Growing up in New Britain, Connecticut, my father worked as a machinist and my mother as a clerk. The community where we lived was filled with similar working class families. As children, our parents encouraged us to focus on our education while they went off to work everyday to provide us a better future. I internalized those lessons and went on to be the first person in my family to graduate from college.
After college, becoming involved with organizations like the League of Women Voters and other community groups opened my eyes to the role that politics take in people's everyday lives. These experiences eventually motivated me to run for office for the first time in 1991. I was elected because I talked about the tough issues like health care access and government transparency that reflected the needs of the people in my district.
Since then, I have served in the State House and Senate, advocating for working families and focusing on the issues that continue to negatively impact people throughout the state. This has not always been easy. I have gone toe-to-toe with health insurance companies and major corporations to protect those who do not have the voice that they deserve.
I’m proud to say that I have fought for coverage for cancer screenings, overnight hospital stays for new moms, and mental health care for children and adults. My husband of 40 years is a surgeon, so I’ve learned a lot about health care from both sides of the table.
Right now, we are facing a political climate that is defined by a deep mistrust of politicians. I was honored to serve on the State Ethics Commission when we put our clean elections law into place, regulating lobbyist and special interest money in elections. I have served as an ethics watchdog since I started in politics and I plan to continue this role until I retire.
I have also worked on the state’s budget issues and the common sense solutions we apply to managing our own household’s budget should be taken more seriously in the capital. We cannot keep spending more money than we take in and we need to invest wisely.
Looking at the future of Connecticut I am reminded of my parents who worked so hard to make a better future for me. We need to take a stand now to ensure that we are building a future where our children and grandchildren can live and prosper in Connecticut.
I’m Terry Bielinski Gerratana, and I hope you’ll join me in this fight for Connecticut’s future.