Sunday, March 18: Yesterday, on Sunday afternoon, Democrat Anne Hughes and a crowd of friends, family and supporters gathered at the Easton Public Library to kick off her campaign for state representative.
Attendees included State Representative Cristin McCarthy Vahey of Fairfield, who introduced Hughes at the event. “Anne has demonstrated her commitment to social justice, vulnerable populations, building community and creating connections,” said McCarthy Vahey in her introductory remarks. “She is a passionate advocate and we need her in Hartford!”
Hughes, a long-time activist and first-time candidate, recalled her first brush with politics in her remarks to the crowd. At the age of seven, affected by the horrors of the Vietnam war, she asked her mother if women would ever be required to go to war. Her mother advised her that they probably would, and if she was concerned she could write to President Nixon. “I received this letter back,” Hughes said. “It said ‘Thank you for your suggestion. May you earn the title peacemaker all the days of your life.’”
“This campaign is about amplifying all voices, including encouraging young people who are not yet voters and are outraged and engaged like I was at seven,” Hughes said. “Find your voice, find your power…may you too never let go of that taste of collective power, determination and will to change.”
Hughes believes that the solutions to the state’s deep challenges lie within the residents and resources that already exist in the state. “Together we will repair and rebuild our policies and opportunities,” she said in her remarks. Hughes emphasized the need for fair and equitable education funding that addresses the disparity between Connecticut’s cities, suburbs and rural communities. If we create the talent and opportunities in all of our communities, Hughes believes, we will grow our economy and prosper as a state.
Focused on running a citizens-led campaign, Hughes invited members of the crowd to come forward and express their priorities, concerns and hopes. Several participants came forward, and over the upcoming months the campaign will roll out an agenda that gives voice to those concerns and identifies solutions collectively.
“For the right to a fair, livable wage, gender parity for workers, the right to earned family medical leave and the right to good, affordable healthcare – if anyone can achieve this, we can,” said Hughes. “Mom, you were right. When I grew up, women would be facing down guns of war, fighting for our country, for our democracy. My name is Anne Meiman Hughes, reporting for duty.”
Hughes is a social worker at Jewish Senior Services, activist, seasoned organizational leader and community builder. Hughes was born and raised in Fairfield, one of five daughters of Fairfield public school teacher Phil and Kay Meiman. She and her husband Tim live at the renowned Fiddledale estate in Easton. She is challenging incumbent Adam Dunsby to represent the 135th Congressional District in the Connecticut General Assembly, which consists of Easton, Weston and part of Redding.