Talking Homelessness On Face The Facts, It's Health Equity Week, Put The Phone Away

April 3, 2024

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Dear Neighbor,

Please click on the video below for the opening of the newsletter.

Have a great week,


Talking Homelessness on Face the Facts 
As many of you may have seen, I was a guest of Mike Hydeck, host of Face the Facts, on NBC Connecticut. I had the chance to talk about HB5174, about tiny shelters on religious property for the homeless. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch it.
State Representative Eleni Kavros DeGraw (D-Avon/Canton) sits down with NBCConnecticut's Mike Hydek for an interview on Face the Facts
It's Health Equity Week
Health Equity Week is here, and we're ready to break barriers and build bridges to ensure every individual has access to quality healthcare. Join us as we advocate for fairness, justice, and inclusivity in healthcare systems worldwide. Together, we can make health equity a reality for all!  For a full schedule of events, please click on the image below.
Passports to Connecticut Libraries 
Please stop by your local library to learn more about the Passport to Connecticut Libraries campaign, which encourages everyone to read!

You can start the journey by picking up a library passport at one of 150 participating libraries.

Just get it stamped before visiting other libraries and receive a token gift. Visit at least five libraries and return your passport to a participating library and you will be entered into a state drawing, one for adults and one for children. Participate for a chance to win a $200 Visa gift card! 

The campaign runs through Tuesday, April 30.
The closest locations to grab your passport are:
  • Avon Free Public Library, 281 Country Club Road
  • Canton Public Library, 40 Dyer Ave.

For a full list of participating libraries, please CLICK HERE.

Happening Now: Put The Phone Away Or Pay Campaign
The state is reminding all drivers that when they get behind the wheel, Put the Phone Away or Pay. It’s a campaign for National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April. Please be mindful, that law enforcement will be stepping up its enforcement of distracted-driving laws through April 30.
Another reminder: it’s illegal to use any hand-help mobile electronic device while driving in Connecticut. In addition, 16 and 17-year-old drivers are not allowed to use a hands-free accessory. Fines start at $200, then go to $375, and $625 for a third offense.
Total Solar Eclipse Monday
In a dramatic news bulletin Monday morning NASA announced a major correction to the path of the great American Solar Eclipse predicted to occur on Monday, April 8th

Totality is now predicted all over Connecticut so no need to drive far -  it's coming to a theater near you! Click on the image below for more details.

Prevent Blindness
Reminder: Women-Owned Business Day Event April 11th
The Women's Business Development Council (WBDC) is hosting a Woman Owned Business Day at the Legislative Office Building on Thursday, April 11 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the second floor of the Legislative Office Building. Please click on the flyer below to register.
It's Back: CGA Kickball Classic April 15th
Democrats and Republicans will take to the field for fun and charity on Monday, April 15th, in the third annual Connecticut General Assembly Kickball Classic at Dunkin Park in Hartford. Start time is 4:30 p.m. For ticket information, please click on the graphic below.
All proceeds from the game will go to the Pink Fund and the Earl. E. Exum Memorial Fund. I hope you can attend this light-hearted event with a good cause.
Autism: Raising Awareness At The Capitol April 29th
The CT Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity & Opportunity is inviting you and the families under your care to attend: "Autism: Raising Awareness at the Capitol". This free event, which takes place on Monday, April 29th from 10:00 a.m. to noon in the North Lobby of the Capitol, aims to raise awareness, enhance understanding, and address challenges confronting the autism community.
The invitation is being extended to families to join and listen to insights from medical professionals, as well as personal stories from individuals with autism and parent advocates who have navigated the journey of raising children on the autism spectrum. Attendees will also have the opportunity to hear from legislators regarding current legislative efforts.
National Volunteer Month Is Here
During National Volunteer Month, I am thrilled to shine a spotlight on Connecticut's Student Loan Reimbursement Pilot Program! This initiative, which aims to kick off in July, not only encourages volunteerism but also supports our dedicated volunteers by helping alleviate student loan burdens.

You may remember that in 2022, I proposed this bill with Rep. Palm, Rep. Paris, Rep. M. Sanchez, and Rep. Turco for Student Loan Debt Relief. We were able to pass the bill last year, in 2023. 
While there are other requirements, one of the best pieces of this bill is the volunteer piece-- 50 volunteer hours required per year to qualify for up to $5,000 a year (for up to four years) in relief.

Volunteerism helps people stay connected to the communities and causes they care about and debt relief helps people participate more robustly economically; they can start families, buy a home, get a better interest rate when purchasing a car, and pursue their dreams of being debt free.


Eleni Kavros DeGraw
State Representative


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