Letter from the President (continued)

As we know, many of the challenges of our time are being brought to state governments across the land, particularly “social” issues, like women’s reproductive rights. Many issues that have had difficulty getting through in D.C. are being pushed in state houses; right to work (union busting), anti- environmental agendas, the privatization of education, repealing and blocking sensible gun laws, closing health clinics and sending women back to the 19th Century.   On the other hand, good legislation designed to keep us healthy and safe can be passed at the state level. Connecticut has some of the best gun laws in the country, designed to protect both responsible gun owners and keep us safer. We passed a GMO labeling bill so that we can at least know what is in the foods we buy in our grocery store. We need to keep moving in the right direction and protect our state government from outside money and extreme views that roll back the progress you and I have seen over our lifetimes.

Thus, it behooves us to pay attention to what is happening in Hartford. In this election, although the Connecticut State House and Senate remained in control of Democrats, we did see significant challenges. For example, in the State House of Representatives, Democrats lost ten seats. Although roughly one-third of House Democrats are now women, 15 women Democrats who ran for House seats were defeated. The good news is more women Democrats ran for office; the bad news is too many of them lost their races. This is of further concern when we consider that 14 Republicans ran unopposed. The Republicans do not help get more women elected either, having only 25 percent of their House seats held by women, bringing the overall percentage of women in the State House to roughly 28 percent.  

If important issues that affect women’s rights to control their bodies, the safety and health of families and the health of our environment and food supply are going to be debated and decided at the state level, surely we need to pay closer attention to Hartford. Less than one third of the State House representatives are women but many decisions they make will be impacting the 50 percent of the population that is female. Let us be the force to balance those numbers in the future. In other words, ladies, we still have a lot of work to do. I look forward to discussing these and other issues of the day with you at the many events we will be hosting this spring.

Until then,

Kathleen Skoczen

President, SLDW 


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