A toast for Thanksgiving day in Connecticut

I’m thankful for growing up in a community with such wonderful diversity. I’m thankful to call the same place home where Tracey and I can raise our children to appreciate an even more diverse world. I’m thankful to live in a state that is tolerant, promotes the rights of all people and will always keep a close eye on those among us who have the least. I’m thankful to live in a nation where I can dream of doing great things, move freely from place to place and speak my mind. I’m thankful for the people of Norwalk and Darien for electing me to a job that I truly love.

Westport Dems: No place here for xenophobia, misogyny, and intolerance

Since Election Day, the Westport Democratic Town Committee has heard from many people in our community who are struggling to reconcile themselves to this [presidential] result and what it means for our nation. Tuesday night, a week after Election Day, we had a record turnout at our monthly meeting. People who had never attended a DTC meeting before came to express their fear, their anger, and their worry about the future. They spoke of sleepless nights, of difficult conversations with their children, and of feeling like foreigners in their own country.
In the past week, incidents of racial intimidation and hate speech have sharply risen all around the nation. Sadly, our town has not been immune.

Canton needs a ‘smarter, visionary’ choice on town garage issue

The focus this year has been on the national political races with all their ugliness, hyperbole, and vehemence. It is interesting to observe the same phenomenon playing out in Canton, which is voting on a referendum about whether to reconstruct the town DPW garage in its current location on the Farmington River.

Targeting business for Connecticut:  Attract globally, welcome locally

In football, no matter how perfect the spiral leaving the quarterback’s hand, no matter if the pass is aimed precisely right, if the receiver fails to turn around when the pass arrives it is likely to bounce away incomplete. Or be intercepted. Much the same is true when the state and its municipalities consider economic development. The guiding phrase should be “attract globally, welcome locally.” One without the other will not get the job done.

A school funding inequity solution: Better housing policy

A state Superior Court judge heard final arguments last month on the limits of the state’s responsibility in financing the education of all students, including those with low incomes living largely in urban school districts. He is expected to rule this week. How can our state, our taxpayers, spend more to take care of all “our kids” when court decisions are already forcing the state to spend hundreds of millions of dollars desegregating Hartford schools and caring for abused and neglected children? As a mother, and a housing professional, I think I know one clear answer.

Bloodshed that saves lives

Since the tragic 9/11 terrorist attacks that stripped the sacred lives of too many Americans, we Muslims have unfortunately been the target of blame and persecution. Yet, amid both injustices, our Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, led by the peaceful Khalifa of Islam, chose to respond by the teachings of Holy Quran which encourages working together in goodness and righteousness.

Connecticut’s rail history offers summer day-trip fun

If you’re looking for family fun this summer, consider visiting one of Connecticut’s many living museums celebrating our rail heritage… All of these museums are run by volunteers who will appreciate your patronage and support. They love working on the railroad and will tell you why if you express even the slightest interest in their passion.

Disaster looms for Bridgeport without legislative action now

Financial experts say if Bridgeport stays on its current path, the city will be bankrupt within a few years. The city’s future is in the hands of elected officials who still may have time – if they act quickly – to prevent the worst from happening. … The state legislature and Gov. Dannel Malloy must pass a law creating an independent financial oversight board. This will help Bridgeport rein in wasteful spending and make constructive changes before things become even more out-of-control.

A Connecticut DMV survivor tells all

I recently have returned from more than three solid hours at the Old Saybrook office of the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles. At the end of my long half-day’s journey into trauma, I came within an eyelash of having to come back another day. Warning: this tragicomic tale is not for the faint of heart.

Connecticut woman is Muslim, American, and breaking barriers

As an American Muslim mother of two, being born and raised in the suburbs of Connecticut to a typical middle-class family, I’m really as American as they come. As a Muslim, I follow the religion of Islam. I’m not talking about the Islam that’s portrayed on TV, but the true Islam which teaches “love and loyalty to one’s country as a part of faith.” Of course, as a Muslim who follows the true teachings of Islam by reading the Holy Quran, it’s hard for me to understand why society fears me.

Connecticut’s youth voice is strong, but needs coordination

On Wednesday June 1, students at Amistad High School in New Haven organized a protest to voice their concerns regarding the absence of minority teachers, using their collective power to question the lack of diversity in the teaching faculty at this predominately African-American and Latino high school. This youth-led action not only highlighted the issue of diversity, or the lack thereof, within the educational system, but also shined a beaming light on the power of youth-led activism.