Connecticut’s next generation boasts many policy-oriented leaders. As millennials, we are sick and tired of problems being created or solutions postponed. We want solutions, and we will provide them by acting on our convictions. We pride ourselves on several core principles that define our generation – the values of innovation, choice, opportunity and empowerment.
We have young leaders across the state embodying these principles. Mayor Erin Stewart, from New Britain, who took the opportunity to bring in a new team when the New Britain Rock Cats left, reflects a perfect example of how young leaders stand up for their local communities.
Other excellent examples include Rep. Stephen Harding from Brookfield, who made the choice to run in a special election, and Rep. Aundré Bumgardner from New London winning a stunning victory by 39 votes in 2014.
The problems facing our state are too massive for the current generation to handle alone, and more millennials are stepping up to the plate. Our generation of leaders rises up ready to govern during difficult times.
According to the nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis, our state faces a $4.3 billion deficit. No doubt Connecticut stands at a tipping point.
We now lack the luxury of going to our corners and using the legislative session as a battleground. Above all, if we want to solve this problem, we must find common ground. This does not mean giving in on our values. They should empower us and keep us motivated.
Like it or not, compromise appears essential to governing, no matter if Nutmeggers bare a trifecta government or a divided government. The primary goal of the legislature must be to improve the quality of life for the people they represent. The state that we all love is in serious trouble. Only hard work and cooperation between the House, the Senate and the governor, stand to make this state work again. Connecticut lives in a time for governing.
A few simple common sense proposals should be implemented to put the Constitution State on the right track. A few examples include:
- Adopt definitions for the Constitutional Spending Cap, which the voters approved overwhelmingly.
- Reform the Connecticut State College and University System, its governing Board of Regents, and the University of Connecticut.
- Find ways to improve our integrity rating and make government more accessible to the citizens.
- Ensure that Connecticut always maintains a world-class transportation system accessible to all people.
Our generation is the Facebook generation, the Uber generation, and the innovative generation. Millennials are prepared to offer solutions to the major issues facing this state and work together in a collaborative environment. We love Connecticut enough to ensure that the wave that put us in the downward spiral will NOT be the wave of the future.
John I. Board, 22, of Redding, is a political science major at Western Connecticut State University and is the former Vice Chair of the Connecticut Federation of College Republicans.