I am not just angry, I am furious. Elections matter because officials will either rise to meet a crisis or hide from it. I am running to be part of a solution that addresses police violence against black people and people of color.
In 2017, our 30th District State Senator voted AGAINST “An Act Concerning Police Misconduct,” HB 6663. It would have required a quick investigation if a police officer caused the death of a person and make preliminary findings public. Something that seems so obvious today, and should have been obvious then, was defeated in 2017 thanks in part to our state senator.
Eventually, Connecticut passed legislation that not only enacted the investigation and disclosure requirement but went further and required police to record use of chokeholds and disclose video. This legislation only passed after outrage and protest from two police shootings of unarmed people of color, one resulting in the death of an 18-year-old young man.
It shouldn’t take a death to do what’s right.
Connecticut’s legislature will be grappling with these issues in the years to come. Even now, elected officials like our state senator have remained silent in response to George Floyd and the outpouring of grief, anger, and calls for reform. These silent officials are counting on the attention fading away. When they defeat whatever reforms are proposed, their votes don’t even get mentioned in our local papers.
That’s what happened in 2017. Our state senator voted against police misconduct legislation that would have sent a message to police departments. The legislation failed and a young person of color died. A family and a community was ripped apart. We are living with the echoes of that anguish in the protests for George Floyd.
When our state senator opposed the police misconduct bill, the legislation he did support included:
- African big game hunting and importing animal trophies into Connecticut
- Allowing people to attach silencers to rifles
- Allowing dove and bear hunting
He also opposed “ghost gun” legislation; safe storage of firearms in homes and safety programs in schools; and regulating storage of guns in cars. He’s had 20 years in Hartford. It is time we had someone to work toward solutions.
In crisis after crisis we have seen our communities step up. Government will not be the answer to all our problems, but it will need to be a part of the solution. Whether the ongoing effects of this Pandemic, George Floyd, and police violence against black people and people of color, we are going to need legislators to step up. Based on my opponent’s record, I have zero confidence that he will. I am asking you to support my campaign so that I have an opportunity to step up for you.
David Gronbach is a candidate for election in Connecticut’s 30th State Senate District.