Letters to the editor: Vote Greg Kraut for change in Hartford

Will Haskell means positive change

To the editor:

Albert Einstein once said the definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over expecting a different result. I agree; and that’s why I support Will Haskell for state Senator this year instead of sending his opponent back to Hartford for yet another term.

Our district deserves a senator whose policies are in line with those of his constituents. Will Haskell wants stronger gun regulation while his opponent says that “we have already gone too far.” Haskell supports pragmatically funded paid family leave which his opponent opposes. Haskell supports an Education Cost Sharing program which benefits all students while his opponent voted for a massive cut to the UConn budget. And Haskell supports a protected transportation investment fund while his opponent voted against a transportation fund lockbox.

On a personal note, I have known Will and his family for over 20 years and they are smart, wonderful people with exceptional interpersonal skills in dealing with citizens of all ages and their challenges. I have come to appreciate the unique talents needed to solve problems by working with people during my over 20 years on the nonpartisan Westport RTM and Will Haskell has those talents.

John G . Klinge


Vote Greg Kraut for change in Hartford

To the editor:

I urge my fellow Westporters to vote for Greg Kraut for state representative because we need change in Harford.

When our current representative, Jonathan Steinberg, was first elected in 2010, Connecticut’s fiscal health was worrisome; now after eight years, it is catastrophic. Jonathan has refused to support those difficult steps necessary to bring State spending in line with what taxpayers can afford. In fact, Jonathan once complained that Gov. Malloy hadn’t raised taxes enough (see Westport-news.com, Oct. 12, 2012). Of course, the reality is that as we drive high income taxpayers out of Connecticut by refusing to control spending, the spending cuts that ultimately will be required because of our reduced tax base will be even more severe.

After eight years, Jonathan is part of the problem, and we don’t have much time left to fix our fiscal mess. Vote for Greg Kraut.

Tom Lasersohn


Vacancy in RTM District 6

To the editor:

The resignation of Monique Lions-Greenspan has created a vacancy in RTM District 6. We will miss her and appreciate her work as an RTM member.

In accordance with the Town Charter, (Section C5-8C3), the vacancy must be filled by a registered voter living in RTM District 6. No party affiliation is required since Westport’s RTM is nonpartisan. The term expires in November 2019.

Residents of RTM District 6 interested in being considered to fill the vacancy are encouraged to remit their resume to the Town Clerk, Patricia Strauss by Friday, Nov. 2, 2018, by email: pstrauss@westportct.gov or by mail, 110 Myrtle Ave., Westport, CT 06880. A meeting to conduct interviews will be scheduled at a future date.

Any questions can be directed to the remaining district members. Contact information and a district boundary map are available on the town’s website at www.westportct.gov/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=16037

Cathy Talmadge, Seth Braunstein and Jessica Bram

RTM District 6 members

In support of

Michelle McCabe

To the editor:

I just had a really meaningful conversation with Michelle McCabe and it’s clear to me that she is not your average politician! Few politicians take the time to talk to us (as Michelle did with me). They seem to prefer meaningless political promises. However, I got the clear sense that Michelle will follow through on her intention to find the best, most workable solutions for the many problems that currently plague Connecticut. I am impressed by her ability to parse complex issues, and I appreciate her clarity of thought on potential solutions.

She has the intelligence and the determination needed to make a positive change in the current downhill spin we find ourselves in. My vote will certainly go to her, rather than to Tony Hwang, who has not impressed me as being very creative or resourceful. In this time of financial turmoil, we desperately need a candidate who is willing to first acknowledge the problems and then really wrestle them towards a viable solution. I am confident that Michelle McCabe has what it takes to lead our State out of chaos and onto a path of sustained growth and prosperity!

Wendy Epstein


Lavielle will ensure vibrant future

in Wilton

To the editor:

Gail Lavielle is a tireless advocate for Wilton’s interests, and deserves re-election. As a former Board of Finance member, she has tremendous insight into our town’s finances and economy. She understands Wilton’s future depends on a strong state economy, which will drive growth by incentivizing new business and strengthening our housing market.

Gail has helped defeat unfair attempts to reduce our education cost sharing allocation. She has been a proponent of Metro-North, including her successful efforts to restore early morning service on the Danbury Branch. Gail is a true partner in ensuring a vibrant future for Wilton, and will have my vote.

Lori Bufano


I’m for ‘Team Ned’

To the editor:

Connecticut has led the nation in passing some of the strongest gun safety laws in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. We have seen too many families lose their loved ones to senseless gun violence. I say, “Not one more!”

As many Republicans seek to pacify the extremist leaders of the NRA, the number of untraceable firearms on our streets grows, jeopardizing the safety of our residents. For instance, the Stefanowski-Markley ticket, endorsed by the Connecticut Citizens Defense League and Bob’s been awarded an “AQ” rating by the NRA (equivalent to an A, Markey receives A+). Bob has posed smiling in front of a wall of assault rifles, apparently his happy place, and has sat idly by and remained silent on reforming the state’s gun laws to increase residents’ safety.

Ned Lamont is the candidate in this race who is committed to introducing a bill that would ban all ghost guns, including 3D-printed guns and other undetectable, untraceable firearms. That someone could produce an assault-style weapon, from their own home, shows that we need to do more against 3D-printed firearms and ghost guns. We must be a state that stands for smart gun violence prevention even if the federal government will not.

This starts with electing someone who will stand up and fight to protect our residents. Ned is committed to working to ensure Connecticut remains a national leader in the fight to keep illegal guns off the streets. That’s why I’m for “Team Ned.”

I hope this demonstrates one important difference in these two gubernatorial candidates and compels our neighbors to get out and vote Nov. 6.

Rachel Dreyfus


Kraut has fresh ideas for Connecticut

To the editor:

It seems apparent that Westport’s representative Jonathan Steinberg is unable to tolerate people who question his point of view, on any issue, whatsoever. Steinberg likes to present his own point of view, and believes it to be unquestionably correct. Anybody who has the audacity to question him, or offer an opinion different from his own, he has been disdainful to. He has acted as if he knows everything on any given issue, and the person who has simply questioned his position, he has dismissed as being ignorant, and lacking in knowledge.

Steinberg is running his re-election campaign with the same arrogance, disdain and scorn toward his opponent Greg Kraut. His opponent, Greg Kraut, has courageously questioned Steinberg’s lackluster status quo voting record, which prevents Connecticut from pulling itself out of the budgetary crisis it is in. Steinberg has claimed that the state’s problems occurred before he was even elected to the legislature. What has Steinberg done as a state legislator to help pull Connecticut out of the fiscal crisis?

Greg’s relentless questioning of Steinberg’s abysmal voting record has been especially intolerable to him, because Greg has threatened to derail his reelection campaign, and defeat him at the polls. When Steinberg realized his reelection campaign was in trouble, he resorted to a premeditated, vicious, and scurrilous attack on Greg’s character by calling Greg a “predatory developer,” a totally false charge. Steinberg’s “predatory developer” smear strategy, to sully Greg’s reputation, is a slick attempt to change the subject, and distract the voters from his own poor voting record, and lack of action in the legislature.

However, the majority of voters who are burdened with punishing taxes and a mismanaged state government can see through Steinberg’s attempt to evade defeat at the polls. The voters have a golden opportunity to elect Greg Kraut, who has fresh new ideas that can rebuild Connecticut. Please give Connecticut a chance to gain strength again, and vote for Greg Kraut as Westport’s new state representative in the 136th district.

Michael Treadwell


Listening is leading

To the editor:

I’m not going to explain Jonathan Steinberg’s policies, or extoll his vast list of accomplishments. You can find all that on his website or in the latest issue of Forbes Magazine.

Instead, I’d like to invite you to inspect his character.

A couple of years ago, my son Theo (then a high school junior) learned of an exhibit in Hartford which allowed visitors to experience a solitary confinement prison cell. Unbeknownst to me, he emailed Rep. Steinberg asking him to go check it out.

When Theo told me he sent this email, I complimented him on his determination and his compassion. I didn’t know Steinberg too well, but I said something like, “Just remember, the guy works hard and has a family, and a long drive back and forth to Hartford. He may not answer your email, much less go to the exhibit.”

A few days later, Theo received a personal note from Jonathan Steinberg. He still has it. It began, “Thanks to you, I visited the cell this afternoon. It was a harrowing experience.” Then he recounted what affected him about it, and finished with, “I agree with you that the laws need to change to protect ALL our citizens, no matter their status.”

That day, thanks to Jonathan Steinberg, Theo felt like he mattered, and that he could make a difference. As for me, I learned who we really had representing us: a listener.

The job of our state reps is to fight for all of their constituents. In order to do that, they need to spend the time they have in their home towns, humbly listening to all of us, regardless of our age, income, or affiliation. When in Hartford, that same skill builds strong relationships upon which change is possible. Once these liaisons are in place, a representative is in a position to fight tooth and nail for us. Jonathan Steinberg’s eight years in Hartford have been spent building productive relationships with people on both sides of the aisle. And, he has spent 43 years in Westport — as a son, a student, a father, and a leader — listening to what we need.

This is not a time to get distracted by slick campaigning, or by “cleaned up” campaign pages achieved by by blocking Democrats, as his opponent has done. The real fixing is going to get done by the person with character, and a comprehensive, inclusive knowledge of who we are.

These are serious times. Please vote on Nov. 6 for Jonathan Steinberg.

Darcy Hicks


Michelle McCabe supports net neutrality

for state

To the editor:

Having a free and open internet is important for Connecticut. For individual citizens, students, and businesses alike. The cost, content, speed, and quality of our internet connections should not be determined by the whims of a few powerful, profit-seeking telecomm giants.

However, that’s exactly what we may get here in Connecticut after state Sen. Tony Hwang almost singlehandedly killed net neutrality protections for our state back in April.

When I go to the polls Nov. 6, I’ll be voting for the candidates I know will stand up for Connecticut. For the candidates who will work to keep Connecticut a desirable place to live, work, and do business. This is one of the many reasons I’ll be voting for Michelle McCabe and not Sen. Hwang, the man who turned his back on Connecticut’s businesses, students, and consumers. The only thing Tony Hwang stands up for are photo ops!

I’ve listened to what Michelle McCabe has to say about the issue of net neutrality, and I’m impressed. She understands how vital it is to attract businesses to our state. She knows that for Connecticut to be competitive, we need to show we believe in net neutrality, and we must embrace the innovation that the tech community can bring.

There are many issues facing our great state, and at the core of turning things around is the imperative that we not deter people from coming here to live, learn, work, and set up businesses. It’s not even a partisan issue. Net neutrality has passed multiple other state legislatures on a bipartisan basis by wide margins. But here in Connecticut, powerful, moneyed lobbyists are more important to Sen. Hwang than the little guys like consumers and small business.

I hope you’ll join me in voting to keep Connecticut competitive by voting for Michelle McCabe for state Senate District 28 on Nov. 6.

Nicole Klein


Michelle is best for change

To the editor:

Folks in Connecticut’s 28th Senate District (which includes Fairfield, Newtown, Easton, and parts of Weston and Westport) may have had a chance to meet Michelle Lapine McCabe who’s running to be our state senator. Michelle has been out knocking doors throughout the district, getting to know voters and the issues they care about.

Michelle is an innovator, an advocate, and a policy advisor who has spent most of her career in public service. She’s the director of the Center for Food Equity and Economic Development with the Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport, where she creates opportunities for improved health and economic growth. She knows that Connecticut needs to work for everyone, not just for the few.

I’ve come to know Michelle while volunteering with her campaign and I’m so impressed by her knowledge, her passion, and her commitment to community. It’s clear to me that Michelle truly listens to people when they share their concerns. This trait has been sorely lacking in our current state senator, Tony Hwang, who voted to allow guns in state parks, to allow lifetime ammunition renewals without permits, voted against a free and open internet for Connecticut, and voted to block the confirmation of a highly-qualified gay Supreme Court justice. Michelle understands that representing constituents is not about posing for photos with them, but about voting to represent their wishes and values.

Michelle will be a fresh, progressive voice in Hartford who will bring new ideas to the table. And her votes will reflect the shared values of the constituents she’ll represent. I’m proud to vote for her at the polls on Nov. 6 and I hope you will vote for her, too. We deserve to have a strong advocate like Michelle fighting for us up in Hartford.

Valerie Wilke


Lavielle fights for seniors, people with disabilities

To the editor:

I’m struggling with Nov. 6. As a woman and the mother of two girls, I firmly believe that in many respects this country is headed in the wrong direction and in order to change it we need to send a strong signal to Washington by voting party lines.

But here’s where I have the problem. While I’m extremely concerned about women’s rights at a national level, I’m equally concerned about the rights of seniors and people with disabilities here in my state. Not only do I have two teenage girls, but I also am the mom to a 20-year-old son with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, the wife of a man with primary progressive multiple sclerosis and the caregiver for my mother and aunt.

What I hope for is a candidate who does not fall lock-step into his or her political party’s agenda but truly talks to the people and looks at the issues effecting her constituency. I believe it’s still possible to stand up for the people he or she represents and advocate for their rights. And so, that’s why I’ll be casting a vote for Gail Lavielle on Nov. 6. I’ve known Gail for many years personally and have witnessed her passion for the people in her district. She fights for seniors, she fights for people with disabilities who oftentimes are forgotten or dismissed. Am I Republican? No. But am I for Gail Lavielle — unequivocally yes.

Alison Jacobson


Connecticut needs fresh, progressive voices

To the editor:

Michelle McCabe is running for state Senate in Connecticut’s 28 district. For the past eight years I have worked with Michelle — first as colleagues at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity while at Yale University, and then as collaborators in her role as Director of the Center for Food Equity and Economic Development with the Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport.

I have worked with Michelle McCabe on numerous food policy projects, such as improving school meals in Connecticut schools and increasing healthy food access within the emergency food system. I have seen first-hand how Michelle is a passionate and devoted advocate who works tirelessly to try to find the best solutions for the many problems our communities face. She is driven, an innovator, and a doer.

Connecticut needs more fresh, progressive voices in Hartford that will bring new ideas to the table. Michelle McCabe is exactly the kind of state senator Connecticut needs.

Vote for Michelle McCabe on Nov. 6.

Margaret Read


Vote for safety — Vote Michelle McCabe

To the editor:

The horrific mass shooting that happened here in Connecticut at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 was my “enough” moment. Seeing the lack of national progress on common sense gun legislation horrified me. This year’s high school shooting in Parkland solidified for me that gun legislation is critical.

As a clinical social worker, I am acutely aware of the impact of gun violence on entire communities. Ninety-six Americans die from gun violence every day in our country, with hundreds more injured. Most of these deaths no longer make the headlines, and there’s no way to measure how many more lives are impacted by the ripple effects. First responders, clergy and extended families all feel the impact. For U.S. children, the first week of school isn’t just new backpacks and school supplies, but discussions about lockdown drills and what they mean. This is a uniquely American problem that no child should have to endure.

The biggest concern to me personally is the link between guns in homes and death by gun suicide. Having a gun in the home makes it far more likely that a suicide attempt, which is often impulsive, will be successful. It’s actually access to a firearm and not mental illness that puts someone at highest risk of death by suicide. I now ask every client in my practice whether they have a firearm in their home.

Connecticut has some of the strongest gun laws in the country and we must keep it that way. Common sense measures such as closing deadly loopholes, promoting gun safety, and supporting reasonable limits on how and where loaded guns are carried are all top priorities for me in November. For this reason, I am supporting Michelle McCabe for state Senate in the 28th district.

It is time to hold all of our elected officials accountable. They can’t just tell us they support strong gun safety laws; they need to show us with their votes. Michelle is endorsed by Everytown for Gun Safety and is a Moms Demand Action Candidate of Distinction. I have no doubt that she’s the right person to fight to keep our communities safe. This is more than an election; it’s a fight for the safety and well-being of our children. This Nov. 6, vote for safety! Vote for Michelle McCabe.

Amy Cawman


Lavielle has earned my vote

To the editor:

Gail Lavielle has again earned my vote to represent me, Wilton and the 143rd District in Hartford. Gail is the person best equipped to help Wilton/143rd regain fiscal health and increased property values. Gail has deep experience, intelligence, drive and tenacity, transcending party politics to achieve critical constituent priorities.

Gail pushed through transportation initiatives vastly improving the quality of life for myriad Wilton/143rd commuters. Gail doesn’t miss a vote in Hartford and is the last one to leave the floor. I am happy and proud to count Gail my champion, my representative and my dear friend. Please vote for Gail.

AP Duffy


Proud to vote for Tony Hwang

To the editor:

My wife and I moved our family to Fairfield from Washington, D.C., almost four years ago because we thought it was such a wonderful place to raise our children. We were very excited to become members of the community and wanted to ensure that we were able to send our twin 4-year-old girls to the top public schools so that they have the best opportunity to succeed.

As a combat veteran, small business owner, and volunteer firefighter of many years, I have been active in the communities in which I’ve lived. I want to ensure that my children grow up with a similar sense of community in a safe, nurturing environment where they can excel and succeed. I know I’m not unique in that regard and it’s why I believe that it’s so important that our representatives in Hartford are committed to maintaining the kind of community that we have all come to know and love.

Over the past few years, our family has had a chance to get to know our state senator, Tony Hwang. We first met Tony at an event on the town green and see him regularly at community events. Tony has made an effort to ensure the we were welcomed as part of his effort to spread a message of kindness and inclusion. The genuine connection he has with people is refreshing because he cares.

I’ve also come to recognize that Tony has dedicated his time in Hartford to those who need his support most. It is evidenced by his voting record and commitment to the community. He has worked tirelessly to advocate for teachers, firemen, police officers, veterans, seniors, and the middle class — the bedrock of our community.

That’s why I am proud to be voting for state Sen. Tony Hwang on Nov. 6.

Alex J Plitsas


Steinberg is honest, hard working

To the editor:

I urge you to vote for Jonathan Steinberg for state representative. Jonathan Steinberg cares deeply about Westport and has worked tirelessly for the town over the past eight years. He has reached across party lines to find solutions in Hartford to benefit our town.

Jonathan Steinberg has supported the seniors in town by advocating for the Center for Senior Activities before town boards and by requesting funding from the Connecticut State Bond Commission for the enhancement project for the Center . He’s shown leadership in tackling transportation issues that face us. He’s an environmentalist supporter with a solar roof who has won the endorsement of statewide organizations, as well as a staunch supporter for small business. He knows the problems that the state is facing and is working hard to resolve them.

Please return Jonathan Steinberg to Hartford as your representative. He’s smart, honest and hard working, which is what we need!

Lynn Goldberg


Haskell will bring fresh air to Senate seat

To the editor:

We are excited to vote for Will Haskell for state Senate. He will bring fresh air to the seat with a fresh pair of eyes and deep commitment to our community. Will already has experience beyond his years working with legislators. We need young people in government and we especially need individuals who will work for all citizens equally and believe that access to government and voting rights are imperative for a functioning democracy.

Connecticut desperately needs the younger generation to stay here and work for our future, and we believe Will has the vision and energy to make a difference.

Luisa Francoeur and Jim Goodrich