by Ray Vitali Candidate for State Rep. 118th District I'm concerned about the condition of our state's economy, and I know it's time to get Connecticut back on track. Now is the time for making tough decisions, and I'm ready to be part of the solution. Please let me tell you how. Our friends and family are out of work. Companies, jobs and people are leaving the state. State government remains bloated, but our salaries are shrinking. And taxes are sky-high. All of this isn't our imagination; they are facts. CNBC analysts in June ranked Connecticut one of the nation's five worst states for doing business, with Connecticut slipping for the fourth consecutive year in that category. Connecticut has the nation's second worst economy and the third highest cost of living. And with an annual average state and local tax burden of $9,099, Connecticut residents bear the third highest tax burden in the nation. Like you, I take this very seriously. It's why I was compelled this year to run for State Representative for the 118th District. I pledge to lead the fight against new taxes and to improve our state's struggling economy. Connecticut is struggling because of the people in Hartford who have governed us. The only way to change the way Hartford does business is to send different people there to represent us. I am that person - with the willingness and integrity of "think outside the box," as well as a proven track record of leadership, collaboration, and hard work. While raising my family, I worked 44 years as a Milford teacher and administrator. Years ago, I recognized a fundraising need at Bridges, a community support system and co-founded the annual Folks on Spokes event. I've served in leadership positions in many civic organizations. Now in my fourth term as an alderman, I've treasured the close relationship with the people I serve. I've been consistently available to help resolve issues. I've developed what I think is an important asset: I always find ways to collaborate with others. I'll bring my non-partisan, problem-solving spirit of collaboration to Hartford, if elected as your State Representative. I was so honored last summer when both the Independent Party of Connecticut and the Milford Independent Party endorsed my candidacy. To all voters, I pledge as your State Representative to lead the fight against any new taxes in the state of Connecticut. I will find ways to make Connecticut more business friendly, and not just for a few big corporations lucky enough to get tax breaks. I think we need a tax break, too. We can only change what is going on in Hartford by sending different people there to govern - people like me who are unafraid. We don't have the luxury anymore of "making do with what we've got." I view being your State Representative as a serious responsibility and, thankfully, I'm at a point in my life where I can devote myself full-time to you - my constituents - and to the demands of the position. We're in this together. I want what you want: A safe community in a thriving state where jobs are plentiful and companies are motivated to stay. Children are well educated in high performing schools. Legislators who aggressively fight tax increases. Our state government stops spending more than it takes in. Innovative solutions are found to save our crumbling infrastructure and commuter rail line. I welcome your input and invite you to contact me at 203-429-4561 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I ask for your support on November 4th so we can begin making Connecticut the state we know it can be.