Last year, Connecticut Democrats joined the ranks of state parties ending a tradition of holding annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinners named for Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson. (Here the dinner was called the Jefferson-Jackson-Bailey Dinner, also honoring the late state and national chairman, John Bailey.)

The dinners, which are the major annual fundraiser, will continue under a new name settled on Wednesday night by the state party: the Connecticut Democratic Progress Dinner.

“I believe the new name reflects how Democrats, in Connecticut and around the country, have long been the party pushing for progress on just about every issue, as Republicans try to take us backwards,” said Nick Balletto, the state chairman.

Jefferson and Jackson, once Democratic symbols of equality and populism, have lost their luster in a party that prides itself on diversity. Jefferson, who wrote “all men are created equal” in the Declaration of Independence, was a slaveholder. Jackson, also a slaveholder, bears responsibility for the forced relocation of Native Americans from the South on what is remembered as the Trail of Tears.

Bailey, who was collateral damage, now will be honored with an award in his name.

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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