Hwang op-ed / Running to serve all in community
Published 4:54 pm, Thursday, October 23, 2014
Seniors who can't afford to stay in their home. Residents who have had enough with the never-ending increase in taxes and state spending. The small business that wants to succeed and grow. Commuters. Parents who want a brighter future for their children.
Every resident of Fairfield, Easton, Newtown Weston and Westport -- no matter what your background or what political party you are registered with -- I am running for you.
I am running to build on the commitment to community that I have demonstrated over the past six years as your state legislator representing Fairfield and Trumbull in Hartford. I am running because there is still much more work to be done.
Our great state is facing serious issues that demand real leadership. And we need someone with a demonstrated ability to build consensus and deliver results.
With our economic recovery and job creation lagging behind other states and our families and businesses facing one of the largest tax burdens in the country, it's time to finally get our financial house in order.
Already, on your behalf, we sent a strong message that it's time to get a firm handle on taxes and affordability in Connecticut -- by voting against budget proposals that increased government spending without accountability; by eliminating the longevity bonus for new state employees; and by calling for a cost-savings comparison of our current defined-benefit pension to a defined-contribution plan, like most of us have in the private sector.
It's steps like these that will help ease the tax burden on Connecticut families and businesses, and I am committed to making sure that remains a priority as your state senator.
At the same time, we successfully passed several measures that will create jobs and help our state's economy grow. One piece of legislation that I helped draft -- and that is especially beneficial to small businesses and entrepreneurs -- eliminated nearly a thousand pages of outdated state regulations and bureaucratic red tape. We also made critical investments in our future by spearheading legislation to make Connecticut a leader in bioscience research and securing a portion of a $17.8 million grant to build a state-of-the-art manufacturing education center at Housatonic Community College.
My leadership on this issue and the specific actions taken to put our economy moving in the right direction are what earned me the endorsement of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association to be our next state senator.
Recognizing the critical role our transportation infrastructure plays in a healthy economy, I have remained dedicated to working in a bipartisan manner to ensure it is a priority in the legislature. I've been a leading voice in advocating for a constitutional amendment to protect funding that is intended for transportation projects. And for our commuters, I supported increased spending to ensure Metro-North trains operate safely and on time, and I authored legislation that empowered the CT Rail Commuter Council to demand better safety and service.
Importantly, we were able to do all this without abandoning our responsibility to foster a safe and supportive society.
For our families with autistic children, I championed bipartisan legislation that ensured they did not have a gap in insurance coverage.
I supported greater local control on cell tower locations, the landmark GMO food-labeling legislation, and the historic bill that was an essential step toward addressing the complex issues of gun safety, school security and mental health.
I am driven by a deep passion for public service and the love I have for my community.
It's you, the residents of this town, who are at the heart of that community -- who make it unique, dynamic, and such a wonderful place to live and work. And it's you who I want to represent.
I am energized and inspired by you, and, ultimately, I am accountable to you, too.
During this campaign, just as I have done throughout my years in public service, I have been focused on the issues and the people of this district.
I have sought to show, through actions and not just words, that I have the integrity and character of respected leaders like former Gov. Jodi Rell and state Sen. John McKinney, both of whom, I am honored to say, have endorsed me.
You have my word that I will work tirelessly as your state senator to be a leader with integrity who you can trust and be proud of.
My name is Tony Hwang, and I ask for your vote on Nov. 4.
Tony Hwang is the Republican nominee for state Senate in the 28th District.