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Report by Paula Antolini
October 15, 2018, 11:11AM EDT
Why I Choose to Run, by State Senator Toni Boucher
The journey to elective office is challenging, often difficult, and always demanding. So, what would motivate anyone to do it? It is an extraordinary opportunity afforded to only a few – an opportunity to effect a change for good. For me, it is that and so much more, fueled by a respect for our system of government, passion about today’s issues, and the desire to help people navigate the maze of a massive government bureaucracy.
But, most of all, it is my gratitude for the American principles of inclusion and opportunity for all people that opened the door to me and my family.
Our story is like many others. I was born in a small farmhouse in Italy where my brother and I were supervised by a sheep dog as we played alone while adults tended the fields. Our two uncles had immigrated to the US before WWII and were farmers in Wallingford and Woodbridge. My parents sold all that they had to sail to America to join them in search for a better life. With only a grammar school education, my father’s respect for educated people was reflected in his daily missive to us: “Education is everything. It is the way out of poverty and the path to freedom.” We took that to heart, and with the community’s help, hard work and scholarships, my parents lived to see the first in the family to graduate from elementary school, high school, college and graduate school.
My gratitude is reflected in the desire to “pay it forward”, which has motivated my public service career. That started, honoring my father’s passion, as Board of Education chair, a member of the Board of Selectman and as a gubernatorial appointee to the State Board of Education. I have been privileged to serve on the State House of Representatives Education and Higher Education Leadership Committees and now in the State Senate as Chief Deputy Leader and Education Committee Co-Chair. Throughout this time, I have also been working in and growing private businesses while raising my three children in this beautiful state we call home.
The state that was the envy of the country and that gave me and my family every opportunity to succeed is now in serious financial trouble. People and companies can no longer afford to stay here. Our economy is shrinking. It will take someone with knowledge of how government functions; has managed large and small businesses; and has the trust of the district to make the changes Connecticut needs to move forward. I commit to continue to fight for you and for a better Connecticut.
President Lincoln said, “I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.” To earn your pride and trust has always been my goal. This is an honor to serve and why I choose to run.
State Senator Toni Boucher