Letters to the editor: Where are the churches on #MeToo?
Vote for Will Haskell
To the editor:
Many people ask how could a 22 year old recent Georgetown graduate possibly represent our interests? Then you probably have not met Will and heard him respond to the many tough questions that confront us locally and nationally. He is a new voice eager to help out our struggling state and change it up in Hartford.
Why should you trust Will? Because business as usual just ain’t working and Will Haskell is ready to tirelessly fight for us — if you have seen him campaigning door to door every day to win your trust and support, than you know he is the real deal. He will help fight to protect our healthcare system, raise the minimum wage, fund our public schools, provide much needed care for the opioid crisis and and protect women’s rights.
He is pounding the pavement everyday talking to voters, and that’s the kind of energy and action we need in the state Senate. Let’s vote for change after having the same state Senator for 21 years. Vote for Will Haskell. He cares.
Re-elect Gail Lavielle
To the editor:
Gail Lavielle has worked tirelessly for the people of the 143rd District as our state representative. Gail has fought to curtail spending and reduce our unsustainable tax burden. With Gail’s business background and commitment to reducing taxes, we have a leader capable of offering viable solutions to revive our state’s economy.
The Connecticut House of Representatives has been controlled by Democrats for decades. This has led to an increase in taxes, slow job growth, and a decline in population. Those policies must end. A vote for Gail is a vote to revive our economy. We need to re-elect Gail Lavielle.
To the editor:
As a longtime resident of Westport, I have been impressed with the caliber and dedication of the individuals whom we have elected to be our state representative. Our current representative, Jonathan Steinberg, is among the best. He has an excellent grasp of a wide range of issues and is a quick-study on new ones. As a physician I have interacted with Rep. Steinberg on a number of occasions, and I can attest to his responsiveness to constituents and honesty with respect to his opinions. He deserves another term representing us.
We must elect Gail Lavielle
To the editor:
This November presents an opportunity for a badly-needed leadership change in Hartford, and a chance to finally do a course correction for our state’s economic future.
Gail Lavielle will be an important part of that change, and must be re-elected!
Gail is a respected member of the Legislature who has relied on her business background to establish herself as a smart consensus-builder, admired by her colleagues as well as constituents, and more interested in finding solutions than scoring political points. Gail is a kind, compassionate person with a genuine interest in the needs of others and the community. She is practical, strong in common sense, and does not yield to extreme ideologies that are in some cases prevalent today. Westport is blessed to have Gail as one of its state representatives.
As a legal immigrant residing in the Westport, I am also grateful for her sincere caring for the interests of minority groups as well as immigrants in the state of Connecticut.
If we are serious about putting Connecticut back on track, then we must elect the most qualified candidates. Clearly that includes Gail Lavielle.
We need Michelle Lapine McCabe
To the editor:
Honestly, I like Tony Hwang as much as the next person. What’s not to like about such a happy man who is personally willing to help others when needed? In the political sense that persona is really working for him. He received about 60 percent of the votes on his last campaign.
However, it has become more and more clear to me that his happy-go-lucky energy is a mere facade. He claims to be eager to help the people in his district, but his political activity and voting (or not voting) choices have done little to improve the lives of the people who voted for him. His votes in the state Senate have had little or no impact or are at times contrary to what he says he will do and thus have had little positive impact for us.
Now, what Connecticut needs is a politician whose actions in Hartford cannot be ignored. Michelle McCabe, the new Democratic candidate for State Senator, is especially impressive. Her slogan, “Let’s Get to Work,” is truly representative of her political agenda. She will get the work done for the Connecticut people instead of just wasting more time in Hartford.
Compared to the lackluster political accomplishments of Tony Hwang, Michelle McCabe is a passionate, enthusiastic politician who does what she says she will do and is eager to really get things done for Connecticut’s citizens.
Steinberg does excellent work
To the editor:
Here in Westport we are fortunate to be represented by state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, an individual with drive and integrity. He looks at issues and develops real solutions. He frequently communicates with the residents of the town on the issues at hand. As the House chair of the Public Health Committee, Jonathan has been a firm supporter of the mental health needs of our citizens while advising the local agencies about the realities and impact of our budget problems.
Rep. Steinberg is doing excellent work for us and I hope he will be returned to office for another term on Election Day.
Where are the churches on #MeToo?
To the editor:
It seems that Hollywood, at least one major television network, and even the U.S. Congress have taken accusations of sexual harassment, abuse and assault seriously enough to hold major players accountable.
Churches, synagogues and mosques have been noticeably wary of confronting these issues.
While faith communities see themselves as responsible for setting a moral example for their adherents and the world, on the #MeToo issues most have failed. Instead of rising up against the abuses that take place within their walls there has been silence, secrecy and avoidance.
When a woman comes forward, whether about domestic violence or the sexual misconduct of a pastor, priest, rabbi, imam, or youth coordinator, there needs to be a swift response from congregational leadership. Her safety — both emotional and physical — must be of the utmost importance.
Clergy across the nation need to take immediate steps to advocate for the women in their congregations by speaking out against domestic violence and sexual misconduct, otherwise, they abdicate their role as moral compasses. Half the population and more often than not upwards of two thirds of congregational membership are women. If communities of faith ignore their responsibilities to speak out and take action on #MeToo issues, they are failing the largest membership in their congregations.
There are signs of an awakening in faith communities and we see them emerging as #ChurchToo, #MosqueMeToo, and Sacred Spaces, an organization dedicated to preventing abuse in Jewish synagogues.
Two Westport congregations have joined forces and, effectively are saying to their congregations and to the wider community, “We’re on this!”
Beginning in October, lay leaders from Saugatuck Congregational Church and The Unitarian Church in Westport will co-sponsor #MeToo Sacred Circles for Women — a time for any woman may find a safe place to share her story or perhaps just sit and share in silence, reflection and spiritual unburdening. The Rev. Cecily Stranahan, an interfaith minister (not on staff at either of these congregations) will be the facilitator for the inaugural sessions which begin Oct. 17 at the Saugatuck Congregational Church in Westport.
If you would like more information on the #MeToo Sacred Circles for Women email email@example.com.
To the editor:
Gail Lavielle is a smart legislator who understands the fundamental premise that when you tax something, like income, you get less of it. So it should come as no surprise that, as Connecticut has continued to raise taxes, the effect has been to drive businesses and taxpayers out of state.
Gail clearly understands that without fundamental changes to our state’s tax and regulatory climate, Connecticut will continue to decline. She has consistently opposed tax increases and instead, tried to prioritize spending. Imagine that!
Connecticut needs business-oriented leaders like Gail now more than ever. Please give her your vote next month.
McCabe will fight for reproductive freedom
To the editor:
Voters considering candidates for statewide offices need to know where prospective Connecticut legislators stand on women’s reproductive freedom. Brett Kavanaugh’s addition to the U.S. Supreme Court will likely result in a further erosion of all of our rights, including a woman’s right to choose. Abortion rights are protected by Connecticut state law such that if the Supreme Court reverses Roe v. Wade, reproductive rights would not change for Connecticut citizens. However, anti-choice groups will become active in attempting to enact laws that would remove or restrict a woman’s right to choose in states like ours.
Michelle Lapine McCabe is a strong, progressive, highly-qualified candidate who will fight to protect reproductive freedom for the women of Connecticut. Michelle is endorsed by CT Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice CT. I look forward to voting for Michelle for Connecticut state Senator for District 28.
Gail and Toni are true advocates for education
To the editor:
The Wilton community prioritizes education, and takes pride in our high-performing school district. Which is why we should be pleased that our legislators — Sen. Toni Boucher and Rep. Gail Lavielle — hold leadership positions on the legislature’s Education Committee.
Both were named to the Connecticut Education Association’s honor roll, and cited for their strong support for public education. In addition, Gail and Toni have used their positions to avert repeated attempts to eliminate Wilton’s share of the Education Cost Sharing program, and to shift teacher pension costs to Wilton taxpayers. Gail and Toni are true advocates for education, and deserve to be re-elected.
Michelle McCabe for state Senate
To the editor:
Michelle McCabe is not your “average politician.” As the Democratic candidate for Connecticut’s 28th Senate District, she has dedicated her career to public service. Born and raised in Connecticut, she is currently serving as director of the Center for Food Equity and Economic Development at the Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport. Her comprehensive, “on the ground” experience will provide a much-needed point of view in Hartford, ensuring that Connecticut is working to offer real solutions to families and communities.
These solutions include applying her deep experience as a local leader to maximize our State’s economic development, ensure responsible gun control, energize our transportation and educational systems, and protect our environment. Given the divisiveness that currently afflicts our nation and our state, Michelle will bring a welcome civility and practicality to politics that is desperately needed. Please join me in voting for Michelle McCabe for State Senate.
’Tisthe season: Vote Hwang
To the editor:
It’s election time and once again I proudly ask that you join me in re-electing state Sen. Tony Hwang to the 28th Sstate Senate district. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Sen. Hwang during my 10 years as an elected official in the town of Fairfield. Tony is a common-sense leader who is fiscally responsible, a champion for public education, and a consummate advocate for the underserved.
In a climate of partisan theatrics, Tony rises above the name calling to act in the best interest of his constituents regardless of the politics.
Sen. Hwang is the type of dedicated public servant that we need to continue electing in Hartford. Tony’s passion and dedication to making Connecticut a destination where people want to stay, raise a family, open a business, and retire are invaluable to the people of the 28th district.
Let’s be role models and send a bipartisan leader to Hartford. Please re-elect state Sen. Tony Hwang and put people over politics.
‘Drink Wiser’ this Halloween
To the editor:
A little mischief can be fun around Halloween, but it’s important to act responsibly whenever alcohol is involved. This October, it’s vital to enjoy responsibly and “Drink Wiser” as you’re celebrating the spookiest of holidays.
Budweiser’s new responsible drinking campaign, “Drink Wiser,” promotes the idea that responsible drinking is fairly easy.
If you plan on a boozy Halloween this year, take advice from Budweiser’s new “Drink Wiser” campaign and practice two specific responsible drinking behaviors:
1. Plan ahead for safe rides.
2. Hydrate between brews.
Since the launch of Anheuser-Busch’s first responsible drinking campaign in 1982, the brewer and its wholesaler partners, including Dichello Distributors Inc., have invested more than $1 billion in national advertising campaigns and community-based programs to promote alcohol responsibility and prevent drunk driving and harmful drinking behaviors. Alcohol-related fatalities have decreased 51 percent since then, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Drunk driving and binge drinking are 100 percent preventable, so make the smart choice this Halloween. Just remember to “Drink Wiser” and help make our community safer for all.
Boucher: Why I choose to run
The journey to elective office is challenging, often difficult, and always demanding. So, what would motivate anyone to do it? It is an extraordinary opportunity afforded to only a few — an opportunity to effect a change for good. For me, it is that and so much more, fueled by a respect for our system of government, passion about today’s issues, and the desire to help people navigate the maze of a massive government bureaucracy.
But, most of all, it is my gratitude for the American principles of inclusion and opportunity for all people that opened the door to me and my family.
Our story is like many others. I was born in a small farmhouse in Italy where my brother and I were supervised by a sheep dog as we played alone while adults tended the fields.
Our two uncles had immigrated to the U.S. before WWII and were farmers in Wallingford and Woodbridge. My parents sold all that they had to sail to America to join them in search for a better life. With only a grammar school education, my father’s respect for educated people was reflected in his daily missive to us: “Education is everything. It is the way out of poverty and the path to freedom.”
We took that to heart, and with the community’s help, hard work and scholarships, my parents lived to see the first in the family to graduate from elementary school, high school, college and graduate school.
My gratitude is reflected in the desire to “pay it forward,” which has motivated my public service career. That started, honoring my father’s passion, as Board of Education chair, a member of the Board of Selectman and as a gubernatorial appointee to the State Board of Education. I have been privileged to serve on the State House of Representatives Education and Higher Education Leadership Committees and now in the state Senate as Chief Deputy Leader and Education Committee co-chair. Throughout this time, I have also been working in and growing private businesses while raising my three children in this beautiful state we call home.
The state that was the envy of the country and that gave me and my family every opportunity to succeed is now in serious financial trouble. People and companies can no longer afford to stay here. Our economy is shrinking. It will take someone with knowledge of how government functions; has managed large and small businesses; and has the trust of the district to make the changes Connecticut needs to move forward. I commit to continue to fight for you and for a better Connecticut.
President Lincoln said, “I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.” To earn your pride and trust has always been my goal. This is an honor to serve and why I choose to run.
I will be voting for Gail Lavielle
To the editor:
Rep. Gail Lavielle serves as assistant minority leader in the state Legislature, the ranking member on the education committee, and holds seats on the influential transportation and finance committees. Rep. Lavielle is very well-regarded by her colleagues — both Democrats and Republicans — and has earned these prestigious committee assignments and leadership positions. Having such a respected representative is a true asset to our community and ensures that our interests are properly being heard and actioned. Prudent residents will want to continue having such an accomplished, committed leader represent them, thus, I will be voting for Rep. Gail Lavielle.
We need to keep Gail in Hartford
To the editor:
I feel very fortunate that Wilton has a hard-working representative like Gail Lavielle. Gail is someone who takes the time to get to know her constituents, regardless of their party affiliations. If you have lived in Wilton for some time, you most likely have come across Gail at various town events and get to see her warm, inviting personality.
Gail has been crucial in achieving positive steps to narrow the state’s budget deficit. Despite being in the minority, she and her Republican colleagues introduced important changes, such as spending and bonding cap, which passed bipartisan support.
Guided by her strong business background, Gail understands that a supportive business climate and reduced tax burden are critical to our future.
We need to keep Gail in Hartford, and we need to vote for Bob Stefanowski, a political outsider, and a turnaround expert, as our next governor.
It is time to end the failed leadership that has put Connecticut at the bottom of our nation.
Jonathan Steinberg — Clearly the
I have been a resident of Westport and known Jonathan Steinberg for at least 20 years. He is a sincere, hard-working, and intelligent state representative for Westport in the state Legislature. He cares deeply about our town, where he grew up, raised his family and continues to live. He looks at our problems in a clear-eyed and creative way and sets about doing what is possible to do, given the climate in Hartford. He leads the Moderate Caucus, which diligently works to build consensus, bringing the two polarized sides back into conversation to fix the bigger issues. One of those issue is the seriously underfunding of teachers’ pensions. He now chairs that commission to come up with better ways to end the deficit.
I have a great deal of admiration and respect for the tireless and difficult work that Jonathan has been doing for our town in Hartford. He has been working on issues like health care, energy, the environment and transportation and has gotten to a place where he is now in a position to chair important committees.
It has come to my attention that certain lies have been put forward by Greg Kraut and his handlers about Jonathan, which are absolutely nasty, baseless and fundamentally designed to misinform the public. See what you think.
Rather than speaking his truth about the issues, Kraut has gone out of his way to misrepresent Mr. Steinberg’s voting on policies such as the governor’s tax bills, which he then uses to bolster his fantasy position that he can cut taxes and increase services. Bad Math. How convenient. How facile. He clearly has no experience with the give and take required of a Representative in Hartford.
In fact, Jonathan did the right thing when he voted against the governor’s tax bills, although there was some political fallout for him. He was clear that raising taxes was not the best idea. Why would Kraut lie about that fact when it is so easy to fact check in the public record? Jonathan does what is right, and his opponent cannot even tell the truth about what is of public record.
In addition, Jonathan’s record opposing bad 8-30g affordable housing development has been clear over the years.
Yet, even though, or maybe because, Kraut himself is a real estate speculator/developer, he lies about Jonathan’s record here as well.
Even when Kraut goes door to door, those he speaks to have recalled that when they ask, “So, are you running as a Republican or an Independent against Jonathan?” He lies again and says of all things, that he is really more of a Democrat! Wow! If he wanted to run as a Democrat, he should have run in the primaries, against Jonathan.
Perhaps Mr. Kraut believes that being a Republican, poses a hinderance to his being elected. Let’s prove him right on that point.
Vote for Jonathan Steinberg because he has done right by Westport residents and will continue to do so. Please vote for Jonathan Steinberg on Nov. 6.