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Posted inCT Viewpoints

A mind-boggling tax revenue idea

On Jan. 26, Paul Hughes had a front page headline article in the Waterbury Republican-American titled “Local revenue-raisers.” In the article, dispensing with the property tax exemption on tax-exempt organizations was mentioned as a possibility for raising more revenue for the income-strapped state. One proposal — which apparently came from the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities […]

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Another quarter-billion dollars won’t fix the XL Center or the City of Hartford

If someone can make a go of the Hartford civic center, they have my best wishes, but I’d put no more state money into the effort. We simply can’t afford to increase our bonded indebtedness by another quarter-billion dollars — the price tag (minus the cost of additional land acquisition, and likely overruns) for renovation of the facility.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Ahmadiyya Muslims hold blood drive to counteract intolerance

Amidst a rude awakening of spiking intolerance, my Ahmadiyya Muslim Community perseveres in waging the true spiritual Jihad (striving) of Prophet Muhammad and his Messiah Ahmad, peace be upon them; the Jihad of peace-loving service and life. This holiday season, we warmly invite you to make another life-giving impact at Baitul Aman “House of Peace” Mosque, […]

Posted inCT Viewpoints

A toast for Thanksgiving day in Connecticut

I’m thankful for growing up in a community with such wonderful diversity. I’m thankful to call the same place home where Tracey and I can raise our children to appreciate an even more diverse world. I’m thankful to live in a state that is tolerant, promotes the rights of all people and will always keep a close eye on those among us who have the least. I’m thankful to live in a nation where I can dream of doing great things, move freely from place to place and speak my mind. I’m thankful for the people of Norwalk and Darien for electing me to a job that I truly love.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Westport Dems: No place here for xenophobia, misogyny, and intolerance

Since Election Day, the Westport Democratic Town Committee has heard from many people in our community who are struggling to reconcile themselves to this [presidential] result and what it means for our nation. Tuesday night, a week after Election Day, we had a record turnout at our monthly meeting. People who had never attended a DTC meeting before came to express their fear, their anger, and their worry about the future. They spoke of sleepless nights, of difficult conversations with their children, and of feeling like foreigners in their own country.
In the past week, incidents of racial intimidation and hate speech have sharply risen all around the nation. Sadly, our town has not been immune.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Targeting business for Connecticut:  Attract globally, welcome locally

In football, no matter how perfect the spiral leaving the quarterback’s hand, no matter if the pass is aimed precisely right, if the receiver fails to turn around when the pass arrives it is likely to bounce away incomplete. Or be intercepted. Much the same is true when the state and its municipalities consider economic development. The guiding phrase should be “attract globally, welcome locally.” One without the other will not get the job done.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

A school funding inequity solution: Better housing policy

A state Superior Court judge heard final arguments last month on the limits of the state’s responsibility in financing the education of all students, including those with low incomes living largely in urban school districts. He is expected to rule this week. How can our state, our taxpayers, spend more to take care of all “our kids” when court decisions are already forcing the state to spend hundreds of millions of dollars desegregating Hartford schools and caring for abused and neglected children? As a mother, and a housing professional, I think I know one clear answer.

Posted inCT Viewpoints, Talking Transportation

Connecticut’s rail history offers summer day-trip fun

If you’re looking for family fun this summer, consider visiting one of Connecticut’s many living museums celebrating our rail heritage… All of these museums are run by volunteers who will appreciate your patronage and support. They love working on the railroad and will tell you why if you express even the slightest interest in their passion.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Disaster looms for Bridgeport without legislative action now

Financial experts say if Bridgeport stays on its current path, the city will be bankrupt within a few years. The city’s future is in the hands of elected officials who still may have time – if they act quickly – to prevent the worst from happening. … The state legislature and Gov. Dannel Malloy must pass a law creating an independent financial oversight board. This will help Bridgeport rein in wasteful spending and make constructive changes before things become even more out-of-control.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Connecticut woman is Muslim, American, and breaking barriers

As an American Muslim mother of two, being born and raised in the suburbs of Connecticut to a typical middle-class family, I’m really as American as they come. As a Muslim, I follow the religion of Islam. I’m not talking about the Islam that’s portrayed on TV, but the true Islam which teaches “love and loyalty to one’s country as a part of faith.” Of course, as a Muslim who follows the true teachings of Islam by reading the Holy Quran, it’s hard for me to understand why society fears me.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Connecticut’s youth voice is strong, but needs coordination

On Wednesday June 1, students at Amistad High School in New Haven organized a protest to voice their concerns regarding the absence of minority teachers, using their collective power to question the lack of diversity in the teaching faculty at this predominately African-American and Latino high school. This youth-led action not only highlighted the issue of diversity, or the lack thereof, within the educational system, but also shined a beaming light on the power of youth-led activism.