Why am I running?
For me, this was all about putting up or shutting up because for many years I have been politically active, and I felt this was the time to act. In such an incredibly divisive time in our country where so many people do not feel heard and are hurting so badly, I want to be someone that hears what people are saying by truly listening. I have always felt that this begins locally, and I want to represent our district with an open mind towards everyone. This is about what is the best for Stafford and Somers and, for me, that starts with respect.
Whether you are Democrat, Republican, independent or unaffiliated, the time is NOW to collaborate and grow our communities. There is far too much potential that is not being tapped into because we get so wrapped up in party politics. In Connecticut, the majority party always seems to be Democrat, so I am running as one because I want to bring that fight to Hartford from within for our district. New energy is going to be needed to change the status quo coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is going to be a lot of work that needs to be done here at home, in our state and across the country so a wide range of creative solutions will be needed. On a personal level, this is about fighting like HELL to be part of the solution and bringing a different kind of leadership to Hartford for ALL OF US. Also, we need to engage locally by putting our differences aside and understanding we all have something to offer. My hope is to eventually see people within our district of all political ideals working together collaboratively for our towns. As your State Representative I will never hold your beliefs against you because I genuinely want to hear them. Every one of us has something to unique to offer and if elected I will work with anyone who wants to prove it and show the state of Connecticut what Stafford and Somers is truly capable of.
Here are a few things I want to work on, and I am learning more every day by meeting and talking with the voters in Stafford and Somers:
- We need to ensure Healthcare is available for all, and that you are not one diagnosis away from bankruptcy. Just pumping money into big city hospitals will not address the needs in our district. This has been made truly clear as our country and communities have struggled to contain COVID-19. I will fight for this.
- Preserving the historical integrity of Stafford and Somers and using it to grow us into the future economically can be a huge key to success. In our district this sort of conservatism should be celebrated, utilized and fought for.
- Small businesses need another advocate in Hartford. Somers and Stafford are built on small businesses, and we need to keep that front and center when we make decisions at the capitol. As our economy recovers after COVID-19 small business will need more support than ever.
- Education is key in so many ways. Strong schools ensure a strong housing market. Strong schools help our children build their future. We need to fix the crushing student debt that threatens so many young people, find tuition free alternatives, invest in vocational training, and not forget that a well-rounded education includes the arts because creativity is what frees the mind.
- Sustainable Energy is a crucial economic driver as well as an environmental must. We need to plan and invest wisely, or our children will pay the price.
- Legalizing marijuana fully is an idea whose time has come. Not to mention the economic opportunity this provides for Connecticut would be truly unfortunate not to capitalize on. The time is now.
- Local farming is something that should not be ignored and needs to be valued. The hard work that these people put into what they do needs to be appreciated. They need strong representation in Hartford, and they need it now. Having our local farms provide healthy alternatives for our children in the school system is something that could change the game in our district. Local sustainability is a huge key to economic growth and boosting agriculture could really help support this.
- Having spent my career in hospitality management, I see a huge potential to bring eyes on our communities in this regard. There are some success stories that are flying under the radar within our district, from lodging, to beautiful weddings and other events. Those people should be recognized, collaborated with, and given more opportunities for growth because with that, we grow as a district.
- The arts are such an important part of the culture of any thriving community. In both Stafford and Somers, we have so many talented artists that go under appreciated. They deserve a voice in Hartford so that they can continue to create and help bring new life to our district.
As State Representative I will listen, work on real solutions, and collaborate with people of varying viewpoints. Having said that there are decisions that our current State Representative has made where I would have voted differently. Some examples were “no” votes that included:
- Paid family and medical leave
- Increasing minimum wage to $15
- An act concerning the high cost of prescriptions
- Requiring climate change to be taught to school children
- Raising pay for home healthcare workers
How I would have voted:
- People absolutely deserve the right to paid family and medical leave and it should not even be up for debate. At a time when people are struggling on levels not seen since the Great Depression this is a moral obligation. When you take care of others, they take of you and that is how we thrive.
- At a time in history of unprecedented wealth and income inequality increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour is long overdue. When people have more money in their pockets, they can then put that money back into the economy through spending. When people do not have to fight to get by it then reflects in their quality of work. This ultimately leads to more success for our businesses.
- The rising costs of prescriptions and pharmaceuticals is an issue that really needs to be addressed. People should not have to have to go broke just to get the medicine that they need to survive.
- Climate change is real, needs to be dealt with and should never have become a political issue. Teaching our children about it so that they are educated is a wonderful way to be sure they are more environmentally conscience. It is our responsibility to be sure we leave this planet a better place than how we found it.
- Home health care workers are the people that provide a service that is invaluable. These are individuals that make it their lives to take care of the people we love. What they are paid should absolutely reflect the importance of what they do.
As hard as it is, especially in these extremely uncertain times, we need to come together and start working with one another. We all have beliefs that are important to us and the best way to see them through is with respect and understanding despite where we may disagree. Personally, I genuinely enjoy having thoughtful discussions with someone that may not agree with me. When you open your mind to another person’s point of view, I have found that it often can add depth to what you already believe yourself. As State Representative this is what I will fight for and how I will fight for all of you as we grow ourselves stronger through these challenging times.