4th Congressional District Race: What’s the most important issue facing our country?

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U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th Connecticut, left, is being challenged by Republican, Jayme Stevenson this November. Stevenson is also running on the Independent Party line.

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th, is campaigning for another term in Congress. He faces a challenge from former Darien first selectman, Jayme Stevenson, a Republican who is also running on the Independent Party line.

Both candidates agreed to answer several questions on the issues from The Sun, which will be run as separate articles leading to Election Day on Nov. 8.

What do you believe to be the most important issue facing our country and why? What do you think Congress should do about it?

Himes: The wealthiest country in the world is still not creating enough economic opportunities for all Americans. Except at the very top of the income distribution, Americans are struggling too hard to get into and stay in the middle class.

I have been privileged to serve as Chairman of the House Committee on Economic Disparity where we are focusing on the foundations of prosperity: making housing affordable to more Americans, making sure every American has affordable access to the education and training they need to succeed, and investing in those areas that have been abandoned for generations.

Stevenson: Congress has not taken the public safety crises seriously — I will ensure we get resources to our local police officers in Connecticut and nationally address securing the border that is currently allowing illegal passage of weapons, drugs and inciting criminal activity.

We are seeing a crime surge in our cities and suburban Connecticut. We all know the
culprit; a lack of support for the police and removing the resources they need.

Every family deserves to know their neighborhoods are safe. As your Congresswoman, I
will ensure the police receive proper funding, resources and training. If members of my
party ever call for “defunding the police” I will call them out. Our law enforcement
officers deserve both our financial and moral support; I will provide both.

The crisis at the border is a humanitarian and national security disgrace. We need to provide security from cartels and illegal guns, drugs, and criminals making their way into our country and communities.

Fentanyl and illegal weapons are crossing the Southern Border and making every neighborhood vulnerable to acts of violent crimes. We also know that fentanyl is being manufactured and distributed through cartels in a way that targets young children. Enough fentanyl to kill every man, woman and child has come into the United States through the southern border.

Himes’s silence on the issue while serving on the House Intelligence Committee speaks volumes. Ignoring this crisis will not make it go away.

Currently, our southern border is a humanitarian crisis, with children traveling alone and babies dying on their journey. The United States needs immigration reform to ensure our borders are secured, and to allow all migrants or refugees with legitimate asylum claims to gain entry.

Immigration reform needs to be comprehensive and include processing with state and local government leaders to make them aware of migrants and refugees traveling into their communities so that they can effectively provide necessary resources on the ground for individuals; social services, medical aid, education, employment, residence.

When I am your Congresswoman, I will fight to keep illegal drugs like fentanyl off the
street and protect our nation, while restructuring immigration systems in a pragmatic
way that provides local governments with the tools to respond to newcomers.

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