Emily Bjornberg Seeking 33rd District State Senate Seat

The Race for 33rd District State Senate

Emily Bjornberg

Emily Bjornberg, Democratic candidate for the 33rd State Senate District, is a full-time working mother of two, the wife of an Iraq War veteran, and longtime Democratic Town Committee member in Lyme.

The 33rd District serves Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland, and Westbrook. Bjornberg faces Republican incumbent Art Linares, Jr., and Green Party candidate Colin Bennett in the Nov. 4 election.

"I believe the important public policy discussions taking place in Hartford today would be enhanced by including the perspective of a working mother, someone with real-life experience in the non-profit sector, and someone who is committed to working with people who have different points of view," said Bjornberg, whose family has lived in the Lyme community for more than a century and a half.

"We need to create better job opportunities for working families by supporting our small businesses and policies that help, not hinder, the middle class. I am proud to be endorsed by the Working Families Party," said Bjornberg, who is also endorsed by the Sierra Club.

In addition to local service, Bjornberg worked in an AIDS clinic near Johannesburg, South Africa, and in Kathmandu. She has been employed as the Youth & Family Ministry director at the Deep River Congregational Church for the past seven years.

She said her passion for politics began when her husband (then her fiancÚ) was deployed with the National Guard to Iraq. She said she looked to elected officials for some honest answers about the situation.

"It was the first time that I felt hugely disappointed in our leadership. The voices of government are critical, and we need to have good thinkers inside those rooms of power. Today is not unlike 2003, and our leadership is still having the wrong conversations," said Bjornberg.

She added, "I think there comes a time in adulthood, and especially when you become a parent, that you realize your stake in the earth doesn't end when you take your last breath, and I am frustrated with our leadership in Connecticut as a mom, so it is time for me to put my neck on the line to make a change."

Bjornberg explained that her most pressing issues of concern are economy, education, and environment, in that order.

"All these issues are intertwined, and we need to make sure the laws and the funding are tailored in ways that are most beneficial to our communities," she said.

Bjornberg noted that several education mandates from Hartford were targeted at city schools, not small-town schools like the ones in the 33rd District that are performing above average.

"Our small towns deserve a true advocate on those issues," she said. "The voice that was lost out of the room in discussion about Common Core practices was the voice of the parent, and that needs to change. Parents have more skin in the game and they don't feel respected or heard, and that is hugely frustrating for so many."

She added, "My family has been in the lower Connecticut River Valley for several generations, and everything I love is here. The people of this district will never find anyone who will fight harder or advocate better on their behalf, and I will go to bat every day for these communities if elected."

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