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State House Election is about more than police immunity

As one of New London’s two state representatives I’m incredibly proud of what I accomplished in my first term: $15 minimum wage, paid family leave, protections for our undocumented neighbors, increased funding for our schools, and making insulin more affordable. Despite this long list of accomplishments, most of the dialogue this election has revolved around a single issue, police accountability. 

As a uniformed officer I brought my perspective to the negotiating table when the bill was being written. My input led to inclusion of important policies like establishing statewide training standards and making it so officers decertified by one department could not be hired by another. The discussion around this bill has been greatly oversimplified and boiled down to one section, qualified immunity.

Let’s get some facts straight: Qualified immunity is a federal doctrine which can’t be superseded by states. The only changes to qualified immunity in this bill is for officers who knowingly violate the law. As an officer I see it as my duty to protect the law, and I invite all of my police brothers and sisters to join me in welcoming these reforms, which provide better recruitment, increased training and mental health screenings for us. 

Meanwhile, Republicans in the legislature continually scheme to end collective bargaining for police officers, fight against common sense gun safety measures, and vote against state police contracts. I’ve been a lifelong supporter of organized labor and I will continue to find ways to uplift working people. 

While the fight against systemic racism in our public institutions has just begun, I hope we can soon move ahead rather than look behind. Over the past several months I’ve had hundreds of conversations with families struggling in an unprecedented pandemic. I helped untangle unemployment claims and offered whatever support I could. With the future of state revenues uncertain, we must continue to fight for progressive taxation to bridge the gap between communities across our state and fund our social safety net without overburdening working people. 

I am proud of what I’ve delivered for our city in my first term. If re-elected I will continue to demonstrate leadership, accountability and transparency while fighting to improve the lives of every one of our neighbors. 

Anthony Nolan represents the 39th House District, which comprises the first and second voting districts of New London.

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