1. What do you believe is the single most important issue facing Easton voters and why?
The single most important issue is our resilience in the face of challenges, whether it’s the pandemic, the economic crisis, or extreme weather events. I plan to ensure our resiliency through increasing affordability for our residents and businesses and investing in our ability to adapt. I plan to tackle the high cost of medical insurance and imperative expansion of mental health care access.
As your senator, I will champion State Comptroller Kevin Lembo’s public option, which would allow residents, including self-employed and small business owners, as well as seniors, to join the insurance pool of state employees and benefit from lower prices and better coverage. Additionally, I will continue to support our seniors’ ability to age in place by offsetting property taxes and ensuring a well-compensated and trained workforce of caregivers.
2. What is the second most important issue?
I plan to lower our electricity costs by encouraging competition in the energy market. Solar and farming are symbiotic industries. Utilizing incentives, removing barriers such as easement restrictions, and investing in microgrids and clean energy storage options, Easton’s farmers will be able to diversify their revenue while residents enjoy increased clean energy options at lower prices and backup systems for when connection to the main grid is compromised.
Easton’s sustainability relies on bringing new residents to town, which requires that we support the community’s outstanding school system. State funding and resources must be made available to support teachers as they pivot between online and in-person learning environments. Our most valuable resource is the boots on the ground — our teachers, paraprofessionals, custodians, and other on-site professionals. We need a system that gathers best practices and gaps in capacity from these key stakeholders and translates the information into an implementation plan — one that assists in the granular level of logistics and guides state-level coordination of resources.
There were missed opportunities this past spring and summer. We lost both efficiency and cost savings without a stronger effort at coordinated purchasing of cleaning supplies, classroom supplies, PPE, computers, Bluetooth headsets, webcams, online resources and training platforms, and a state negotiated high-speed broadband access on-site at schools and for low-income neighborhoods alike. Many districts still do not have the materials and tools needed to successfully educate our children — the state can and must step in to provide support. My focus on education earned me an Honor Roll designation and an A+ rating from the Connecticut Education Association.
3. Why should Easton voters support you on Nov. 3?
This moment is right in my wheelhouse. As the director of the Center for Food Equity and Economic Development with the Council of Churches, I have a track record of converting underutilized assets into pathways for employment and entrepreneurship. I have experience developing policies that address the root causes of problems rather than treating the symptoms. I have demonstrated during the pandemic an ability to adapt to the new environment and ensure that our programs can continue to operate successfully. I plan to be an active champion of our residents and businesses, ensuring that we have the resources needed to thrive.