Letters to the editor: Residents share support for state candidates representing Fairfield
Please note, our paper’s policy is to not run letters supporting candidates in the print issue immediately before an election.
McCabe values children
Besides being totally engaging and upbeat, Michelle’s intelligence and caring hits you immediately. Then, you’ll see the fire in her eyes and the determination she has to do good representing people in Hartford. Michelle is genuine, and genuinely for all the people, not just those she represents, or a particular party. Michelle and I first bonded over kids. She and I both enjoy the battle of mom and maturing son. We laughed, we cried, we went through all the parental struggles. Ultimately, Its clear to see how much she values children and their education and growth. She wants to create good future citizens, because they will be tasked with some serious challenges along the way to adulthood. In our last conversation she shared her belief that we need to prepare our kids like no generation before, to be strong, intelligent, versatile and adaptable as well as novel, independent thinkers. The problems of today cannot be completely solved with the mindset that created them. We need some new blood. Michelle will put us first, and especially our children when it comes to common sense gun laws. Not gun taking, not gun abolishment, just the type of legislation that would have prevented a Newtown tragedy. This should have been passed long ago, bipartisan all the way. Yet it did not. And it will not if we don’t change up Hartford to reflect the values of families today. Good policy. Good governance, Good for us that Michelle is running. I will be voting for her this November 3rd and I hope many other do so as well.
Rep. Lauren Bove RTM D7
McCarthy Vahey up to challenges
Over the last several months, our country has encountered a myriad of challenges. In the midst of a global pandemic, we have persisted through the “new normal,” segregated by the walls of our homes and learned that we need each other to survive in this world.
We need each other’s compassion and guidance to grow, but more importantly, we need to stand up for one another, no matter how difficult. The last couple of months have shed light on issues that have plagued our country for decades. It has taken us the lives of so many fellow brothers and sisters to see the injustices and deep-rooted oppression within our political system. And we ought to understand the colossal amount of reform that must be implemented within our communities because we must do better.
We need to look upon each other and be honest. Conversations that have been left in the dark far too long must be had, no matter the discomfort. We can choose to be divided, turning our backs on one another, or united, working together to make our communities stronger. We must elect politicians who will rise to represent us, rather than those who serve only themselves.
Our State Representative, Cristin McCarthy Vahey, has served as a quintessential example of a leader. She has dedicated her time in office to building a better community for us, leading with grace and empathy. She listens to those she represents, fighting for her constituents without ever compromising her character or integrity. We can count on her to bring new perspectives to the tables, making sure that all voices are heard.
Through this pandemic, we have learned the value of gratefulness, but we have also seen the problems that must be fixed within our community. One step we can take to fight for change is casting a vote on November 3rd. Thank you for your time in reading this letter.
Daniya Z Ali
In support of McCarthy Vahey
We are living in very difficult times. In some ways unprecedented. It is a moment to learn lessons from the past, solve problems of the present and prepare for the future. We need leaders who recognize these opportunities and can act on them for the greater public good.
This is the time for bold leadership. Honest, fearless, and thoughtful leadership that addresses current challenges, like COVID, but also takes a visionary approach to education, economic development, the environment, affordable housing and the ongoing struggle with inequality and social justice.
I am writing to express my support for that very candidate. Cristin McCarthy Vahey has been a leader in our community and our state for almost two decades. Her principles, and commitment to her constituents, are unwavering. She embodies decency and bipartisanship. She shows up prepared and determined. She gets results.
Cristin has been a friend and mentor for many years, and my State Rep since 2014. I would trust her with my life. And at this moment in time that is exactly what is at stake.
In my time serving on the RTM and Board of Finance I came to understand Cristin’s commitment to public service and her determination to improve the lives of her constituents.
I encourage voters to visit Cristin’s website to see what her values and priorities are, but I am sharing some of them here to emphasize her commitment to what is required for a truly prosperous and vibrant future: Community Development, Fiscal and Economic Health, Education, Health and Wellness, Public Safety, Affordable Housing, Protecting our Democracy, Protecting our Environment, Social and Civil Rights, Equity and Justice.
These times call for the kind of leadership Cristin demonstrated long before she first ran for public office. She has sponsored and voted on bills that have made a positive difference in people’s lives. We need to keep her in Hartford to address today’s challenges and move our state forward. And to do so with her trademark positivity, resolve and determination.
Elizabeth Zezima, former member RTM and BOF
The Golden Rule still applies
The golden rule still applies. Do unto others… Compassion and empathy as well as intelligence are absolutely necessities in today's world. Far too often we have seen and heard political discourse that lacks compassion and humanity. Now more than ever, we know that compassion and empathy must help drive our results for the many complex issues we face ahead of us. Whether it's about keeping our residents healthy and safe during a pandemic, economic recovery during the pandemic, bringing us closer to equal justice for all or ensuring our planet remains habitable for future generations.
At home here in Fairfield, we are lucky to have a woman of courage, strength, intelligence and character representing us in Hartford. Cristin McCarthy Vahey is that woman. As a fellow social worker, I've seen her listen to and understand our residents needs: and then fight for Fairfield on these complex issues. The ability to listen and understand those around you is key to understanding and showing empathy and compassion.
As a social worker and someone who understands relationships and advocacy, Cristin has the distinct skills and character we need to help carry us through these incredibly difficult times we are experiencing now during this public health crisis, but also in the recovery we will experience in the coming months and years ahead; because Cristin cares.
Who will lift us up and carry Fairfield forward with compassion, empathy, character, integrity and intelligence? I urge you to vote Cristin McCarthy Vahey on November 3rd to be the one to lift us up together and carry us forward. We need Cristin now more than ever.
Tony Phillips, LCSW
Devlin committed to young people
As a young Fairfielder studying public policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, I proudly write in support of Rep. Laura Devlin’s re-election, and I ask all voters of the 134th district to consider her outstanding commitment to young people in Fairfield and across the great state of which I am proud to call home.
Laura Devlin is the thorough, compassionate, and dedicated representative that policy students across the country aspire to be. Her commitment to bipartisanship is at her core during a time when our community, state, and country need it most; this sincere dedication is demonstrated in her work on the General Assembly’s Finance, Education, and Transportation committees, where Laura passionately advocates to make Connecticut a more ideal place to live and work in partnership with Democrats in Hartford. Laura is guided by one authentic belief — it is her duty to do what is right for Fairfield, Trumbull, and our state, always with her constituents and future generations in mind.
I have known Laura since I was in middle school in Fairfield, and her passion for serving her constituents and future residents of our state has manifested in her dedication as a mentor to local students interested in government, policy, and community service. Laura not only understands that young people are important stakeholders in state policy decisions, but she actively seeks to engage them in the democratic and legislative process. I have Laura to thank for getting me involved in local and state issues, and it is from her that I learned we all have an obligation to make our communities better, to serve the marginalized, and to attack the tough issues facing our state head-on.
I am beyond fortunate to have Laura Devlin as a role model for serving one’s community, and we are incredibly lucky to have her as our representative. I encourage all voters of the 134th district to enthusiastically send Laura back to Hartford to fight for us.
Damian Chessare, Fairfield resident
Carla Volpe cares
I am a 17-year-old who lives in the 134th district. I moved to this district in 2014, when Laura Devlin first ran for State Representative. Throughout her entire six years serving as the State Representative of the 134th district, Mrs. Devlin has communicated only two times with me and my family. I have sent countless emails regarding multiple pieces of legislation, but have received only one response. One response, during her six year tenure! The other time that Mrs. Devlin knocked on our door, when she first ran in 2014, she asked us for our vote, not our concerns! Mrs. Devlin did not explain her policies, nor did she share her vision for the State.
That is why, in this election for State Representative, I am supporting Carla Volpe. Mrs. Volpe is a Democrat who is also endorsed by both the Working Families and the Independent Parties. (This is the first time that the Independent Party has NOT endorsed Laura Devlin.) Mrs. Volpe has made me feel that she cares about me and the citizens of the 134th. She has done that by listening to my concerns and speaking with me about the issues that affect me and the 134th. Mrs. Volpe doesn’t care that I’m only in high school. She treats me like I am a constituent. She cares about what I think. We need someone who cares about us, who cares about their constituents, no matter their race, color, or age. She has the characteristics of a good leader: thoughtful, considerate and courageous. Whether you are planning on voting by mail, or voting in person on November 3rd, I strongly encourage you to vote for Carla Volpe to represent us in Hartford.
In support of Farnen
As a 30-year Fairfield resident, and proud parent of two college age children, I am delighted to be supporting State Representative Brian Farnen in the 132nd district. I’ve had the privilege of working with Brian for several years, and I’ve always seen him as a leader who is able to find common ground with Democrats and work towards win-win solutions.
This kind of bipartisan approach is very much needed at both our national and state levels of government, and I believe Brian can bring his brand of “change through cooperative effort” to Hartford where decades of one-party rule has obviously proved ineffective.
As a national leader in clean energy, and as a volunteer (whether it’s at our food drive during the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, or coaching youth soccer or flag football), Brian is always giving back and represents what is best about our community.
During his brief tenure in Hartford, Brian has fought hard to cut state spending, limit borrowing and encourage job creation. In these difficult times, we need Brian’s vision, commitment and energy to make our state government work more effectively for us, our seniors, and our children.
Leeper—Prepared to Hit the Ground Running
You know the popular depiction of politicians as glad-handing salesmen who charismaticly smile for the camera, shake hands and pinch babies’ cheeks? It’s a popular image, because all too often those who are good at packaging themselves are the ones who win elections. The unfortunate truth about elections is that candidates who devote more time thinking about
I wholeheartedly support Jenn Leeper, because she defies this stereotypical mold of an empty politician. She has carefully researched and planned policy objectives that she will advance when she is elected. Rather than attend ribbon cuttings,
Jenn does not equivocate to garner votes. Instead, she very openly supports or opposes issues: she has clearly laid out her perspective and opinions for all to see on her website and blog. She also has a clear record of uncompromised support for education (having consistently voted for education budgets, school infrastructure projects and teachers’ contracts); as well as supporting essential school infrastructure projects (including the once-controversial proposal to air condition all town schools and expanding Mill Hill Elementary School to a 504 capacity); supporting environmentally friendly projects like solar panels at our schools (when others caved to parochial neighbor concerns about “aesthetics”); and directly and unambiguously committing to social justice, equality and anti-racism work.
Jenn Leeper is the solid choice of substance, word
Jill Vergara, Majority Leader, Fairfield RTM
Brian Farnen for independent thinkers
Independent thinkers understand Brian Farnen is the best candidate to represent Fairfield’s 132nd District as State Legislator. Brian’s priority is Fairfield, not a political party or generating specifically vague statements leading to nowhere. Defending Fairfield’s local neighborhoods against 8-30g, Brian is there speaking for our friends and neighbors. Supporting Fairfield’s public school system versus regionalizing it with local cities, Brian works for Fairfield’s parents and children. Constantly helping our senior citizens as well as contributing his time to Fairfield’s own Operation Hope, Brian reaches out and responds to our needs. Raised and educated in Connecticut, Brian shows his commitment to our state’s future by his work with the Connecticut Green Bank. Brian has earned my respect with his intelligence, empathy, and willingness to hear and discuss issues. Forward-thinking and conscientious, Brian Farnen deserves to represent our hometown and keep Fairfield special.
Fairfield needs Leeper in Hartford
As Selectwoman of Fairfield, I know without hesitation that in this moment in our Town’s critical history, we need Jennifer Leeper in Hartford; she’s exactly the partner my friend, Cristin McCarthy Vahey needs alongside her, as we collectively navigate these challenging and unprecedented times.
Fairfield needs Jennifer Leeper and not just because she’s nice and sociable (which she is, like her opponent both of these) it’s that she’s smart, thoughtful, and she’s no stranger to hard work. Jennifer has integrity.
Jennifer’s transparent and straightforward. She’s not going to spew BS to earn votes and curry favor - and especially in this moment, we don’t need empty promises, we need results. We don’t need leaders who simply show up; we need leaders who will, upon arrival, advocate for us, fight for us …not for the spot in the photo op. We need leaders to stick their necks out for us. We need leaders who will tell the truth audaciously. Jennifer Leeper is that person.
In this Covid-19 world, Jennifer wants to move Fairfield forward in a healthy, safe and productive way that is clinically sound and economically prudent.
Jennifer infuses a serious demeanor with an appropriate amount of good humor. She’s serious about job growth in this current climate and good governance and improving transportation. She’s very serious about our schools. In fact, Jennifer has a proven track record of success as an elected member of our Board of Education. Jennifer is a mom of two young boys; she's been advocating for our schools, our teachers and our students before hers even went to school or learned at a distance.
Jennifer Leeper will continue to be a strong voice for the 132nd and for us all, we just need to give her the platform and opportunity.
Please vote for Jennifer Leeper on November 3rd
Nancy Lefkowitz, Fairfield Selectwoman
McCabe for state Senate
I am a 26-year-old Fairfield native. I was relieved when I researched our district’s candidates for state senate this year and came across Michelle McCabe. Here’s why:
The contrast between McCabe’s and Tony Hwang’s commitments to education is stark, given that Hwang voted against financial aid for Connecticut college students qualifying for in-state tuition. McCabe, if elected, wants to develop a path to universal pre-K, commit more resources to helping students from low-income communities succeed, and develop a public-private loan forgiveness program for college graduates working in Connecticut. I want to feel proud of my Senate representative for their work to make a great education accessible to everybody, and McCabe is ready to do that.
My family and loved ones in Fairfield are committed to justice and equity, but Hwang has repeatedly demonstrated that he does not care to make the economy work for all Connecticut residents. He voted against establishing paid family and medical leave, and tried to block unionization rights for day care workers. He also said ‘no’ to protecting people from gender/sexuality-based discrimination by their employers. Hwang’s standing in the way of common-sense protections that guarantee dignity to everybody is unacceptable.
I studied Earth Sciences at Brown University, so environment and sustainability are some of my top concerns. McCabe has pledged to invest in solar and wind energy projects, electric bus and rail infrastructure, and nature-based coastal resiliency plans. Hwang voted against expanding renewable energy in our state. It’s obvious at this point that we need elected officials who will confront the climate crisis.
As we face our many upcoming challenges, we need someone with McCabe’s key policy-making values: equity, sustainability, and resiliency. Anything less is not enough. As a late millennial/ cusp-Gen-Z, I’m ready to help bring Connecticut into its future by supporting McCabe. I expect that the caring, empathetic folks who make up my Fairfield County community—not only those of us in our 20s, but also the parents, teachers, coaches, and family friends who collectively raised us—will feel the same way if they compare the candidates.
Support for Hwang
We have known Tony Hwang for over 15 years. Tony was one of our RTM Representatives when he first got into politics in Fairfield in 2005, and then subsequently our State Representative and State Senator since 2008. During this entire time, Tony has also been our neighbor and our friend, so we can certainly speak for his integrity, decency, and solid moral compass. While we have written letters in past elections in support of Tony and his command of the issues, his legislative successes, his responsive constituent servicing, and constant accessibility - all of which are still of the highest caliber - it's important to also focus on his character. Tony is a truly dedicated family man and a deeply passionate public servant and community leader - someone who not only cares about keeping Connecticut and Fairfield strong, but about the people who live in our community. One of Tony's special gifts is showing a genuine empathy for people. He wants to be there for people and his compassion shows no bounds - as both a state representative and a friend. Tony is visible everywhere in town and thrives on staying engaged with and caring about the people he meets. That is really one of the most important qualities we want in our government representatives - Empathy - something Tony has an abundance of.
Jeff and Brenda Steele
We need more teachers in Hartford
Connecticut has a broken education system, and we need someone who has seen the system from the inside to be able to fix it. The achievement gap is widening between low- and high-income families.
Carla Volpe, the Democratic candidate for Fairfield and Trumbull’s 134th district, is a Connecticut teacher, who understands the problems plaguing the system. We need teachers like Carla in Hartford to solve this crisis.
Education is our number one state expenditure and yet the education crisis in Connecticut is deepening. Education is our number one state expenditure. In a 2018 lawsuit, parents, teachers, and school boards alleged that state lawmakers have a responsibility to not only fix the problem, but also to guarantee equal learning for all students regardless of socioeconomic status. Connecticut has one of the worst achievement gaps in the country, with lower-income school districts in Bridgeport and Hartford having only a quarter of the students reading at grade level, with half of the students significantly behind. This is an issue that is not to be taken lightly. It involves the future of the state and the country.
We need more teachers in Hartford crafting education policy because the politicians of the past failed us. To guarantee equality in the education system in this state regardless of socioeconomic status, we need someone to fight based on what works, instead of what looks good on a campaign flyer. We need someone who will be able to use their background in education in order to fix the issues in our flawed system.
Carla Volpe is that person and we know that she will fight for what is right, and she will fight for equality in education.
Marc and Nancy Halpert, Fairfield
Carla Volpe speaks up for others
Growing up in a multi-generation Italian household in Fairfield taught Carla Volpe an important lesson, “Speak up for yourself or you won’t be heard.” She’s been doing just that since we met in our freshman year at Fairfield High School. She advocated for equal rights for women and LGBTQ+ citizens at a time when it wasn’t popular to do so. She went on to college and became president of her sorority encouraging young women to seek out their own voice. Then, she became a teacher and was able to share her love of art and acceptance with children.
Carla is beloved by her students and she proudly wears a handmade button supporting her run for state representative. She also supported her fellow educators by advocating for them as the building representative of the teacher’s union at Frenchtown Elementary School.
Carla has strong ties to both towns she would be representing, having grown up in Fairfield and now raising a family in Trumbull. When she first approached me about running I was concerned that running for office with a young child might be overwhelming but her response reminded me of how fierce she is. Carla told me, “I have to do this for my daughter’s future. I need to make our state a better place for her.” When I see how she has risen to the challenge I’m reminded of a quote by the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, “Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes.” Carla speaks her mind and stands by her words. I hope you will consider casting a vote for my friend, Carla Volpe, on November 3rd. Let her be your voice in Hartford.
We deserve better
All too often, I’ve heard people say that “it doesn’t make any difference who you vote for… they’re all the same!”
Well, I’m not hearing anybody say that for this election.
The differences and the choices are absolutely clear this year. That’s certainly true on a national level, but it’s also true on the local level.
People in the 134th District (Fairfield & Trumbull) have as clear a choice in Carla Volpe as they have in Joe Biden. Carla is an engaged, intelligent, committed, hard-working and compassionate woman. More specifically, she has been a public school teacher for the past 15 years and she is anxious to bring that experience and that insight to Hartford - where so many of our tax dollars are spent on education.
For the past six years, the 134th District has been represented by Laura Devlin, a woman whose primary claim to fame and accomplishment is her knee-jerk reaction of saying “No” to just about every piece of responsible and worthy legislation that has been proposed during her six years in the CT Legislature.
Time for a change!
It’s time for a change nationally and very much time for a change in the 134th District.
Fairfield and Trumbull deserve much better.
Fairfield and Trumbull deserve the fresh eyes, the fresh spirit, the fresh intelligence and the fresh level of commitment that Carla Volpe will bring to her job in the Legislature once she is elected.
I’m voting for Carla because we deserve better in Hartford.
Heather Dean, Fairfield