LETTER: Dual endorsements reflect Senator Kasser’s vision and leadership

Submitted by Ann Sawyer, Old Greenwich

Dual endorsements reflect Senator Alex Kasser’s vision and leadership.

It may seem counterintuitive for a candidate to receive endorsements from both the Connecticut Association of Realtors, one of the state’s largest trade associations, and the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, one of the state’s largest environmental advocacy organizations — and it is unusual.

Yet, the vision of both organizations is to make the state a better place to live. Their endorsements recognize an exceptional leader who sees economic and environmental health of our state as not just compatible but codependent.

I voted for Alex two years ago because of her professional and academic qualifications, and grassroots work on the environment. Now, after two years in the legislature, she has a strong legislative track record to support as well.

Alex introduced and sponsored over a dozen bills related to the environment as well as transportation, green energy projects and measures to address climate change and coastal resilience. She also convened an environmental summit of local and state environmental groups to enhance collaboration and prioritize legislative goals.

In 2020, environmental challenges have accelerated and become very real public health, safety and economic issues. Power loss from Tropical Storm Isaias and our recent smoky sunsets courtesy of west coast wildfires are reminders to us — looming ahead is an unprecedented hurricane season and beyond that, inevitable sea level rise.

The Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) based at UConn predicts sea levels will rise 20 inches over the next 30 years (see https://circa.uconn.edu/sea-level-rise). As a coastal community, much of our population, municipal infrastructure and tax base reside along the coastline and all are at risk.  

Addressing this complex issue will require extraordinary commitment and vision. Critically, Alex demonstrates the ability to work across the aisle, across disciplines, and with diverse business and nonprofit organizations to promote policies that protect both the environmental and the economic health of our state.

We cannot afford false choices or one-off ideas, or even one party solutions. Keep Alex in Hartford to pursue smart, comprehensive solutions to keep our communities safe, healthy and prosperous.

Editor’s note: Letters to the Editor in support of local candidates in the Nov 3, 2020 election may be submitted to [email protected] for consideration beginning July 15 and with a hard deadline of Oct 26, 2020 at noon.