Thursday, March 26, 2015

Connecticut: Is it Coming or Going?

This past Sunday, the Hartford Courant published, "Are We Coming or Going?" It was the cover story of the opinion section. I finally read the piece today. I myself am a proud "Nutmegger," but I wanted to see how my fellow residents viewed the state of Connecticut. I wasn't that surprised by the commentary but it did reinforce how I thought people were feeling with their love and hate relationship of the state. In a nutshell here are where the people's gain and pain points with Connecticut.

Pro-Connecticut residents pointed to benefits such as:

  • A great landscape
  • Arts and culture
  • Good schools
  • Entertainment options
Critical Connecticut residents pointed out drawbacks such as:
  • High taxes
  • Lack of job creation
  • Utility costs
  • Bad public transportation
  • Bad schools

Who's right? As I went back over the comments, I saw myself agreeing with both perspectives. I identified with both points-of-views. 

Connecticut has good schools, some of the best in the country, but all that depends on you zip code. Many of our young people from the cities aren't getting the top notch education their peers who grow up in towns like Branford, Glastonbury, Simsbury, or West Hartford get.

We do pay high taxes, but we also offer a lot of good social services that you won't find in states that have lower taxes. Navigating our systems isn't easy, but that is a universal problem all states struggle with. 

Is Connecticut a good state to live in? My answer is yes, but I also know it can be better, especially for those who work hard, yet struggle to make ends meat due to the high cost of living.

It's very easy to get and stay down on the state. However, that mentality won't help us address the issues we know we have to address if the state is going to grow and be a place people want to call home. The reality is there are no easy answers or quick fixes to the problems that plague Connecticut. 

I know I'm not going anywhere anytime soon, so between the good, bad and the ugly I have to figure out my role as a change agent to help my state and my community.

If you live, have lived or visited Connecticut, what would you like to see changed?

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