The New York Mets are on a hot streak, winning 15 of their last 17 games.
Pat Dillon is also on a hot streak, winning 19 of his last 19 campaigns for state representation.
Now the Mets are looking to continue the streak and qualify for the playoffs. Dillon is looking to keep the streak going and serve a full four decades making laws in Hartford.
Baseball has changed since Dillon grew up in Flushing, Queens, and fostered the scrappy team that captured the imagination of a scrappy borough. That hasn’t stopped her from savoring the team’s scorching season this year, even though the hedge fund-owned multi-millionaire team is no longer there. “miracle” outsiders of 1969. This did not prevent her from believing in it.
“Yes,” Dillon acknowledged, baseball has changed, but “I always root.
Politics has also changed since Dillon won her first term as a state representative in 1984. That hasn’t stopped Dillon from believing in the ability to tackle tough issues through the political process. .
She cites this year’s legislative session as an example of how she believes she and the Democratic team have made a difference.
Dillon is running for a 20th two-year term representing the 92nd General Assembly District, which includes Westville, West River and Upper Westville/Amity/Beverly Hills. A League of Women Voters volunteer named Lesley McGuirk filed paperwork to challenge Dillon as an independent in the November general election. (The City Clerk’s Office confirmed that McGuirk had submitted more than the 84 voter signatures needed to qualify for the ballot; the office forwarded McGuirk’s petitions to the Secretary of State’s Office for final review .) No Republicans are on the ballot. Alder Darryl Brackeen has decided not to pursue an anticipated challenge.
Dillon opened up about this season’s legislative accomplishments, why she continues to seek elective office and the New York Mets, during a conversation this week on WNHH FMit is “Dateline New Haven”.
She cited her work as co-chair of the appropriations committee’s health subcommittee to guide the adoption of a new gun violence prevention office to focus on “applied research” on what works in the field. “It will be separate from what we are already doing in other departments. Right now we’re funding seed programs on the ground that are really important. This year, there was a strong electorate to do “evidence-based research” to help direct future funding toward life-saving efforts.
She talked about the money she was able to help bring home: $2 million to upgrade a new preschool center on the boulevard, $1 million from the federal infrastructure bill (which crosses the state) to improve safety on the dangerous logging road, $3 million for Meals on Wheels. She spoke of the legislature’s doubling of municipal aid to New Haven through payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) and an expansion of mental health services, especially in schools.
Baseball players tend to give standardized answers to questions posed by live interviewers. In this regard, politics does not imitate sports, at least in Dillon’s case. It pivots towards the nuance.
For example, on “Dateline,” she was asked about the current debate over whether “experience” is a handicap or a strength for an elected official. This political season’s challengers argue that incumbent politicians are “the problem”, that their legislative experience makes them less qualified to hold office. The incumbents argue that lawmakers learn over time how to better negotiate and pass laws and get results for voters.
Dillon did not offer the expected response. She did not say that staying in office for a long time automatically makes someone a better legislator.
The proof, she says, is what’s happening on the grounds of the state capitol.
“Some people only see things through their own lens, so they don’t learn,” Dillon said. “We had great new legislators. And we have great veterans. It’s a great mix.
Click the video to watch the full conversation with State Representative Pat Dillion on WNHH FM “Deadline New Haven.
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