To the Editor:
No matter your politics, just about everyone agrees we live in extraordinary times. Democrats have sounded the alarm, locally and nationally, calling on us to work together as a community and address everything from crumbling schools to a warming climate.
But time and again, with their words and their votes, the Republicans have shown us they are the party of NO:
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- NO to funding our schools
- NO to economic growth, fiscal responsibility and tax relief
- NO to Social Security
- NO to funding our police
- NO to gun safety
- NO to reproductive freedom
- NO to voting rights and civil rights
- NO to fighting climate change
As you consider your vote, be sure you know which party is engaged in finding solutions. Only Democrats are saying “yes” to the critical challenges of this moment.
Who supports our local schools?
For years Republicans kicked the can down the road when it came to investing in the public schools that underpin our property values.
The result? Collapsing ceilings. Flooding. Contaminated playing fields. High school bleachers closed for years. Central Middle School deemed unsafe for human occupancy.
Instead of investing in our schools, local Republicans embraced the national culture wars, attacking our teachers and school administrators over masks, vaccines, books and the curriculum.
By contrast, Democrats voted to invest in our schools’ infrastructure so students can learn in a safe environment. They voted to support our teachers and administrators who have made the Greenwich public school system the third best in the state.
Who supports jobs, the economy and affordability?
Republicans complain about affordability, yet they voted NO to help Connecticut residents struggling with the cost of living. Their party has promised to shut down the government in order to slash Social Security and Medicare. They voted NO to eliminating the state gas tax, and NO to tax cuts for seniors, families, businesses, homeowners and others. Given the opportunity to support over $650 million in tax cuts this year, they chose to vote NO.
For years, Republicans complained about the state’s unfunded pension liabilities. Yet given the chance, they voted NO on $5.3 billion in repayment of this debt. These repayments are expected to save taxpayers $440 million every year starting in 2023.
Democrats delivered strong economic growth, jobs, upgrades from all four credit agencies, and a rainy day fund filled to its maximum to protect us against an economic downturn.
Who supports crime reduction and public safety?
Republicans voted against funding for our police. They eliminated pensions for new police officers in Greenwich. With dozens of police officers expected to retire within the next year, Greenwich is now struggling to fill these gaps. The most qualified candidates are opting for jobs in towns with better benefits, leaving us vulnerable when it comes to crime prevention. Our Republican state representatives also voted NO to $73 million in the state budget for law enforcement and crime prevention.
Greenwich Republicans also voted against gun safety laws. They voted NO to a gun violence prevention program and NO to tracking guns sold illegally in Connecticut. Instead, Republicans are suing our state to overturn our assault weapon ban.
Connecticut crime is down 43% over the last ten years, but Republicans are resorting to fear-mongering to make voters feel unsafe.
Democrats voted to increase resources for police funding and training, for an update to the Red Flag law to remove guns from dangerous individuals, and they strengthened laws about domestic violence, the most prevalent violent crime in Greenwich.
Who supports protecting our rights and freedoms?
While Republicans talk a great deal about freedom and rights, the only freedoms they seem to favor are the freedom of unrestricted access to guns and the freedom to spread COVID.
Connecticut Republicans voted NO to the Reproductive Freedom Defense Act and introduced numerous amendments to restrict abortion rights in Connecticut.
By contrast, Democrats passed the Reproductive Freedom Defense Act, which protects abortion seekers and providers from bounty-hunter tactics by states like Texas.
Republicans have chosen to embrace election deniers, and voted NO to make voting easier and more accessible here. Democrats support early voting and no-excuse absentee ballots, commonplace in most other states.
Who supports protecting our planet, our health and our home values?
Despite our vulnerability to increasingly frequent extreme storms wrought by climate change, Republicans have repeatedly voted NO to climate change action and improved resiliency. Instead, they deny climate science, putting our health, home values and planet at increased risk.
Democrats passed a Connecticut Clean Air Act to improve the air we breathe, to reduce carbon emissions, to protect our homes from flooding, and to open up job opportunities in the growing field of renewable energy.
As you cast your ballot this November 8, we hope you will give your support to the party of YES, the Democratic Party.
Angland is chair of the Greenwich Democratic Town Committee