March has been a whirlwind in Hartford with Democrats proposing much new legislation. Our new State Representative, Kimberly Fiorello, has NOT disappointed.
The Democratic chairs of each committee have total control in managing committee meetings. 100s of constituents register to testify on a bill for three minutes in public hearings. The chairs limit legislators to asking many questions of each witness, just 5 minutes to comment on the bill, or at times denying them the chance to ask any questions. And not everyone is being heard as hearings end after 24 hours, often with 100s of constituents not having had the chance to speak on very controversial bills that would expand state control over our lives in areas such as taxes or zoning mandates from Hartford.
A member of the Planning and Development committee, Rep Fiorello is tireless in listening and asking questions in public hearings that have on two occasions lasted until the wee hours of the night. Rep Fiorello knows the topic of state mandated local zoning is vitally important to her constituents and she has been tireless in advocating for her constituents on this issue. She is pushing back on the proponents of those bills and keeps the public informed about the impact such legislation would have on our communities.
I was also impressed with how quickly Rep Fiorello has learned how the legislative process in Harford works. She has notified us that 12 zoning bills have been introduced and are under consideration by 4 different legislative committees. Her legislative update emails include highlights of the actual language of these bills so that her constituents are able to determine for themselves what these bills would mean to their communities rather than rely on what commentators and others
choose to report about this issue. Rep Fiorello knows that we want detailed information as it pertains to the enactment of said legislation and she is providing it every step of the way. Thanks to her energy and independent thinking, we are better informed of events in Hartford than ever before.
With Rep Fiorello’s encouragement many of us have started to follow
committee meetings and hearings live on Youtube and have testified in those hearings via zoom. This has helped to bring more transparency to what is occurring in Hartford.
Last month, I testified for the first time in several public hearings. I was one of over 300 Connecticut residents who testified regarding voter integrity. I discussed how our local election officials miraculously discovered 500 ballots after election night in Stamford. I also described my tradition of taking my children to the polls, illustrating how easy and exciting it was to push buttons or fill in the ballot and receive a sticker saying I voted. Our civic responsibility to vote can be fun and
exciting and a worthwhile experience for our children too.
Rep Fiorello received the endorsement of CT Realtors, and I know many of our real estate friends are greatly appreciative of her understanding of the real consequences of allowing Hartford bureaucrats to gain control over Greenwich’s and Stamford’s planning and zoning.
I urge you to sign up for Rep Fiorello’s email updates at www.repfiorello.com. Her email updates are the best way to stay informed about what is happening in Hartford and are far more informative than the snippets the local papers are able to publish. Notably, after Rep Fiorello sent out her first email with details on how she voted, I received a similar email from Senator Alex Kasser. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery and I think Senator Kasser following freshman Rep Fiorello’s lead in explaining her votes was a great compliment to Rep Fiorello.
I applaud Kimberly Fiorello for her transparency, hard work, and advocacy for her constituents and am grateful she is our representative.