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Letter: Mary Welander Has My Vote

Dan DeBarba has not earned the opportunity to represent the 114th District.  On the DeBarba For State Representative Facebook Page, he says, “I hope to earn your vote.”  He would be wise to consider the following feedback I provide here and reach out to ALL potential constituents to learn as much as he can about the important issues in our communities before he expects to earn our vote.

For starters, Dan DeBarba and his campaign should refrain from mansplaining and belittling Mary Welander’s community and personal contributions to our Town, District and State.  He should also stop utilizing the divisive rhetoric that is all too commonplace in politics today.  He should consider how tired most of us are with the Republican Party continuously “buying” seats on important Boards, Commissions, Local, State and Federal Governments.  We are sick of the bullying, the fear tactics and the inability to listen to what the people need and want in our District.

It’s important to ask the question that while he may be successful in his profession, how does that correlate to success in representing the needs of our district?  Furthermore, what does he even know about our town and district?  If he knew our town well, he would understand the hypocrisy of his own Republican Party’s efforts to eliminate the Beecher Road School SRO that he is advocating to keep.  What has he done for our communities?  Mary has worked tirelessly as a volunteer in the schools as PTA President and on the Board of Education and School Reopening Committees.  On the State and Federal level, she has worked with Sandy Hook Promise as an Ambassador advocating for school safety.  Mary Welander is a wonderful example of the type of Public Servant we desperately need more of in our Local, State and Federal Governments.

As the PTO President at Beecher Road School one would think Dan DeBarba would want to have a conversation with me as someone who knows what our community’s concerns are.  He states on his website that he will support reductions in spending to balance the budget.  Interestingly, this is very much in line with our Republican Board of Finance Chair, Matthew Giglietti, who has been reducing Beecher Road School’s budget for the last few years.  In 2020-2021 we got a 0% increase which did not cover the increase in salaries and benefits or contractual obligations.  This reduction has put us in an unfavorable position to be able to afford the number of teachers needed to properly execute both in-person and remote learning programs during this pandemic.  These reductions have also been an attempt to force us to eliminate our SRO for the last 4 years.  How can you say that you support the SRO in our school when you support this party and these cuts?

Dan DeBarba would have a better understanding of the needs of Woodbridge and the concerns of Beecher Road School families if he responded to my attempts to contact.  Over the last 3 years that I have known Mary Welander I have ALWAYS received a response to each email, text, post and phone call I have made.  We don’t agree on everything, but we have wonderful discussions which allows us to dig beneath the surface of the many complex issues we face to come up with real, positive and lasting change to our communities.  I encourage him to contact me anytime to have a constructive and respectful conversation about how he could help in our District to one day potentially earn my vote…but on November 3rd Mary Welander has my vote and I hope you will join me in voting for Mary.  Mary is deeply engaged in Woodbridge issues and ready to fight for us on Day 1 at the State Capitol.

Joi Prud’homme

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