A preamble for every American political platform

This is a preamble to the political platform needed to unite our country and give everyone the opportunity to prosper:
We believe that America needs to be led by elected officials in Washington whose first goal is not to get re-elected, but instead to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, and do what is in the best interest of We the People.

Will a new governor change Connecticut? (Not anytime soon)

Voters are getting their hopes up that a new governor will bring new life to our flagging economy and resolve our long running state fiscal crisis. Not only is Connecticut widely viewed as the nation’s most mismanaged state, but jobs remain unchanged since 2000 amidst the nations most vigorous economic expansion. And there’s a well defined Exodus of jobs, firms and residents.

Edsall nepotism deal gutted the ethics code and should be rescinded

Since 1994, state ethics rulings have made clear that supervision of one family member by another is prohibited by the Code of Ethics. A recent amendment to the Code, which took place in darkness in the waning days of the legislative session, turned that on its head. The Office of State Ethics was not consulted about this change or its broader ramifications.

Let Malloy’s veto of the classroom safety bill stand

Gov. Dannel Malloy was correct to veto Public Act No. 18-89 (SB 453), an act concerning classroom safety and disruptive behavior.  This bill was wrought with inconsistencies, redundant mandates, and ambiguities that would lead to administrative chaos for districts, schools, and classrooms all across the state.  Malloy’s veto allows our lawmakers to complete the difficult task of constructing meaningful and comprehensive legislation during a full session in 2019.

Uphold the governor’s veto of Public Act 18-89

Monday Connecticut’s legislature appears on the verge of enacting a profoundly anti-disability rights, anti-civil rights legislation over Gov. Dannel Malloy’s veto. The bill is Public Act 18-89. It permits any teacher to throw a child out of the classroom at any time that the teacher thinks the kid may be dangerous. Any review of the teacher’s unilateral decision will occur after the child is excluded. And, the bill makes the child’s re-entry into the classroom a major challenge.

The classroom safety bill discriminates against the disabled

The Connecticut Association for Public School Superintendents has serious concern over the passage of Public Act 18-89: An Act Concerning Classroom Safety and Disruptive Behavior .  The Act would be an alarming revision to Connecticut’s education laws that would (1) discriminate against and violate the rights of students with disabilities under the IDEA, and (2) expose confidential student information to third parties in violation of federal law. 

Not America’s first act of cruelty toward children

So many in the U.S. are decrying the Trump administration’s separation of immigrants from their children along our southern border, claiming, “This is not who we are.” It certainly isn’t all of who we are, but there are two such glaring examples of how it was exactly who we were – or who our government was – that we can’t ignore them if we hope to look honestly at our past and become the nation so many think we already are.

Breaking up families? America looks like a Dickens novel

The news has been full these past few weeks of disturbing stories from the nation’s borders. The Trump administration has separated immigrant children from their parents precisely to discourage others from trying to enter the country.
What has struck me, as a professor of English literature, are the startling parallels between the Trump administration’s policy on immigrant families and the “New” Poor Laws of England in the 1830s, whose cruelty was illuminated by Charles Dickens in novels and other writings.

Republicans need a better plan

While Connecticut Republicans standing a chance of winning seats this November, exactly what the party will fight for is a mystery. With the economy in a mess due to some of the highest taxes in the nation and a budget process held hostage by last-minute leadership proposals, the party must do two things.

The need to act regionally has never been more important

If the opportunity for shared or regional services is to be realized, there needs to be a comprehensive realignment of which level of government — state, local or regional — should be responsible for what. Possibilities are open for strengthening and maximizing the opportunities provided by Connecticut’s regional Councils of Government (COGs) for the efficient, effective and economic delivery of needed services. However, reforms must be enacted.

For its future’s sake, Connecticut must believe in its youth

Fifty years ago this week, Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated during one of the most tumultuous years in our nation’s history. I am almost ashamed to admit that, until recently, I had neither read nor heard what may be one of the greatest speeches ever delivered by an American leader. Two years before his tragic death, Robert Kennedy addressed members of the National Union of South African Students in Cape Town, South Africa. The themes and ideas presented that day compelled me to reflect on what it meant to be a young person in Connecticut.

Blaming the unions is a convenient distraction. Don’t fall for it.

I am a proud union member from a union family, and a lifetime member of the United Auto Workers union.  In the mid- to late 80s I remember walking picket lines with my father and the union workers at Colt Firearms as they endured one of the longest strikes in Connecticut history. Today we are still reaping the benefits of the sacrifices that were made by so many union members willing to stand together united for a just cause.