To the Editor,
At the end of my 2011 internship in the State House, a state representative asked me how the experience went. I answered that it was a true eye-opener.
“Do you mean that in a good way or bad way?” he asked. I answered, “a very good way.” He continued, “Do you think you’ll ever run for a seat up here?” Without skipping a beat, I answered a hearty yes! He had one last question for me, “Why?” I instinctively blurted out “to help people.” He said, “Good answer. Never lose sight of what being in office means.”
This three-minute interaction with a state representative who I had met less than a handful of times ten years ago continues to have a significant impact on me.
I first ran for office in 2011 as a 20-year-old. Over the past ten years (and three more elections!), I have truly learned what it means to be a responsible public servant. And I have never lost the spark or sense of awe that I felt as an intern at the Capitol.
I am running for state representative because I want to be a voice for everyone but especially those who might not be able to speak for themselves. Standing in front of Town Hall last June and looking at the pride flag flying in our town for the first time, I thought about what it would have meant to me to attend an event like that as a closeted, brown kid in the mid-2000s.
The Republican Town Committee may try to smear my name, misrepresent my positions, and attack me personally, but that is perfectly fine — this is politics after all. Fortunately, those ten years have added several tough layers to my skin and I proudly stand on my record of accomplishments. It is an open record for anyone to see and it clearly contradicts the Republican’s malicious and false accusations.
Being the voice for Monroe and Newtown can’t just mean spouting pious political platitudes. It can’t mean saying “No” to everything. It has to be about listening to people locally and then going up to Hartford with an open mind — not just denigrating one side to score political points.
I am humbly asking for your vote on Tuesday because I truly believe that I can do the best job of helping the people of Monroe, Newtown and the State of Connecticut. And, if I am really lucky, perhaps I’ll even be able to inspire another wide-eyed young intern to begin selflessly serving their community. My only wish is that they will be able to find such fulfillment in serving their community like I have.