Guest column by Rev. Stephen Camp, of Faith Congregational Church United Church of Christ in Hartford
We are in a time, a terrible time for so many. So many can’t find work, those who have it, are afraid of losing the job they have. Washington seems no help, while the wealthy will most likely get tax cuts again to buy a new boat or another car. Here in Connecticut, the deficit is in the billions. The sitting governor and legislative leaders have been kicking that old worn out can down the road so long, it is hard to perceive anything different coming out of Hartford for the state.
Yet hope springs eternal, as a new administration take shape, a new person has been voted in. He promises to tackle the hard stuff, to do it without hurting the most vulnerable or cutting what is essential to all of us. We will see. His first move was not good though. He appointed a person, a well meaning person over children services, and by passed his own personnel process to do it. Is that what we have to look forward to going forward? He promises that his administration will reflect the society that makes up our state, yet some wonder where are those inner circle folks in this transition period who reflect the whole of our society. Are they really at the table or just in the room? Seems like a Stamford crowd to me. Seems like an agenda that will cater to a few rather than consider the needs of many. I do hope I am wrong about that fear producing thought. I hope transparency and accountability to all of us will be watchwords for this new administration that will soon lead.
This year our church gave away a significant amount of dollars to help people in our inner city neighborhood. We helped as best we could this year to help people and families to keep their light on, to pay overdue rent to avoid eviction, to buy coats for children, food in emergency situations and a host of other things that matters greatly to those affected. It is life in the trenches and life there is not good these days for many. We know that government can not solve all problems, but it should solve some of them. Its priorities must constructively tackle problems and arrest the downward spiral that germinates from there continued existence. The most hurting in our society have been left to fend for themselves for far too long, and their numbers are growing.
As we can not look to Washington in these turbulent times as we once did. My hope is that we will not say of ourselves, in the inner cities of Connecticut, that we can not look to Hartford, because there is no help to be found there either. That would be a shameful assessment in these hard days for so many.