Retirees Converge on the State Capitol: Ask Legislators for their Support

State Representative Joe Gresko, a cosponsor of SB 380, spoke with Retired Stratford teacher Lynnette Baroni.

April 6, 2016

"It's important to talk to us and express your views."

That was the message Sen. Paul Formica gave to nearly 100 retired teachers who converged on the State Capitol today for Retired Teachers' Lobby Day.

The event, organized by CEA-Retired, AFT Connecticut, and the Association of Retired Teachers of Connecticut gave retirees the opportunity to meet face-to-face with their elected representatives to discuss issues of importance to students and active and retired teachers.

Retired Stratford teacher Lynnette Baroni attended for the first time and said she was pleased to see that so many legislators understand the need to honor their commitments to retired teachers.

CEA-R members Sara Smith and Anne Grosjean tracked down Sen. Tony Guglielmo at the State Capitol. (Click photo for larger version)

Baroni was able to meet directly with Representative Joe Gresko to discuss the need to preserve teachers' pension and health care benefits and decouple SBAC from evaluations.

"He was personable and really seemed interested in hearing our point of view. I was very happy to hear him tell us that he supports our issues and is a cosponsor of SB 380," she said.

CEA-R member Lisa Bress said her legislators were not available today but that didn't stop her from getting her message to them about the need to support SB 380, the bill that would delink SBAC from teacher evaluations.

"They were not available to meet with me, but I communicated with them via email and educated them on our issues. I also went to their offices to drop off fact sheets with their staff people," she said.

State Rep. Fred Camillo, a cosponsor of SB 380, spoke with CEA-R Vice President Bill Murray. (Click photo for larger version)

Bress said that while in-person meetings with legislators are priceless, "we should use every communication method available to reach our legislators."

She emphasized,"We need to use social media to communicate our message and email legislators whenever we can."

Bress made a comment on Rep. Brandon McGee's Facebook page after he she heard that as a member of the Education Committee, he voted against SB 380.

"After I left a comment, he called me at home and I explained our position. He said he is now more informed and that he learned a lot from me. Hopefully he will now support the bill," she added.

CEA-R Vice President Bill Murray told the retirees that it's important to talk to legislators about their concerns.

"This is where it happens and we are taking action to educate legislators on our issues. What we are doing makes a difference," he said.

To contact your legislators,
visit www.cea.org/takeaction.

State Rep. Mike Demicco met with CEA-R members Dave Coyne, Tim Barth, and Ted Johnson.

CEA-R members Karen O'Connell and Bill Murray stopped Rep. Prasad Srinivasan in the hallway during Retired Teachers' Lobby Day to try to convince him to support issues of importance to teachers, including SB 380.

CEA-R members talked to Fairfield County legislators. Left to right, CEA-R member Marilyn Feranec, Rep. Brenda Kupchick, CEA-R members Walter Drozeck, Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey- a cosponsor of SB 380, and Rep. Laura Devlin.

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