Photo of Senator Slossberg.

State Senator

Gayle Slossberg

Representing Milford, Orange, West Haven & Woodbridge

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Senator Slossberg’s Capitol Corner: Safety and Security

A column in the Orange Times

Connecticut’s Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) are important places for learning, recreation and self-reflection for members of our state’s Jewish community, as well as all others who are welcomed through their doors. Sadly, recent threats against the JCCs in Woodbridge and West Hartford have made security a concern. I introduced and led passage of this legislation so that Connecticut’s JCCs and all our schools would have access to funding that will help them make security improvements to put the minds of students and their families at ease and allow staff to focus their attention on continuing to provide a great community resource.

Connecticut has allocated a pool of funds to be distributed to schools and other educational institutions for the development and construction of security improvements. These funds have allowed schools around our state to install hardened glass, secure entry features and other improvements that ensure students remain safe.

Sadly, the threats made against JCCs are just one part of a recent trend. Over the last year, the United States has endured incidents of hate including murders, assaults, bomb threats and vandalism that have been directed against African-Americans, Hindu- Americans, Hispanics, Jews, Muslims, Sikh-Americans, transgender women and others.

Hate crimes divide our country, spreading fear and threatening to move our society backwards. I joined my colleagues in the General Assembly in passing the strongest hate crimes law in the nation to show these criminals that hate is not tolerated in Connecticut. House Bill 5743, now Public Act 17-111, ensures that the perpetrators of hate crimes are strictly punished and ensures that threats made against houses of worship, religious community centers or other religious institutions are treated as the acts of terror that they are.

We must all stand in support of each other, regardless of our religious, ethnic or economic backgrounds. Protecting Connecticut’s JCCs and ensuring that those who would threaten them and similar religious and community institutions are strictly punished sends a clear message about Connecticut’s values, rejecting hate and embracing the diversity that makes this state such a great place to live and raise a family.

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