Leaving the Hardest Job I've Ever Loved

January 30, 2024

Leaving the Hardest Job I've Ever Loved
January 30, 2024
Dear Neighbor,

By now you may have seen in the news that I’m not seeking re-election for a fourth term as your state representative. This decision was a hard one, but it’s the right one. And to quote my favorite Beatle, “all things must pass.”

In addition to the great honor of serving in office, I’ll always be grateful for your overwhelming support over these past six years. Serving everyone in our district means having combined (as best I could) three essential considerations when deciding on every vote, initiative, or decision. Those are: 1) researching what is best for the majority; 2) listening to what constituents have wanted; and 3) paying attention to my own moral compass.

What I have not considered in taking votes and making decisions: my religious beliefs, what was politically expedient, or the faux grievances of those blind to their own privilege.

To my detractors who managed to remain civil (you know who you are) I thank you for engaging with me respectfully despite our differences.

To the selectmen and selectwomen who govern our towns: thank you for being the steady hand at the till; I’m glad we had the chance to partner on so many projects for the towns we love.

To our registrars, election monitors, and poll workers: you have my sincere thanks for impartially safeguarding our democratic process.

To my friends who pitched in to call hundreds of elders during the worst of COVID: thank you for your help during some of our nation’s most terrifying years.

To all the volunteers on town boards and commissions: thank you, sincerely, for stepping up, for lending your expertise, and for the long hours you put in on tasks that often seem thankless.

Left photo: Democracy Women in Action legislative testimony training. Right photo: Women in Bioscience at Yale.
To our teachers, librarians, and boards of education members: please continue to shine a light on what freedom really means by rejecting the so-called culture wars. Thank you for supporting the intellectual, moral, and social development of our kids in a way that is authentic to them.

To the students in our schools: keep protesting against what you believe is wrong, come to the Capitol to testify, consider running for office one day (call me anytime and I’ll walk you through the process), and try, in dark days, to keep the faith. Please reach out for help if you need it.

Left photo: Legislative Intern Orientation Day at the Capitol. Right photo: Talking with Valley Regional High School students at the Legislative Office Building about how youth can be more involved in the legislative process.
To our local police officers, firefighters, and EMTs: please stay safe under increasingly trying conditions.

To all the activists and advocates who work, organize, and donate money to make our world better: remember that elected officials desperately need your voice. I admire you deeply and hope to continue working with you on the issues we care so much about.

To my successor, whoever she/he/they may be: Buckle up. You are inheriting a grave mantle of responsibility, and I sincerely wish you well. May you find joy in the service of others. Buy yourself a good blow-up mattress. Get your bill proposals in much earlier than you think you need to! And congratulations in advance - as they used to say of the Peace Corps: “It’s the hardest job you’ll ever love.”

To my family: tennis, anyone? Ha, ha.

Reminder: I am still your state representative until my replacement is sworn in next year. So please know I am not going anywhere! Call me to troubleshoot those pesky Executive Branch agencies. Email me with your thoughts on pending legislation. And please stay in touch.

Top photo: Receiving the Outstanding Public Official Award from the Connecticut River Coastal Conservation District. Left photo: Talking with Third Act Connecticut about how older adults can be part of the legislative process. Right photo: A Covid-era shot for posterity - Supporting HK student walk-out.