Campaign gathering speed as finish line approaches. Digging deeper into the issues in East Hampton and Salem, two sides of one coin, respectively with industrial and rural pasts still determining their characters.
The East Hampton Redevelopment Agency is working with Nefeli Bompoti of UConn TAB (Technical Assistance for Brownfields) who helped me in January offer our municipality in East Haddam solutions to developing the village center. As state representative I would scale up both that revitalization work and my initiative with CIRCA (Connecticut Institute for Climate Resilience and Adaptation) planning climate resilience. I have been attending DEEP webinars on the state Climate Resilience Fund, which is applicable to our towns, I think, especially the nature-based projects.
The building photo is one of the few (perhaps only) industrial buildings in East Hampton which survives intact. I spoke with the owner this week, Victor Biondi, who runs Starr Motors, a body shop. It had been part of the thread factory whose now derelict buildings extend across the road. Victor would love to see the adjacent buildings rehabbed.
Salem, or I should say, the 1/3 of Salem in my district, is a charming place of forest, fields, and the Eight Mile Wild and Scenic River. I attended a seniors meeting and lunch at the firehouse on Tuesday. One woman whom I asked about her wish list for a state rep said “do nothing.” But property taxes and preserving rural character are on people’s minds. Our campaign is holding a joint Question and Answer session next week at the Grange Hall with my fellow Democratic candidate for the 37th District, Nick Menapace, a middle school teacher.
I am door-knocking in East Haddam, Salem, and in East Hampton, The mood is very serious. Many people are alarmed at the threats to Democracy, especially Democrats. I listen respectfully to everyone, and at times wind up agreeing to disagree—as Americans—on fundamental matters, knowing that there will be bipartisan efforts in the General Assembly to address the pressing concerns of the state’s residents.
Yesterday, I received the endorsement of the American Federation of Teachers CT, a 30,000-member organization of professionals. It is an honor and responsibility which I take very seriously.
It has been a very beautiful fall season, as can be seen from the picture taken from the Airline Trail in East Hampton on October 12th.