Police Accountability Act is a bureaucratic mess

To the editor:

When the Police Accountability Act first came up I wrote to both my representatives, Will Haskell and Jonathan Steinberg, saying I strongly supported our police and not to follow the national bandwagon to defund the police.

I asked for their reply. Haskell’s reply was a form email, saying thank you, we have received your comment. He went on to co-sponsor the bill. Steinberg’s was, and I quote, “The bill isn’t perfect ... but I expect to support it.” When I asked “Based on what facts?” His response was: “First you insist that I respond to you. Now you insist that I justify myself!” Yes, I believe that an elected official has a responsibility to justify their positions to their constituents.

I’ve read the Police Accountability Act. It is a bureaucratic mess of task forces, civilian review boards and a new inspector general focused only on the police. It will require the police to spend as much time submitting reports as they do policing. It opens them up to fiscal penalties, it requires them to go through a checklist before they can use force in what can be split-second decision. It never uses the term criminal, instead it uses “justice-impacted person.” That is language right out of Berkley, Calif. The bill is disrespectful to our fine police.

I have lived in Westport for almost 30 years. My interactions with our police have been respectful and professional. These days, when I see a policeman I tell them how much I appreciate what they do. Privately they will tell you, actions like the PAA weigh on them, some are thinking about other careers, many are thinking about retiring.

Haskell and Steinberg support of PAA does our police a great disservice. Kim Healy is the daughter of a policeman and will do the right thing for our police and be fiscally responsible. Chip Stephens has been a key member of the Westport RTM for years and has opinions that are based on fact not what’s trending on Twitter.

There is much talk these days about people crossing the aisle, well as a registered democrat, I will be crossing that aisle in November.

Robert Moorman

Westport

In support of Stephanie Thomas

To the editor:

Voters in Wilton, Westport and Norwalk who live in Connecticut’s 143rd District have the opportunity to vote for a superb candidate for state representative: Stephanie Thomas.

I am fortunate to have gotten to know Stephanie through her local volunteer work. Through her experience as a small business consultant for nonprofit organizations and her work throughout the community, Stephanie has already been a model of servant leadership. She will be a tireless advocate for all of the people of her district.

In my experience, Stephanie listens to people, has an open and compassionate heart and seeks creative solutions for the problems facing average people and small businesses. Did I mention that Stephanie’s penchant for hard work? Her work ethic and engaging personality are needed in Hartford. She supports policies that will assist small businesses and non-profits as they face the COVID-19 crisis.

Stephanie will work to promote legislation that will support education funding in the district and affordable health care through a public option, prescription drug cap and expanded mental health care. Please join me in voting for a most exceptional candidate, Stephanie Thomas.

Linda Pryde

Westport

Haskell will not stop fighting for women

To the editor:

In a world where our president perpetrates rape culture and sexual abusers are given light sentences, we need someone to fight for the safety of women. State Sen. Will Haskell is that person.

Fifty percent of women in Connecticut are survivors of sexual violence, and Sen. Haskell has taken action to protect women from sexual abuse. He co-sponsored the Time’s Up Act, which makes sexual harassment training mandatory in the majority of Connecticut workplaces, protects employees who come forward with claims, and extends the statute of limitations for sexual assault charges.

Sen. Haskell will continue to fight for legislation to prevent sexual abuse and harassment if he is reelected. He will specifically keep working to pass bills that address sexual misconduct on college campuses and in the office.

When you cast your vote on Nov. 3, please remember that Sen. Haskell will not stop fighting for women in our community.

Ruby Coleman

Westport

Haskell advocates for better health care

To the editor,

I am putting my support behind state Sen. Will Haskell for reelection because of the work he has done and is planning to do on health care reform.

The past few months have highlighted one major disparity within Connecticut. Our health care system has major flaws. Minority populations have suffered greatly during the COVID-19 crisis: 23 percent of COVID-19 cases were Hispanic and 17 percent of COVID-19 patients were Black.

Sen. Haskell has worked to expand the health care data collection to work towards exposing the different health care disparities in Connecticut. These practices will help lead to better policies in our states health care regarding race, religion and gender.

Additionally, he has advocated to create public options for health care insurance for all Connecticut residences. This legislation will allow for varied health care options in the state, which has become immensely important as both employers and individuals will be able to find plans that work for them. This plan would help lower the cost of premiums because of the bargaining power the government would have. Keeping lower costs for all will help to benefit the economy of the whole state. Connecticut has the means to become a state leading in the health care field and Sen. Haskell is putting in the work to get there.

Overall, the work that Sen. Haskell has done and the plans he has detailed for the future will lead Connecticut to a state that can economically benefit from health care, while supporting the low income families in our state.

Katie (Katherine) Simons

Westport