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Politically Prepared

Retirees at Linden Ponds get ready for election

Created date

September 20th, 2016
Members of the political interest committee (from left) Ruth Rudenauer, Eva Marx, Judy Fockenier, and Phil Doster.

Members of the political interest committee (from left) Ruth Rudenauer, Eva Marx, Judy Fockenier, and Phil Doster.

As the country gears up for the presidential election in November, the politically active retirees at Linden Ponds are as engaged as ever in current affairs. 

The community’s nonpartisan political interest committee invites politicians and candidates for elected office to campus to speak with residents about important issues.

Political perspective

Linden Ponds is home to people from all walks of life who have a keen interest in the issues that impact the world around them. Resident Phil Doster, head of the political interest committee, says his neighbors represent a wide range of perspectives and political affiliations.

“There are retired professors from BU, MIT, and Harvard,” Phil says. “We also have political gurus, some retired representatives, and people who have been active in campaigns. You get people that are artists and performers. It’s a wide range; it’s a very rich community in terms of talent.”

For his part, Phil is a long-time Democrat and served as a precinct delegate while living and working in Detroit. Later, while living in New Hampshire, he chaired the Cheshire County Democrats and met Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and a number of other elected officials. 

Having always been interested and involved in the political process, Phil says joining the political awareness committee was a natural step for him when he moved to Linden Ponds.

Over the summer, the political interest committee reviewed which local and state elections would be most important this year. They also arranged meet and greets with candidates accordingly. 

Phil says one of the most interesting races will be for the Massachusetts state representative seat vacated by Garrett Bradley. 

“He surprised us all by resigning because he was very popular,” Phil says. “But he’s already on the ballot, so people can vote for him or write in a candidate. Several people are throwing their hat in the ring.”

Both sides of the aisle

Phil says his fellow political interest committee members bring expertise from both sides of the aisle. Resident Eva Marx, for example, is active in the League of Women Voters. Phil says she is quite knowledgeable about politics. 

“She is well wired and understands the candidates,” Phil says of Eva.

Committee member and Republican Jim Pollock serves on one of Hingham’s town committees. Phil says Jim is particularly tuned into things that are happening in Hingham, and he brings that information back to Linden Ponds.

“We encourage people to sign up for things, not just at Linden Ponds, but we want to encourage people to be active members of the community as well,” Phil says. 

Hingham Town Moderator Mike Puzo visits Linden Ponds frequently. Phil says Puzo is always happy to come to Linden Ponds to speak to residents about important local issues and volunteer opportunities. 

When candidates are running for office, Linden Ponds is a popular stop on the campaign trail. 

Linden Ponds is its own voting precinct, and voter turnout tends to be quite high, with about 75% of residents regularly casting ballots. 

Likewise, when the political interest committee hosts meet and greets with candidates, it is not uncommon for more than a hundred residents to show up to hear them speak.

“Candidates know they can count on that block of voters,” Phil says of the politically active Linden Ponds residents. “We’ve developed a reputation, so [politicians] come back again and again.”

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