Michelle McCabe Candidate Statement: The Importance of Supporting Small Businesses

The CBIA and a dozen other organizations are calling for a $70 million state grant program to help small businesses struggling through the coronavirus pandemic. I fully support setting aside funds to assist our small businesses during the pandemic.  In fact, I would argue we need to do more than just provide financial support. 

We will be living with COVID-19 for a long time, certainly through 2021.  The impact most likely will involve moving between different stages of opening and closure with fluctuating numbers of people allowed to gather indoors. We need to work with our small businesses to adjust their business models accordingly so they too can shift between different means of delivery of services or production or even manufacturing based on restrictions. 

For example, chain stores discovered that curbside delivery, as reported in The New York Times, “ has…emerged as many retailers’ best strategy for long-term survival in the e-commerce age. And what started as a coronavirus stopgap is likely to have a permanent impact on the way people shop, along with giving them a new reason to continue to visit beleaguered physical stores.” 

While curbside may be a challenge for smaller retailers, we can help create an infrastructure that would allow stores on Main Street to collaborate on a curbside option for consumers. 

We could similarly create a COVID consumer confidence initiative that identifies retail, restaurants, gyms, etc. as “safe spaces”, meaning they have been inspected and approved as following COVID-19 benchmarks or protocol.

We also need to pass a public option for health insurance so businesses can lower the cost of providing coverage and free up funds to reinvest.  We need to lower the cost of electricity in order to produce the same result. 

We need to partner with the small business community to explore ways that we can help them continue to generate revenue throughout the pandemic in order to ensure their resiliency and sustainability that will outlast any short-lived loan program.

As the director of the FEED Center, I have a demonstrated track record of leveraging resources for maximum impact, following a lean startup model in business to adjust to changes in the market, and assisting workers and entrepreneurs gain a successful foothold in our economy.  I look forward to applying the skills and knowledge gleaned from doing the work into policy solutions that will truly help our business community and their workforce weather the impact of the pandemic. 

Editor’s Note: This is McCabe’s second political statement. Per the Easton Courier Political Campaign Publication Policies, candidates may submit two statements, explaining their positions.

Op-Ed: Moving Forward Together

Easton is celebrating its 175th birthday this year. Our journey began in 1762 as North Fairfield. Renamed “Easton” in 1845, the town continued to grow, thrive, and become the special place it is today. The success story didn’t happen in isolation. Easton’s everyday survival necessitated collaboration and mutual support across the greater community.  When wars, pandemics, famines, and economic downturn occurred, community strength was how we recovered. We owe our longevity, in part, to our ability to help each other. Easton’s survival was, and is, as part of a larger county, state, and nation.   

Now, we are at another crossroads with two critical decisions to make: how will we  enable our community to move forward and who will we empower to lead us there? For me the answer is easy — by electing this proven slate of Democrats.

At the top of Connecticut’s ticket is Congressman Jim Himes who is seeking to continue his service to Fourth District constituents, state Rep. Anne Hughes, who will be serving her second term for the 135th in Hartford, and Michelle McCabe who will take the reins as our state senator in the 28th. Each of these outstanding candidates possesses the right stuff at the right time. Their combined individual strengths, tenure, humility, courage, and compassion add up to a strong coalition to fuel our recovery and form the foundation of our ability to forge a path forward as a better state and nation.   

President Obama said, “Elections have consequences.” We’re living through those consequences now but more than 100,000 Americans aren’t. If you didn’t think who was in the White House or who was fighting for you in Congress or in Hartford mattered before, you can see it does now. Our lives depend on who leads us. 

There’s an old saying that you stand on the shoulders of those who come before you. It’s a great adage as long as there’s someone standing there with the strength to lift you up. Jim, Anne, Michelle, and Joe Biden (if given the nomination) have spent their lives demonstrating that strength. I urge us all to empower them to empower us. Make the choice to move Easton forward, lifted together.

About the Easton Democratic Town Committee: The Easton Democratic Town Committee is focused on working within our local and state communities to engineer solutions which will drive long-term prosperity for our residents, improve the quality of life in Easton, and ensure all members of our community’s needs are addressed. Visit: https://eastondems.org/platform/ for more information.

Michelle McCabe Secures Nomination as Democratic Candidate for 28th Senate District

Receives Unanimous Support from Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston, and Westport Delegates

FAIRFIELD, CT – On Tuesday evening, Michelle McCabe secured the Democratic nomination for the 28th State Senate District representing Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston, and Westport.

“At my 2020 kick off in January, I expressed the same Connecticut-focused position as I did in 2018.  None of us could have predicted that months later, a pandemic would show us the degree to which our national division would threaten our very existence. The urgency with which we campaigned in 2018 now seems frighteningly prescient. It is not an overstatement that 2020 is the fight for our very lives and who we choose to lead us at all levels of government matters more than ever.  The challenges that will be before all elected officials will require a strength of purpose and willingness to make unpopular but necessary decisions, ones that will test the public’s stomach for personal sacrifice like never before in our lifetimes,” said McCabe. 

Referencing our nation’s core principles of “give me liberty or give me death” and “the land of the free,” McCabe speaks to the natural tension between being free and sacrificing some freedom to live in a society with others, an issue that has reached a dangerous boiling point amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

McCabe told convention attendees, “We aren’t terribly good at navigating the divide between what’s best for ourselves, and what’s best for the common good.  That’s why we outsourced that kind of decision-making to government. Our elected leaders have the unenviable job of weighing opposing interests and making a decision.  At least in theory, we elect people who we trust to make the right decision, to hear all sides of an issue, to ask experts as well as constituents, to take the long view and make a decision that will allow us all to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness even if it’s not exactly as we envisioned.”

McCabe, a dynamic community leader, seeks to bring a trustworthy, responsive, solution focused, and innovative approach to government. 

“We will only survive the challenge ahead if we elect people who we trust to thoughtfully and decisively lead us out of the pandemic and into what will be a very different world, and who are willing to brave the fallout of very unhappy people in the process,” said McCabe. “My opponent is not that person. I am.”

McCabe’s résumé is lengthy: Director of the Center for Food Equity and Economic Development (FEED) at the Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport; Sacred Heart University School of Social Work Advisory Committee member; Fairfield University Center for Social Impact Steering Committee member; Connecticut Asset Building Collaborative, Co-Chair; Bridgeport Regional Business Council, Member; Women’s Business Development Council, Regional Advisory Committee Member; Connecticut Emergency Support Functions #6, Task Team Member; Accountable Health Communities Program, Advisory Board; Connecticut Food System Alliance, Member. Despite her extensive professional expertise, McCabe said the most important quality she brings to the table is courage.

“I have the courage to know that I don’t know everything, to welcome all opinions especially if they challenge my own, and to steadfastly make decisions that strike the proper balance between personal freedom and the common good, even if it doesn’t please everyone,” said McCabe. “You will always know where I stand. I’ll earn your vote because of my character, and I won’t avoid talking about something that I believe is right for fear you might disagree.”

McCabe ended the evening pledging to work hard as the Democratic endorsed candidate, as Senator for the 28th district and said she would “rise to the challenges we face and fearlessly fight for our future.”

Michelle McCabe is a long-time resident of Fairfield, Connecticut where she lives with her three children. She is the Director of the Center for Food Equity and Economic Development (FEED) at The Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport. 

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