Rising Above Hate, Election Day, and more

November 6, 2023

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Happy Election Day Eve!

The front page of today’s CT Post highlights not only the role of social media in antisemitism, but also the rise in real life incidents of antisemitism occurring in communities across Connecticut, including right here in Fairfield on October 13th.

Like many others, I did not learn of this event until last week when neighbors posted about it and local leaders spoke out to shine a light on graffiti that was racist, antisemitic, and anti LGBTQ. I am thankful to those who let know what had occurred right here in our own backyards. Awareness is important, especially in these difficult times.

As today’s article says, words matter. In this case, it was more than words, it was defaced property and specific groups targeted - Jews, blacks, members of the LGBTQ+ community. A Patch article today documented an inappropriate reference to the Ku Klux Klan by a student at Fairfield Warde.

Whatever your position on political and military decisions made in the Middle East, I hope we can come together and stand against the targeting of individuals with hate speech or hateful actions. So many of our Jewish friends don’t just feel afraid and targeted, they ARE being targeted. Already at historic levels, the incidence of antisemitic hate has increased significantly since October 7th.

In Connecticut we passed legislation requiring the teaching of the Holocaust. We live among survivors whose trauma has been shared across generations. We cannot let this rise in antisemitism continue, whether on social media, here in our communities, or anywhere.

Below is information about both upcoming events and what I have been up to as your representative and leader of the state’s Public Health Committee.

Please reach out if you’d like to learn more about anything shared below.

Election Day and Where to Vote

Tomorrow, November 7th is Election Day across America. Here at home, I want to assure Bridgeport voters that despite the recent news about a new Primary Election, the General Election will occur and includes votes for all municipal candidates. Polls will be open from 6 am to 8 pm. All those with an absentee ballot must have it returned to the clerk by 8 pm on Tuesday.

In both Fairfield and Bridgeport, your local polling place may have changed due to the required redistricting. To learn more about where to vote, click below:

Where Do I Vote In Bridgeport?
Where Do I Vote In Fairfield?

For Fairfield voters, below is a helpful district map along with sample ballots by district:


Mill Hill School 1 District 1
Burr School 2 District 2
Osborn Hill 3 District 3
Stratfield School 4 District 4
Fairfield Warde HS 5 District 5
McKinley School 6 District 6
Holland Hill School  7 District 7
Riverfield School 8 District 8
Sherman School 9 District 9
Senior Center 10 District 10
Use of Opioid Settlement Funds

As a member of the state’s Opioid Settlement Advisory Committee (OSAC), I have the opportunity, together with providers, fellow state and local elected leaders, researchers, and people with lived experience, to help determine how to best use the opioid lawsuit settlement funds to combat the scourge of opioids and save lives. The Committee is currently accepting public comment and suggestions for the use of the funds through November 17th. Suggestions must be either evidence based or a promising practice and cover harm reduction, prevention, treatment or recovery support. You can submit your request here - https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/OSACFundingRec

You can also provide comment on the Connecticut Opioid REsponse (CORE) Strategic Plan through November 12th at here. The draft report is an outline of how we as a state can work across systems to address a crisis that is killing over 1,400 Connecticut residents annually. Please share this opportunity with all who are impacted by opioids, whether first responders, family members, healthcare providers, or caring community members.

In addition to serving on the OSAC, I am also a member of the Connecticut Alcohol and Drug Policy Council and will share more information about the work of that group in the coming weeks.

Home Visits for New Moms

I was thrilled to join DPH Commissioner Juthani, Office of Early Childhood Commissioner Beth Bye, and leaders of the new Family Bridge Program, a universal home visiting program being piloted in Bridgeport. Any family who delivers a baby at either St. Vincent’s or Bridgeport Hospitals and lives in the surrounding catchment area is eligible for 1-3 postpartum visits by a Registered Nurse regardless of income. These visits will include support from Community Health Workers, who will help link parents to community resources.

Included in the visits: physical assessments of Mom and baby, education, prevention screenings, and resources and referrals. The program’s goal is keeping moms and babies safe and healthy. Though Connecticut has improved our infant and maternal mortality measures in recent years, we are still behind so many other industrialized nations. And our black mothers and other women of color have outcomes much worse than our white moms. We need to continue to address these troubling disparities.

Access Health Open Enrollment

Access Health CT's (AHCT) Open Enrollment Period for 2024 opened last Wednesday, November 1. During this period, individuals can enroll for the first time, renew their coverage, and explore the various policy options to see which will be the most beneficial. 

If you are interested and have questions about the program, there are several ways to receive free assistance:

  • In-person: There are in-person enrollment locations and events taking place across Connecticut. Find more information at accesshealthct.com/enrollment-events/.
  • Online: Visit accesshealthct.com. You can learn more about the different plans and find free help online using the "live chat" feature.
  • By phone: Call 1-855-805-4325. Help is available Monday - Friday, 8:00 am- 5:00 pm. Customers who are deaf or hearing impaired may use TTY at 1- 855-789-2428 or call with a relay operator.
  • Work with a Broker: To find a Certified Broker or Enrollment Specialist, visit accesshealthct.com/get-help/

If you or your family need quality, affordable healthcare please don't miss this opportunity. Click here to learn more.

CT Oral Health

Recently, I had a chance to join Fairfield dentist, Dr. Nash to visit the Connecticut Foundation for Dental Outreach’s 16th Mission of Mercy Free Dental Clinic. While there, I witnessed a man receive new dentures that were his two new front teeth. In addition, I was able to join the team from CT Oral Health Initiative (COHI). As COHI reminded me, “Many health problems, like diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions, are linked to oral health. COHI has information about how to access dental care at https://www.ctoralhealth.org/oralhealthaccess The tremendous efforts of the Foundation and the many generous providers means that hundreds of underserved patients were able to receive much needed dental care. Many thanks to Dr. Nash and the entire team.

Please share this information with those who might find these resources and events helpful and of interest. You can also sign up for future e-mails. Have a wonderful weekend.


Cristin McCarthy Vahey


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