By LISA CAPOBIANCO
Since 1995, Betty Boukus has represented the town of Plainville and the city of New Britain in the Connecticut General Assembly. Serving as state representative for 10 terms now, Boukus was recently endorsed as the Democratic nominee who will run for re-election this November.
“It was exciting,” said Boukus, who took part in a nominating convention held last Tuesday at the Plainville Municipal Center. “It was very humbling for me.”
Stephen Underwood of Plainville nominated Boukus, recalling a response that the state representative wrote back after he sent her in high school, stated a press release from the Plainville Democratic Town Committee. Calling Boukus a “true community servant for Plainville and a leading advocate for education,” Underwood remembered the words Boukus wrote back in the letter, encouraging him to get involved in government.
Today, Underwood serves as a member of the Plainville Democratic Town Committee.
“It was really heart-warming,” said Boukus, recalling how Underwood was following her candidacy at the time of the letter he sent her. “He asked to join the campaign and he has been with me ever since…he has now progressed.”
During the convention, a unanimous vote of the delegates from the 22nd District (Plainville and New Britain) endorsed Boukus. The state representative thanked the delegates in her acceptance speech, and addressed the crowd about her legislative experiences in different areas, including education, safety and the aid to local communities.
“They’re wonderful communities, and I just want to be a part of it,” said Boukus, who is an alumnus of Plainville High School.
Looking back on her present term, Boukus recalled a number of projects she has supported as a state representative, noting the success of state bonding projects to benefit Plainville and New Britain. Boukus mentioned different projects that received funding by the state, including upgrades at Paderewski Park and school security upgrades, as well as homeownership in New Britain.
She also mentioned secured funding for the medication drop box, which serves as a way for local residents to dispose their old medications properly.
“It’s a very successful program,” said Boukus, who has supported the implementation of the drop box in every town of Connecticut, noting how old medications can harm the environment if not disposed properly. “Many people don’t know what to do with prescription drugs.”
Now that Boukus will run for re-election, she will spend time visiting constituents in the communities she represents, as well as other people of surrounding communities. Boukus said her goal right now is to listen to people’s concerns in the 22nd District and beyond, determining a number of local issues that should be addressed.
“There are many areas we can always improve upon,” Boukus said.
During the convention, Alderman Carlo Carlozzi of New Britain recognized the state representative’s legislative accomplishments, such as funding for after school programs. Carlozzi ended his speech by quoting a previous Boukus colleague who said, “When you need something to get done at the capitol, you go see Betty Boukus,” stated the release.
“Overall, when you represent great communities and receive calls, letters…no matter where you are, that communication is so important,” said Boukus. “Those contacts keep me going.”
By LISA CAPOBIANCO