I am running for State Representative because I want to help improve the quality of life for the people in the 134th District and throughout the state. Going door-to-door, meeting the people of the district, I have learned that the top three concerns of voters are jobs, taxes and education. If I am elected, my priorities would reflect these concerns. I would work to:

Make responsible cuts to the state budget that will ease the tax burden on families and small businesses;

Support initiatives to help small business owners create new jobs and help grow their businesses;

Support education reforms, including applying evaluations to administrators as well as teachers, and ensuring that all teacher and administrator evaluations are fair and balanced;

Stabilize and improve our infrastructure. We learned, following the back-to-back storms last year, that our utilities need to get up and running again as quickly as possible after an outage. Small businesses and families suffered financial losses after losing power and water for several days at a time; and

Support initiatives to improve our commuter rail system to include heavy and light rail, along with expanding our bus service.

As I walk through the neighborhoods of the 134th, the question I am most asked is, "Why are you running?" The answer is I know I can do a better job than my opponent is doing.

I've always been about community service and volunteering. I got involved in town politics when several leading town officials asked me to run for RTM. I had always been civic minded but never considered running for office until then. After winning, with the highest number of votes out of 10 candidates in my district, I was honored to be elected and beholden to the voters to do a good job and provide the leadership they deserved.

I am now in my fourth term on the RTM and genuinely enjoy helping my constituents and other Fairfielders. I am proud of my ability to work with members from both sides of the aisle. I've chaired committees and have striven to be fair and let all voices be heard while also asking the tough questions so my vote is always an informed one.

There are three differences between me and my opponent; our work ethic and our willingness to tackle controversy head-on. And I am not running with the intent of building my own business.

From the beginning, I've never shied away from hard work. I give it my all from start to finish, long after the photographers and the crowds leave. Hard work and real leadership go hand in hand. Real leadership is showing up ready to work, not grip and grin. Whether it's the PTA, the Church Outreach Board, or the RTM, I don't hesitate to roll up my sleeves and to what takes to get the job done.

I don't shy away from controversy. I got my first taste of controversy when I led a committee to start a wrap-around child care program at Osborn Hill Elementary School in 1997. We faced multiple challenges getting the community to accept that we were no longer a society of stay-at-home moms, but instead a diverse neighborhood of working families that needed safe, affordable, high quality child care for their children. I didn't personally need the program at the time and could have just walked away from the headache, but I didn't. Today, I am still proud to be a part of the team that created Kids' Place, a program that continues to flourish and provide quality before and after school child care.

If I am elected state representative, I promise the voters that I will serve them with the same tenacity and commitment that I have brought to the RTM and other volunteer leadership roles. I'll listen to what my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, look for common ground, seek out ways to work out differences, and find solutions that are good policy, not politics as usual. If I attach my name to a bill, I will work to see it through to passage. Likewise, if I tell you I support something here, I won't go to Hartford and vote against it. Most importantly, if I am given the honor of representing the people of the 134th in Hartford, I will always be accessible and return phone calls and emails.