Why Vote For Democrats?

CT Democratic Party

August is coming to a close, and that means it’s once again time to examine what our elected officials are doing around the state and around the country.

CT Dems Accomplishments

1. Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced the launch of a $20 million bond pool that will assist non-profit groups in Connecticut that provide health and human services. This investment will improve services to residents across the state.

2. U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal introduced two pieces of legislation to reform the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court, a move that will create more transparency and hopefully stop the surveillance of innocent Americans

3. U.S. Senator Chris Murphy introduced the Supreme Court Ethics Act of 2013, which requires that the Supreme Court be bound by a code of judicial conduct.

4. Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman announced that the town of Clinton would receive a $500,000 Small Town Economic Assistance Grant. The grant is given to municipalities that are working to revitalize their business district and expand economic development.

5. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro led House Democrats in a call to include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, in future farm bills.

6. Congressman Joe Courtney requested the creation of a Commemorative Coin series to benefit the Coast Guard.

7. Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty introduced a three-year authorization of the E3 Initiative Evaluation Act, which will support sustainable manufacturing. Esty’s bill will provide the program with more oversight to ensure it is working as intended, has needed resources, and will remain strong in the future.

8. Governor Malloy joined local and federal officials in celebrating the opening of the West Haven Metro-North train station. The station is expected to reduce regional traffic congestion.

9. Congressman Jim Himes joined the Boys & Girls Club of Stamford to discuss the benefits of maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle.

10. Comptroller Kevin Lembo worked with the Connecticut Education Trust, The Department of Children and Families and Hartford’s Camp Courant to donate more than 1,500 backpacks filled with school supplies to children as part of the Fourth Annual Backpack Donation Program.

11. Secretary of the State Denise Merrill joined the Voter Information Project, Pew Charitable Trusts, Google and other technology companies in the New York City area for the first-ever Hackathon. This gathering of developers, designers and usability experts were charged with generating innovative applications that can improve voting experience across the country.

12. Treasurer Denise Nappier announced that three recent summer bond sales brought in $900 million. The bond sales were successful enough to further replenish the Rainy Day Fund that was drained three years ago to balance the state budget.

13. State Senator Donald Williams praised the expansion of health care access and regional employment in the healthcare industry that will follow the opening of Windham’s 30,000 square foot Family Health Center.

14. Speaker Brendan Sharkey announced that Hamden biotech company CaroGen Corporation was awarded $150,000 by Connecticut Innovations, the State’s business investment arm.

15. Governor Malloy recently signed a legislative package that will provide greater levels of assistance for domestic violence and sexual assault victims.

16. Senator Murphy Fought to keep female inmates in Danbury from being transferred to Alabama, away from their children and loved ones.

17. In a recent press conference about the Affordable Care Act, Congresswoman DeLauro said, “Voting for the Affordable Care Act is one of the proudest votes I have taken, in no small part because it finally put women’s health on an equal footing with men’s.”

18. Governor Malloy announced the approval of $360,000 in state aid to the Norwich School District, helping the district fill 37 positions.

19. Congressman Larson presented a World War II veteran with eight medals he earned while serving in Europe.

20. Senator Blumenthal joined disabled Navy veteran Carmen Cardona in her fight to expand disability benefits for spouses in same-sex marriages.

21. Congresswoman DeLauro announced the approval of a $345,000 grant to the New Haven Education Americorps VISTA Project, a collaboration among seven nonprofits in New Haven that aim to improve education services in the city.

22. Congressman Courtney announced that Hart’s Greenhouse and Florist in Canterbury will receive a $14,528 grant that will help the business pay for 100 solar panels, reducing energy costs and growing business.

23. Secretary Merrill joined WFSB’s Scott Haney in kicking off the 2013 Connecticut State Employees’ Campaign for Charitable Giving, an annual fundraising event in Hartford that helps hundreds of charitable organizations support local and global causes.

24. Comptroller Lembo Joined local officials in the opening of the Albion Street Health Center in Bridgeport, which is part of the Southwest Community Health Center, a nonprofit organization that provides healthcare services to the greater Bridgeport community.

25. Attorney General Jepsen announced that our multi-state coalition has reached an agreement with the Department of Energy to develop a new time table for updating overdue energy-efficiency standards, which will help Connecticut residents reduce up to 2.2 million metric tons of waste.

26. Advocating for increased youth participation in the democratic process, Secretary Merrill spoke about strategies to develop meaningful youth engagement at “A Forum of Youth Engagement” hosted by Congressman Larson and The First Congressional Youth Cabinet.

27. Governor Malloy signed the Foreclosure Protections Act, which expands protections for Connecticut homeowners who are in the foreclosure process or at risk of foreclosure.

28. Treasurer Nappier announced that she will be hosting the 2013 Money Conference for Women, a free conference designed to assist women in taking charge of their financial futures.

29. Senator Williams announced that nearly $3 million in Housing and Urban Development grants were awarded to the towns of Canterbury, Killingly, Putnam, Thompson and Windham. These grants help each town repair, renovate and expand low- and moderate-income housing for residents.

30. Governor Malloy, alongside Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, welcomed 160 National Guard members back to Connecticut after serving a tour in Afghanistan.

31. Senator Blumenthal signed on to more bills than any other U.S. senator.

I Have A Dream 50 Years Later

Fifty years ago on August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and improvised the heart of of one of the most well-known speeches in American history. Presidents Obama, Clinton, and Carter, along with thousands of others honored the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Much has changed… and there is still so much work to do.

Back To School: Safety Measures in Milford

School Safety

NHRegister.com

With many schools back in session this week, a mix of new security measures and personnel have been added in districts throughout Greater New Haven to give students, parents and staff a better sense of safety.

Milford schools’ Chief Operations Officer James Richetelli Jr. said the district has implemented many security upgrades students may not notice.

There are now “quick link” buttons to emergency services in all schools; the district is adding direct 911 dialing in every classroom; city police now have the capability to monitor school surveillance cameras; police will also have access to electronic locks — so, when a school is on lockdown, Richetelli said, only uniformed police will be able to get in.

At elementary schools, Milford students will notice new greeters. Though not considered security personnel, they will be interacting with visitors at schools. New school resource officers will begin patrolling schools likely by February.

Parent Welcome Letter from Dr. Feser:

This year, all visitors coming to school, including parents, will be asked through the intercom to identify themselves by name and the reason for the visit. If visitors cannot be seen in the camera, they will be asked to face the camera before being allowed access. Once inside the building they will be asked to sign in, then issued a formal visitor pass, and asked to sign out when they leave the building.

If a visitor is not known by the staff member who is stationed at the front door, the visitor will be asked to display a form of identification through the glass. Once their identity is verified and they are allowed entrance, the visitor will be required to leave a form of ID with the staff member. Their ID will be returned to them when they sign out of the building at the end of their visit.

We realize that these measures can be inconvenient, but they are essential to our commitment to providing a safe and orderly environment for our children, staff, and community. My hope is that you will support us in these efforts. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Parent Survey Results for Milford Schools

Parent Survey

By Neal McNamara @ nhregister.com:

Results from the school district’s first parent survey reveal overall satisfaction with the district, but also concerns in areas such as parent engagement, bullying and use of the budget.

The district this spring sent the 43-question survey to the district’s 5,000 parents; about 44 percent responded. Parents were questioned about the district overall, as well as about their child’s grade level.

“I’m really glad that we did this, and it has provided us with some really valuable information,” said Superintendent of Schools Elizabeth Feser. “It certainly affirmed what we have going on in the schools and some questions and areas of concerns that we will follow through with. It was well worth it.”

Parental involvement, bullying and the budget reflecting student and school needs are areas of concern.

In response to the areas of concern, the district will form school-level parent-involvement committees and develop new programs. In response to bullying, the district will bolster anti-bullying efforts and train staff on intervention.

On the budget, the district will consult with PTA groups and seek additional data on specific areas of spending dissatisfaction, including programming, facilities and class size.

Feser said the district will implement a comprehensive survey every three years, but, per state law, will begin surveying parents annually about bullying and school climate.

Parent Satisfaction Survey results

Milford Ranked Overall Top Towns

Downtown Milford

newhavenliving.com:

According to New Haven Living Magazine, Milford ranks top overall in towns with population of more than 30,000 residents.

All towns are not created equal. Because Greater New Haven spans the gamut from sleepy beach burg to bustling university town, it’s difficult to measure towns with a single yardstick. So we broke out our entire measuring toolbox, gathering information on more than three dozen factors, from school test scores to crime rate, property taxes to median home price, voter turnout to number of retail establishments.

• Top Towns Overall Ranking: 1

• Top Towns Top Five Rankings, Large Towns:

• Overall: 1

• Best for Families/Schools: 1

• Best for Seniors: 1

• Young & Hip: 3

• City Living: 3

• Country Living: 3

• Bang for the Buck: 1

• Most Affluent: 1

• Most Educated: 3

• Leisure Life: 2

• Fastest Growing: 2

• Population: 52,527

• Area: 22.6 square miles

• Website: http://www.ci.milford.ct.us

Access Health Connecticut

Access Health CT

CONNECTICUT’S OFFICIAL HEALTH INSURANCE MARKETPLACE

AccessHealthCT.com

Connecticut is opening a new health insurance marketplace.

No one should have to worry about getting sick or hurt. You and your family deserve dependable, quality health insurance with coverage you can count on. Even if you’re on a tight budget. Even if you couldn’t qualify for it before due to your health.

When Access Health CT opens in October 2013, you’ll find a unique, online marketplace designed to meet all the health insurance needs of individuals and small businesses. It’s the one (and only) place where you’ll be able to:

•Get discounts on your premiums if you qualify

Find out if you qualify for Medicaid or other CT health insurance programs

Compare name-brand health insurance plans, which must all meet State requirements for quality and benefit levels

Enroll in a plan knowing you can’t be denied because of a health condition

Start Getting Ready for Access Health CT Today.

Get a jump on things right now by learning a little more about what we have to offer. Use our savings calculators to find out if you can get a discount, and see how much you could save. Review our step-by-step guide to getting health insurance. And don’t forget to read through our FAQs for answers to your questions.

Re-Elect Mayor Ben Blake

Ben Balcony

Ben Blake For Milford

Leadership & Vision

First Term Accomplishments:

Led Milford through two of the worst natural disasters our City has ever faced.

Expanded and improved Milford’s Senior Tax Relief

Renegotiated Milford’s electric rate – City utility costs cut by over $1.2 million.

Refunded $22 million in prior bond issues, saving Milford taxpayers $2.5 million.

Renegotiated Milford’s health-care contracts, slashing over $1 million dollars in annual health care costs.

Initiated long-overdue infrastructure improvements at East Shore Middle School.

Implemented comprehensive energy improvements in all City buildings, resulting in significant energy cost reductions.

Learn More