The economic recovery from the COVID-19 health crisis is going to be a long-term process. I advocate programs that support small businesses and working families who were most significantly impacted by the stay-at-home order. We need to prepare proactively for new waves of COVID-19 and for any possible future pandemics.
I will work to strengthen our public health agencies, state and local, to incorporate best practices and better prepare for future challenges. We must use the experience gained from the COVID-19 pandemic to prepare for the future and to work with the Governor's office to benefit from our state's success.
Funding for our roads comes from one of two sources: CT-based gas taxes or from tolls. By joining every other state on the I-95 corridor in collecting tolls, we can shift the cost burden from CT residents to the many out of state drivers who pass through without stopping for gas.
However, any plan to bring tolls to CT's highways must be limited, strategic, and purposeful.
Additionally, we should take steps to reopen and maintain CT's weigh stations. Not only will these provide another revenue source for our state's transportation funds, but doing so will save lives, keep drivers and truckers safe, and reduce the seemingly endless traffic jams caused by overloaded vehicles.
At the present time, it is difficult for municipalities like Waterford and Montville to compete with CT's larger cities and towns with attracting businesses to come to our state. I support providing increased opportunities for suburban and rural towns to access state resources and guidance on economic development and marketing.
To protect SECT's uniquely diverse environment, I will push for the development of an open-spaces acquisition plan. I will seek to ban or eliminate the most dangerous and long-lasting pesticides which are causing permanent damage to our waterways. I will push for policies that support local farmers and incentivize urban and suburban agriculture.
I support universal healthcare. However, enacting this type of program on a state level would not be as efficient as it would be on a federal or regional level. Therefore, I will continue to support CT's current efforts to expand affordable coverage to all while simultaneously encouraging our governor and federal legislators to seek partnerships with nearby states and to promote federally-provided universal healthcare.
We must continue strengthening and building our healthcare workforce for the 21st century. Our state must use the lessons learned from the pandemic to build a workforce better able to respond to future problems without difficult transitions. This applies to our healthcare infrastructure as well as the education and workforce needed to support it.
I support the development of a Connecticut Public Bank as a realistic plan to lower taxes, invest in our communities, and keep our tax dollars here in CT. Public banking is no longer optional, it is necessary. No better solution has been proposed to protect CT's taxpayers from the consequences of the most recent economic recession. I support investing taxpayer dollars back into small businesses, especially to help them recover from the COVID-19 health crisis.
I support expanding opportunities like the Eastern CT Manufacturing Pipeline and advanced technical training for CT youth to prepare them for 21st century jobs. I support the expansion of the Education Cost Sharing Grant to provide state funding for Waterford and Montville public schools. I support providing municipalities with the opportunity to reform bus route policy to allow for greater efficiency of bus routes to save tax-dollars and reduce carbon emissions.
I support protecting defined-benefit pension programs in our state as a way to keep the best and brightest workers in CT and to ensure retirement security for our aging state workforce.
I support protecting CT's current gun laws. There is, however, room for improvement. We need to explore opportunities to improve the licensing process for CT gun owners and close any remaining loopholes for Safe Storage laws. I support building a relationship between firearm owners and gun safety advocates to promote policies founded in science, reason, and safety.
I will prioritize updating Connecticut's out-of-date accessibility legislation to ensure that all of CT's residents have equal opportunities and protection from discrimination.
I support the equal rights of ALL Connecticut residents and will remain a vocal ally of the LGBTQIA+ community. I will introduce legislation to mandate science-based, medically-accurate sexual health education in all of CT's schools.
I will not bend on my belief that Black Lives Matter. People of color across the US, not just in large cities, but in towns like Waterford and Montville, do not feel safe in their own towns because of the color of their skin. To that end, I will work with local police departments and the CT state police to abolish elements of racial bias, bigotry, and excessive use of force. I will work to incorporate social services and community organizations to serve as an integral part of CT's Public Safety network.
I support enacting a state-wide set of sustainable purchasing policies that would help guide towns toward more environmentally-friendly purchases as they spend state tax dollars on responsibly sourced goods and services. Increase support for the program Town Aid Road, a program that helps to fund municipal infrastructure projects. Support maintenance of state roads such as Rt. 1, Rt. 85, and Rt. 32.
I am a strong supporter of permanently bringing the mail-in voting option to Connecticut. The decades-long use of mail-in voting by members of the military, students, and other states has demonstrated this voting method to be safe and reliable. It is the duty of all elected officials to protect our republic and the integrity of our democracy by keeping voting accessible for all citizens.
To guarantee elections that are fair and representative of the will of the voters, I will work to bring Ranked Choice Voting to Connecticut.