Main Events

Michael Wildes and
Sen. Evan Bayh

Michael Wildes (right) and
Sen. Charles Schumer

Michael Wildes with
Sen. Joseph Lieberman (left) and
Sen. Frank Lautenberg

Raising Englewood’s Profile
By Raising Funds For Democrats

OUNCILMAN Michael Wildes is becoming known far beyond the confines of Englewood, New Jersey. A powerhouse in local Democratic circles, he is becoming adept at raising funds for the party nationwide.

Last month Evan Bayh, son of the legendary Senator Birch Bayh, stopped by Amy and Michael Wildes’ home. The event was a fundraiser for his re-election campaign as Senator from Indiana.

In the 70s, the elder Bayh was one of the Senate’s strongest supporters of the Equal Rights Amendment.  The younger Bayh now holds his father’s seat.

Wildes has been a councilman since 1999. Yet, he has been gaining a lot of national attention in the last two years.  And there are indications that a broad spectrum of Englewood’s people and political leaders are starting to see Wildes’ profile as a good thing for Englewood’s future.

Among those in attendance to meet Senator Bayh were Debra and Reverend John Spencer (he is also a city board trustee); Rabbi Menachem Genack of Congregation Shomrei Emunah; Charles Cobb, vice chairman of the local Democratic Municipal Committee; Ary Freilich, Senator Joe Lieberman’s brother-in-law; David Mathews, a school board trustee; Arthur O’Keefe, a police lieutenant; Natalie Beaumont, director of the literacy program at the public library.

On the Council, Wildes often stands alone, especially when it comes to questioning development agreements.  This has not made him his colleagues’ favorite.  But on a national stage, Wildes is rapidly becoming a popular fellow within the Democratic Party.

Senators Joseph Lieberman (D-Connecticut) and Frank Lautenberg (D-New Jersey) were guests at the Wildes law office for a fundraiser last September. In December, Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York) traveled to Englewood for the opening of Wildes’ political offices.

Before Bayh arrived, Wildes put it this way: “Amy and I believe that building relationships with Democrats throughout our nation will build bridges for Englewood and enhance our ability to get things done as a community.”

Senator Bayh responded, “Michael Wildes would make a great mayor for Englewood.”

If the past year is any indication, Wildes will be drawing a lot of attention from Democratic Party leaders from around the country. And that can’t be a bad thing for Englewood.

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