The Connecticut Education Association’s criticism of Achievement First is a blatantly political attack that willfully misrepresents AF’s leaders, finances and students. As the first person in my family to graduate from college, I know what education has done for my family and me. Like Dacia Toll, the founder of Achievement First (AF), I am passionate about education and I want the same opportunities for all children as my children received.
I read with great concern and disappointment a recent article that appeared in the Sunday Stamford Advocate (and affiliated papers) on 1/8/17 entitled “New Jobs are job No. 1.” As a business owner, business leader and one connected with hundreds of businesses in the state and the region, I can comfortably say that many of the perceptions stated by the various elected officials quoted in this piece are categorically false and demonstrate how out of touch many in elected office in Hartford seem to be.
This recession also dampened the normally optimistic view of the future for many of the state’s residents, evident in the polling and focus groups CBIA conducted throughout the 2016 election season. But because of the resiliency of Connecticut businesses and their workforces, our companies are competing and winning every day.Employers are heartened by the hope that the new balance in the state legislature will lead to more bipartisanship, and therefore better policy choices, as they are by Gov. Dannel Malloy’s emphasis on a more predictable and stable fiscal environment for businesses in his Opening Day address to the General Assembly.
“Pension Spiking” is the term used to describe the common practice whereby state and government employees contrive to boost their pensions in the last years of their employment. Pension spiking has been going on for years throughout the country, but it has been raised to a new level in Connecticut during Gov. Dannel Malloy’s two terms. By appointing a number of loyal Democrat legislators to judgeships or other high ranking positions in his administration, he has “spiked” their retirement benefits.
Most of the legislation the General Assembly passed in 2016 has already taken effect, but there are a handful of laws that go into effect on Jan. 1, 2017. Here’s a look at some of the most important legislation that will ring in the New Year:
Donald Trump’s atrocious war on women has been on full display, but there’s another war on women that takes place inside our Capitol every legislative session. Big business lobbyists, and the Republicans they now indirectly fund, routinely fight the right of women to achieve equal pay and fair workplace policies that keep women in the workforce.
The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement should not be voted on during the “lame duck” session of Congress after the election — that unique moment in the political calendar when representatives who have retired or been voted out of office still hold their seats for a short time and political accountability to constituents is at its lowest.
Evidenced by his recent approval ratings, Gov. Dannel Malloy has turned Connecticut into a state of cynics. I used to be one of these cynics, feeling powerless and disillusioned. But I will not let that deter me from the important work ahead to restore faith in our state government.
In December I expect that the Low Wage Board will recommend an increase in the state’s minimum wage. Should that occur, I will not be supporting the board’s decision. Given how the board was legislatively constituted, it is an outcome that should come as no surprise. With the increase to $10.10 in January 2017, Connecticut’s ability to attract and retain businesses will continue to fall and the result of any further increase will result in an explosion in our already unsupportable social service costs.
Labor Day marks the end of summer, of family vacations and long days by the pool. It is a signal that the days of carpooling, Little League and homework are about to commence. While often regarded as a day for one last barbecue, Labor Day is importantly about celebrating the contributions of all working people. … And while Labor Day is a time to reflect on the incredible achievements of workers, we cannot ignore the fact that it comes during a critical election cycle and an unprecedented number of attacks on the rights of working people at the local and state level as well as in the race for President.
On this Labor Day, I have an important discovery to announce. No, it’s not Proxima b, the nearest planet to our solar system. My discovery is this: there is an American working class! And it exists right here in Connecticut. In fact, 62 percent of the population is working class. Because it’s not about income, it’s about power. Most of us have no control over what we do. The corporate elite (under 2 percent) make those decisions for us.
As a graduate teacher in Political Science at Yale, I study how activists, politicians, and philosophers in the world’s two largest democracies—India and the United States—have thought about democratic forms of government. I’m doing a PhD because I think that ideas matter: they move us to question the world we live in and imagine new ways of living together. It’s this spirit that I try to bring to the classrooms where I teach. In the coming days, I will get to participate in a new kind of democracy for me. I’ll get to vote to certify my union Local 33–UNITE HERE, the union of graduate teachers at Yale University.