Please vote for Cristin McCarthy Vahey for State Representative in the 133rd District in the Democratic primary on Aug. 12. She has been a good friend of youth, families and public education in Fairfield for many years. Although I write as an individual, I speak from the perspective of 40 years as a YMCA director and as a current member of the Fairfield Board of Education.

Cristin's past service as a youth minister and social worker make her an ideal advocate when issues impacting youth and families come before the legislature. In addition, through her past membership on the Representative Town Meeting and in her current role as selectman, she has grappled with a wide range of issues that impact the quality of life in Fairfield for all citizens and businesses. In each instance she has given thoughtful consideration to all concerns and voted with integrity.

Cristin McCarthy Vahey has been a leader and voted in favor of strengthening the Fairfield Public Schools in many ways.

She supported much needed capital improvement project budgets at Osborn Hill School, Riverfield School, Tomlinson Middle School, and at Fairfield Warde and Fairfield Ludlowe high schools, among others.

Cristin, together with First Selectman Mike Tetreau, supported strengthening the Board of Education's health insurance reserve to insure we met all obligations to our dedicated school staff. She also has supported the school board's operating budget over these past three years with a number of votes.

Cristin is co-chairman of the Fairfield Cares Coalition. As a member of this group myself, I have watched her lead this group of parents, school and community leaders in identifying prevention strategies related to alcohol and drug abuse, as well as creating a positive climate in which children can grow to adulthood. She knows how to find consensus, a much needed skill in Hartford.

We need a legislator who will ask tough questions, take on important causes, make balanced decisions with integrity and represent the needs of all Fairfield citizens in Hartford. Cristin is such a person and deserves your vote.

Philip Dwyer