CHESTER — State Representative Christine Palm (D-36) of Chester has officially launched her campaign for a third term representing Chester, Deep River, Essex, and Haddam in the Connecticut Legislature. She has been endorsed by all four Democratic Town Committees in her district, and qualified early for Citizens Election Program (CEP) public financing. (Candidates for the House of Representatives must raise $5,800 and gather 150 signatures from in-district voters.)
“Covid threw a curveball into re-election efforts, as it has into everything else, so fundraising was largely virtual this election cycle,” Palm said. “Still, with the help of about a dozen dedicated volunteers, we qualified in record time. This says to me that our community is not only generous, but extremely eager to support Democrats who have taken the pandemic seriously, made it possible for people to vote in safety through absentee ballots, care about the environment, and appreciate the money we’ve distributed to towns, families and businesses through programs such as the American Rescue Plan and the Paycheck Protection Program.”
Palm recently held a series of virtual “town hall” meetings at which residents of the towns she represents got a preview of the 2022 Legislative Session which began on February 9. In addition, Palm sent a survey to every household in the district.
“It is enormously gratifying to see how civically engaged our towns are,” said Palm. “I continue to learn from the experiences of our residents, and I’m always eager to hear from them — including the ones who disagree with my stances on issues.”
Speaker of the House Matthew Ritter said Palm is one of the Legislature’s hardest working legislators.
“Rep. Palm has a proven track-record as one of our most dedicated and most qualified House members, so it’s no surprise she filed her paperwork early and has already met the two thresholds for qualifying for the state’s clean elections program financing.”
Palm, who was named an Assistant Majority Leader last year, serves as Vice Chair of the Environment Committee, and has been working with local biologists and environmentalists on legislation to address the problem of hydrilla in the Connecticut River. She is also working with colleagues on securing women’s rights, making the State’s voting regulations more transparent, fair and accessible, and this week with her colleagues introduced a bill to address the staggering college debt faced by Millenials and members of “Gen Z.”
Palm also serves as Democratic House Leader for the Internship Committee, and is a member of the Judiciary Committee. As a member of the Government Administrations and Elections Committee (GAE), Palm introduced language which became Resolution 58, allowing voters to use absentee ballots during the 2020 election.
Two bills Palm introduced in earlier sessions, one to require the teaching of climate change and another to require the teaching of civics and media literacy, were put as electives into an omnibus curriculum reform bill passed last year. She shepherded through the House a groundbreaking bill to ban the use of highly toxic PFAS chemicals and was among a team of legislators who modernized the Bottle Bill.
In addition to setting policy, Palm daily attends to problems and requests within her district.
“My colleagues and I have worked throughout the pandemic to support struggling families, help folks file for unemployment compensation, get small businesses help with loans, help both renters and landlords with relief, make sure local pharmacies got contracts to give vaccines, maintain healthy funding for schools, troubleshoot constituents’ problem with overburdened and understaffed State agencies, and help get significant bonding money for our towns,” Palm said.
“But in addition to the very real pain our children, teachers, healthcare workers, businesses and families are feeling, there is currently an attack on our very democracy which cannot be ignored,” Palm said. “Increasingly, State Legislatures are setting policy that either erodes, or enhances, personal safety and liberty. At their best, State Houses are a firewall, and I intend to fight hard for common decency, and against any legislative attempts to turn Connecticut into a state that dishonors the U.S. Constitution, ignores the rule of law, defies medical science, attacks intellectual freedom, falsifies history, panders to violent right-wing extremists, curtails women’s healthcare — including full reproductive rights — and shuts the door to people who want to exercise their Constitutional right to vote.”
Palm’s professional background includes working as a journalist, high school teacher, communications manager, small business owner, and as women’s policy analyst for the General Assembly’s Commission on Women, Children, and Seniors. She is the sole proprietor of Sexual Harassment Prevention, LLC, which provides anti-discrimination training to the corporate, academic, and non-profit workplace. She lives in Chester with her husband, the artist James Baker. They have four sons.