On March 8th, Connecticut had its first confirmed case of coronavirus. The following day, the Governor declared a state of Public Health and Civil Preparedness Emergencies and our lives have been radically changed ever since.
However, my commitment to you and your family has not changed. Now more than ever I am fighting to ensure public and worker safety, economic relief and stability for all, and structural change that addresses age-old systemic racism.
There is no doubt after the world watched the modern-day lynching of George Floyd there is much work to be done with police accountability. However, that work cannot and should not be done without addressing the systems that augment inequities across the board. Nevertheless, we will get through these challenging times and I know our state will be stronger and wiser when it is all done.
If you have questions, concerns, or if I can be helpful to you in any way, please call or email me anytime.
Advocating For You
This is a challenging time for all of us. My office has worked with many of you to fix issues with your unemployment applications and get personal protective equipment to those on the frontlines of the pandemic and for members of the community. I know that it is during these challenging times when we need government help and services the most. I am proud to say that because of our advocacy, we have expanded tele-medicine, brought additional COVID-19 testing sites to our community, expanded affordable childcare options for front-line workers, and delayed due dates for state income taxes and municipal property taxes. We were also able to get rent relief for renters, and economic relief for undocumented workers.
For the most up to date information please visit portal.ct.gov/coronavirus
If you are out of work, you have the right to file for unemployment insurance. Visit www.FileCTUI.com to file your claim or call: 860-263-6975, 203-455-2653, 860-263-6974 or 203-455-2650.
If you are a business owner, the Department of Economic and Community Development is developing and updating guidelines on safe ways to operate your business: business.ct.gov/Recovery. They have also opened a small business hotline: 860-500-2333.
If you are having trouble paying your residential mortgage or rent, we have worked with banks and landlords to provide you additional time to put together payments. For more information on these programs, visit: portal.ct.gov/coronavirus/information-for/homeowners-and-renters.
Absentee Ballots for the Primary and Beyond
For the August 2020 Presidential and state primary, all voters can vote by absentee due to the COVID-19 virus, pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order No. 7QQ. Just check the COVID-19 box on the application. For additional information on Hamden elections, visit: hamden.com/266/Absentee-Ballots. For New Haven, visit: newhavenct.gov/gov/depts/clerk/election.htm.
This summer the legislature is expected to vote on a package to ensure that absentee ballots will be delivered to all residents for the November election. More importantly, I am committed to expanding access to the ballot in our communities not just this November but in the years to come.
On Police Accountability and Systemic Racism
There are many reforms that must be made to adequately address the issues of police accountability, transparency, and racial equity. While we’ve passed laws in recent years, such as SB 380, that took steps in the direction of real reform, we can and must do more. I am confident that this summer’s special session will undoubtedly continue this push and hope you know that as your Representative, I am committed to ending broken windows policies; expanding and giving voice to community oversight; implementing statewide independent investigations and prosecutions of police misconduct; and enacting measures that will allow for just punishment for officers who break the law.
On Connecticut’s Housing Crisis
While many of the bills I had hoped we’d be debating in the General Assembly that strengthen tenant protections now sit in limbo, we have seen the state expand the safety net and offer supports to those most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic in ways not seen in decades. I stand with those calling to cancel rent during this time of great need and also am calling for the creation of a rent bank to help those struggling to pay rent due to a loss of income.
On Connecticut’s Employment Crisis
Our state has experienced one of the highest unemployment rates ever recorded in its history as a result of the pandemic. As Connecticut begins to reopen, not everyone will have an easy transition back into good paying jobs. If you are struggling with employment, visit ctdol.state.ct.us to file today. CT.gov also provides resources for those struggling to find work under the “Jobs and Employment” section.
I have also called on the Governor and legislative leadership to enact increased workers protections for those on the frontlines. Our essential workers deserve a workers’ compensation presumption and hazard pay because referring to those on the front lines as ‘essential’ does not mean they are sacrificial.
Summer School Programing
Summer school programing is prohibited from beginning before July 6. All public schools must comply with guidance recently issued by the Commissioner of Education and private programs are expected to do the same. Enter the following link into your browser to read more about the reopening process for summer schools.
The State Department of Education has released a plan for Connecticut public schools to fully reopen in the fall. The plan gives children the opportunity to return to the classroom with expected safety measures for all. I would love to hear from you on this matter. Please email me your feedback as soon as possible.
Read the detailed plan.