Up to now, Monroe’s Jen Aguilar has described herself as an active community member and volunteer. But come November, she hopes to take that level of service to new heights as the 112th District state representative for Monroe and Newtown. According to the Monroe Town Clerk’s office, she will be facing GOP challenger J.P. Sredzinski.
“By definition, a state representative helps people and tries to move society forward and also tries to make society a better place for all people to live in. I have been doing this in our community for over ten years,” Ms Aguilar said in a statement announcing her candidacy.
Currently, Ms Aguilar serves as a commissioner on the Monroe Youth Commission, will shortly begin her term as co-president of the Monroe Parents Council, and serves on Monroe’s EMS Facility Search Committee. She participates with Monroe’s Project Warmth, which provides heating assistance to Monroe residents, volunteers at the Senior Center when it is a shelter and helps cook meals, and previously worked at Monroe Early Learning Center.
The first-time candidate additionally served three years as Monroe’s Fawn Hollow Elementary PTO co-president.
“I know how to see things through from start to finish,” she said. “I created trunk or treat in Monroe as a safer alternative for kids on Halloween. [And] I was instrumental in getting the playgrounds for Sandy Hook Elementary and Fawn Hollow Elementary.”
Ms Aguilar has three children in the Monroe school system.
“I know how important a quality education is for children and to the future of our town, state, and country,” she said. “Quality education is one of my top priorities. I can make a difference for Monroe and Newtown in Hartford knowing I will share that priority with the majority of other legislators.”
She said the implementation of federal standardized testing has not come without a cost.
“I want to ensure that any mandates are funded by the state. State funding, in partnership with federal funding, is the key to preventing holes in the pockets of a town’s local budget,” she observed. “It is imperative that the state reduces the burden on the local government with unfunded mandates. I have worked with anyone dedicated to preserving and enhancing education and will continue my efforts at the state level with anyone who would like to continue the conversation.”
She also noted that over the past few years mental health issues are at the forefront of local, state, and national concerns.
“I am dedicated to preserving and expanding social services programs offered throughout the town and state programs, such as full-time town social workers for one,” she said, noting Monroe currently has one part-time social worker.
“We need to expand programs to help the many families in Newtown and Monroe. We can expand our outreach to more people in need who do not have the means to go to a therapist,” she said. “We also need to support counselors and psychologists in schools who see students everyday and can help identify potential problems early on.”
The candidate said she will work to make sure first responders are well equipped and receive support with equipment and training in dealing with tragedy; that state and local roads are safe and bridges are maintained.
“Most importantly, we need to reduce violent acts with guns,” she said. “The state has put into place reasonable gun control measures. I will be dedicated to preserving those measures and encouraging more gun buyback and gun lock giveaway programs.”
At the same time, Ms Aguilar said the state must prioritized and cut programs that do not make sense.
“We can lower costs by cooperating with other towns when ordering education and construction materials in bulk. We must learn to work together in the state and regionally to prevent waste and put the taxpayer’s moneys to their highest and best use,” she said.
She said if elected, Ms Aguilar plans to have regular office hours in the 112th District to meet with constituents and hear their concerns.
“I will return phone calls, letters, and e-mails in a prompt manner. I am dedicated to working hard for the citizens of Monroe and Newtown,” she concluded. Interested district residents who would like to learn more are invited to contact Ms Aguilar via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.