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To the Editor and the Residents of West Hartford,
I am writing today in support of Ben Wenograd and Row A on the ballot for the election on Nov. 5. In today’s charged political climate and age of denialism, I am drawn to those who share my values and convictions more than ever. Ben and the Democratic Team share those values and convictions.
Ben and fellow West Hartford Democrats know that looking to the future with an open mind without forgetting our past is an important element to governing. They also know that we have very real issues at all levels and many of them have direct implications for those in West Hartford. While there are many issues to choose, I will focus on three for the sake of brevity – those being in no particular order: climate, rights of marginalized peoples, and affordability.
Climate change and global warming. Two independent topics that are intertwined. West Hartford and Connecticut has an obligation to our children. We also have an obligation to our planet to act as good stewards of the bounty it offers. Ben and his fellow Democrats have acted as good stewards for the environment by implementing zoning that encourages transit oriented development, switching to solar power for town-owned buildings, by adding bike lanes whenever possible, and so much more. By their own admission there is much more that can be accomplished. Questioning or denying the impact of man on climate change and global warming adds no value to solving a very real problem taking place before our very eyes – in fact, it hurts us all.
Rights of marginalized peoples. When a travel ban was implemented by the Republican administration, Ben was at Bradley with a group of protestors to stand up for those persons who were being denied entry to our diverse nation based upon their religion and origin. He knew that when one group is banned for any reason, it is only a matter of time before the next group is barred entry. Ben has been a strong ally of the LGBTQA community with such acts as fighting for inclusion of same sex benefits in contract negotiations before it was commonplace, he has supported local nonprofits that work with LGBTQA Youth and he, as well as his Democratic team members, have attended many LGBTQA events – events that have not been attended by their Republican counterparts. In fact, at least one Republican candidate has expressed denial of discrimination of LGBTQA folk by the Trump administration since day one of that administration’s occupation of Washington.
Finally, affordability. Keeping West Hartford a place affordable to all has and remains a challenge. How does the town hold down taxes and still provide the services that the residents have come to expect and rely upon? Ben and his fellow Democrats do so by examining every bit of a budget before it is passed – they do so with exploring cost cutting measures that save the taxpayers money. Examples include reducing utility costs mentioned above, reconfiguring recycling to include yard waste which reduced tipping fees, and using our town’s influence to push back against the state when Education Cost Sharing Funds were held back. In fact, through the fiscal management of the Town Council and town manager, the town has won awards regarding fiscal responsibility.
In closing, it is easy to complain and focus only on the bad. I believe Ben Wenogard and the Democratic Council are diligent in praising those things that we get right and not only acknowledging those things that are askew, but work together to offer solutions to solve the issues the town faces. For the above reasons and many more, I urge to you to vote for Ben Wenograd and Row A on Nov. 5.