Wilton Democratic view: Values, fiscal responsibility and local control

Democrats know that progress can be achieved together, for everyone. That requires returning to the optimistic sense of possibility that is a hallmark of America, and turning away from the chaos, resentments, and frank ineptitude of the Trump administration.

The path to restoring national unity, decency, and our place in the world is with the calm, competent leadership of Joe Biden in partnership with Kamala Harris and Jim Himes. Wilton Democrats enthusiastically support the Biden/Harris team and Congressman Himes for real progress on healthcare; rejoining international alliances and environmental pacts; finally starting infrastructure investments; insisting on racial justice; reclaiming the jobs and economic trends that Trump inherited and squandered; protecting our environment and hard fought rights for women and the LGBTQ community… And of course COVID: it’s time for a president who leads by example and a government that embraces science and medical fact.

Will Haskell and Stephanie Thomas strike the exact right blend for Wilton in Hartford — embracing Democratic values, while insisting on fiscal responsibility and local control of local matters. Haskell has become a thought leader and consensus builder in Hartford, and Thomas will bring her deep experience as a small business owner to support local entrepreneurs.

Senator Haskell led last year’s successful fight against school regionalization. He was the first legislator to oppose regionalization publicly. He advocated strongly and effectively and was a constant voice for Wilton with legislative leaders and the governor. Together with a groundswell from other Democrats, Republicans, and unaffiliated voters, regionalization was defeated without ever coming to a Senate vote. Senator Haskell and Ms. Thomas stand equally for local control of zoning. The vast majority agree with the goal of increasing the choice of housing types, and Wilton is already moving thoughtfully in that direction.

Democrats are aggressively addressing our state’s fiscal challenges. The state’s rainy-day-fund has grown to an unprecedented $3.1 billion, and old pension obligations were paid down by an extra $70 million. The rainy-day fund is the saving grace to handle the economic challenges of COVID. Thankfully, Haskell and other Democrats resisted Republican attempts to raid that fund for road repair, and will continue to advocate for tolls on out-of-state cars and trucks. Connecticut Democrats are doing the serious work. Total state payroll is now less than 80 percent of 2015’s payroll, and Haskell opposed raises for unions that he found unwarranted.

Haskell co-sponsored three gun bills that are now law; he and Ms. Thomas are recognized by Mothers Demand Action. He fought for paid family leave and the Time’s Up Act which lengthens the statute of limitations for sexual harassment and assault. Haskell supported insurance reforms that now expand access to breast health and remove co-pays and deductibles for mammograms; he and Ms. Thomas are endorsed by Planned Parenthood. Other endorsements come from the Sierra Club for both, CT Realtors for Haskell, and Connecticut’s Uniformed Fire Fighters for Thomas.

Wilton Democrats enthusiastically support Biden, Harris, Himes, Haskell, and Thomas. Please join us to repair our country and to keep Connecticut moving forward together.

Tom Dubin is chairman of the Wilton Democratic Town Committee.