The Faces Behind State Service

On March 15th SEBAC released a report authored by In The Public Interest's Shahrzad Habibi, Research and Policy Director and Yale University's Jennifer Klien, Professor of History, titled, "Austerity Versus Reinvestment". This bombshell report outlines the need for strong investment into our public services and examines the economic and historical data that point a way out of the devastating effects of COVID-19 and the concurrent economic downturn towards a better Connecticut for everyone.

Read the full report here: PDF icon "Austerity Versus Reinvestment"

Connecticut Needs a Recovery for All - Contact Your Legislators!



Mayra Cruz
Reemployment Services
“After holding the same job for 20-30 years, you can imagine how scary it is to go for your first job interview,” she said. “Some clients even struggle with setting up an email account to start their job search, I walk them through every step, to make sure they feel comfortable with technology. Any person I have assisted knows they can call me directly. Each person our agency serves appreciates how much time we dedicate to assist them on their journey to find work.”

Mayra and her fellow workers are frustrated that their agency has not received proper funding from the state to support the residents of Connecticut. 

“We have clients who lack access to a computer and an email account. This makes filing unemployment and finding a job an even bigger hurdle,” she said. “We also have clients who speak languages other than English. We need resources to bridge these barriers, including workshops in multiple languages and ones that teach residents how to set up and use email for job searching.”

Sherwin LeGendre
Service Patrol
"My job is one of service. People are always amazed that this service exists and is free of charge. My duties are basically the same each day. They range from giving people gas, changing flat tires, jumping dead batteries, and pushing disabled vehicles off of the highways. I even started CPR on a person who had almost died. Jobs such as mine are important to the people of this state. We go about our day not being noticed by the general public, except when there is traffic caused by us working. It isn’t done for profit. Unlike other companies, like AAA, which only helps people who are paid members, I help everyone. It doesn’t matter if I am called or not, I am there to help in any way I can. This is one of things people like about the service I provide. There is no bias, I help everyone.

Without proper funding for these positions, many people would be left to fend for themselves in times of stress and danger. I am proud to serve in this capacity and believe strongly that adequate funding is needed to preserve these important jobs. Public employees provide services that many are unaware about. It is important that the taxpayers understand the jobs we do and how tax dollars are being spent. Too many are led to believe that we are lazy and provide unneeded services."

Darnell Ford
Lead Children's Service Worker
"In DCF see firsthand what people call the “school to prison pipeline” that particularly impacts Black and brown kids. Which means when my nephew leaves elementary school, there is a higher chance he is going to go down that pipeline just because of the color of his skin, and because we don’t pay attention and we don’t clear resources within his community within his school system to be able to make sure that pipeline doesn’t exist. That we break that pipeline.

DCF needs consults working with communities and schools on a regular basis. You have got resource officers. Instead, double the amount of counselors. Double the amount of systems that are needed for this."

Queen Freelove
Family Childcare Provider
"Without childcare providers like myself, how would first responders and essential employees continue to go to work when the schools closed leaving their small children at home? During normal times, childcare providers help keep the doors open and employees working, but during COVID-19 the need for childcare providers like myself only grew exponentially. 

Without funding for programs like Care for Kids, we risk leaving thousands of families in an unsolvable problem - needing to go to work but not having a safe place for their children to stay. The solution cannot be to allow older kids to watch younger kids, the solution cannot be that these parents quit their jobs, the solution cannot be to leave young children wholly unattended. The only solution is to allow for highly-skilled providers like myself to care for these children while their parents work." 

Laurie Fortin
Pheasant Stocking Program Coordinator
"Without this position many Connecticut residents would lose the opportunity to participate in traditional recreational activities (pheasant and upland bird hunting, as well as falconry) and citizens across the state would have limited options when finding sick, injured or orphaned wildlife.  Without scientists and citizen science projects less would be known about CT's wildlife and educational projects that involve wildlife would not occur.  Lands would not be purchased and protected (did you know that there is currently no state funding to buy land?) and the overall quality of life for CT's residents would be therefore impacted.

But with more staff and better funding at the state level we could provide CT residents with even more access to open space (i.e. buy more land) and customize recreational experiences for different user groups.  The State currently does not have the capacity to provide better access to hunters with disabilities, hunters in more urban parts of our state and minority communities looking to participate in outdoor recreation. "

Tracy Lizotte
Environmental Analyst
"Have you ever brought your kids to one of the state park beaches? While you were swimming you didn’t have to worry about dangerous levels of bacteria that can lead to deadly illness. That’s because my agency works diligently to reduce the risk of disease to Connecticut’s beachgoers. 

We must fully-fund State agencies like mine to ensure the public's safety, especially as we experience more intense and frequent impacts from global climate change. Without the resources to perform these necessary services, we risk the health and safety of every Connecticut resident who drinks or uses water."