Recently, one of our readers, in a letter to the editor, described our state as one giant suburb. That, he said, rather than high business taxes, was the reason that companies like General Electric and Aetna were leaving, heading to the greener - more exciting - pastures of Boston and New York.
He was looking at the situation from his vantage point - in Bristol, if we recall correctly - but he’s not wrong about other central Connecticut towns. Our part of the state is a series of suburban villages, filled with wonderful families - and we are most comfortable when these families are very much like our own, especially economically.
But that means shutting out others, including our own grown children who may be starting out in a career and looking for an affordable place to live.
We don’t make it easy. During the legislative session just passed, the House voted 116-33 and the Senate 30-6. to weaken the state’s 8-30g law, which pushes – but does not require – all municipalities to have 10 percent of their housing stock deemed affordable.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy vetoed the bill, saying, the legislation would “perpetuate the harmful effects of bad economic policy and institutional segregation, damaging our state’s economy and its moral foundation.”
Many expect his veto to be over-ridden.
Frankly, we can’t speak to the specifics of Connecticut’s affordable housing legislation but we can say this: Cookie-cutter suburbs don’t make for the kind of place where our best and brightest want to build their lives.
As we see it, creating that scene begins by opening doors, not slamming them in the face of those who are not just like us.