Coffee With Westport Delegation, Earth Day Event, and More!

April 14, 2023

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Dear Neighbor,

Spring is officially here and with the warmer weather, many events are coming up that I would like to share with you – please scan down to learn more! I hope the recent holidays brought a renewed sense of joy and togetherness to all who celebrate. Thank you to everyone who came out to the March Constituent Coffee Hour and brought personal care items – we donated 8 bags and 1 box of items to the Domestic Violence Crisis Center (DVCC). When I dropped them off, they expressed their gratitude for our community’s generosity! I also want to thank each and every District resident who has sent in their survey by mail on online. I am reading through them and working with our team to identify trends so I can advocate for the top issues and concerns facing our neighborhoods and families. Your feedback is especially important to me. Most committees have hit their deadlines to move bills on, so your thoughts will help me advocate for specific bills that made it out of committee – thank you for helping me make sure your voice is heard!
Lastly, we will be sending out a periodic email blast focusing on small businesses and workforce development. If you or someone you know would be interested in being on that email list, please email me and we will be sure to get you on the list. Our Spring edition will be out in May. Please check out the events coming up this week and the week after – I would love to see you at one or more of them! And please follow me on Instagram and Facebook @staterepjohnson for updates in between our email newsletters.

Tell Me What’s on Your Mind!
Please join me for a Coffee with the Westport Delegation on April 18th bright and early at Mrs. London’s (further information in the graphic). There will be a virtual option for you to tell me what’s on your mind later in the week when we have a District 143 Zoom Town Hall with Sen. Duff on the evening of April 20 at 8pm. The zoom link is:
Looking forward to seeing you there!
Earth Day Service event at Cranbury Elementary and Constituent Coffee Hour after on the Green
Join in this great Earth Day volunteer opportunity at Cranbury Elementary on April 22nd at 10 a.m. During this event, we will help support their environmental science and STEAM initiatives. We are lucky to have this program at an elementary school in our District where students will be planting pollinator friendly plants, making habitats for pollinators, and more! They will need helpers to do a variety of tasks, including cleaning up the front flower beds at the school, cleaning the parking lot by collecting trash, helping students make the pots (assisting them in scooping soil and choosing seeds), monitoring a seed swap station so students can bring a seed and swap it for a different type to bring home, helping students paint birdhouses or helping them make craft mason bee houses to take home.

We will plan to finish by noon so all can head to the Green where other groups are meeting, including our friends at Pollinator Pathway. Please email me at to RSVP ahead of time to join in at Cranbury Elementary at 10 a.m.

And at noon, please join me over at the Norwalk Green for the Earth Day program. I’ll hold my second Constituent Coffee Hour there from 1-2 p.m. – we’ll meet at the Zullo Memorial Rose Garden benches by the gazebo at 1 pm. Food and drinks will be available from food truck vendors at the Green there for the event.  Please come - this is going to be a great event! The 2nd annual “Earth Day on the Green” 2023 will feature children’s activities, tree planting, music, “nature yoga”, opportunities to meet Norwalk’s amazing environmental groups, food trucks, and more! Find out more about Norwalk’s Earth Day event at

Working with Bipartisan Coalition to End Child Marriage in CT – HB 6569
Before our Session last week, I joined colleagues in the Bipartisan Women's Caucus in support of some of our legislative priorities. I am a proud co-sponsor of a few of these bills and have been personally advocating for legislation to end child marriage in the state. I am proud to advocate for early childhood initiatives and reforms (HB 6759) in committee as a member of the Education committee and to strengthen protections against and responses to domestic violence (SB 5) as a member of the Judiciary committee.

I have also co-sponsored a bill to advance fair pay even further toward equality (HB 6273) and am working every day to ensure we are moving forward on mental health supports for our youth, including establishing a grief counseling program for children (HB 5194) and ensuring we include those most vulnerable to suicidality and ways to support them in our proposed school climate legislation.
Last month I joined advocates, survivors, the Lieutenant Governor, and other sponsors of the bill to end child marriage at the Capitol to raise the urgency of this proposed legislation. You can read more about it here (

I want to thank the Norwalk Commission on the Status of Women for leading on this issue locally!

Rental Assistance for Elderly/Disabled Westporters
Westport Human Services Director Elaine Daignault reminds residents that the State of Connecticut’s Renters’ Rebate Program began accepting applications on April 1, 2023 for qualifying residents. The State of CT Renters’ Rebate Program provides an income-based reimbursement for seniors aged 65+ and/or individuals who are totally disabled and collecting Social Security income. The renters’ rebate amount is based on qualifying income and the amount of rent and utility payments (excluding telephone) made in the previous calendar year (2022). The maximum income for a single person to qualify is $40,300 or $49,100 for a married couple.  Any 2022 rent or utility payments made by UniteCT will not be counted.

In addition to meeting the criteria above, applicants must meet a one-year state residency requirement. Persons renting an apartment, room, mobile home, or living in cooperative housing may be eligible for this program. The deadline to apply for this State Funded program is September 28, 2023.  Applicants can contact the Human Services Department at (203) 341-1067 or via email to complete the application process.  All documentation will be completed electronically or via mail.

Now Accepting Submissions for our HS Student Video Essay Contest
 Attention high school students who live in Norwalk or Westport – our office is now now accepting submissions for our Pride Month Video Essay Contest. Students can be creative in how to share their story but please make sure the videos are between 1-3 minutes and they must respond to the following question: What is something  you have done to build community that makes you most proud?
There will be two categories (9th & 10th grades and 11th & 12th grades) and any Norwalk or Westport high school student can submit their video essay. Winning submissions will receive a state citation and be honored by me at an informal gathering June 10 in Veterans Park in Norwalk. Video submissions are due by May 15th at
Celebrating Autism Awareness Month 2023
April is Autism Acceptance Month. This year's theme, “Celebrate Differences,” aims to herald the acceptance of individuals beyond the spectrum.
Formerly known as Autism Awareness Month, in 2021 the Autism Society of America changed it to Autism Acceptance Month to promote receptivity and inclusivity.
Autism is a complex developmental condition stemming from differences in a person's brain structure and neurotransmitters affecting individuals' verbal and non-verbal communication. Currently, 1 in 54 children is diagnosed with autism every year.

Things to remember about autism:

  •     Autism is a disorder, not a disease.
  •     Individuals with autism need our support and not our judgment.
  •     It is likely you have met someone with autism, even if you think you haven't.
  •     Everyone on the autism spectrum is different, and there are many subtypes.
  •     Children with autistic characteristics are generally diagnosed by age four.
  •     Diagnosis rates may be increasing, but there are now better ways to monitor and assess symptoms.

To learn more about autism and state resources, click here

It is important to celebrate our differences so we can learn more about one another and become empowering to all neurodiverse individuals.

Join me on April 24th at the Norwalk Green again in recognition of Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month 2023! There will be a 6 pm gazebo lighting ceremony. Norwalk participates in the worldwide “Light It Up Blue” Autism Awareness/Acceptance Campaign that is conducted every year. I will join other State and City officials to present the Legislature’s Recognition Proclamation as well as the City of Norwalk’s Proclamation. Many will attend, including legislators, school district personnel, families, supporters, community-based organizations and well-wishers. As always, members of the Norwalk Police and Fire Departments will also be on hand to show their support. This year’s campaign theme is “From autism awareness to acceptance and inclusion.” It reminds people to move beyond awareness to advocate for others and facilitate real change and dialogue. Families, please bring your exceptional children and siblings!
And as always, if you have any questions, I can be reached by email -, or phone - 860-240-8585. Thanks and have an excellent day!

Dominique Johnson
State Representative

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