2022 Constituent Survey

April 22, 2022

Sound public policy cannot be made in a vacuum, so getting ideas and criticism from residents is a necessary part of the legislative process. That’s why earlier this spring I sent a survey to all my constituents in the 36th General Assembly District. More than 100 people responded (both online and through the mail) and I want to express my deep appreciation for this wonderful show of civic engagement.

Since responding anonymously was an option, I cannot thank everyone personally, but please know that as your State Representative, I take seriously the feedback I get from folks of every political affiliation, age, gender or gender expression, race, and profession. Whether you grew up in your town or recently moved here, your opinion matters to me.

State Spending

My staff has spent weeks gathering and analyzing the surveys we got back. Please click HERE for the spreadsheet showing how residents expressed their priorities for State spending. 

In addition to these data points, several respondents wrote unsolicited narrative comments. To protect everyone’s privacy and to avoid politicizing the comments, I won’t quote from them. But there were common subjects that bear mentioning.

State's Handling of Covid

The overwhelming response from those who took the survey is that the State of Connecticut did a very good job managing the pandemic -- our early shutdown and masking measures paid off with low infection rates. While no one enjoys wearing masks, most people wrote that they understood the importance of mask-wearing in preventing the spread of Covid-19; however, about two-thirds of respondents were opposed to further mask mandates. Interestingly, even the folks who responded negatively to Gov. Lamont overall acknowledged he has done an excellent job managing this crisis. 

Recurrent Themes

In the narrative portion of the survey, folks often mentioned:

• Sustainable economic development for downtown Higganum

• Management of invasive Hydrilla in waterways

• Removal of mask mandates

• Reservation of open space

• Addressing car thefts and crime

• Support for Compassionate Care ("Aid-in-Dying")

• Retaining small-town atmosphere

• Attracting young people to our towns

• Creating town-appropriate, affordable housing

• Increased need for youth services

• Tax relief for seniors

• Voting rights protection

• Food scrap composting; Sustainable Essex

I am happy to say that last year and during this current session, we addressed many of the priorities listed above. Here are just a few examples:

Once again, I appreciate the civic engagement shown by our towns’ residents. If you missed the survey or would like to discuss any of the information, please email me at Christine.palm@cga.ct.gov.