By Gina Morgenstein
As a grandmother during a pandemic I give as much time as I can to help with childcare. I also have two elderly family members requiring considerable help. We are living in a time where the choices we make can become life or death. Illness that may not always kill, but can drastically alter quality of life, exists with COVID-19.
We are pulling family closer, finding activities that are safer. Many are choosing between paying jobs or in-home job, school, and family care. Some do not have the luxury of these choices due to finances or lack of available family support. At the same time, we all have jobs to do, bills to pay, medical care to provide and receive.
The role of government is to ensure basic human rights. Too many lives have been lost during a pandemic that should have been managed with early testing, contact tracing., mobilizing of resources. Knowledgeable authorities, scientists, and an available pandemic playbook plan were ignored and even criticized.
The term liberty has been used in the fight over simply wearing or not wearing a mask. Have some forgotten that the first human right is life? Too many messages have been turned on their head. We are living in a divided America where instead of seeing humanity as a core value we have been divided by rhetoric and actions that consequently dehumanize.
I support policies that enable us all to be safe within our community as well as within our family. Until we have a safe, effective, adequately tested vaccine we must behave in a manner that provides for the well being of all.
As your town councilor, medical provider, and neighbor, I implore you to reject candidates who oppose that students be “required to wear face coverings, masks, face shields, or any other attire or apparatus on their persons in order to receive their fundamental right to an education” (“CT Group Files Appeal Seeking Elimination of School Mask Requirement,” NBC Connecticut, 8/14). Divisive rhetoric and lawsuits have no place in governance. Voting against price caps for insulin and diabetes supplies does not support constituents. Now is the time to support one another.
So, how will you vote this year? You can use a ballot drop box, bring your vote in to the Town Clerk, mail your absentee ballot or vote in person. Whatever your choice I applaud our Secretary of State for providing safe ways to vote and allow us all the ability to voice our values.
Who should earn your vote? I encourage people to choose candidates who support community building, financing of programs that provide a living wage, quality education and social justice. In the 90th CT State Senate District Jim Jinks will be an effective and compassionate voice in Hartford prioritizing our families, our community and getting results. In the 34th CT State Senate District. April Capone brings a resume that includes being a two-term mayor, an administrator and liaison to municipalities for the State of CT Office of Management and Policy and works presently at Yale’s Center for Living Organ Donors. With this background she brings the experience, the connections and the compassion to be an effective legislator and bridge for her district. In the 85th CT House District, re-elect Mary Mushinsky who has fought tirelessly in support of preparing our workforce for a changing economy, retraining older and long term unemployed workers. She answers her constituents’ needs, even bringing food to COVID positive residents who have been home bound.
As we vote our family values please remember that your family is part of a community. Many members of the community are suffering in many ways not only due to a pandemic. Some may be one catastrophe away from needing help. We can’t afford to slash programs that help communities. We must not blame those who need financial support. Your tax dollars have been benefiting major corporations and the overly wealthy more so than a small business owner or neighbor.
We need to elect officials that help us to remember that we are “you,” and me and is sometimes “them.” I support them even if they don’t look like me, love like me, or have my same belief system. They are mothers, daughters, and sisters. They, too, can become your medical provider, town councilor, and neighbor if given the opportunity.
Gina Morgenstein is a Democratic Wallingford Town Councilor.