FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Fairfield Daily Voice sent five questions to each of the candidates running for statewide office this fall. The following responses are from Kim Fawcett, a Democrat running for re-election as State Representative from Fairfield’s 133rd District.
Fawcett is currently serving her third term as State Representative. Before moving to Fairfield in 1994 she worked as legislative assistant to the governor of Maryland and as a youth program director for the National School Health Education Coalition. In Fairfield, she is a former chair of the Brooklawn Park Community Association and a member of the Stratfield School and Roger Ludlowe Middle School PTAs. She and her husband, Rick, have three children.
Fawcett is running against Republican challenger Chris DeSanctis. Her district covers Fairfield’s eastern portions, running along the Bridgeport line from Ash Creek to Valley Road, and extending as far west as Fairfield University in some areas. (To see a complete map of Fairfield’s districts, click here.)
1) What are the biggest issues facing your district?
Fairfield joins residents from across the state in caring about jobs, the economy and fairness in taxes. We see support for public education, our teachers and local schools as critical - not only for the future of our children but also to maintain the strength of our town’s reputation.
On the local level, one theme that has emerged from conversations with Fairfielders is the dangers posed by distracted driving and speeding. Each community has a road where people travel too fast and where children and residents feel unsafe. We need to step up efforts to educate people about the impacts of distracted driving and convince them to slow down and drive safely. Many people also want to see a reduction in truck traffic in residential areas and expansion of bike and pedestrian pathways to ease congestion in town.
2) What were your biggest achievements?
I am most proud of my work to bring greater fiscal responsibility to our state budget process, for continuing to keep a spotlight on our need to invest in mass transit, and for helping families struggling with Lyme disease to access care. As a working mom with three kids in the public schools (I have a 93 percent voting record on the House Floor), I understand how important it is to invest in and support public education and maintain a moderate, commonsense approach to public policy.
Our budget shortfalls over the past several years called for great fiscal austerity and helped advance efforts to apply Results Based Accountability, a data-based tool, to the budget process. As part of the budget subcommittee that has championed these efforts, I have worked hard to identify and eliminate wasteful and unnecessary spending while protecting programs that best serve our families and children.
3) Is Connecticut going in the right or wrong direction?
There is always room for improvement. Connecticut has seen some very tough years ahead and faces a challenging economic climate. We have taken important first steps to support businesses, reduce onerous regulations and realign education with future employment opportunities. Connecticut can do more, but I believe we are turning the corner, and I’m enthusiastic about continuing to help make Connecticut a better place to live, to learn and to work.
Over the past two years Connecticut has made great progress in diversifying our economic base. The most exciting expansion is in the field of biotechnology. Our investments in scientific research at Yale, UConn, Wesleyan University and Hartford Medical Center have allowed us to leverage tens of millions in NIH and private-sector grants. These efforts, along with the 2014 opening of Jackson Labs in Cconnecticut, will establish our state as a world leader in this field.
4) What would you do to involve your constituents in your decision-making process?
I have an open door-policy, and the people of Fairfield know that firsthand. Recent video testimonials talking about how I am making politics personal can be found on my website at www.kimfawcett.com. I go above and beyond to help Fairfield constituents navigate state government agencies, I return all emails and phone calls personally, and I meet in person with anyone who asks. I work hard to stay connected with people by going door-to-door, holding constituent meetings and forums, and by being accessible via phone and email.
Input from Fairfield residents guides both my advocacy and votes at the state Capitol. I work hard to make sure I am reflecting the people’s priorities and will continue to do so in 2013 and beyond.
5) Why should people vote for you?
For six years, I have been a consistent, moderate voice in the state legislature with a 93 percent voting record on the House Floor. I am an independent thinker and have established a willingness to break ranks with the Democrats on signature budget and tax bills. I continue to be inspired to be a strong voice for our community, to speak out, and to work to see our priorities represented in Hartford.
In contrast, my opponent is a Tea Party-endorsed candidate who favors investment in private school education over public, has signed a pledge guaranteeing you he will never compromise or work across the aisle, will not protect women’s health funding or our right to make independent health decisions, and he will make it a top priority to see the death penalty reinstated in Connecticut.