Among my greatest joys as the state representative serving Easton, Weston, and Redding, is simply spending time in the district — so spectacular during this peak foliage season- — meeting new neighbors for the first time and renewing old friendships.
During these past two years, I’ve traveled hundreds of miles, knocking on thousands of doors to meet the people across Weston, Easton, and Redding and to listen. I’ve met your kids, enthusiastically greeted your dogs, chickens, horses, and llamas.
I believe an effective representative must take ample opportunity to listen — at Greiser’s on Friday mornings, at Easton’s annual Farm Tours, Weston’s Dog Jamborees, Redding’s Frog Frolic and Mark Twain Library Community Conversations, as well as at regular town board meetings, and on the other end of the phone.
This continuous listening helps me understand what voters think we’re doing right and, more importantly, what we’re missing in state government. I’ve come to understand it’s not any single issue that matters as much as an open, honest, and inclusive approach to policymaking. Voters want competence, accountability, and results, without the toxic divisiveness and false claims they see at the national level.
The demand for leadership is loudest on health care. With astronomical costs and affordability, it’s the top concern of people in our district, exacerbated by COVID-19 and the pandemic recession. We worry about the COVID-19 threat to our health — to our elderly/at-risk loved ones, as well as to our livelihoods. I hear grave concerns about no affordable insurance and medication, pre-existing conditions, insurance for the self-employed, and unemployed.
As the second surge arrives, access to accurate tests, PPE for our frontline workers, and an effective COVID-19 vaccine, along with economic relief are among the highest priorities.
Our work in Hartford was made more difficult when the Session was cut short by COVID-19, but as I resume knocking (and distancing) at your doorstep, I’m able to not only listen but to share encouraging signs of progress.
Connecticut is among the best in the country to have handled the pandemic despite the lack of federal guidance, and we are positioned now with a framework to increase testing, distribution of PPE, help schools manage outbreaks, and survive this together.
We also became the first state in the nation to cap insulin prices this summer and must work to expand health care access ASAP, as thousands are threatened with the loss of insurance due to the pandemic and threat of repeal of ACA by the Supreme Court. We have also positioned the state to emerge from the COVID-19 threat with a stronger fiscal foundation that can attract and retain businesses and families.
The challenges we face are daunting, but the strides we’ve made show “Connecticut’s Can-Do” spirit that inspired me to run in the first place. To help our district recover from these crises stronger, I’ll be looking to the people of this district for their ideas, creativity, and determination. I will continue to carry your experiences to Hartford where they’ll inform my work for solutions and progress.
Editor’s Note: This is Hughes’s first of two political statements. Per the Easton Courier Political Campaign Publication Policies, candidates may submit two statements, explaining their positions, to run between Sept. 8 through Oct. 27.