Submitted by Steve Meskers, Democratic candidate for State Rep District 150
As I walk through the 150th Assembly District speaking to voters, I am struck by the many who are unsettled by today’s political environment and Connecticut’s fiscal deterioration with its inability to regain the mantle of a progressive, innovative state.
Their concerns mirror my thinking as I considered a run for the General Assembly. I am a fiscally responsive and socially liberal.
I am aggravated by the political discourse emanating from Washington. I see the demonization of immigrants, the roll back of environmental standards, the erosion of women’s rights and the strengthening gun lobby as threats to us here in Connecticut and the nation. I frankly don’t want to see a Washington agenda brought to our doorstep.
The State Senate in Hartford is split 18 to 18 and we could face a tipping point in the State Assembly this November.
Many voters forget that we, in Connecticut, can legislate to protect ourselves from attacks on the values and policies that are important to us. In such issues as a woman’s right to choose, the environment, sensible gun control, affordable, accessible health care and others we can make a difference.
Let’s not kid ourselves, if Democrats don’t reverse recent losses in the General
Assembly and hold on to the governor’s seat, all these things are at risk.
My role if elected is to defend these rights and to seek solutions to resolve our financial crisis and fix our lousy, gridlocked transportation system. We need to be creative in how we attract and retain business, while protecting our environment.
The state’s tax revenues rely heavily on personal income taxes and Connecticut’s economic growth is lagging the country’s. It can’t be about just cutting taxes, we need to find a way to renew our cities and attract more companies to our state. We should be using our core strengths of a great university system, both private and public, and a solid defense industry to attract new business.
In my banking career, I worked through bankruptcies, corporate work outs and restructuring. I know how to think in tough situations, and I’m not fooled easily. I saw the effects of bad policy on many different countries. Economic growth and a good business environment are keys to success for any country and they will be crucial to success for Connecticut.
We need solutions. For example, we should consider a policy to incentivize job creation by lowering taxes on new businesses and existing companies that are creating jobs. Small and large companies should be encouraged to grow or relocate here. We need to make sure that our regulatory and permitting process aren’t blocks to business formation and growth.
We need to get out the message that Connecticut is open for business!
We have a problem 40 years in the making of unfunded pension obligations to our public sector employees. We have rising medical costs for the retirees. These financials burdens need to be addressed and will require hard work from all our elected officials.
And we must fix our failing transportation infrastructure – one of the biggest complaints of businesses and commuters.
The topic of tolls comes up frequently, but here are the facts as I know them: our transportation system is a relic of the Eisenhower administration. It needs a serious upgrade. Fully 35% of the traffic on I-95 is from out of state and 20% is commercial.
In other states I must pay, but my representatives in Hartford believe our roads should be free to out-of-state travelers.
I have a straightforward problem with that. I elected them to represent me not New York or New Jersey or Massachusetts. As far as I am concerned we are running a multi-state charity on I-95 funded by Connecticut residents.
Our state and nation are at critical junctures requiring sound thinking, creative solutions, and decisions which are not based on political affiliation and creative solutions. I strongly believe I will bring these characteristics as your representative in Hartford.
That’s why I am running and walking the 150th Assembly District to meet as many of you as possible.
For more information, please go to my website, stevemeskers4greenwich.com
Note: The deadline for letters in support of candidates in the November 6, 2018 election is Monday, October 29, 2018.
Not all letters will be published. Instead we will select a sampling of letters.