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09/30/2020 08:00 AM

Gets the Whole Picture

This year has been like an X-ray revealing what our public servants are made of, whether on the national level or locally. Our state representative for the 36th District, Christine Palm, has responded to COVID-19 as a true leader, taking a lead role in drafting legislation to ensure the availability of absentee ballots for all. Additionally, and more revealing of her character, Christine understood that many of her constituents needed help. She enlisted a team of volunteers to contact as many local residents as possible to simply offer her assistance with any difficulties they might be having—from finding out how to navigate the unemployment benefits system to obtaining COVID-19 testing. Anyone needing help received personal follow-up from Christine.

I, personally, was not at all surprised by Christine’s hands-on response. I had experienced it soon after Christine’s election in 2018, when I mentioned to her the difficulties that I and other riders of the Shore Line East commuter rail service were experiencing in our daily commutes, with constantly canceled trains and poor communication about service disruptions. I soon received a personal phone call from Christine, who wanted to hear in detail what was going on. I was impressed not only with her sincere concern, but her understanding of how reliable public transit impacts the state as a whole. In that regard, Christine shared with me her long-held conviction that, for Connecticut to be economically healthy in the decades to come, it must make itself attractive to young people, with public transit as a key element. She has worked tirelessly in Hartford to advance that goal.

In short, Christine Palm is an incredibly dedicated and energetic public servant who gets the whole picture, from the big policy vision down to the needs of her individual constituents.

John Weikart