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Platform

Glastonbury Democrats consistently work to create a town where individuals, families and businesses feel welcome and can thrive. Our beliefs, commitment and policies are grounded in our values of justice, integrity, freedom, and compassion. Glastonbury Democrats are fully committed to responsible, thoughtful, and respectful governance of our town. We will never lose sight of the fact that Glastonbury residents are our neighbors, our friends, and our families. 

We believe that honest, transparent government promotes a free, democratic society — one that plays a vital role in creating a healthy, livable community and a vibrant business environment. 

We introduce and advocate for policies that support a strong, healthy, and resilient community and a robust economy with opportunities for all. Our commitment to Glastonbury is demonstrated by our efforts to:

 
Read about how we have supported and will continue to support these causes below. (Click the hyperlinks above to jump to a section that is important to you!) 
 

 

Democrats have supported and will continue to support an appropriately funded educational system, assuring that we remain one of the most highly ranked school systems in the state.  We do so at a cost that is less than our peers in Connecticut on a per pupil basis. Overwhelmingly, people cite the education system as their primary reason for living in Glastonbury. Failure to maintain a top quality school system would not only hurt our students but also result in lower property values. We pride ourselves in the work we have done to maintain and enhance our exceptional education system.  We:

  • Provide a quality education, even during a global pandemic. BOE leadership — guided by science, data, and expertise — kept students and staff safe in school throughout the entire 2020-2021 year. There was only 1 instance of in-school transmission the entire year which did not result in any serious illness. 

    • We kept grades K-5 all in-person for the majority of the year. 

    • We delivered hybrid learning and then a return to full in person for grades 6-12.

    • We provided dedicated online classrooms, unique in Central Connecticut for students who wished to have a completely online education in the 2020-2021 school year.  

  • Have designed and approved the Naubuc 2nd Floor Open Classroom Closure Plan (after a 10-year standstill). Effective advocacy and leadership by Democrats moved this item up the BOE agenda and brought it to full Board approval. This plan has been on the BOE agenda for 12 years and we have made it a top priority in the last 2 years.

  • In collaboration with the Town Council, the BOE has approved and begun construction of a new GHS Field House — the result of Democratic advocacy and leadership to negotiate a viable solution. This will provide a safe space with essential features for our student athletes, trainers, and coaching staff. 

  • Designed and implemented the creation of a STEAM lab for science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. This flexible, modern space will have state-of-the-art equipment for students to develop the skills employers and colleges are looking for today and in the future.

  • Created the Early Learning Center at Eastbury so that teachers with preschool-age children have a place for their children to be cared for while they teach our Glastonbury students. We supported the establishment of the Center during summer 2020.  The self-funded program received local attention including the notice of state leadership.

  • Expanded the LINKS program at Eastbury in order to educate our special education students in Glastonbury, rather than having them outplaced outside of town. The program saves taxpayers roughly $3.5 million per year.

 

Glastonbury Democrats remain committed to an educational program in which all students have an equal opportunity for success, feel they belong, are valued and understood, are recognized for their unique strengths and challenges faced, and can see themselves reflected in our nation’s history.

EDUCATION

Glastonbury Democrats are fully committed to maintaining a peaceful and safe community. We recognize that criminal activity has complex causes, and effective crime prevention requires comprehensive, multi-pronged solutions. We will continue to work with our Police Department, Police Chief, Town Manager, State Legislators, as well as leaders in neighboring towns in order to provide our residents the safety and security they deserve. We have reached out to the Governor and met with our local legislators, and will continue to collaborate with the State on thoughtful & equitable solutions.  


As elected officials, we have worked with the Town and Glastonbury police to:

  • Establish a dedicated police Auto Theft Team with the goal of reducing the number of incidents and increase the number cases solved.

  • Host a regional town meeting to exchange information and ideas on how to address the problem of auto thefts area towns are experiencing.

  • Make the Community Outreach Office available to residents to individually assess their home security and provide advice on how to better protect their homes and vehicles.

  • Make crime data available on the police website.

  • Explore the feasibility of installing license plate readers to assist in tracking stolen vehicles.

  • Implement a system that would allow towns to share information about juvenile arrests in an effort to identify and detain repeat offenders.

  • Collaborate with Safe Streets Connecticut and other community groups to explore approaches to increasing residents’ safety.

 

We have shared our concerns with the Governor and state legislators.  Town Council passed a resolution suggesting the state consider a special session for the purpose of enacting meaningful and effective reform to juvenile laws.  Glastonbury Democrats are committed to addressing the issue on a bipartisan basis and will continue working at the local, regional and state level to reduce the number of incidents in town and improve overall safety for our residents.

PUBLIC SAFETY

 

PUBLIC HEALTH

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of health and well-being to our community’s vitality and our local economy. Glastonbury Democrats are committed to promoting a healthy community by supporting proactive public health actions and communications from the Town, and by examining the social and environmental factors that affect our health, such as education, transportation, clean air and water, access to healthy food, economic opportunities, and more. Since the Democrats have had the Town Council majority, we have accomplished the following: 

  • Glastonbury Democrats were on the forefront of getting the State of Connecticut to implement the Tobacco 21 initiative despite opposition from our Republican counterparts. This was in response to the vaping epidemic in Glastonbury and throughout the State, and resulted in the age being raised to 21 for the purchase of tobacco and vaping products.

  • Worked with the Town Manager, the local water authority and local health authorities to identify, analyze, and work toward a solution to the well water uranium issue that affects a large number of our residents who have well water.

  • Care for our senior population through senior services, tax credits, and Democrat initiatives such as the recently increased discount for seniors at the transfer station and new recreational component at the Community Center. 
     

 

ECONOMY

Since being elected to taking the Town Council majority, Democrats have bolstered Glastonbury’s economy.  We have: 

 

  • Returned four of the lowest tax increases in recent history, while:

    • Maintaining the top credit rating from the major rating agencies.

    • Responsibly managing our pension obligations.

    • Maintaining our commitment to education.

  • Purchased development rights to Rose’s Berry Farm in order to keep this land as farmland, ensure continued management by Glastonbury residents, and maintain productive agricultural output of this local institution. 

  • Developed new zoning regulations that enable farmers to diversify their agricultural operations, such as allowing for agri-tourism with an on-site brewery, where a local farm transitioned from producing tobacco to hops.

  • Managed our Capital Improvement Projects budget with minimal increases while thoughtfully caring for our town's infrastructure needs.

  • Fully funded our Police Department so that our officers are able to safely perform their public safety duties. 

 

SUSTAINABILITY

Glastonbury Democrats recognize that climate change presents an urgent threat to our health, our economy, and our children’s future -- and that socially and economically disadvantaged groups face the greatest risks. To protect our local economy and ensure a safe environment for generations to come, we are committed to equitable solutions that will help curb the effects of climate change and promote sustainability and resilience. In light of our climate crisis, we are committed — now more than ever — to protecting Glastonbury’s open spaces, farms, wetlands, clean air, and water. 

Glastonbury Democrats support smart energy planning to benefit our people, our economy, and our environment. We understand that our first step is to promote energy efficiency and energy conservation, which go hand in hand with financial savings and economic growth. We support the expanded use of renewable energy sources (such as wind, solar, and geothermal) on commercial, government, and residential properties, with appropriate land use regulations.  In the face of more severe weather events, we support improving our community's resilience through installing renewable energy with storage to reduce reliance on the grid while generating energy savings.

 

In order to create a foundation for a sustainable future we:

 

  • Support building standards that promote sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, sustainable materials selection, and indoor environmental quality such as ‘Green Buildings’ standards and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards and support incentives to developers/homeowners who meet the standards.

  • Seek opportunities to expand community gardens to additional locations, such as the Addison and East Glastonbury areas, to provide residents in those areas more convenient opportunities to grow their own food. 

  • Promote responsible waste management that encourages reuse and recycling including education campaigns, incentives for restaurants to participate in food-waste to energy recycling, school food service participation in the food-waste to energy recycling program, increased support for resident food scrap recycling, and continued support for resident composting.

  • Protect our wetlands and open spaces as specified in the Plan of Conservation and Development, specifically by:

    • Maintaining adequate buffers around wetlands and vernal areas and preserving vegetation / habitat transition zones through open space purchase, donation, or conservation easements.

    • Continued protection of Roaring Brook and other watercourses with available preservation tools.

    • Fighting invasive species and planting native plants to create pollinator pathways.

  • Hold ourselves and our colleagues accountable by considering sustainability in all decisions we make, such as considering changes to the BOE school lunches and elimination of disposable dishes and utensils.
     

 

EQUITY

 

Glastonbury Democrats believe in creating an environment that is equitable and inclusive, not only because it is the right thing to do but because it enriches and benefits our community. We believe that we all have a role to play in making Glastonbury a welcoming place for everyone — regardless of culture, ethnicity, race, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, language spoken, belief system, abilities/disabilities, and more. 

In the last four years alone, Glastonbury Democrats have worked toward equity through the following:

  • Working across the aisle, Town Council Majority Leader Deb Carroll co-sponsored a Town Council resolution on Glastonbury’s Response to the Public Health Crisis of Racism, which:

    • Recognized the racial disparities present throughout the country and the state due to unjust systems and institutions.

    • Outlined a specific plan of action for the town.

    • Received unanimous, bipartisan approval from the Town Council. 

    • Established a nonpartisan Racial Justice and Equity Commission (RJEC), affirming the Right to Belong for residents and visitors in recreational spaces and facilities regardless of race or socioeconomic status, conducting a community survey to gather information and use survey data to shape a clearer picture of our community’s strengths, and pinpointing potential areas for growth in the interest of making Glastonbury as welcoming and inclusive as possible. 

  • Democrats led bipartisan efforts to create an Equity and Social Justice Committee at Glastonbury Public Schools, comprised of 25 individuals including school officials, teachers, parents, students and a Board of Ed member. The committee’s mission is to work together to evaluate the bias and privilege that exists in our lives and in the systems we create; the committee actively supports our students to acknowledge, celebrate and appreciate differences.   
     

 

OPEN SPACES

Glastonbury Democrats promise to continue to protect the historic and agricultural aspects of our quintessential New England town. Under a Democratic majority, the Council secured, after decades of disappointment, the 540+ acre Metropolitan District Commission property. Despite opposition from the Republicans, Democrats moved to preserve the land as permanent open space, instead of risking the prospect of municipal development. We have spearheaded several other purchases of property or development rights.

 

Valuing the Town’s historic and agricultural roots means that Glastonbury Democrats:

  • Support our community’s family farms, orchards and farmers by promoting policies that strengthen their 21st century agribusiness, including farm stands, local food service operations, wineries, breweries and distilleries, and agri-tourism like Bed & Breakfasts and learning centers. 

  • Support preservation of historic resources by encouraging reuse and restoration of existing commercial and industrial structures in future development, especially in the central business district, including adaptations of industrial buildings for residential uses. (See, for example, the Addison Mills). 

  • Ensure Glastonbury remains a leader in land acquisition to preserve our natural heritage and protect our wildlife habitats. 

  • Favor sustainable development that fosters economic growth while enhancing the historic and natural beauty of our Town, especially in the Town Center and the National Register Historic Districts of South Glastonbury, Curtisville (west of Main between Parker Terrace and Naubuc Ave.) and J.B. Williams (between Hubbard, Williams, and Willeb Streets). 

  • Seek return on our state and federal income tax dollars by applying for regional, state and federal funding and incentives for agricultural, architectural, and historic preservation and land purchases.

  • Promote policies that encourage the preservation of Glastonbury’s rural areas (including transfer or purchase of development rights and participation in tax incentives for farmland, forest land, and open space owners), while remaining sensitive to property rights by supporting development of areas close to the Town’s utility (sewer, water) and economic infrastructure. 

  • Encourage ecological resilience by limiting the use of the Connecticut River meadows (floodplain) and other parts of the 100-year flood zone to agricultural, low impact recreational, and natural resource preservation purposes. 
     

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Glastonbury Democrats believe that people of all incomes, ages, and abilities — from young people wanting convenient access to jobs, to older adults wanting to stay in the community they raised their kids in — should be able to enjoy the high quality of life that Glastonbury offers its residents.

Glastonbury Democrats voted for and continue to support the housing goals outlined in the 2018-2028 Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD) and the Age Friendly Community (AFC) task force plan, as we work to define the town’s first Affordable Housing plan. These goals:

  • Encourage the use of the Adaptive Redevelopment Zone and bonding to purchase historical sites, such as the Nap Brothers Factory on Naubuc Street and other potential properties.

  • Utilize Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to achieve the goals set out in the POCD and ensure that the density and architecture of the development is compatible with other structures in the town center.

  • Develop a broader and comprehensive community-wide Affordable Housing Plan for older adults, disabled individuals, and low-to moderate-income individuals and families. This includes affordable owner-occupied housing, subsidized apartments and assisted-living options.

  • Explore opportunities to adopt ‘as of right’ zoning changes relating to accessory dwelling units, the development of Form-Based and Universal Design guidelines, and the creation of developer incentives for their use. 

  • Support the current renovation of the Herbert T. Clark Congregate/Assisted Living Housing complex and the eventual expansion and renovation of Knox Lane/Village Green senior housing complex. 
     

 

THRIVING DOWNTOWN

Creating a downtown that is enjoyable to both live in and visit requires strategic planning and good assessment skills to identify areas of opportunity. The Glastonbury Democrats are supporting key initiatives to maintain the best elements of our downtown area, while investing in opportunities for improvement. 

  • Sidewalks are an important factor in the ‘livability’ of a community, and we will maintain the dedication we have previously shown in support of our sidewalk projects. On the Town Council, we have dedicated resources to increasing the number of sidewalks in town in order to make our town much more walkable. We recently completed crucial Main Street sections in South Glastonbury, and we are working to finish the final piece while doing our best to minimize the impact on the affected surrounding homeowners.

  • We are investing in development of pedestrian friendly streetscapes and pedestrian linkages, including benches and shade trees/coverings, between the Town Center Business district and the Riverfront Park as part of any property renovations or new building projects. 

  • We support expanding the variety of businesses downtown. A mixture of residential and commercial within close walking distance in a downtown helps to sustain activity during the day and evening. 

  • We endorse developing community broadband service. Access to public WiFi is critical if all Glastonbury residents are to participate fully in school, business, and town activities and feel connected to the community, especially during COVID. Local broadband can offer affordable service and can help enhance productivity town-wide. Higher-speed service can provide even more opportunities, especially for businesses that have robust online presence. Publicly available WiFi in the Town Center, public facilities, and outdoor recreation facilities will enable Glastonbury to be even more “user friendly.” 

  • We support infrastructure that will attract remote workers to live, work, play, and raise families in our connected community.