Letters to the Editor Reader Contributed

Letter to the Editor: Support for Jillian Gilchrest

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Dear Editor,

Right now in this country, in this world, we lack basic human connection. We search for differences to isolate ourselves from others, putting large populations in danger, narrowing our ability to have relationships with people in our very own community.

Working for Jillian these past couple of months has amplified my understanding of the importance of community. I witness Jillian’s commitment to the citizens of West Hartford in awe: spending her time door knocking on every home in District 18 and showing up to countless events, meetings, and protests daily.

Last month I attended the ACLU Conference in Washington D.C. Bryan Stevenson, a social justice activist, discussed how we need to get proximate to those we are trying to serve. Creating change from a distance is impossible because our journey is inherently connected to the underrepresented. Stevenson’s words remind me of Jillian’s actions. Attempting to shift incorrect narratives sustained by our lack of proximity to those we represent,  Jillian is the epitome of a resistor. She goes to communities that others speak of from afar, she meets with underrepresented groups and folks not legally able to vote; Jillian understands the importance of getting proximate, doing the uncomfortable and the inconvenient. Jillian understands that the “metric system in which we change the world is not through money,” but rather “through our willingness to step out of our comfort zone and do the inconvenient” (Stevenson, 2018).

I am proud to be working alongside a powerful leader so intent on listening to the stories of others in an attempt to bring members of our community closer together rather than father apart. As a Latinx student, an intersectional feminist, and a Jewish woman, I wholeheartedly support Jillian – a leader who brings a new, intersectional voice to West Hartford’s district 18, and most importantly a voice that takes action, standing up for injustices and taking necessary steps to fight for legislation that will result in a more equitable community, country, and world for all.

Sarai Hertz-Velazquez
West Hartford

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