Over the past six years as a State Representative, I have had remarkable opportunities to make a difference in people's lives. Although working on major legislative changes is rewarding, it is the simple act of lending a helping hand, to one person at a time, that most inspires and motivates me to seek another term representing Fairfield's 133rd District.
For me, politics is personal.
Whether guiding a single mother through a mortgage remediation program, securing Medicaid for a woman's emergency surgery or helping a local business owner cut through permitting red tape to expand, I am committed to working tirelessly on behalf of Fairfield residents and business owners. It has been a privilege to serve since my first election in 2006.
Listening to what my constituents have to say and learning their stories informs my efforts to shape public policy in Hartford, where I have a 93 percent voting record on the House floor.
Connecticut has done some good things in the past two years. Yes, we need to redouble our efforts to improve the state's economy, but we should also acknowledge the progress we are making. Here's a look at key legislative initiatives:
The 2011 Jobs Bill and companion Small Business Express program passed with bipartisan support include tax incentives, small-business grants, and higher education programs that have great potential to fuel job growth and economic development.
Strategic investment in our transportation infrastructure is necessary to aid the economic recovery. As co-chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, I have worked to ensure that modernization of our mass transit system is a high priority. I was proud to successfully champion the establishment of a Mass Transit Improvement Program to target resources to investment in mass transit.
Our state is leading the nation in bringing Results Based Accounting, a data-based tool, to budgeting and spending decisions. This model provides crucial information to help identify programs that are most effective and those that should be eliminated. I am a member of the Children's Report Card team, which is beginning an ambitious project using RBA to assess all state programs serving children.
The Education Reform package passed this year channels additional resources to the state's most challenged school districts.We achieved consensus by working with teachers, rather than against them, to address the state's achievement gap and the needs of all students.
If I am re-elected, I would continue to stay connected to the people I represent and give them a strong voice in our state government. I am a Democrat, but I believe in bipartisanship and building strong working relationships in Hartford and Fairfield. I want to advance good ideas, not ideology. I also value my reputation as an independent thinker who stood up to my party leadership in both 2009 and 2011 to say "no" to wasteful spending and urge a more fiscally responsible path.
As a Fairfield homeowner, wife and mother of three children in our public schools, I understand the challenges we all face in this still uncertain economy, and I look forward to more progress in 2013. To all those in the 133rd District, thank you for giving me the opportunity to do a job I love. I ask for your vote on Nov. 6. As always, if you have any questions or concerns don't hesitate to call me directly at 203-258-8922.