feelings of post-election anxiety.

“Something really terrible happened,” Bandelli said, adding that she was immediately on-board with Duggan’s Westfield 20/20 efforts.

“As individuals and women we needed to start paying attention and holding elected officials accountable,” she said.

The name Westfield 20/20 was created to represent the next presidential election year as well as to represent clarity in government.

“In the beginning it was absolutely chaotic,” Duggan said of the initial organization efforts. “We were trying to get organized. We had such a huge response.”

In their first meeting toward the end of November 2016 about 80 people showed up, she said.

“People just wanted to do things. People wanted to get to work,” she said.

Co-founder Bandelli believes that the recent government climate is what spurred interest in the group.

“It was the perfect platform for the perfect storm,” she said regarding people’s need for an organized place to vent frustrations with the current government.

As membership in Westfield 20/20 increased, Bandelli noticed that more and more people started showing up to Westfield Town Council meetings. 

According to Westfield 20/20 member and long-time public education advocate Liz Mulholland, the group appealed to her because of the far-reaching benefits that come with aligning with like-minded individuals.

“I noticed it was a large population of people,” said Mulholland, who often shares education policy and legislation with the group to drive awareness and action from its members. “People like me who have been trying to hold legislators accountable for decades are so happy to see that there’s other people holding legislators accountable.”

Mulholland added that she hopes that this does not become about attacking a specific party and that, instead, people hold elected officials accountable regardless of their party lines.

“My genuine hope is that it doesn’t become party-centric and that it is more every party,” she said.

See more films in the series at americauprising.com.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Westfield

Another Car Smashes into CVS on Morris Avenue in Union

April 21, 2018

UNION, NJ – For the third time in the past year, a car hit the CVS building at 2287 Morris Avenue at the corner of Commerce Avenue.

Union firefighters responded to a call at the CVS at about 12:50 p.m. Thursday.  According to Fire Chief Mike Scanio, a car had struck the building. The Union Fire Department Special Operations Team along with a township construction official ...

2018 Municipal Budget is on Collision Course with Principles of Financial Soundness & Stability

April 18, 2018

Having chaired the town council’s finance committee in the recent past, I appreciate the hard work that goes into developing a municipal budget for a town as large and dynamic as Westfield. But as I have expressed publicly and also to the mayor and my council colleagues, I do not support the adoption of Westfield’s 2018 municipal budget. Although the budget contains much that I ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_847ee9151bdce789833a_y

Sat, April 21, 9:30 AM

Westfield Area YMCA, Westfield

Westfield Area YMCA Camp Open House

Sat, April 21, 10:00 AM

Tamaques Park, Brightwood Park & Mindowaskin Park, Westfield

Westfield 2018 Spring Clean-Up

Giving Back Government Green

Carousel_image_28ada9d80beb9d6466b0_picture2_simpler

Sat, April 21, 1:30 PM

Westfield Area YMCA, Westfield

Free Aquatics Healthy Kids Day

Health & Wellness Sports

Westfield Police Blotter: Residence Burglarized & More

April 18, 2018

April 11, 2018 10:23 a.m.

Raymond Rodgers, 56, of Westfield, NJ was arrested in the area of E. Broad Street. Rodgers was arrested pursuant to an unrelated traffic investigation. Rogers was transported to Westfield Police HQ without incident. At WPD HQ, Rodgers was processed and released after posting the full bail amount ($250). Rodgers was arrested on the strength of an outstanding Westfield ...

The Secret to Managing Insulin for Weight Loss

April 21, 2018

Not too long ago I was sitting with my good friend, Charlie, and I asked him, "Hey Charlie, what's the easiest way to get rid of belly fat?"

"C'mon, Tony, you know the answer to that question." I was pretty sure I did, but I wanted to see if he knew something I didn't. Charlie continued, "The secret to losing belly fat and keeping it off is simply a matter ...

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse

By LIZ KEILL

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...

Edison Students Participate in Beta Test of Google Augmented Reality App

Students and teachers at Edison Intermediate School participated in a recent beta test of a Google application that uses augmented reality technology to explore the inner workings of plant cells, the functions and framework of the human skeletal system, and other educational subjects.

Edison Media Specialist Andrew Cusumano arranged for a Google representative to visit the school on April 9 to ...

Get Your Home Ready for Summer Before its TOO HOT

Finally, the weather is getting warmer and you are shedding those down coats. Now is a great time to start thinking about summer and getting your home prepared. Paying attention to a few maintenance items can alleviate painful repairs later on if you wait too long. The line ahead of you will build as the summer rush starts. So, let’s not wait.

Check your roof   (hire the expert ...

Why We Keep Kosher

Why We Keep Kosher

This week's parshah, Shemini, introduces the Torah's dietary laws. Animals must chew their cud and have split hooves to be kosher, fish need fins and scales, and a list of forbidden fowl is enumerated.

To those of us in Jewish education, it is a continuing source of disappointment that so many Jews still believe the kosher laws to be outdated.

Hellenic Therapy Center

April 13, 2018

Dropping Off Our Kids At College – Learning How To Adjust

Hellenic Therapy Center

 

Whether your kid is a freshman entering college for the first time or returning back to college, there are so many emotions we experience as parents.  There are differences in a parent’s reaction to the departure of a first child, an only child or even the last child.  Feelings ...

Obituaries

Oct 21, 1944 - Apr 14, 2018
Kathleen A. Hertell passed away peacefully with family at her bedside on April 14, 2018. Loving ...
Read more

Mets Sign Patriots Pitcher Before He Can Unpack His Gear

April 20, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ — The Somerset Patriots have announced that right-hand pitcher Scott Copeland’s contract has been purchased by the New York Mets.

So, instead of stretching out and getting in shape at TD Bank Ballpark, he's been sent to extended spring training at the Mets' complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

The 6’3” righty broke into the big leagues in ...