On the eve of Thanksgiving, Governor Dannel P. Malloy shared the following message with Connecticut residents (shared here unedited):
Every year on Thanksgiving, Connecticut
families of all ethnicities, religions, creeds, and backgrounds come
together to express our gratitude and thanks for the blessings in our
lives. As we are surrounded by our families, friends,
neighbors, and even strangers in our communities, this holiday allows
us to give back to our community and help those who are not as
In Connecticut, we know there are
challenges here at home. But the challenges we face should not prevent
us from being thankful for the progress we have made together.
I am grateful that in the aftermath of
the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris and elsewhere, we stood shoulder
to shoulder with our allies across the globe. It is a reminder of how
we should be thankful every day for the sacrifice
of our military heroes serving around the world and the first
responders here at home who keep us safe. I am also thankful of the
tremendous grace and compassion that we have shown in honoring our
ongoing commitment to refugees.
At the same time, I am incredibly proud
and thankful of the work that our nonprofit community has accomplished
this year working with our administration in housing homeless veterans.
These are the men and women who have bravely
served our nation, and who deserve access to housing, quality health
care, education, and career opportunities.
Connecticut was certified this year as
being the first in the country to end chronic homelessness among
veterans – a milestone we can certainly be proud to have reached. This
means that we are at a functional zero head count of
chronically homeless veterans in our state. This does not mean that no
one will ever experience homelessness again, but it means that we have
the tools in place to provide housing quickly should someone be
And we are well on our way to reaching
our goal of eliminating chronic homelessness among everyone by the end
of next year. These investments have been a top priority of our
administration – and especially the state Department
of Housing and Department of Veterans’ Affairs – not only because it’s
good for our economy and makes our communities stronger, but because it
is morally right.
This year we’ve also made incredible
headway at reducing our uninsured rate down to its lowest point in
history – and among the lowest in the country – at 3.8 percent, and it’s
continuing to drop. More of our fellow Connecticut
families have access to care to keep them healthy – something for which
we should all be grateful.
I am also grateful to our education
community for the success they’ve achieved to increase graduation rates,
reduce the achievement gap, and make Connecticut one of the best states
in the nation to receive an education. In the
last five years, our graduation rates statewide have increased to
record highs. We are leading nationally in reading. More young students
are increasingly gaining access to early childhood education
opportunities to prepare them for the future. And we have
our teachers, administrators, and parents to thank.
I am particularly grateful to our police
officers, prosecutors, judicial officials, crime lab technicians,
probation, parole, and corrections officers, and the many nonprofits and
community groups whose united efforts have driven
our crime rate to its lowest level in almost 50 years. At the same
time, I am thankful that law enforcement and community members have
worked together, built trust, and employed community policing to reduce
crime to this historic low.
I am also thankful that we have been able
to lead the nation in creating a Second Chance Society right here in
Connecticut. We’ve implemented sweeping reforms, and we’ve enacted smart
criminal justice policies. Strong partnerships
are key to strong neighborhoods, and it is the work of these people
that is making our communities safer and better places to live.
And finally, I am thankful that this
year, the U.S. Supreme Court ensured that freedom and equality apply to
everyone equally, regardless of race, religion, gender, or sexual
And right now in particular, I am
incredibly proud to be the citizen of a country that celebrates freedom,
promotes democracy, and is filled with a sense of humanity that can
never be broken.
Even though there might be times where we
falter, allow fear and doubt to overtake us and struggle through
obstacles and challenges, we are a strong state, built by strong people,
and we are at our best when we measure our success
by how well our neighbors and community are doing.
When it comes down to it, we all strive
to achieve the same things in our lives. Family, friends, security, and
opportunity. On this day of giving thanks, let us keep our hearts
opened, our resolve strong to build a better community,
and remain grateful for the blessings and progress we have made
Wishing you and yours the very best on this day of Thanksgiving.