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New London man: Bernie Sanders is 'consistent'

This is part of an occasional series on local residents who have presidential lawn signs. If you have one, or spot one, email the address to cityeditor@theday.com.

Sign: Two blue and white Bernie Sanders lawn signs stand to the right of the front door and around the corner on the side of a home on Sherman Street in New London. It's a quiet, suburban area of the city near Mitchell College.

Who: Jay Silva, 35, who lives with his fiancée, Rebekah Chessic, is a live show producer who produces anything from theater performances to concerts. He's also a guitarist, drummer and saxophonist who plays in several bands, including New London's Straight to VHS.

Why do you support the candidate? Silva said he believes Sanders is the best candidate to beat President Donald Trump, and he appreciates the Vermont senator's consistency on issues over the years. Silva also articulated numerous policy reasons for Sanders' appeal. "I believe that health care is a human right. I believe in eradicating the medical debt that everybody has to take on," Silva said. Silva has a heart condition — he was born with a hole in his heart — and supports pre-emptive care. Silva also said he backs Sanders' fight against economic inequality, including his promise to hold corporations accountable, his goal to strengthen unions and his belief in eradicating big money from politics. "I think people are overworked and underpaid. I support a higher minimum wage and expanding Social Security," Silva said. "I believe that we shouldn't just give up on people after a certain age." Furthermore, Silva respects Sanders' positions on social justice. "I believe that he stands for racial justice, women's rights, LGBTQ+ equality."

Whom did you support in 2016? Bernie Sanders. Silva said he thinks he voted for Hillary Clinton in the general election, but may have written in Sanders.

Why did you put a sign up? "My fiancée went to a Bernie event where she came home with the signs," Silva said. "I put the signs out with my fiancée just to get conversations going."

Any reaction to the sign: Aside from The Day knocking on his door, Silva said the only reaction prompted by his signs came from kids, probably teenagers, who posed and took pictures with them. He hasn't received any negative feedback due to them: "I haven't had any rotten eggs thrown at me, I haven't had anyone be like, 'You Commie!'"

s.spinella@theday.com

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