Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Using My Voice

Some of you might have heard that the budget proposal put forth by Connecticut Governor Rell cuts funding to many of the state's treasures. Instead of sitting by idly, I drafted and sent the following letter to the Governor, cc'ing my local representatives. I highly recommend that other CT residents consider doing something similar.

Governor Rell -
When my husband and I moved to Connecticut in 2004, we did so primarily to be close to family. My husband was born and raised in Fairfield and his family had owned property - a farm! in Bridgeport! – locally, going back several generations.

In essence, they determined to settle in Connecticut for many of the same reasons that people still choose to make the Nutmeg State their home today - it is a wonderful environment to raise a family, offering vast and wonderful resources.

At least it did, until your most recent budget proposal.

Your 2010-2011 budget proposal brings many of the fantastic community assets so valued in the state to their knees: from the Mystic Aquarium (that I traveled to as a 5th grader with my class from Long Island) to the Beardsley Zoo. It is these treasures that make our students more well-rounded, providing hands-on experiences they might not otherwise have.

I recognize that tough times often call for drastic measures. I note that in your budget proposal you make many efforts to maintain funding for education programs, for which I commend you. However, I do feel you are short-changing the youth of Connecticut by cutting these programs that provide education beyond the walls of the classroom.

I strongly recommend you reconsider pulling funding for municipal museums (e.g., the Stepping Stones) and related facilities (e.g., the Aquarium and Maritime Center). Without the much-needed support of our state government, many of these facilities will have no option but to close. As was pointed out in a recent New York Times article, you can't simply shut an exhibit at a zoo. The tigers still need to be fed and cared for, the otters will still squawk for fish and our children will still need a venue to interact with the natural environment, despite living in a crowded city, suburb or rural area.

I appreciate that you have a difficult job, but as the Governor of our state and as a parent, and grandparent, I hope you can help keep Connecticut the ideal environment for families that my husband's ancestors chose generations ago.

Thank you,

1 comment:

A's Mom said...

Great letter and sometimes they really do help. Hope this one does. It would be a shame anyway to lose funding for an aquarium or zoo.