On September 27, 2022, Kim Becker and Mark Anderson took part in a Candidates Forum at Granby Memorial High School, moderated by students in Mr. Scudder’s Civics class. Questions ranged from economic growth and use of the budget surplus to gun violence prevention and rights to abortion, contraception and privacy.
Legislative Priorities to Help Stimulate Economic Growth in Connecticuts’ 62 District
Kim started by reminding us what a privilege it is to live in a beautiful district with amazing natural resources and small farms for our residents and tourists to enjoy. However, like so many of us, Kim is tired of seeing empty storefronts. One area that can contribute to economic growth is by leaning into our natural beauty and embracing tourism - hiking, biking, use of our rivers, etc. She is concerned that in the past her opponent has not advocated for sound financial moves such as having the state fully fund its portion of Education or voted in favor of tax relief to take a lot of pressure off of our town budget and stabilize our property taxes. As our representative, our district’s financial health is her foremost priority and she will work to keep our concerns heard.
Use of the $300M Budget Surplus
Kim knows that we need to look for ways to help families and businesses combat the effects of inflation. In our area, this includes measures such as diesel tax forgiveness for family farms and the review of training and distribution regulations for small manufacturers and parts suppliers in order to strengthen our supply chain. From her deep involvement with the Granby community, Kim knows how much people rely on their pensions. As our representative, Kim will urge leadership to re-examine education funding formulas that didn't take small town needs into account. This will take pressure off of our town budgets and our property taxes. We also need to focus on building and retaining a skilled workforce by reducing tuition at our state schools - this makes Connecticut more attractive for companies and grows our state economy. Kim will advocate for state grants to towns, knowing that this can’t happen without a seat at the table to give voice to small town needs. She is concerned that her opponent voted against the child tax credit, eliminating the gas tax and the property tax cap - all measures that put money back in the hands of area residents.
Support of Education
As a parent and active member and now chair of the Granby Education Fund (GEF), Kim knows our educational system and its needs better than most. She went through pandemic education with her own kids, and she knows how hard it was then, and how difficult it has been since. Under her leadership, the GEF supported students and teachers, knowing that our schools are the backbone of all of our communities. Keeping quality schools means keeping local control for our elected School Board, keeping our experienced teachers and staff, and strengthening the partnership between teachers, parents and students. Our administrators, teachers and staff know our kids much better than politicians in Hartford, who have heard of our great schools, but have no firsthand experience. It is critical that we provide mental health services, especially now when children are experiencing so many challenges as we navigate the end of the pandemic. Kim’s opponent voted against Mental Health Services for school children and is a proponent of vouchers which would siphon money and weaken our local schools. We need to ensure that our public education stays local and we are well represented in the state by a leader who not only cares deeply about education, but has the local experience to back it up.
Role of the State in Promoting Sustainable Energy
Connecticut must take a role in promoting sustainable energy - it is an economic issue as well as an environmental issue. In our area we have a range of opportunities to invest in clean energy such as solar, wind and hydro as well as climate-smart farming and Forestry practices. Kim would like to serve on the Transportation Committee, because 27% of carbon dioxide emissions come from transportation. We can start mitigating those greenhouse gasses by utilizing the $52M Federal grant that Connecticut received for electric vehicle charging stations - a measure that her opponent voted against, along with the exploration of new Waste Management programming.
Supreme Court's Overturning of Roe v Wade
Kim believes strongly that people in Connecticut have a right to privacy whether it’s who they love and marry, and whether they use contraception, require reproductive healthcare or an abortion. She trusts women to make their own decisions regarding their healthcare in consultation with their doctors. Women deserve and need the full range of healthcare access including contraception and abortion. Personal and painful medical decisions should remain private and away from the prying eyes of politicians. Doctors should not be subject to legal harassment because they provide a needed and legal medical procedure. Some ways to reduce abortions is to support parents, increase access to contraception, provide quality child care, ensure food stability, child tax credits, good public schools and healthcare access, alongside preventative services like substance abuse counseling, parenting skills training and Mental Health Services. Her opponent voted against the law to expand the types of medical personnel professionals who can perform abortions and protect the privacy of those who come from other states seeking medical care. He also stood next to the executive director of The Family Institute of Connecticut as he gave a press conference after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, saying that it was time to go after Connecticut's 1990 law that codified Roe. Kim will defend the right to abortion and contraception, as well as our right to privacy. She urges voters to send a message with their votes on November 8.
Changes have been made across the country to make it easier and safer for people to vote, including early voting, ballot drop boxes and universal mail-in voting. Expanding voting access is very important - this past session, the legislature actually put into place an expansion of our absentee ballots so that people can more easily get an absentee ballot. Women caring for their families are especially benefitting from this change - and their vote must be heard. Kim supports early voting and absentee ballots because everyone should be able to participate.
Gun Violence Prevention
Students have the right to feel safe at school. We have spent millions of dollars on shatterproof glass, limiting entrances and exits, and security cameras in an attempt to protect our children, but this is an incomplete solution. As our representative, Kim will fight for resources that our towns need to make our schools safer, including mental health support to make our communities stronger. Kim has met many gun owners who are grateful for Connecticut’s background checks, red flag, and safe storage laws - these go hand-in-hand with mental health services. The best way to protect society is not through gun ownership - it is through protecting one another. Mental health services could have prevented a lot of the mass shootings and certainly many of the gun deaths that we have seen across our state and across the country, including the 60% of gun deaths by suicide that disproportionately affects our veterans.
Children's Mental Health in Connecticut
Kim is well aware of the mental health and behavioral issues that schools and our communities are dealing with today. Enduring the isolation and stress of the pandemic has taken a toll, especially on our youth. As someone with a Masters in Social Work, Kim knows that behavioral issues in schools make it difficult to learn, and it also impacts behavior outside of school - such as the rising rates of teen suicide and crime. The Democrats recently passed targeted funding for Children's Mental Health Services in schools. This includes hiring support staff (including mental health professionals), expanding 24/7 emergency mental health responses and mental health training for parents, students and pediatricians. Her opponent voted against Mental Health Services for school children. Kim reminded the audience that mental health services are not a panacea - they don't happen quickly. While we are working with our students, we need to ensure that our schools, community centers and our towns have the resources they need to provide good solid alternatives for kids. Kim also mentioned that if anyone is in crisis or know someone who is in crisis, they should please call 988 for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
As a social worker, Kim knows that we need more beds and more options for people who are struggling with both mental health and substance abuse. As our representative, Kim will help our towns put those to the best use and ensure that we have appropriate safeguards. Her feeling is that we can either pay $20,000 a year to incarcerate a child for a juvenile crime, or we can pay $20,000 a year for job training programs, internships and mental health services. Again, her opponent voted against much needed Mental Health Services for school children.
Kim closed her remarks by pledging to work collaboratively to find solutions. She has talked to community members across our district about the issues that are important to them, regardless of their political affiliations. Kim has spent 14 years working to promote educational opportunities throughout our town and in our schools. She will defend our right to privacy and access to healthcare, including reproductive healthcare. And she will work with the leadership in Hartford to fully fund education, taking the pressure off our town budgets and stabilizing our property taxes.
Kim loves this District. She and her family moved here to join her parents 14 years ago for the family farms, for the good education, and for the robust recreational outside activities. She reminds us that we are very fortunate to live here. She is concerned that her opponent votes an uncompromising no on many bills. In contrast, Kim will represent this district by saying YES - to investments that make our communities vibrant, continue our traditions and support our culture.
Vote for Kim Becker on November 8th so she can continue her longstanding public service as our state representative!
Help bring positive change to our community!
Please feel free to reach out so that we can provide you with additional information, answer any questions, and help you get to know Kim better. We are a volunteer group of area residents who love our towns and want to work toward a bright future. We know that Kim can help ensure that. In addition to learning more about Kim to prepare for your vote on 11/8, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved - we’d be happy to welcome you to our group of Kim supporters!