2nd District Candidates Explain Why Latinos Should Vote for Them


CTLatinoNews.com has reached out to the Republican and Democratic candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives in the five Connecticut Congressional Districts and asked them to explain why Latinos should vote for them. We thought it would be a good opportunity for Latino voters to see how well the candidates understand the issues important to them.
The Republican candidate response is presented first because that party has the top line on the ballot. The Democratic candidate response is presented second.
Here are the responses for the 2nd Congressional District. Republican challenger Paul Formica chose not to respond to this questionnaire. Green Party candidate Colin Bennett returned his questions and is included, also, below Mr. Courtney.

Joe Courtney

Address: Vernon, CT
Campaign Headquarters Address: 108 Norwich Ave Colchester, CT
Website: www.joecourtney.com
Elected in 2006, Congressman Courtney currently serves on the House Armed Services and Agriculture Committees. He previously served in the Connecticut General Assembly from 1987-1994. He resides in Vernon with his wife Audrey. They have two children, Robert and Elizabeth.
Why should Latinos vote for you?  
It has been an honor to represent the 2nd Congressional District since 2006. While much has been accomplished, we have much to do to continue our economic growth.
I have hosted several large job fairs across eastern Connecticut to connect job-seekers with available positions in a variety of companies and organizations. I also led the effort to double submarine production at Electric Boat, which became a reality this year and is growing high-quality jobs and strengthening our industrial base. I have advocated for new investment in infrastructure that will put people back to work, such as improvements to the Central Corridor rail line, and critical dredging funding for our ports and harbors. I believe that we must help our manufacturers and small businesses match their needs with qualified workers, expand to new markets abroad, and provide tax relief and support to help them recover and grow. To that end, I have secured funding for job retraining and advanced manufacturing education.
One of the biggest struggles in Congress over the past 6 years has been to strengthen our nation and train the workforce of the 21st century to compete with workers around the globe. The House voted in December 2010 on the DREAM Act, which I was proud to support. Unfortunately, the Senate blocked passage and this issue continues to be at the forefront of the minds of too many families and young Americans. This should be one of the top priorities of the next Congress.
Additionally, this is why I spearheaded legislation to keep the interest rates on federal student loans low Interest rates on the Stafford student loan program were set to double on July 1st, and after President Obama issued a challenge to Congress to prevent this increase, I introduced legislation that night to keep interest rates low–preventing an additional $1,000 in debt on students.
With student loan debt exceeding $1 billion, it is evident that college is becoming less affordable. Programs like the Stafford student loan program help middle class families afford a higher education and unlock new opportunities. While I am proud that Congress finally came to bipartisan agreement and stopped rate hike for a year, it is clear that a more comprehensive, long-term approach to higher education access and affordability is needed in the next session of Congress, and I am committed to continuing to make higher education obtainable for all Americans.

Colin Bennett

Green Party
Address: 487 East Pond Meadow, Westbrook, CT 06498
Website: www.facebook.com/colinforcongress 
Colin is a Connecticut native now living in Westbrook. When he was 20 his daughter Daisy was born which changed the course of his life from one without direction or ambition to dedicating himself to making the world a better place by helping others and working to protect the environment.
Why should Latinos vote for you?
I’m a college-educated, middle-class, straight white male, and this has given me a tremendous amount of unearned privileges and advantages in life. That said, I fully recognize that our current political system, which mirrors our society, is inherently racist, sexist, and otherwise oppressive and I’m deeply committed to dismantling all forms of oppression with the goal of creating a diverse and inclusive society based on equity, equality, respect, and justice.
Our country faces enormous challenges yet it seems as though our current elected officials are incapable of making any true progress. I believe that the cause of the political gridlock is because our government is increasingly being controlled by corporate interests that are profiting by exploiting women, people of color, undocumented workers, indigenous peoples, poor folks, and others among us that are the most vulnerable.  Rather than give up and let this takeover continue I’m running for Congress to raise awareness about these issues and actively and aggressively work to put power where it belongs: in the hands of the people.
I’m a member of the Green Party largely because any and all Green Party candidates, from folks running for local school boards to the women and men that run for President, do not take any donations or contributions from corporations.  That simple prohibition against corporate influence sets Greens, myself included, apart from all other parties. We are not beholden to any corporation and are able to work for the people.
I don’t believe in a monolithic Latino culture, therefore I don’t think all Latinos should necessarily vote for me. That said, I’m looking for the support of Latinos (and all other folks) who are committed to working collectively and cooperatively to dismantle racism, sexism, and all other forms of oppression in order to, like I said above, create a diverse and inclusive society based on equity, equality, respect, and justice where no person is illegal. I am fully capable and qualified to serve as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and if elected I promise one thing: to always serve in the best interests of the people. Although we are currently in a system controlled by corporations, for corporations I believe that together we can create a system that is truly controlled by the people, for the people. All people.
To learn more about how I stand on specific issues contact me at:  colinforcongress2012@gmail.com.