What’s important to know when you go to the polls on November 6th is that where your legislator lives doesn’t always represent a contrast between the candidates.
Both candidates in the 17th State Senate race come from economically-distressed communities with urban cores and idyllic outskirts. Both have high taxes. Both have heavily state-funded education systems routinely under-funded by the state. Both have municipal budgets overly dependent on state aid, with devastating results to local tax bills when state aid wanes. Both face the same struggle figuring out how to provide services with annual uncertainty at the state level.
However, when it comes to the positions and policies and how they affect the local community, George Logan and his policies are out of touch on the streets of his hometown and the larger Lower Naugatuck Valley. At the same time places such as Ansonia are clearing the way to welcome new marijuana dispensaries and growing facilities into the city, George Logan is up in Hartford arguing against legalization and the economic benefits it could bring to the Valley. Furthermore state and local tax money has far better uses than being spent on sometimes-questionable patterns of arresting and incarcerating low-level offenders.
In struggling communities like Derby and Ansonia, Logan’s vote to gut the earned income tax credit was especially devastating. The EITC is a state-level tax cut for low- to-middle income taxpayers to allow them to stay in their homes, afford basic necessities, or lift children out of poverty. When half of the households in Ansonia are living off $43,000 or less per year, that tax credit alone would have cost over 1,600 folks nearly a million dollars. Similarly in Derby, over 900 people would have lost over $500,000.
Both Logan’s votes to gut the Medicare Savings Program were appalingly tone-deaf in his own community. Seniors living on fixed incomes are one of the groups hardest hit by program cuts, especially with rising healthcare costs. Furthermore, seniors in overall less-affluent communities have fewer economic, social and community-based resources to fall back upon, making the cuts more devastating in his hometown than some of the more affluent corners of the district. Owing in part to the fact that those kind of cuts spare no one, Logan was dragged back to Hartford to restore the funding to the Medicare Savings Program.
On November 6th, I urge you to support Jorge Cabrera for State Senate. Being a hometown legislator is only better for the Naugatuck Valley if the policies reflect our circumstances. I’ve noticed that no candidate in this race believes we need higher taxes, or less jobs, nor that vocational training’s not that important, or that the Waterbury Line isn’t key for the future of the region. And that’s great, because they’re right. However only one candidate is on the right side of the policies that give the residents of the Lower Naugatuck Valley the opportunities to thrive and prosper, and that’s Jorge.
The writer lives in Derby.
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