Updated: Aug 31
In April 2022, Democrat Tim Gavin launched his State Senate campaign for the 28th District of Connecticut which, following last year’s redistricting, encompasses Newtown, Fairfield, Easton, and most of Bethel. He has since become the endorsed Democratic candidate to vie for the seat against four-term incumbent Republican Tony Hwang in the upcoming midterm elections on November 8. Since announcing his candidacy, Gavin has been active throughout the district, attending and speaking at various events, and penning several op-eds for local publications. As previously reported, Gavin was raised in Canton by parents Jim and Cindy, who were both teachers in Connecticut schools for decades. He attended Yale University and received his BA in Humanities in 2017. After graduating from Yale, Gavin served as an infantry officer in the United States Army for four years and is continuing his service as a member of the army reserves. He credits his parents’ dedication to public service as the main inspiration for his own. Gavin first capitalized on this influence as a Scout, eventually achieving the status of Eagle Scout. At Yale, he ran a program partnering students with volunteer organizations focused “on supporting New Haven’s refugees, as well as homeless people and families who had trouble putting food on their table.” “I always saw myself in a life of public service,” said Gavin, “but I didn’t connect that to serving in government until the Capitol insurrection happened. That felt like a real wake-up call for me. I hadn’t thought of our democracy as being so fragile before, and that got me thinking about government service.”
Re-Establishing Unity Gavin says that there is plenty of potential work to be done to reestablish the unity of the American polity. He is emphasizing the expansion of voting rights as one of the most important ways to address problems at a local level. To do so, Gavin promises to work towards the implementation of early voting and no-excuse absentee voting in Connecticut. “Connecticut is one of just seven states without early voting at the polls and only one of three whose state constitutions currently bar it,” explains Gavin. “Taking a day off from work to vote poses an unnecessary barrier to political participation for some residents, especially working families.” Gavin spoke positively about legislation passed by the Connecticut General Assembly in February 2022 revising eligibility statutes for those wishing to apply, suggesting that it was a step in the right direction. “Legislators should not stand in the way of measures that help ensure Connecticut’s residents’ ability to exercise their right to vote,” Gavin said, adding that Hwang voted against the ballot legislation. “In the military, I always voted by absentee ballot,” he continued, “there’s no reason we shouldn’t be able to extend the same option to seniors, those who are immunocompromised, or anyone else worried about COVID.” Gavin’s time in the armed forces also provided him firsthand experience with handling firearms, which strengthened his resolve in addressing issues of gun violence. Over the past few months, he has attended various events in support of commonsense gun legislation, and has been outspoken about the subject. As such, he was recently awarded the 2022 Gun Sense Candidate distinction by the gun violence prevention group Moms Demand Action. Climate, Economy, Jobs He links this issue to another that he believes poses an existential threat to the community. As an ardent supporter of the fight against climate change, Gavin says that he “intends to work to increase clean, alternative energy sources in Connecticut and will also reduce our residents’ energy bills, which are among the highest in the US.” In line with this initiative, Gavin advocates for a practical economic policy serving to reduce the burden of taxes on working families, improve access to health care, and strengthen the school system and its curriculum to introduce students to skills invaluable to members of the workforce. To the first point, Gavin supports expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and state child tax credit. He will simultaneously back measures to retain and promote the growth of Connecticut-based businesses “with robust benefits such as health care, retirement, and paid family leave.” To aid students in preparation for jobs, Gavin plans to support policies that build upon Connecticut’s already forward-thinking measures. He seeks to establish public-private partnerships to help place students more easily in job positions with employers in high-demand industries. “Preparing young people for the economy of the future can have a profound impact on business growth in our state. While transitioning from the military, I completed a coding boot camp for veterans, allowing me to find a job in technology.” Gavin worked on the Child Safety team at Meta, where he aided in efforts to combat child exploitation on social media. More recently, he has been employed at the nonprofit Integrity Institute, where he has worked with regulators, social media platforms, and lawmakers in and outside of the US to better utilize the resources available on the internet. “That collaboration between government, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector is very effective in holding child predators accountable and definitely holds lessons for how to serve the public in other areas,” he said. “I am running to represent all of us,” wrote Gavin in his campaign announcement, “our principles, and our values in the State Senate. Together we can push for common sense and pragmatic policy solutions to the problems in our community.” Learn more about the candidate by visiting gavinforctsenate.com.
[Read article online here.]