School Supply Fundraiser Just a Politically Motivated Publicity Stunt

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To the Editor:

I usually don’t get angry at individuals who organize charitable efforts, but I don’t appreciate being gaslighted.

I recently saw an announcement that Representative Kim Fiorello organized a school supply drive that resulted in over 1,000 supplies being donated to the Roxbury Elementary School in Stamford. Both my kids went to Roxbury. I liked that Representative Fiorello had helped my kids’ school. So I decided to learn more about her by looking into her voting record. I was hoping to find more reasons to support her. Instead, what I found is that she has consistently voted against legislative efforts that support Stamford Public Schools, students, and property taxpayers. Here is a summary of what I found:

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Fiorello voted against the budget which included $206 million for Westhill High School’s renovation and a 60% reimbursement for school construction for the next 25 years. This funding was important to me as a parent of two children who attended Roxbury, Scofield, Cloonan, and Westhill schools. This funding is also important to me as a taxpayer since greater state funding for Stamford school infrastructure improvements means that funding won’t have to come from (and likely raise) our property taxes.

Fiorello was also 1 of 12 members of the CT General Assembly (there are 36 members in the Senate, and 151 in the House) to vote against SB1; a bill to address COVID’s toll on the mental, physical, and behavioral health needs of students.  Stamford parents and teachers know firsthand that the pandemic clearly impacted our kids; it is troubling that Fiorello voted against state funding programs designed to understand and mitigate COVID’s impact on our children.

Fiorello also voted against HB5283, a bill that would put in place a more equitable education funding framework for towns and cities throughout Connecticut. Under HB5283 Stamford would have a greater share of state funding; saving an estimated 7.5M per year vs the current law and potentially reducing property taxes.

Fiorello also sponsored legislation (SB949; HB6131; HB5509; HB5487) which would appear to divert state funding from public to charter schools.

Fiorello was also front and center at a press event held in June announcing the state funding for Stamford schools. Her posturing led me (and likely others) to think that she supported this important funding, even though she had voted no on the budget that included it.

Kim Fiorello wants you to think that she supports Stamford Public Schools but based on her record she clearly doesn’t.

Her school supply fundraiser is just a politically motivated publicity stunt. Don’t fall for it.

John Labriola
Stamford, CT