CEA Releases 2022 Legislator Report Card

September 21, 2022

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Dear Neighbor,
One of the things I enjoy most when I'm out of session is spending time interacting with our local business owners. This week, I toured Miner's Lumber and had a great discussion about the importance of EVs, but more importantly, being able to get the EVs a business like theirs needs to stay in business. I spent yesterday morning bagging groceries at Shop Rite in Canton as part of Hunger Action Month.  And today, I toured Bantam Wesson (also in Canton) to discuss biodiesel and how it fits into clean energy solutions as a more economical and cleaner solution as well as the importance of signing up and completing a home energy audit.
I'm proud to share two items of note this week. First, the Connecticut Education Association has placed me on their honor roll. I have often said, aside from being a parent, teaching is the hardest job. We need to support our teachers so they can support our students. We are so lucky to have some of the best schools in the United States, and we make them better by ensuring that all students have access to the education that fits them best—with the best teachers helping them achieve great outcomes!
We also learned this week that Canton and Avon are the recipients of STEAP grants---grants that help municipalities complete large projects that could fall more directly on the taxpayer if not for these grants. It also helps towns maintain existing assets. More information is below.
Enjoy the fall weather ahead and have a great week!


Hunger Action Month
September is Hunger Action Month and I had such a great time bagging groceries at the Canton ShopRite with Senator Kevin Witkos. I will miss working with him as I think we spend as much of the time laughing as we do working for the people we represent.

Thank you to Chuck Joseph and his entire team for always prioritizing our hungry neighbors and for always doing his best to keep prices down, especially now. They accepted donations as people were checking out and we were bagging.

As a reminder, we have great local food pantries that need your support and the best food bank in the nation, Connecticut Foodshare. To learn how you can support Connecticut Foodshare's mission, click here. If you are having difficulty putting food on the table, you can click the links below to find local food resources:

CEA Releases Legislator Report Cards
The Connecticut Education Association (CEA) has released its Legislator Report Card for the 2021-2022 legislative cycle. The Report Card evaluates legislators' voting records and advocacy to support public education in Connecticut. For this year's cycle, CEA has placed me on the CEA 2022 Honor Roll.

The CEA Honor Roll distinction recognizes legislators with the highest report card scores who have demonstrated a commitment to public education and teachers. The bills we passed this session and last session will positively shape our young residents' lives and ensure they can access a high-quality education that's full of opportunity. These bills are a meaningful step forward and advance the work to create a state where every child can receive the support they need to succeed. To learn more about the Legislator Report Card, please click here.

Avon & Canton Awarded STEAP Grants

I'm pleased to share that Avon and Canton were selected to receive state grants through the Small Town Economic Assistance Program for capital improvement projects. Funding for these towns breaks down as follows:


  • $500,000 for the rehabilitation of the Route 44 Sanitary Sewer Pump Station. This will be matched by $130,000 from the town


  • $180,000 for heating and air conditioning improvements to the town hall auditorium. This will be matched by $45,000 from the town

STEAP was established in 2001 to fund community initiatives that are ineligible for Urban Action bonds. The program is coordinated by the Office of Policy and Management. Grants are administered by state agencies. You can learn more about these awards and this program here.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
Each year, more than 15,500 children are diagnosed with cancer and the average age of diagnosis is six. Cancer affects all ethnic, gender, and socio-economic groups, and more than 40,000 children undergo treatment for cancer each year. In Connecticut, there are 175-200 children diagnosed each year, and more than 525 children are currently in treatment. Today, nearly 80% of these children will survive.

You can learn more about Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, resources, and how you can help here.

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month
From September 15 to October 15 we observe Hispanic Heritage Month to celebrate, recognize, and feature the countless achievements of the many Hispanic Americans who have positively impacted and enriched our communities.
Their rich culture has influenced the entertainment industry, sports, fashion, food, politics, education, science, and more with an enormous worldwide economic impact.

The legislature adopted the inclusion of Latino studies in our public high school curriculum beginning this fall. I believe the curriculum will add an integral part of American history to student studies.
Please join me in recognizing the successes, challenges, and stories of Hispanic Americans this month and their invaluable contributions to our culture.

Improvements Scheduled for Route 44 Underpass
The tunnel under Route 44 through which the Rails to Trails passes will undergo improvements on September 26 through September 28. The first round of work wrapped up today. One lane will remain open, allowing traffic to pass. The town is asking that bicyclists dismount and walk through the tunnel to protect worker safety. Signs will be posted at the tunnel approaches as a reminder. You can read more about this here. Stay tuned for a beautiful mural in the tunnel space!

Eleni Kavros DeGraw
State Representative

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