This year has been like drinking from a fire hose, with the pandemic affecting every aspect of our lives. While COVID-19 has taken center stage, Connecticut’s fiscal, education, and infrastructure issues have not, however, disappeared. Connecticut’s continuing fiscal and economic fragility will make recovery — restoring our jobs, public health, and economy — a greater challenge than ever. Just as we must carefully balance public health with economic and social imperatives, we must approach all the issues we face with balance, not politics.

We must make the state a responsible steward of your tax dollars by reducing state spending, renegotiating state union contracts, and streamlining government, while investing in education, infrastructure, and essential social services. We must attract new businesses with business-friendly tax and regulatory policies, and reduce your taxes as the tax base grows and state spending decreases.

Students and teachers will need our attention after months of distance learning. So will retirees on fixed incomes, people with disabilities, and state colleges and universities. We must preserve our towns’ ability to make local decisions about schools, zoning, and environmental conservation and open space. We must ensure law enforcement has the means to keep everyone safe. We must reform utilities’ structure and oversight without dramatically raising costs for ratepayers. And we must finally fix our transportation infrastructure.

No political agenda will get all this done for us. Instead, we need independent thinkers who focus on their constituents, not special interests, and work together toward a nonpartisan goal: restoring Connecticut’s prosperity while ensuring that every single resident can count on a future here and has the opportunity to succeed.

Serving Norwalk, Westport, and Wilton is my priority. If I’m fortunate enough to represent you, my only mission will be to speak with your voice and to deliver solutions that meet your needs.

Patrizia Zucaro is the Republican and Independent Party candidate for State Representative of the 143rd district.