Rally to get out the vote

To the editor:

Public health and the safety of the residents of Connecticut cannot be taken for granted. We have come a long way in preventing disease and promoting health.

In Connecticut we have some of the strictest gun laws in the country. We are also fortunate to have good access to health care and coverage that addresses preexisting conditions.

To ensure that we keep these health and safety measures in place, please join me Sunday, Oct. 21, at 1 p.m. in Tilley Pond Park in Darien and rally to get out the vote in support of our Democratic candidates and elected officials.

Christine Castles

Darien Democratic Town Committee

Common decency

is under assault

To the editor:

For the last 18 months, many of our institutions such as the media, the justice department, our intelligence agencies, and simple common decency have been under assault.

Please join me at a rally on Sunday, Oct. 21, at 1 p.m. at Tilley Pond Park, Darien, to begin the process of a course correction towards normalcy. Make our collective voices heard as one and deliver the message that this is not acceptable.

Ann Reed

Darien

Time to get serious about state challenges

To the editor:

I’m running for state treasurer for one reason — to help restore the financial stability of the state of Connecticut. It’s been an honor to travel Connecticut and listen to voters about their concerns regarding the decades of fiscal mismanagement.

The treasurer, as Connecticut’s chief financial officer, is the “sole fiduciary” of a diverse $42.3 billion portfolio of state funds. This is a very serious responsibility that demands sophisticated knowledge of the financial markets, training and education. I have held a similar executive level role, chief investment officer, for a decade during my 35-year career. The largest portion of the portfolio is the state pension funds that provide for the retirement security of teachers, public safety workers and state employees.

I believe that the investment return on Connecticut’s pension assets can improve from their current levels. Connecticut’s performance has ranked substantially below the median performance of other large public pension plans. Indeed, the mediocre performance compounded over decades has contributed to the growing unfunded liability.

Additionally, the treasurer holds important seats on over twenty boards and commissions, including the State Bond Commission. Decades of irresponsible bonding have damaged Connecticut’s credit rating. This means money is more expensive to borrow and the higher cost is passed down to every taxpayer. I will demand responsible bonding policies regardless of which party controls the governor’s mansion or the Legislature. I have been vocal on this issue throughout my campaign, whereas my opponent has been virtually silent.

It’s time to get serious about the challenges that face Connecticut. I understand the duties of the office of treasurer, I have the experience, competence and vision to serve, and I ask for your vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Thad Gray

Candidate for state treasurer

Rally seeks to build a Democratic blue wave

To the editor:

“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” Aristotle.

Each day since 2016, I have had to focus harder and harder to see the light of the American character and spirit that guides me. Compassion, honesty, hard work, respect. It is only by focusing and working together that we can take back our nation by electing leaders that mindfully guide us forward.

So please join me and our neighbors on Sunday, Oct. 21, at 1 p.m. in Tilley Pond Park to Rally for the Democratic Blue Wave. Rally for what our founding fathers and mothers began 242 years ago. Rally to make the 2018 midterms the point where the tide turns.

The cure for anything is salt water. Sweat, tears or the sea. We’ve sweated. We’ve cried. Now its time to leverage the third cure. ... Let’s build a Democratic blue wave so big on Nov. 6 that it strengthens our national soul.

See you at Tilley Pond. It’s time to rally.

Shannon Silsby

Member of the Darien DTC

Thanks expressed

for success of fair

To the editor:

On behalf of the Darien High School Parents Association, we want to express our gratitude to those who made this year’s DHS Volunteer Fair such a success. The enthusiasm of the students to learn more about how to give back to their community is inspiring.

Special thanks to the Community Fund of Darien and the representatives from At Home in Darien, Building One Community, Carver Center, DLL Challenger Baseball, Darien Arts Center, Darien Athletic Foundation, Darien YMCA, Family & Children’s Agency, Family Centers, Maritime Aquarium, Norwalk Grassroots Tennis & Education, Person-to-Person, Safe Rides/The Depot, Soundwaters, The Tiny Miracles Foundation, VolunteerSquare, Waveny Life Care Network, and the Town of Darien Youth Commission and Parks & Rec, who encouraged students to explore the many wonderful volunteer opportunities in and around town. Contact information for those organizations and many more can be found on the DHS website under the Student Life tab at darienps.org/dhs.

Jennifer Fallon and Chrissy Rooney

DHS Volunteer Fair chairwomen

Day of the Girl Child highlights female achievements

To the editor:

Today, we acknowledge International Day of the Girl Child. Since 2012, the world has celebrated this day to highlight global progress in female achievement and raise up issues regarding the unique needs of girls and special challenges they face in our complex world today.

While we celebrate many advances girls and women have made in society, our current social climate includes conversations from sexual harassment and aggression to gender boundaries, body safety, inclusiveness, and gender equity. Girls and young women may be viewing these headlines and finding themselves uncertain with the state of our nation and the perception of their value.

Since 1912, Girl Scouts has put the well-being of girls at the forefront, providing the best leadership experience for girls. Eight years before suffrage, our founder, Juliette Gordon Low, created a global movement to make the world better for girls. Her goal was to “level the playing field” so girls could get outside and ride horses, play basketball, and even wear pants. Sadly, as we view the world today, the “playing field” is still not level and we are engaged in very difficult dialogue about the status and value of women.

At Girl Scouts of Connecticut, where we serve over 26,000 girls ages 5-17, we are dedicated to putting every ounce of passion and energy into ensuring a bright and fair future for girls. Through our research-based Girl Scout Leadership Experience we give girls the tools they need to empower themselves for life, to become engaged and productive citizens and to seek their dreams and ambitions with confidence.

To succeed, we must first connect with all girls in a relevant and authentic way, one that speaks to acknowledging—and overcoming—their adversity. According to The State of Girls 2017: Emerging Truths and Troubling Trends, released by the Girl Scout Research Institute, in 2015, 19 percent of girls ages 5-17 lived in poverty, compared to 17 percent in 2007. In 2015, 23 percent of high school girls considered suicide (23%) compared with 19 percent of girls in 2007.

The greater truth is this: We cannot hope to flourish as a society by dismissing the promise and potential represented by half of our population. Girls represent a vital and underutilized resource of remarkable potential that must be harnessed to the full benefit of humanity. We cannot let our girls down. We want to empower a generation of confident women who will work in partnership with men to make the world a better place for us all.

Now, more than ever, our nation needs to come together to invest in girls. At Girl Scouts, we believe that girls need to light the way to a successful future. Whatever your role, it is time to ensure that girls are not being left behind. They need us. Please celebrate this International Day of the Girl Child with a promise to help a girl find her spark and fulfill her dreams.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Mary Barneby

CEO, Girl Scouts of Connecticut