LET'S WORK TOGETHER, NOW MORE THAN EVER

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Who is Terrie?

As your state representative, I’ve focused my energies on tax policy, mental & behavioral health issues, special education and the environment & preservation of our open space. The decisions I make, as your elected legislator, spring from both my diverse experience in the business, non-profit and community advocacy sectors, as well as from a good bit of common sense.  I’m innately curious, a good listener, and excel at bringing good people together to solve tough problems.  And, I enjoy the challenge.

Why Serve?

Many of the people I meet are curious about what it’s like serving in political office. It’s a question I love answering. We are so lucky to live in a democracy where all voices are heard. As your state representative, I’ve seen firsthand how important it is to engage in and protect our democracy. All have a voice and an equal vote. Hearing these many voices and points of view are a vital part of our democracy.  And, how lucky we are to have the freedom to speak out on issues we care about. In Hartford, I hear the spectrum of voices, respect the varied points of view, and love the richness they all add to the debate on public policy.  I feel that enthusiasm every day I head to Hartford on your behalf.

As a kid, it was enthralling for me to read about our country’s beginnings. I read piles of books from my elementary school library on the Revolutionary War and biographies particularly of the women of that time period. The message I absorbed was all the good that can happen when people band together with intelligence, passion and common purpose.

Why Connecticut?

I was born and bred as a native of Cleveland, Ohio, and settled in Darien after marrying a guy I met in college.  He’d grown up here in Darien and Rowayton. From day one, it felt like home…all the history, and all the positives that Connecticut represented – a vibrant and diverse population, good schools, a well-educated workforce, abundant cultural opportunities, an historic coastline and scenic landscapes.  We’ve lived right here ever since, four years in Rowayton and thirty-seven in Darien.

Any Business Experience?

Early on, for 14 years, I commuted to New York and acted in television commercials for J&J, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, IBM, and others.  When our kids arrived, I founded and ran a B&W portrait photography business for over 10 years, specializing in kids and families. I’d been an art history major (a graduate of Rollins College) so, combining art and commerce were never far from my mind. It was a small and successful business that I am very proud to have run, and am likely to return to it at some point. For perspective, though, I still remember sending in my quarterly state sales tax remittance and wondering, “is Connecticut spending this money wisely?”

What Did You Learn from Community Advocacy and Non-profit Work?

In the summer of 1990, I was inspired along with eight other mothers of young children to learn more about what we could do to protect and preserve our environment.  So, I took on leadership roles in the non-profit world…co-founding the Darien Environmental Group in 1990, and serving as the first chairman. A number of other opportunities came along to serve our community, and I’m most grateful to have been involved with each of them.  (List below)

As a trustee on non-profit boards, you get to understand their particular needs and bring good people together to successfully find solutions.  You learn the importance of listening and of consensus building.  Non-profits were great training for the political world as you learn to focus on issues in positive ways.  In addition, a critical piece of my experience was exposure to best practices of board governance, ethical standards and nonprofit management.

Why Run for State Representative?

In 2008, I was recruited to run for state representative.  Being a history buff, I was seriously intrigued because, for me, the pleasure, honor and privilege of serving had a two-fold attraction.  One, I felt a profound responsibility and passion to our great state to help right the ship.  Two, I looked to genuinely enjoy working with a diverse group of people (so many of the folks with whom I now serve on both sides of the aisle) and have responsible debate on public policy. Today, I wake up in the morning with fire in my belly to help turn our difficult fiscal situation around and push back against the arrogance of One Party Rule.

And Your Family?

My husband, Jay, is a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley, a former first lieutenant in the U.S. Army (1969-72) and a third generation Darien resident.  He also has been very active in our community, serving as president of the Darien YMCA, vice-president of the Library, on the boards of Norwalk Community College Foundation, Post 53, The Land Trust, and Literacy Volunteers of America. Jay and I have three children, all of whom graduated from DHS, and were members of Post 53.

Legislative Leadership

  • Ranking member on Human Services Committee
  • Member Finance Revenue and Bonding Committee and member of the Bonding Sub-Committee
  • Co-Chair of the Mental Health Working Group of the Gun Violence and School Security Bill
  • Co-Chair of the MORE Commission Special Education Working Group
  • Speakers Task Force on Domestic Violence
  • Shoreline Preservation Task Force

Supported by and endorsed by

Legislative Awards

  • Legislator of the Year from CT College of Emergency Physicians 2015
  • Family Legislator of the Year by Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies 2014
  • Children’s Champion, Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance 2013
  • Stepping Up for Children Award from Stepping Stones Museum 2013
  • Cooperative Education Services Leadership Award 2009

Community Advocacy

  • 4 ½ years as Darien Land Trust President, 9 years on board where my efforts led to the preservation of 20 plus acres open space, including Mather Meadows and Waterbury Field
  • 6 years on Darien Environmental Group Board
  • Co-chair of Yes...DHS! referendum committee for the new Darien High School
  • 6 years as a Darien Library Trustee
  • 3 years on The Community Fund Board
  • 12 years Trust for Public Land Connecticut Advisory Board, 2 years as chair
  • 14 years Person-to-Person Advisory Board
  • 4 years on Darien Republican Town Committee
  • 3 years ABC Host Family
  • 2 years on Darien Representative Town Committee
  • 2 years Fundraising Committee for the new Darien Nature Center,
  • 2 years Chair of the Barbara Harrington Fund of DAEG

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