Submitted by Dan Quigley, RTC Chair
On January 6th, the newly elected members of the Connecticut state legislature will be sworn in. For the first time in over twenty years, a new representative will be the voice of the 149th District. Livvy Floren, who has served our community in that role for two decades, will pass the baton to fellow Republican Kimberly Fiorello. This marks the end of one of the most distinguished and respected legislative careers in CT history.
As I began to write this letter, I thought it might be a good idea to ask those who know Livvy best if they would provide some fun anecdotes. So many people shared their stories about Livvy that I soon realized I had enough material for a book, let alone a letter to the editor! This is evidence as to how beloved a figure Olivia Floren is in our community.
Throughout her career, Livvy always prided herself on being a good listener and making herself accessible to her constituents. She also possesses that Holy Grail of political gifts. She knows when to stiffen her backbone, and when to reach across the aisle. This paved the way for her impressive legislative record.
Livvy dedicated her time in Hartford to standing up for the voiceless. She protected the rights of women, especially when it came to protecting reproductive rights, expanding healthcare coverage, pursuing pay equality and assistance for victims of domestic violence.
She also made education a focus during her tenure and was always committed to ensuring that all young people had an equal opportunity at success. As a ranking member of the Bonding Committee, Livvy always stressed “needs before wants” in the budget process. Her voice and leadership in this area will be sorely missed in Hartford.
I mentioned earlier that I received a bevy of anecdotes from her friends and colleagues. I’d like to share a few of them with you.
Former State Senator Bill Nickerson said, “Livvy was that rare legislator who took the job of serving her constituents quite seriously, but always went about it with respect for others with whom she may disagree, no matter how knotty the issue.”
Former First Selectwoman Lolly Prince cited all of the notes, emails and phone calls to constituents that Livvy has prioritized over the years. She went on to say that Livvy deserves praise for “being a special person who has done so much through her actions to achieve results that have made our community a better place.”
Former colleague in the State Legislature Lile Gibbons, who served with Livvy for twelve years reminisced about how they both arrived in Hartford as “newbie freshmen, wide eyed, excited and humbled by the size and beauty of the State Capital.”
Former State Senator Scott Frantz concurred by saying “Representative Floren is one of the most respected people in the entire CT State House. She is as selfless as they come and will go down in history as one of Greenwich’s great public servants.”
Nancy Burke, a longtime friend, neighbor and former campaign manager had this to say; “Livvy hit as many home runs for Greenwich as Babe Ruth did for the Yankees. She will remain a BFF to Greenwich for a lifetime!”
First Selectman Fred Camillo continued the theme when he recalled his time serving in Hartford with Livvy; “Livvy, known as the Dean of the Greenwich Delegation, was that first email that we all read each morning, and the first smiling face we encountered in the House Chamber.”
Selectwoman Lauren Rabin added that “Livvy was always there to offer encouragement and gratitude, through her words, Yogi quotes and her infectious smile.”
Republican State Rep for the 151st district Harry Arora mentioned that there are “so many anecdotes of how Livvy has encouraged me and supported me”. Representative-Elect, and Livvy’s successor Kimberly Fiorello said that Livvy’s “independent thinking and trademark positivity have benefited her constituents for years”.
Suffice to say, there simply isn’t enough space here to include all of the accolades that were provided to me by so many of Livvy’s colleagues, friends and members of our community.
From a personal perspective, Livvy has been an incredible source of information, experience and wise counsel to me. In our many conversations, she has exhibited all the traits that have made her so special. She is a great listener, a reassuring voice and a friend. We are so fortunate to have had her in our corner, as our voice in Hartford for so many years.
We thank Representative Floren for her years of dedicated service to our community. We thank her for her countless drives to and from Hartford (177,000 miles worth!) on our behalf, and for representing her constituents with a rare combination of grace and grit. As Chairman of the Greenwich Republican Party, I salute Livvy Floren for all she has done for Greenwich and her party. I wish her all the best in her future endeavors, and on behalf of our organization, I give her heartfelt thanks for a job well done.