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David Michel

Running for State Representative

1 CTNewsJunkie Reader Endorsements

Party: Democrat

CEP Status: participating


Age: 48

Marital Status: Married

Current Residence: Stamford

Current Job: Wholesale consultant

Previous Job: Sales Rep

Previous Job: Sales Rep

Education: Abroad


What action(s) will you take to reduce out-of-pocket drug costs and reduce the impact of the cost of prescription drugs on taxpayers and insurance premiums?
1. Push for a state single payer system where all those that pay will pay much less and everyone is covered. 2. I will work hard again at getting a bill, the back up for this effort mentioned above, that gets us our comparative study for a state single payer system, a medicare for all at the state level. Preliminary research did already show major savings of close to a billion dollars. The study would only cost under $20k and there is no need to put money in a group to oversee this. The study should come right back to the legislature. 3. I will support and work hard to get more support on bills that will be worked on to address this issue. But ultimately I will again push for and co introduce a bill for the expansion of husky to all those eligible regardless of immigration status. Not only is it the right thing to do but will also cost less as it is a form of prevention.
In these inflationary times, what will you do to help ensure that Connecticut’s middle-income retirees on fixed incomes are able to keep more of their hard-earned money in their pockets?
We have made changes for retirees just this past session as relief from taxes on retirement. We need to continue working hard to protect our retirees.
How do you plan to address the growing long-term care workforce crisis in the state?
We need a Fair Work Week, real Covid Pay, and proper insurance for our essential workers and will continue to help in those efforts. Also we need to keep close scrutiny on the treatment of essential workers by the owners and admins.
Gas prices are higher than ever, which is difficult for older adults on fixed incomes. Yet, alternatives to cars in Connecticut are limited. What will you do to help older adults access other forms of transportation?
We should really make public transportation free for our seniors, especially if working at an older age. We need to keep expanding public transportation where it is not easily accessible. A stamford health study proved people from our most vulnerable communities, the West Side and the South End are lacking access to public transportation. It is an equity issue!!
What are the two most urgent problems facing Connecticut within the context of climate change and the environment, and what will you propose to solve them?
1. The changing weather patterns are becoming way more extreme causing major problems in our infrastructure. We need to boost and multiply our efforts to adapt. That means addressing flooding, stormwater, and retrofitting our infrastructure while continuing all efforts to reduce drastically and faster than planned, our total emissions. 2. Adequate protections for the marine ecosystem. The ocean is the climate regulator, and its marine life is the main back up for our life support system. If the ocean dies, we die. Basically we need to make sure the mentality changes in our government structure. We legislators push for changes in our statutes, but agencies that are losing staffing and on an enforcement downfall for decades, need to step up to the plate and support change faster than they are letting it happen. Why has DEEP blocked good bills all the way to Environmental Justice language, why does DEEP continue allowing permitting of trawlers in our state who rake the seafloor from its preciously sequestrated carbon, with their metal gear, while their nets rape the marine ecosystem of its life indiscriminately, jeopardizing the entire balance? As there is no question on rebuilding the economy and creating employment, I will comment on it here. The way we are letting offshore wind develop at the moment is actually not good at producing jobs, and might actually help jeopardize the marine ecosystem if we let the developers choose their techniques of construction for the footing of offshore wind turbines. Instead of pile-driving steel pipes into the seafloor and destroying precious life in our marine ecosystem, that actually protects us, we should be creating 25 times the amount of jobs with Concrete Gravity Bases. They would also largely broaden environmental standards. That is the right thing to do for our state so we should push it. I did request a study be done by Tufts University Department of Structural Engineering and they came through with magic number 25. This would truly help the vulnerable communities and the plans would of course incorporate training the workforce and make CT a leader in renewables. All this might play out in the coming months in Washington DC and Hartford. Let's go with the Blue Deal ... creating careers vs. jobs and protecting the best that we can the very environment that is mostly responsible for keeping us alive.
How can Connecticut's education systems create better outcomes for students in low-income communities?
How about giving public schools the same funding from charter schools per student? Unfortunately our dependency on property taxes to fund our schools is one of the biggest downfalls for our state youth. We need to reform this system and ensure all students in our state get an excellent and equal high-quality education. That will not happen under the current system in my humble opinion.
Pedestrian deaths spiked a few years ago and remain high, and it's fairly clear that driver behavior, such as distracted driving, is only getting worse despite significant efforts by law enforcement to stop it. How can Connecticut's streets be made safe for pedestrians and bicyclists?
Each municipality should have their own paper with an analysis of where the areas of concern are and ensure enforcement is done in those areas. We have had conversations in Stamford about cameras in school zones. I do not mind yellow strips and apparatus that monitors the speed and even equipment that will issue tickets for those speeding, but I do not believe that in a school zone you can beat safety with police on location. I am open to the discussion on cameras but not confident that it's an actual proper or necessary expense when we have a police force to protect & serve.
How should the state and its school districts deal with COVID-19 going forward?
It seems we are adapting well currently. As my mother is a teacher i do believe that a hybrid system is necessary to ensure also the safety of the teachers. There are also other issues in our schools that we are thankfully working on, such as mold etc.
What can be done to prevent excessive consolidation of the healthcare industry and the loss of services – or, in some cases, the loss of small hospitals themselves – in the state's rural areas?
More state support is crucial for those rural areas and we can help maintain the quality of care.
Do you think the state's two major electric utilities (Eversource and United Illuminating) are sufficiently regulated? If not, what measures would you take to ensure that consumers are protected to the greatest extent possible against prolonged loss of services and unfair rate increases?
NOT AT ALL!! The two companies are certainly not friendly in how and how much they charge the rate payers. Outside of the usual complaints i have these examples that are timely as the utilities are developing their plans of expansion of the Smart Meters infrastructure (forget contesting your bills and say bye to the privacy of what you use your electricity for). Eversource had come to the state years ago asking for an opt in into smart it seems it is gonna be imposed, good luck if you do not want one. Outside of constantly reported horrible customer service, there are of course the issues of the fragility of the grid. i am a supporter of decentralizing the grid. I am also a supporter of municipal utilities all across the state. I have an elderly Lady crying because of her recognized condition (EMS) and the way they ignore her condition by shoving a smart meter on her house, another cries for his daughter with the same condition and again the utilities give despotic and dismissive answers. Their handling of emergencies has not been satisfying to consumers. PURA needs to step up and regulate those much better. When it comes to Smart Meters, stop being bullies and go back to the roots of an OPT IN, do not impose on your customers, without them being informed, do not impose these devices without acknowledging the dangers of electro magnetic radiation. The dismissal of science is staggering and should not be allowed in the name of public health. and are great sources of information and peer reviewed studies. It's equally alarming if not more when it comes to the development of the 5G infrastructure, but that is another story that should be addressed. I ll go at it here. In regards to Broadband access and equity, as we are getting federal funding, we should not use it to deploy 5G antennas in front of schools and people s homes, but for those with no or little access to internet, we should ensure the fiber optic cables deployed throughout the entire state during the pandemic are connected to their buildings and homes. On Telecoms and 5G, a couple of bullet points: . The public health and environmental standards are under the Federal 1996 Telecommunications Act (no state or municipal standards oversight) which took under consideration absolutely no technology we use today. It does not address long term or constant exposure to EMR. . The FCC using those standards lost in federal court against the Environmental Health Trust (lead by an actual scientist in EMR Dr Devra Davis) for not taking under consideration the 10,000 pages of peer reviewed science they were given by the scientific community. The federal court is waiting now for the FCC to review the actual science and present themselves to them with an explanation! . We are facing the biggest energy hog as the antennas might be more efficient in energy consumption per data, but the amount of data intended when the grid will actually be in place (a micro-grid as higher frequency antennas will only send data a shorter distance) is enormous. In an age when we are doing everything to reduce energy consumption, this comes as a huge and serious concern that no one is talking about. There are hundreds of peer reviewed studies pointing to harm on our public health and Environment, yet it is still discussed as a joke with people wearing tin foil hats. It s time for the legislature to get serious and face the facts and to stop enabling an industry to dictate with absolutely insufficient none-protective and weak standards. Due diligence on EMR and its impacts on people, fauna and flora is urgently needed in Hartford.
What is your position on whether Connecticut should open its election primaries to unaffiliated voters?
Opened primaries are democratic. They are conducted in other places and countries. Currently in a gerrymandered district with assured victory in general election for Party A, and say you are Party B, it would make sense if you want to have a say that you should vote in the primary which will decide who will win in the general election. It's sad to be even typing this. So many people change parties just to be able to vote in a primary. Let the people vote without having to select a party just to get involved in the democratic process.
What should be done on the state level to further address Connecticut's lack of affordable housing? Do you support, for example, mandating or incentivizing towns and cities to alter their zoning codes to be friendlier to affordable housing?
I am fine incentivizing towns and cities to alter their zoning codes to be friendlier to affordable housing 1. We need to fix who is helped by "affordable" housing programs, such as access to BMR or section 8. The most vulnerable are not really covered by those programs. We need to fix that. There are some programs for low income but by far not enough. 2.We should raise affordable housing for the whole state in new big construction to 30%. Stamford is at 10, Norwalk at 15, and it's clearly not enough. 3. Putting Rent Caps as the affordability took a hit with the pandemic and there were some hardly justified rent hikes. 4. I do not see it black or white when it comes to municipal powers like many of my colleagues from both sides. I do think that municipalities should have a say as to what impacts the people, neighborhoods, and their looks, to a certain extent and depending on what. It is clear we have to stop the way our population is segregated by ethnicity and financial status. However the solution is not by implementing zoning laws with "as of right" language (dismissal of public process). Being elected to represent the people, the last thing we should do is take away public process. It is a fragile balance to play with when it comes to zoning in my opinion. I have to say that Desegregate CT has been very aggressive on this yet they seem to ignore the fact that what they are pushing for does not truly help the most vulnerable communities, an apartment in the transit hub area is going to be too expensive even with a "discount". They push for "as of right" language which takes away public process. Those efforts seem to me to be helping greedy developers get what they want long term.
What can be done to improve the business climate in Connecticut while COVID-19 continues to be a risk?
We need to make sure we push the offshore wind industry to adopt the right technique that will not only protect the marine ecosystem but produce 15 to 30 times the amount of jobs than with piledriving techniques. We need to ensure that industries and developers hire our CT workers. The workers are the future of our state and country. We also should not cut jobs, as this was one of the major mistakes we did in 2008, we then cannot recreate these jobs during a financial crisis.
With so much uncertainty ahead about COVID-19, how would you ensure that the people's business – both at the legislature and in all of our elections – will be conducted effectively, and with full participation, in the safest possible manner for the foreseeable future?
The way we have been handling special session seems to work and we should absolutely make sure the legislature will be in full session next year! Shutting down the legislative branch is like removing the oversight we represent for the people. Looking at the Stamford Board of Representatives, they were operational this whole time and voting on ordinances every month!! So why could we not do it on the state level?
What specific legislation would you support to reduce racism in Connecticut?
There are many forms of racism. Some of my focus will be fighting for real environmental justice, protecting our essential workers and healthcare workers, as well as our undocumented immigrants. We need to hold accountable the entities that are holding our most vulnerable population down. Let's not forget that we became one of the most, if not the most, segregated states through the manipulation of the education system. We should make sure that we have proper funding for social services as these are more and more needed. Overall we need to protect our most vulnerable communities, and in our state, one of the most if not the most segregated state in the nation, we have a lot of work to do on reform.
What is one specific policy you support to help protect African Americans as an at-risk group during the pandemic?
African Americans make up a large part of our healthcare and other essential workers force. I tried to bring up the Nursing Homes bill during special session, a bi-partisan bill, with no fiscal note, to mandate some proper standards of protection for the workers, but also for the patients, yet this bill was not brought up. We did bring and vote for the Environmental Justice bill, but we need to add more teeth to it in 2021. Also we need to work hard at protecting our state from the potential devastating impacts of climate change, we are after all a coastal state. The people the most at risk from super storms and hurricanes and drought are once again the most vulnerable in our state and they are our black and brown sisters and brothers.
What should Connecticut do to re-tool our public health for COVID-19 and the possibility of future pandemics, while also addressing other chronic illnesses that put people at risk every day?
The state has a pandemic emergency protocol, and that should be scrutinized and we should make sure that not only major hospitals, but all healthcare facilities have strict mandated safety protocols. The nursing homes are the main controversy in our state with close to 70% of our deaths in the nursing homes. We need to treat our healthcare workers better.
How can Connecticut lower healthcare costs while also improving quality and access to care?
With a state single payer bill passing in 2021! We need Medicare For All! It will save costs to the tax payers as well as insured better healthcare and support for all.
With higher education facing major changes because of the pandemic, what steps will you take to make sure that Connecticut’s residents have access to college and/or other job training that won’t leave them tens of thousands of dollars in debt?
With the hope that the pandemic is a temporary set back for all, I would focus on the equity part in ensuring that all can have equal access to computers and can study and go to classes virtually. Same with the job trainings. We still have systemic issues with unfair funding of schools between municipalities so we should make sure the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) formula is revised so every student across the state has access to similar resources.
Connecticut’s revenues will sharply decline as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and, unlike Congress, Connecticut has a balanced budget requirement. What changes would you make to balance the budget? (If you want cuts, be specific what will be cut. If you want to raise taxes, be specific about which taxes.)
Increase the tax on the top 1%! We had some of our wealthiest come and talk at the capitol in 2019 in support of this. Legalize adult-use cannabis and help maintain or reduce property tax while providing some of the revenue to schools and social services. Give the undocumented workers 150 Million dollars to help them keep their homes and apartments, after all, they pay approximately 400 Million a year in taxes and never see any part of it again. I believe if we learned something from the 2008 crisis it is that we need to commit to preemptive actions to reduce where our costs will go up and we have to do all we can to make sure where people can work during the pandemic, that they continue to work. We need to ensure the minimum wage is respected, but once this pandemic is over and we manage to come out of a financial crisis we most certainly are going to be hit with, we need to work on passing a living wage.