Major Issues For 2024 Session, Jobseekers Portal Launched, Warming Centers In Area

January 19, 2024

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Dear Neighbor,

We are beyond the midway point of January 2024 already. That means the 2024 legislative session is around the corner. It begins on February 7th. Before that though, I along with fellow lawmakers will be hosting a pre-session town hall later this month that I hope you will attend.

This week's newsletter is full and includes more information on the town hall and some of the major issues we will likely be addressing during the session. I have also included a reminder about Operation Fuel assistance. I offer some cold weather safety tips and a list of warming centers in our area, given the cold snap we will experience for the next several days, from the Town of Groton. And there's a lot more!

I hope you all have a great weekend,


What's Our Rep Been Up To?
I am deeply grateful to St. John’s Christian Church in Groton City for inviting me in to offer remarks on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Being in the presence of my family, neighbors, and fellow community members this sacred day fills me with immense gratitude. We were blessed to gather together in their beautiful house of God, united in our respect for Dr. King’s legacy of love, justice, and equality.

Thank you, Rev. Joseph L. Coleman, Tamara Lanier, and Councilor Juliette Parker for the invitation to participate in the beautiful program.  

Mystic's recent flooding is a stark reminder of the new normal - 20 inches of sea level rise by 2050.
My district, a frontline in the battle against climate change, stands as living proof. Every tide that rolls in whispers a warning. I've been very outspoken on the subject and have worked closely with Town staff in both Groton and Stonington on this matter. We have also invited state leaders down to discuss these issues.

Action is needed, NOW!

Video of Mystic Flooding
Here's a shout-out and congratulations to the new and re-elected members of the Groton Democratic Town Committee at last week's caucus!
In early November, I attended the 3rd annual tree lighting ceremony sponsored by Mystic Aquarium which is celebrating 50 years and has its own fabulous “Home for the Holidays” light display this season. Our Lobster Trap Tree saw thousands of visitors from all over the map!
Thank you to the dedicated crew of volunteers who helped build and dismantle the tree. A big congratulations to Lisa Konicki and her team at the Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce for the incredible foresight to put on this impressive display each year! The tree was a truly magical sight and a beautiful way to end this memorable season. Thank you to Mystic Aquarium for their sponsorship of this exhibit and the countless artists and sponsors that donated bouys! 
Join us for our Pre-Session Legislative Town Hall on Wednesday, Jan. 31!
I hope you can join me and fellow state representatives Christine Conley and Anthony Nolan for a pre-session, legislative town hall at the Public Library of New London on Wednesday, January 31, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Major Issues for the 2024 Legislative Session
Here is a look at the issues we could be addressing in the 2024 legislative session, which begins February 7th. Click on the image below.
CT Launches New Portal for Jobseekers
Connecticut has launched its new jobs portal,, aimed at assisting state residents — and those seeking to move here — in finding a job. joins and as the next service category in Connecticut's ongoing journey toward an all-digital state government that streamlines and improves access to services and resources. Some of the resources available through include:
  • Powerful job search tools
  • Job search tips and personal help
  • Free and low-cost training, certificate, and classroom programs
  • Resources to help employers hire, train, and retain employees

All of the resources are Connecticut-specific and focus on connecting job seekers with a myriad of employment and workforce development opportunities.

The strong and steady statewide economy continues to add jobs, but employers in some industries still face workforce shortages, and will be a valuable resource to them.

This portal also importantly provides employers with information to reach greater numbers of skilled jobseekers from diverse backgrounds, which is critical to a more equitable Connecticut economy.

Reminder: Operation Fuel Assistance Available
I wanted to share this again.

If you're struggling to pay utility bills, Operation Fuel may be able to help you.

Operation Fuel's energy assistance program opened this week for the Winter/Spring season. Applications will be accepted until March 1 unless available funds run out before that date.

Households with incomes that do not exceed 75% of the State Median Income Guidelines may qualify for assistance. These households include - but are not limited to - the elderly, disabled, working families, or individuals facing a financial crisis.

Eligible clients may apply for energy assistance (gas, electric, oil, or other deliverable fuel) ONCE per year and receive a grant of UP TO $500.

For utility assistance (electric & gas), clients must show they made at least four payments in the past 12 months, must owe a past due amount, and provide at least four weeks of income information.

Operation Fuel is accepting applications for water and energy bill assistance for:

Electric: Eversource, United Illuminating (UI), and Norwalk Public Utilities
Gas: Eversource, UI, Yankee Gas, Southern Connecticut Gas (SCG), and Connecticut Natural Gas (CNG)
Water: CT Water and The Metropolitan District (MDC)

Operation Fuel has been assisting Connecticut residents for 46 years. In that time, Operation Fuel has distributed millions of dollars in assistance to help thousands of Connecticut households.
For more information and to apply for assistance, click

Cold Weather Safety Tips, Warming Centers in the Area
With frigid temperatures expected to grip the region for the next several days, I wanted to share some cold weather safety tips, and make sure you were aware of the available warming centers in our area via the Town of Groton.

Please click on the image below to see the list.

Stay warm and stay safe, too!

The Latest: Downtown Mystic Resiliency & Sustainability Plan
I attended the final public meeting regarding the Downtown Mystic Resiliency & Sustainability Plan earlier this month. Please see the video of the meeting below.
Are You Interested in Serving in Government?
Please click on the image below to learn more if you are interested in serving in government. There are hundreds of opportunities out there.
Mystic Garden Club Celebrating 100 Years
Happy Anniversary to the 94-member Mystic Garden Club! Thank you for all you've done for the area and for sticking to a mission statement, which reads, in part: "...a non-profit organization that encourages the love of gardening among amateurs, promotes good environmental stewardship, and promotes civic beautification. The Mystic Garden Club encourages its members to contribute their knowledge for the enjoyment and education of the public." There was a great piece in the New London Day about the milestone. Click on the image below to read.
Mystic Garden Club
Watch: Black and Puerto Rican Caucus Forum 
Black and Puerto Rican Caucus Forum
January 16, 2024
I am the secretary of the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus and we held our latest forum on Tuesday.

It lasted 13 hours!

Though we heard from individuals and constituents, last week, on Tuesday, we heard from organizations, non-profits, and community institutions.

The inputs provided will guide our legislative agenda for this session.

The BPRC seeks input from constituents as it relates to their concerns and ideas about pressing policy issues concerning the Black and Latino communities.

Community Events
The Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce is proud to partner with the Mystic & Noank Library, Mystic Seaport Museum, and Kevin Booker, Jr. - New London Parking Authority Commissioner to present the Third Annual Celebration of Black History Month on Saturday, February 3rd at the Mystic Seaport beginning at 10 a.m.

Our first celebration in 2022 took place outside Mystic River Park on February 19.

The program was hosted by Kevin Booker, Jr., a Mitchell College and Connecticut College professor who also offers training in leadership and diversity, equity, and inclusion through his company, Booker Empowerment, LLC.

The event continues to grow in 2024 as we welcome the Mystic Seaport Museum as a partner and extend the program into the afternoon. The program will start at the Mystic Flag Pole in Downtown Mystic CT where we will have a performance of the Black National Anthem and then march to the Union Baptist Church - Mystic - CT indoors, for performances and speakers. The event is scheduled for Feb. 3rd at the Mystic Seaport and begins at 10 a.m. For more information, please click HERE.

Do not hesitate to contact me with any thoughts or concerns you may have at or 1-800-842-8267.


Aundré Bumgardner
State Representative


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