Matt McGee | Valley Independent Sentinel | July 16, 2020
Recently our country has been rattled by a worldwide Pandemic and the brutal murder of George Floyd. If anything, these two events have exposed the deep rooted inefficiencies and injustices in our system today that should motivate us all as a people to take more bold, unprecedented actions to address them.
In the wealthiest nation in the history of the world, 28 million people do not have health insurance, a bit of a problem during a catastrophic pandemic that has claimed 130,000 lives and counting in our country alone In a country that loves itself for its perceived “freedom”, black men are on average 2.5 times more likely to be shot by police, and people of color in general make up a disproportionate amount of those incarcerated.
Connecticut is not immune to these nationwide issues. Hundreds of thousands remain uninsured in our state, and people of color make up over 60% of our incarcerated population, but only 23% of our overall population. As people are hitting the streets everyday to call for the “radical” ideas of justice and equality, I personally have only seen one elected official in Connecticut attend every protest/rally in and around the Hamden and New Haven area, and that elected official is two term Hamden Town Councilor and candidate for State Senate in CT’s 17th district, Justin Farmer.
As young people like myself lose hope in the electoral process, people like Justin help restore that hope. He has strong convictions and is not afraid to stand with the people in their calls for systematic change. Justin believes healthcare is a right, not a privilege, and is a strong advocate of systemic police reform and as his campaign website puts it ( which you can visit here: https://www.justinforct.com), “mass liberation, not mass incarceration”. Currently, his grassroots campaign is made up largely of young people, many of whom know Justin from his time visiting civics classes at Hamden High School. As someone who has spent the last year organizing high school students around local political issues myself, I know first hand that it is not an easy task. To see so many at nightly phone banks and campaign events is inspiring, to say the least, and something that should not go unnoticed.
Justin Farmer calls himself an “activist elected official”, because that’s exactly who he is. His campaign, its organization, and its message simply meets this moment in history. While I cannot vote in the upcoming Democratic State Senate primary on August 11th as I live just across the river from his district, I encourage all of you who can (hose that live in parts of Derby, Ansonia, Naugatuck, Bethany, Beacon Falls, Woodbridge, and Hamden)! to please vote for Justin Farmer for State Senate. Connecticut deserves more “activist elected officials” like him.
Matt McGee SHELTON