Join fellow teachers and community activists at a May 1 rally to send a clear message to Governor Lamont: We need to invest in Connecticut.
While poor communities have struggled disproportionately under the weight of the pandemic, the governor announced late last week that he will not raise taxes on the wealthy in order to invest more heavily in underserved communities. Several lawmakers joined members of the Recovery for All coalition in condemning the governor’s refusal to address the state’s systemic inequities head-on and provide the funding our students, their families, and their communities so desperately need.
Coalition member Gemeem Davis, co-director of Bridgeport Generation Now, cautioned Governor Lamont not to dismiss the state’s growing frustration over a tax and revenue system that is unfair to the poor and middle class.
“If the governor thinks that the people are not going to take to the streets and demand that he listen and that he redoes his budget, redoes his thinking, and starts to acknowledge Recovery for All and the needs and the services that we are demanding, he is sadly mistaken,” Davis said. “We are fired up. We are going to be in the streets, and we are going to fight for the services that we need.”
A one-hour rally is planned for noon this Saturday, May 1, outside the governor’s mansion in Hartford to send a powerful message that our communities need help. CEA is a member of the Recovery for All coalition, and all CEA teachers and their families and friends are invited to participate in the event. We will meet at the Prospect Street entrance to Elizabeth Park at 11:45 a.m. before marching to the governor’s residence.
Free CEA face masks and handheld signs will be distributed to educators at the event while supplies last, and homemade signs encouraging a fair budget for all are welcome. To ensure adequate masks and supplies for all members, registration for the rally is encouraged but not required. Register here.
Learn more about Recovery for All and the upcoming rally by attending a virtual meeting this afternoon at 4:30.
Calls for a fair budget intensified late last week, when the governor announced he would reject a Finance Committee plan that would combat inequity and help struggling school districts and communities get on their feet. The committee’s proposal calls for tax redistribution, tax cuts for the poor and middle class, and income tax surcharges for household earning in excess of $500,000 a year.
Finance Committee Senate Chair John Fonfara warned that the governor should prepare for strenuous debate on a budget that does not go far enough at reducing inequality in the state.
Echoing those sentiments, Senator Gary Winfield, who serves on the legislature’s Appropriations Committee, noted that Connecticut cannot reverse racial inequality in education, healthcare, and economic opportunity without investing in underserved communities.
“Revenue is required in order to get to equity,” Winfield said, adding that while the pandemic exacerbated these problems, it didn’t create them. “This thing that we are calling a crisis is the norm.”
“The state’s current regressive state and municipal tax systems perpetuate systemic racial injustice and keep our communities from gaining a foothold in any sort of recovery,” said CEA President Jeff Leake. “We have to do better for our students and their families. That is the message we will bringing to the governor on May 1, and we encourage all our teachers to add their voice to the call.”
Lamont and legislators will be negotiating a final biennial state budget with the goal of adopting a plan before the regular General Assembly session ends on June 9.