Lamont: Why I’m running

When my wife Annie and I were first starting out years ago, we moved to Connecticut. It was a growing place with good jobs, good schools, and safe neighborhoods. The future was bright and opportunities were limitless. It was home.

I love Connecticut. I love Connecticut as much as the day we moved here. Whether you’re in a big city or a small town, there are extraordinary people and there is extraordinary potential.

But today, things feel different than they did back then.

State government is broken. The budget is a mess and the middle-class feels squeezed, with high costs, high taxes, and a stagnant economy. Connecticut is lagging the rest of the nation on everything from business climate to transportation.

As a result, our kids and our businesses are leaving the state and heading to Boston and New York. They’re searching for opportunities that Connecticut struggles to offer. It shouldn’t be this way — and it doesn’t have to be.

I’m running for governor to change it.

We’re an amazing state with incredible assets, but we’ve been let down by the political class. Decades of governors  —  both Democrat and Republican  —  failed to make the tough choices, and today, our state is heading in the wrong direction as a result.

Connecticut needs a different kind of governor to shake up the capitol and get things done.

I’m running to be that different kind of governor. Here’s why.

I believe in Connecticut. I believe we’re a state of boundless potential and unparalleled natural beauty, with some of the brightest, hardest-working people you could ever meet.

I believe we can build a 21st century Connecticut, one that’s ready to compete, in this century and the next, just like we did in the last. But to do that, we must change how we do business. We must work across party lines, because for 20 years we went back to our partisan corners, and we got 20 years of stagnation and failure as a result.

We must start by fixing our budget crisis and ending deficits — and we have to start on day one.

We need to give relief to the middle-class, because families feel like they’re paying more, and getting less. They feel the budget has been balanced on their backs, and they’re right. I believe we need to ease the burden by cutting property taxes.

We also need to make our business climate predictable. When GE left, it was a wake-up call to invest in smart workforce development while giving the business community confidence that companies can grow and thrive in our state.

I also believe in a Connecticut that stands for fairness. That means leading on equal pay for equal work. That means investing in education, and giving equal opportunity to all kids, no matter where they live or who their parents are. Our success as a state tomorrow rests on the quality of our public schools today.

I believe we must invest in transportation, with modern rail and roads, so that our economy doesn’t remain stuck in the past. I will not accept any budget that takes from the transportation fund to pay for non-infrastructure related projects. I strongly support creating the transportation lockbox.

I believe we can build a 21st century Connecticut that nurtures vibrant, busy cities, while protecting and enhancing our serene green spaces.

I believe that global warming threatens our planet. It’s why I’ll commit Connecticut to reduce carbon emissions from our current levels to 35 percent by 2030, 70 percent by 2040, and make our state carbon-neutral by 2050.

We must implement a $15 minimum wage and paid sick leave, because no one should ever have to choose between putting food on the table or caring for a loved one.

The Republican Party loves to claim that if we take away people’s health care and shred the safety net, if we eliminate our gun laws and rollback health rights for women, if we implement a social agenda from the past while making pie-in-the-sky tax promises that can never be kept, that Connecticut will somehow, magically, be great again.

They’re wrong.

Turning back the clock isn’t an agenda for the future. Giving Donald Trump an “A” grade for his job performance isn’t a platform to solve problems  —  it’s a recipe to create them.

That’s ultimately what this race is about: A Republican who stands with Trump and his agenda, and a Democrat who believes in Connecticut, its values and its future.

This will be the most important of election of our lifetimes. The contrast in choice has never been greater.

Ned Lamont is the Democratic candidate for governor of Connecticut.

 

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