Democrat Kim Rose is running for her fourth term as representative of Milford’s 118th District.
This past Saturday morning she was busy in her district, working with a group of Scouts to clean a stretch of road in Devon.
She said she was responding to residents who said the area was showing signs of neglect, so she called Troop 1 and asked if they could help out.
About 20 Scouts, plus their leaders, heeded the call, and with shovels, rakes, gloves and bags, they picked up trash and landscaped to give the stretch more visual appeal.
Angelo Ferrente, a troop leader, said the group was more than happy to help.
“Kim has been a big supporter of Troop 1, and if she asks for something, we’re there,” he said.
This piece of Milford, where Bridgeport Avenue passes into Stratford, has been the the focus of attention on several fronts recently. After two accidents at the end of August, in which pedestrians were hit by cars in separate incidents, Rose called for a study of the traffic patterns. She said she talked to the state Department of Transportation and they have made it a high priority to repaint the crosswalks here, and she pushed for a study of the lighting, speed limit and other traffic factors in Devon.
She’s also spoken in favor of changes to the I-95 interchange, saying a plan to add an exit and entrance ramp on the Stratford side of the bridge will help Devon. Despite opposition by another leading democrat in town, Former Speaker of the House James Amann, Rose argues the plan is good for Milford and may ease traffic congestion in Devon and boost local business.
Rose has lived in Milford 32 years. She got into politics as a member of a grassroots fight to prevent the construction of an affordable housing project in an area many people viewed as too dense. From there, she got involved in other local issues, was elected to the city’s Planning & Zoning Board, and then elected state representative for the 118th District.
Talking about the issues as she worked with the Scouts Saturday, Rose said she’s still working to amend 8-30g, which is the affordable housing legislation.
I”ve been working on it since I got to Hartford,” Rose said, calling it the holy grail of state statutes.
Her predecessor told her she’d never be able to change the affordable housing law because of a strong contingency that supports it. But Rose says she is still trying because she doesn’t think the law is working in Milford.
Rose has backed measures to increase the type of housing that qualifies under the statute. Today, only deed restricted units can be counted as “affordable” under the 8-30g statute. So the Milford Beach apartments, apartments on Robert Treat Parkway and units in houses, which might be affordable dollar wise, don’t count as affordable under the statute. Rose wants to see these units count as affordable to help Milford reach its quota for affordable housing.
Over the next two years, Rose said she also wants to focus on the economy and the state budget. She wants to work to attract and keep businesses in Connecticut and cut down on the red tape that businesses encounter.
She says her strength lies in her ability to take the concerns of her constituents to Hartford.
She announced in February her intentions to run for a fourth term, saying, “During my tenure in the legislature, I have worked tirelessly for my constituents and Milford’s citizens, bringing our priorities to the table and being a loud and strong voice in Hartford.”
She fought against a Naugatuck Avenue recycling plant plant, worked to ensure that residents’ voices and concerns were taken into account in the DEEP’s Silver Sands Beach restoration plan, and spoke out against the closing of St. Gabriel’s School.
“I am committed to the city I love, and I am definitely not finished yet in Hartford,” she said. “There is still much work ahead and, without a doubt, the relationships I have built and the experience I have gained will be valuable assets as I continue my work in the legislature.”
Rose’s leadership positions in the General Assembly include Majority Whip and Vice Chairman of the Housing Committee. She is also a member of the Select Committee on Veterans Affairs and the Children’s Committee, and was elected to serve as co-chair of the bipartisan Woman’s Caucus, a group of female lawmakers that advocate for women’s issues at the Capitol.
Rose is being challenged by Republican Rick Varrone, a local businessman.