NORWALK, Conn. -- The League of Women Voters of Norwalk sent a brief questionnaire to all Norwalk candidates in the Aug. 12 primary elections.
The following are the responses of Democratic candidate for state representative of the 140th District, Bruce Morris.
Morris, the incumbent, is facing a challenge from Warren Peña, an at-large member of the Norwalk Common Council. Read Peña's responses here at the Daily Voice.
Why did you decide to run for state representative, as opposed to some other office?
My passion has always been serving others. I have served as state representative for the past eight years and want to continue the work I've done. I am running for re-election to make sure our community continues to move forward and prosper together as one. I have fulfilled the campaign promises made eight years ago and have continued to rise in positions of leadership here my voice is most effective towards accomplishing our needs. I have gained the institutional knowledge as a state representative that allows me to be most effective in this position rather than learning a new one.
Considering your education, employment experience, political involvement, and personal attributes, what qualifications do you have to be a good state representative?
As a founder and president of multiple construction-related companies, one of which became the largest minority electrical contractors in the state, as the director of Human Relations of Norwalk schools and an associate minister of a local church as well as the four-term state representative my record of integrity, character, accomplishments and as a fighter for social justice and equality is clear. I am a proven innovator, mediator, listener, collaborator and leader at the city, state and national level.
If you are elected, what will be your three top priorities, and why?
If re-elected my top three priorities will be education, jobs, and increasing state aid to reduce property tax and senior citizen support:
Jobs and economic development:
I will continue the states effort to reform our economy by making strategic investments in promising business sectors (medical, manufacturing, biotech, nano-tech, etc.) coupled with higher education support and training of our current and future workforce. I will continue to foster a climate that streamlines bureaucracy and encourages native growth. Programs as the Small Business Express and Community Economic Development Fund are needed now more than ever because many local business have become unbankable and simply need a new infusion of capital in order to thrive as our economy is revitalized
On education I will work to increase the amount of funding we receive from the state, add on to the over 100 state-funded pre-K seats that have already been sent to Norwalk, and get funding for school construction and renovation. Education is foundation to the individual, local, state and national success. I will continue to advocate for universal preschool and finding cost-effective ways to eliminate the achievement gap.
Senior Citizen Support:
Building on eight years of effectively ensuring municipal aid stability while increasing annual education funding by more than $4 million during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. I will argue for additional formula changes that ultimately grant Norwalk close to our fair share of state aid. I will continue to support the enhancement of our Senior Rental Rebate Program and others that provide relief to senior homeowners. Further, I will continue the fight to allow disabled seniors to remain in their homes and receive services.