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To the Editor,
People have asked me for the last five years why I have gotten into politics. My answer never changes, it never even waivers, because my answer comes from the heart. I serve because I got mad. I got mad that some problems never seem to get resolved, mad that taxpayers' interests are overlooked and disregarded, and mad that political interests so often takes priority over the people. I got mad because people did the politically expeditious thing and not the courageous thing.
For five years, as an elected official, I have made the taxpayers' interests a priority and sought workable solutions. I worked to secure the rights of our firefighters and police officers. I stood up to ensure that the workers of our city are given a fair deal. I have made sure that the needs of our local service men and women are looked after, both while in foreign lands and once they return home. I continue to ensure that their memories and sacrifice are honored if they don't return.
Still, even with everything I have accomplished, I find so much more remains to be done. Issues are getting larger and the problems more complex, but I cannot turn away from the tough job. Nor can I allow problems to be ignored or passed over because some folks in Hartford do not want to recognize that a problem is heading toward crisis.
Unfortunately, the way the system works, when one party has a large majority, it discourages open and honest debate on both the important issues and all possible solutions. If all of the majority party players speak for their party, rather than their constituents, then that party will have no problem doing whatever it wants. That benefits the party, and it benefits Hartford, but it certainly does not benefit Norwalk, and that needs to change.
Fairfield County may be nicknamed the Gold Coast, but we in Norwalk know we are a city with urban issues. Hartford views Norwalk as just another rich city that can afford to have its wealth redistributed upstate. No party can convince me that this is right. No leadership post could possibly be worth betraying the city where I have lived and worked for over 35 years. I know Hartford is wrong. If I am fortunate enough to be sent to Hartford as Representative of the 137th District, I will fight against this injustice. We need to undo the mistakes already made and we need to take further steps to ensure that we are able to live under common sense rules.
The simple fact is that common sense has been anything but common in Hartford in the last few years. We have spent and borrowed, spent and borrowed, and then spent even more. Yet, the state continues to slide away from what it once was. College graduates move away in droves and business shrivels under crippling regulation. Lax drug laws make our schools the center for dealing and associated crimes, while educational standards continue to slip.
The drug laws are not the only laws to have been repealed. Violent criminals are being released onto our streets and then commit serious hand-gun related crimes within days of their release. Innocents are struck down in the aftermath, Together, early release, along with the recent repeal of the death penalty could mean that violent criminals, like those who committed the atrocious murders in Cheshire, may find themselves unpunished and free to kill again. Citizens are left to pick up the pieces, not the majority party that started the mess. How is this justice?
We need to work together for the betterment of Norwalk. We need to work together for the betterment of Connecticut. I will go to Hartford when I am elected to represent the 137th District as a voice for reason and common sense for all my constituents. I will fight to make sure justice is served at every turn, whether it is in education reform, business legislation, minimization of spending, or in making our criminal justice system the model it once was. I am running for state representative because I am mad and because I can and will do all of these things, not for me, not for a party or ideology, but for you, the people of the city of Norwalk.
Joanne Romano, Norwalk Common Council member
Republican candidate for state representative, 137th District