September 3 Newsletter: Updates on Avon Village Center, Redistricting & More

September 7, 2021
We are constantly working to provide updates and important news as it develops over social media and by email. This is a recap of some of this week’s highlights.

For more information about the state's response efforts visit To receive text message notifications, sign up for CTAlert, the state’s emergency alert system. To subscribe, text "COVIDCT" to 888-777.


Phase 1 of Avon Village Center Project Complete

After a couple of years of construction, the Whole Foods in Avon is now officially open!

This was the first step in finishing the larger Avon Village Center project, and fellow Avon Rep. Eleni Kavros DeGraw and I were able to get an update of the project earlier this week. Ultimately, we'll end up with a variety of different businesses and stores. But for right now, this is an exciting development! 

Click HERE to read more about the project and the opening of Whole Foods.


Redistricting Committee Update

Today the Bipartisan Reapportionment Committee (on which I serve as one of the appointed officials) announced that it will be holding a series of public hearings to solicit input from the public on how lines should be drawn to best serve their communities. You can watch the hearings live on CT-N. You can also submit testimony by email to The work of this Committee is critical to the functioning of our democracy, utilizing data from last year’s Census to ensure that we continue to comply with the fundamental principle of one person one vote.
To learn more about the Reapportionment Committee and the work that they do, visit

Addressing Rising Car Thefts

I want to share some significant news: starting September 1, the Connecticut Judicial Branch will provide police departments with 24/7 access to juvenile arrest records to help curb car thefts and break-ins.

The Judicial Branch and local police have struggled to share juvenile criminal history and that has hampered efforts to investigate and properly prosecute repeat offenders.

This new procedure will allow police departments the ability to seek a juvenile’s prior criminal history at any time. This change comes after speaking with police chiefs across the state who told us they didn’t have access to information they needed to get the worst offenders off the streets.

There is more work to be done on this issue, but this represents a good start.


FDA Approves Pfizer Vaccine

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted the Pfizer BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine full approval, becoming the first vaccine to receive complete authorization following a comprehensive review by the agency, using the extensive data provided as well as conducting their own analyses.

The vaccine, which is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will now be marketed as Comirnaty. It is FDA-approved for anyone 16 years of age and older for the prevention of COVID-19.  The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.

The announcement is likely welcomed news for those in Connecticut and nationwide who have been somewhat skeptical about the vaccine, that despite its success rate, was being administered under the FDA's emergency use authorization.

As of today, 2.32 million – or 65.1 percent – of Connecticut residents have been vaccinated. While this is certainly better than other states, we can and must do better. Now is the time!

To find out how to get a COVID-19 vaccine, click here. If you need to find a vaccine provider near you, please click here.


Helping Minority-Owned Businesses

Last week, the state announced it will receive funds from the U.S. Department of Commerce to be used for supporting minority-owned businesses.

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), which operates within the Department of Commerce, works to specifically help minority-owned businesses with increasing sales, hiring and retaining staff, and adjust businesses' overall operations.

If you or someone you know owns a business and is interested in participating in this program, you can email ( or call (877-723-2828) the Connecticut Small Business Development Center.


West Hartford Food Pantry In Need of Items

The West Hartford Food Pantry is in need of your help.

The pantry says it is dire need of non-perishable items like canned soup, canned fruit, and pasta and is asking the community to consider donating these and other items to the pantry.

CLICK HERE to read more about the pantry's needs and when you can drop off donations.