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News from State Senator Cathy Osten

April 13, 2016

Capitol address
Legislative Office Building
Room 2100
Hartford, CT 06106-1591

E-mail me here

On the Web

Capitol: 860-240-0579
Toll-free: 1-800-842-1420

Inspiring Civic Engagement--Ledyard High School asks students to put their plans for a better future into action

I had the great pleasure of participating in Ledyard High School's "Civic Action" roundtable this month, where professionals from our community joined about 200 students in the sophomore class who are working on civic action projects to identify and resolve problems within their local community.

As part of their civics curriculum, the students have developed proposals for addressing these issues--focused on mental health, animal abuse, poverty, legalizing marijuana and other issues that the students care about.

Participating in this round table was a great experience, not just for the students, but for the professionals who attended. I love speaking with teenagers about current events and issues because I always find their perspective to be interesting and innovative. Seeing the world through the eyes of young people is refreshing.

I really enjoyed hearing about their projects and offering my input from a legislative perspective--which helped some students determine what path to take to achieve their desired outcome, and what obstacles they might face as they move forward.

Completing these projects not only gives the students some perspective on how to effect change, but truly inspires engagement in our community. I look forward to seeing the leaders that these young people become when they enter the workforce, and I hope it will spark their interest in running for elected office where they can put what they have learned into action.

Don't Get Fooled--Learning How to Fight Fraud

fraud event
While April Fools' Day can be fun for some, becoming the victim of scam artists and other fraudsters is certainly not. That's why I held an April 1st event at Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, where the other participants and I were able to learn how to fight fraud and protect sensitive personal information.

We brought together community members with the people who best know how to keep your identity safe, and make yourself less likely to become prey for criminals trying to get their hands on your personal identification, bank accounts and other sensitive documents.

With the help of the AARP CT Fraud Watch Network, United States Postal Inspector Service, and Norwich Police Department, we learned the ins and outs of what to look for, what to avoid, and what to do in the event that you've been scammed out of your hard earned money or personal information.

I urge you to participate in community events like this one, and become familiar with the literature that is available through the above organizations. The length that scammers go to defraud residents, especially the elderly, knows no bounds--and that's why we as consumers must also take action to ensure we are savvy to their ways, and can protect ourselves.

Safe Havens a Success in Connecticut--Increasing awareness of a program to protect families and babies in crisis

This month, my colleagues and I joined the staff at the William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich to highlight the first annual Safe Havens Day in Connecticut, to promote safe places where parents in crisis can turn over their newborn babies without judgement--knowing that the child will be safe and cared for.

Since the Safe Havens law was established in 2000, 27 infants have been turned over to Connecticut hospitals by a parent or parents, who are able to do so anonymously and with the assurance that the child will receive immediate care. The program provides a safe alternative for parents who may feel as though they are unable to care for their child and lack options, which could otherwise lead to a tragic outcome like the abandonment, or even death, of the child.

I strongly believe that we must ensure that all women of child bearing age know that this program exists and is an option, especially when they feel they may have nowhere to turn.

We do not want to judge or vilify people who choose to leave a child with the Safe Havens program--it's designed to save lives, and with three infants being dropped off at Safe Havens hospitals in Connecticut this year alone, we know it is working. We should consider that a big win.

I am very grateful to Backus Hospital, and other hospitals throughout our state, for providing this service. I am also grateful to the parents who, even in times of turmoil or fear, make the difficult and important choice to step up to do the right thing for their children by placing them in good hands.


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My mailing address is:
Senator Cathy Osten, Legislative Office Building, Room 2100, Hartford, Connecticut 06106
Capitol telephone: 860-240-0579, or Toll-free: 1-800-842-1420

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