Since announcing my candidacy for 111th District State Representative, I have continuously expressed my desire to speak with you at meetings, on your doorsteps, at events, and by telephone. I told you I would listen. I have listened. I won’t stop. You told me your concerns. And boy, do you have concerns – serious, well-informed concerns. Here’s some of what I’ve heard. “I’m worried that if Democrats lose the majority in the General Assembly, some of the country’s best gun safety laws will be vulnerable to being rolled back.” “As Trump continues to undo federal environmental protections, how will Hartford respond? How can we protect our environment and safeguard the health of Connecticut citizens?” “I’m worried if the Supreme Court reverses Roe v. Wade. We will need to protect women in Connecticut from losing the right to make decisions for their own health.” “We need a representative who understands that we are a country, and a state where people of all nations of origin, all religions, all languages, and all races can make a home, and who will fight for all of us, equally.” “Trump has shifted federal taxes so that ‘blue’ states like Connecticut subsidize ‘red’ states more than ever. Ridgefield’s current state representative is fixated on cutting Connecticut revenues, threatening education and middle-class services. I’m enraged my kids’ future will be threatened while my taxes pay for benefits for the president’s friends.” “We’ve got to bring businesses and young people back to Connecticut!” While not the only concerns you’ve shared, these themes come up most frequently – and I absolutely understand why. Democrats must keep the majority in the State House, and need to tip the balance in the Senate, not only to safeguard protections already in place, but also to pass more comprehensive legislation in each of the areas President Trump threatens. We have some of the strongest gun laws in the country, but more may be needed to address untraceable 3D printed guns. As the EPA tears down environmental protections and undermines economically sustainable clean energy, Connecticut must safeguard our long-term health and energy base. If the president’s extremist justices continue attacking women’s health, we need to safeguard and enhance state laws. As Trump’s administration threatens to strip naturalized citizens of their citizenship, we need to protect our neighbors and send the message that Connecticut will not stand for such blatant discrimination. And with such close proximity to NYC and Boston, Connecticut is a natural place for businesses to land, bringing employers and employees alike to our great state – we must find creative ways to bring both back, because in this radically changed economy, the old ideas just aren’t going to work anymore. And that starts with safeguarding funding for our schools and public services that make Connecticut so attractive in the first place. Each concern you have shared is valid and crucial to moving Connecticut and Ridgefield forward. Backsliding and stagnation are not viable options. The Ridgefield Democratic Town Committee provides this column.