STAMFORD, CT — The 2020 election is heating up in Connecticut and there are plenty of races with candidates eager to serve in elected office. Eyes are primarily focused on the presidential election, but every state representative and senate seat is up for grabs. All five of Connecticut’s congressional seats are up for grabs as well.
There are 151 seats in the state House of Representatives and 36 in the state Senate. Democrats currently hold majorities in both chambers with a 91 to 60 lead over Republicans in the House and a 22 to 14 lead in the Senate.
Connecticut Patch asked candidates to answer questions about their campaigns and will be publishing candidate profiles as election day draws near.
Becky Hamman, a Stamford resident, is running for re-election to the city’s Board of Education.
Party affiliation: Republican Party
Family: My husband, Dale, and I have resided in Stamford, CT, for 34 years. He is self-employed and I have been a public school educator in Fairfield and Westchester Counties.
Previous elected experience: Stamford Board of Education
Family members in government: No
Campaign website: RTC
The single most pressing issue facing our state is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.
Although, I’m running for a local public office, Connecticut is trying to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and 2010 economic recovery at the same time. Both issues have financially as well as emotionally affected families throughout the area, especially Lower Fairfield County. Dealing with 21 schools and 17,000 students means being aware of the issues and working collaboratively with the BOE. I enjoy the challenge in helping make the best decision possible.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?
Each Stamford Board of Education member looks at their role through a lens. As an educational leader, I work directly in the field, so my perspective is going to be about safety, teaching and learning. I’m also a CIA (Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment) expert. Student, parent and educator input will always be crucial when I’m working on policy or casting a vote.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
I have three reasons:
1. Experience in the educational field makes a difference…24 years and counting! I have worked hard to know the issues inside and out as a practitioner and leader.
2. Experience as a BOE member makes a difference…I love listening, debating and being in a democratic environment where issues are processed, policies created and ultimately used to support ALL students.
3. As a long-term Stamford resident, community makes a difference! Stamford is my home and I want to help make it a healthy and inviting place to live and grow for our families and future generations.
Do you believe Connecticut needs reform when it comes to electric utility oversight? What steps, if any should be taken?
Although I’m running in a local election and working with families and educators, energy is needed to run our schools. Certainly we need reform in this area and it affects school finances. Steps include: getting community input, developing a competent task force and working out the numbers (affordability).
What steps should state government take to bolster economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic for local businesses?
As a spouse of a small business owner, we cannot shut down the economy again. State level precautions should be taken. Steps include:
1. Setting and enforcing workplace expectations…wear masks, wash hands, and social distance.
2. Collaborating with the federal government to create financial packages for businesses and the unemployed who may still need support.
3. Working corporately with other states to be proactive in preventing the spread until a successful vaccination is implemented.
List other issues that define your campaign platform:
As a current member of the BOE, I continue to work on these areas:
Accountability of superintendent and follow through (5 mold schools and no plan, custodian oversight, streamlining expenses vs. reorganization of district, decreasing special education costs, etc.).
As an instructional leader, I also keep a watchful eye on curriculum and assessment implementation. There are many updates/revisions that need to be made in these areas.
I also believe in following BOE policy consistently. This has not been done, and we need to be more aware of HOW we operate and communicate to one another as BOE members.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
Great leadership takes solid K-12 classroom and curriculum experience. We need to support the top administrators, but also hold them to specifics (i.e. hybrid program…quality vs. marginal; supervision of principals and follow through with COVID-19; 5-mold buildings and 2+ year wait time for solution; custodian oversignt and the closing of West Hill High School for 2 extra days; etc.). Can we do better? I believe so.