Elections Government Politics

Meet the Candidate: Ben Wenograd

Ben Wenograd. Courtesy photo

We-Ha.com is offering our readers the opportunity to meet the candidates running in the Nov. 2, 2021 municipal election. 

Compiled by Ronni Newton

We-Ha.com is offering our readers the opportunity to “Meet the Candidate” – designed to help them get to know the candidates running for office in the 2021 municipal election.

Identical questionnaires have been sent to all candidates, and each profile received has been submitted directly to We-Ha.com by the candidate or the candidate’s campaign management. The responses have not been edited but have been formatted to match our publication style. Questions left blank have been deleted.

As profiles are received, they will be published on We-Ha.com under the “Government” tab. We-Ha.com is not making endorsements of any political candidates but we are publishing this information in order to assist voters in being informed and prepared when they go to the polls on Nov. 2.

If you are a candidate and wish to submit a profile, please return it by email to Ronni Newton at [email protected] as soon as possible.

Name: Ben Wenograd

Age: 57

Party, position seeking:  Democrat, seeking re-election as a member of Town Council

Family information:  I live with my wife, Shannon and daughter, Sasha, a senior at the University of Maryland.

Other occupation, if applicable: Trained as a Labor Lawyer, I have worked for various unions for the past 27 years. Since 2000, I have been a Field Representative for the American Federation of Teachers.

Political experience: I have been active in local politics for over 30 years and a member of Town Council since 2015. I currently chair the Public Works and Facilities Standing Committee and am a member of the Human and Community Services and the Committee on Economic and Workforce Recovery. This year, I was appointed to serve on the Commission on Connecticut’s Development and Future.

Other relevant experience: I am a life-long activist fighting for the things I believe in. I negotiated one of Connecticut’s first union contracts to include domestic partnership benefits for LGBT families, helped defend health clinics from protesters while in law school, and stood with Stop & Shop employees in 2019. As a member of your Town Council, I have worked to expand affordable housing options including the passing the Town’s Accessory Dwelling Unit ordinance which provides an new affordable housing option, supported pedestrian and bike expansion and safety measures, and backed expanded yard waste and clothing recycling.

Why are you running for office? West Hartford is my home! I love West Hartford and believe that I can continue to help make our community even more welcoming, affordable and vibrant.

What issue(s) are your primary area of focus?  Issues that I stand behind include smart development that strongly takes affordability into consideration, protecting our environment and addressing climate change at the local level, and maintaining our strong education system.

What do you feel is the biggest issue facing West Hartford today, and how do you plan to address it if elected? I believe that affordability is still a critical and ongoing issue facing our Town. Finding efficiencies in government and making sure we protect our AAA bond rating are very important to controlling costs. Also imperative is a continued effort to providing a robust range of housing options which can help ensure not just affordability in housing but also a diversity of residents. We cannot afford to sacrifice our social services, free libraries, senior programs, youth programs, and public schools and maintain – even enhance the lives of our residents.

What do you feel differentiates you from other candidates also running for this position? I attended Duffy, Sedgwick, and Conard, and then went off to college and law school. Shannon and I came back to West Hartford to raise a family because of all this community has become and can be. As a professional labor negotiator, I bring both firm progressive beliefs and the ability to hear all voices and work towards mutually agreeable and practical solutions.

Anything else you would like to share? I am a member of Congregation Beth Israel, and a former member of its Board of Directors. I am an avid bike rider!

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