State Representative District 18

Jillian Gilchrest

4 CTNewsJunkie Reader Endorsements

Party: Democrat

CEP Status:

Website: jilliangilchrest.com

Age: 36

Marital Status:

Current Residence: West Hartford

Current Job: Adjunct Faculty, Sacred Heart & University of Saint Josephs

Previous Job: Director of Health Professional Outreach, CCADV

Previous Job: Senior Policy Director, Permanent Commission on the Status of Women

Education: MSW, University of Connecticut

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.)
What can be done to improve the business climate in Connecticut while COVID-19 continues to be a risk?
As COVID-19 continues to be a risk, I need to work with our federal delegation to push for more support for businesses of all sizes. I'd also like to see a fix to the issue of those who are self-employed, many running small businesses, being denied unemployment because they taught a class or worked a second job. Additionally, I think Connecticut is well positioned to attract new residents, based on our handling of COVID-19 and our many wonderful state assets. Finally, I think we need to be responsive to the needs and concerns of our businesses and work with them to enact policies that both keep the public safe and allow the business to continue it's work.
What specific legislation would you support to reduce racism in Connecticut?
I would like to see us enact meaningful housing, education, and health reforms to reduce racism.
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?
I will be pushing on my leadership in the House to change the rules to make voting online and by phone possible. I would like to see all Committee meetings & public hearings available via zoom (or another online platform) to ensure public participation. These types of reforms will help even after COVID-19 to make the General Assembly more accessible. I would also like to these meetings available via CT-N with closed captioning.
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?
What is one specific policy you support to help protect African Americans as an at-risk group during the pandemic?
I support expanding Telehealth and postpartum care through medicaid to 1 year.
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?
I think that Connecticut should invest in equitable access to technology and high speed internet. As a result of COVID-19, we have seen the positives and the negatives of going to online platforms. When it comes to Telehealth, many people who faced barrier such as transportation or childcare have been able to access their healthcare appointments in greater number than pre-COVID. This is a lesson that should inform how Connecticut re-tools our public health systems going forward. On the other hand, distance learning has not benefited all students, in particular those with limited resources, those with special needs, and those where English is a second language. We already knew that Connecticut had severe inequities. We need to prioritize these groups in any work we do to re-tool our public health moving forward. Finally, I think that we must lift up the workers who have taken care of individuals most at risk of getting COVID-19, and ensure that these workers receive a living wage, health benefits, and paid time off to care for themselves and their loved ones.
How can Connecticut lower healthcare costs while also improving quality and access to care?