Caroline Simmons (D)

Stamford Mayor

Democrat, Independent
State Representative for the 144th House District

1. Affordability. Stamford is becoming increasingly unaffordable for many families and too many people are getting priced out. As State Representative, I advocated for lower property taxes for seniors, rental and mortgage relief, and will pursue this relief for all residents. I will also work to make homeownership more affordable by assisting first time homeowners with down payments. As Mayor, I will work to make Stamford more affordable so that everyone can afford to call Stamford home.

2. Rebuilding our schools. Repairs have been needed for over a decade, and our schools need a champion who understands the process for bringing state and federal grants to Stamford for these essential projects. We need a Mayor who can rebuild our school buildings without overburdening local taxpayers. As a State Representative, I secured over $65 million in state funding to build Strawberry Hill School and I’ll do the same for all of Stamford’s schools.

3. Improve our infrastructure. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure millions in federal infrastructure dollars to fund our priority projects. I understand the grant process and will fight to receive the maximum amount of funding for our city to build a modern transportation center, pave our roads, fix our sidewalks, and ensure our infrastructure is sustainable to the challenges of climate change.

4. Responsiveness. I will make Stamford the most responsive government in the state by bolstering Citizen Services, holding regular town halls, and ensuring every voice across Stamford is heard and problems are addressed.
In the short-term, I will deliver a city that is more affordable, responsive and accountable to the needs of its residents, a government that is more reflective of our diversity, and a budget that is driven by our common values and the need to act our most pressing priorities. I’ll prioritize open, transparent and regular communication between city government and city residents to ensure all residents in all of our neighborhoods get the services they deserve.

I’ll work to fix our infrastructure by securing state and federal funding to fix our roads, sidewalks, bridges, and train station to improve quality of life and to make our city more walkable and connected. I’ll work with the Stamford delegation and state leaders to secure funding to repair our aging school buildings, including removing hazardous mold, improving air quality and phasing out portables. I’ll launch a jobs training program to help people get back to work and will champion access to capital for small businesses. And I will work to make Stamford more affordable by reducing the property tax burden on residents and enhancing affordable housing, including creating more workforce housing programs.

In the long-term, I aim to make Stamford one of the best cities in the country to raise a family, to live in, and to work in. This includes creating a community that is inclusive, diverse, and innovative and a city that is bursting with opportunity so that all residents can thrive.
As the city of Stamford considers revisions to its charter, this is a unique opportunity to review and reconsider the rules governing the city, our boards, and our local elections, and to continue to improve our government to make it work better for the people of Stamford. Given our city’s rapid growth, the upcoming charter revision could provide an opportunity to re-evaluate the roles of certain Boards & Commissions and their structure and the appointment process. My responsibility as Mayor is to ensure the charter revision process is open, inclusive, and thoughtful as possible and I intend to listen to the public and work with Board of Representatives on this process.
I will fight every day to make Stamford a more livable and affordable city by holding developers accountable to Stamford residents and ensuring development is smart, inclusive and sustainable.

Deteriorating roads, poor sidewalks, a deficient train station, and mold in our schools are unacceptable and we can do better. As State Representative, I have been a strong advocate for the Transportation Lockbox that protects taxpayer dollars intended for transportation improvements and a supporter of dedicating additional capital funding to improving Stamford's roads and schools. As mayor, I will lead the revitalization of our city's infrastructure by working with the Stamford delegation, state leaders, and the federal delegation to secure state and federal dollars to improve our schools and rid them of mold, modernize the Transportation Center and increase neighborhood connectivity by building new sidewalks and bike lanes, adding more green spaces, and prioritizing projects that promote walkability and sidewalk safety.

Stamford schools will remain one of my top priorities and, as mayor, I will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that all of our students have access to a quality education. As a State Representative, I’ve worked with my fellow delegation members to secure funding for a wide range of education initiatives, including $65 million for the new Strawberry Hill School and annual increases in ECS funding. As mayor, I will partner with the Superintendent, the Board of Education, school administrators, parents, teachers, and students to enact policies that help all of our students receive the best education possible.
As Mayor, I want to make Stamford a leading city on sustainability. Climate change is not an abstract concern for our coastal city. As the only candidate with state and federal experience, I will maximize funding available through the federal infrastructure package and the CT state transportation fund to make Stamford’s infrastructure more resilient to the challenges of climate change.

I will hire a Director of Sustainability to coordinate and oversee sustainability projects, including the installation of solar panels on municipal buildings and replacing our vehicle fleet with electric vehicles.

I plan to update our standards for road grading to ensure proper drainage in city streets to prevent residents’ homes from flooding during storms. I will also approve capital projects to install a sea wall barrier to ensure our coastal communities remain protected as we anticipate rising sea levels over the next several decades.

We can’t let Eversource off the hook here either. As a State Representative I was proud to support the “Take Back our Grid” act which forces Eversource to do better, penalizes them when they don’t and makes them more accountable to their customers. Under “Take Back our Grid,” Eversource must reimburse customers for spoiled food and medication due to prolonged outages, rates are frozen and new performance measures are in place for any proposed rate adjustments. It also gives customers greater choice of electric suppliers. We need and deserve a 21st century grid that is reliable and an electric provider who is responsive and held accountable.