Colonial Americans celebrated voting because it was new and radical. How do we recapture that enthusiasm for the revolutionary act of voting? We can start by making Election Day fun again, a national holiday that embraces consumerism as well as the commonweal.
Tuesday’s five-way race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination resulted in a nominee, investment banker and former GE executive, Bob Stefanowski who earned less than 30 percent of the vote. Stefanowski soundly bested Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton and the rest of the GOP field. But he earned just over 42,000 total votes. There are more than 480,000 registered Republicans in the state. Stefanowski moves onto the general election despite being the first choice of fewer than one in 10. Stefanowski’s total number of votes, as well as his overall percentage, are the lowest for any nominee in modern times. It doesn’t have to be this way — and these results ought to encourage a fresh look at electoral reforms that produce winners with true majority support. First among them would be ranked choice voting.
I used to believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and politicians. I actually thought the first two brought me gifts and the latter cared about me and my community. Well, those days are gone. We are now neck deep in the primary round of campaigning for our state’s top officials and I hope you’ve been paying attention. The promises and the BS are piling up pretty fast, especially when it comes to the issue of transportation.
In the year of #MeToo and Time’s Up, what was the General Assembly’s record addressing policy issues that impact women and girls disproportionately? Similar to last year, the results were a mix of wins, losses, and missed opportunities.
It is obvious that arts and culture keep our towns and cities hopping and vital, especially when you see restaurants filled on nights that theater, museums and galleries have events. Our elected leaders understand how important arts, culture and creativity are for building strong communities. Candidates are also learning that over 90 percent of Connecticut’s arts and culture supporters vote. With this year’s gubernatorial election in high gear, as well as many other legislative races, it’s important that we hear from the candidates on these issues, particularly as Connecticut’s funding for arts and culture has continually declined, bucking the national trend and while surrounding states are increasing their investment. This is a missed opportunity to have a real impact on our state’s economic health, our education system, and quality of life.
I arrived home from classes excited about the warm weather that guaranteed I would play soccer with my friends that evening. As I was finishing my reading assignment for 10th grade English, I received a phone call from my mom informing me my dad was at the police station for a minor traffic violation. Naively I thought to myself, “He’ll be home tonight,” but as I entered the lobby I was greeted by my mother with tears racing down her face. Immediately, my heart sank as I heard the words, “They called ICE on him, he’s being deported.”
When the Democratic Party ramped up its attacks on Russia during and immediately after the 2016 election, the rhetoric was reminiscent of that used during the Cold War. It portended the hysterical reaction being displayed by political leaders (including our own congressional delegation), the media, neo-cons, and most astonishingly, “liberals” who, after years of rejecting the duplicity of U.S. intelligence agencies and criticizing the U.S. government for its treachery in other countries, now suddenly embrace the establishment’s narrative without any thoughtful analysis.
As we shake our heads and wring our hands over the obsequious behavior of President Trump at his “diplomatic” summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and try to decipher and explain such behavior, it would seem that we are probably just nurturing anxiety in full knowledge of the reason(s) for such behavior and its unspeakable implications for our country and political-economic system.
Republicans will likely do for Connecticut what they have done for other states and at national level: namely, cut taxes for their wealthy donors, make it harder to vote, make abortion inaccessible, reduce public employee pensions, promote private schools and vouchers, bust unions, loosen gun controls, allow discrimination again, break down the wall between church and State, cut social programs including health care, but ramp up corporate welfare.
Little attention had been paid to a proposed bill — An Act Concerning Human Trafficking — that unfortunately died at the end of the 2018 Legislative Session. Given the significant attention and gains that Connecticut has made in recent years in the fight against human trafficking, it was a heartfelt defeat. For nearly a decade, Connecticut has been a leader in the nation in human trafficking reforms that better protect victims, more vigorously prosecute traffickers, and prevent continued victimization.
The governor of Massachusetts signed a bill into law recently that would create a paid family and medical leave program, which will go into effect in 2021. Massachusetts’ paid leave program is similar to one that was recently enacted in New York state, as well as a program has been proposed in the Connecticut state legislature. It is time for Connecticut to act by passing a bill during the next legislative session to create a paid family and medical leave program in our state.
The President’s war on our fundamental rights is now focused squarely on a woman’s right to choose. It comes as no surprise that a male President — distinguished by his abject disregard for women and the rights of others, generally — seeks to dismantle a well-established system of reproductive liberty and women’s self-determination that most Americans embraced for a generation.