For the first two weeks of October, I was home in the Fifth District working hard for the people. In towns and cities across northwest and central Connecticut, I have been meeting with constituents, local leaders, and advocates to discuss the important issues affecting our community. This time is invaluable for me to hear more about what is happening on the ground and how I can improve life in Connecticut.


? Check out some highlights from my week below! ?

 Promoting Connecticut Agriculture 

On a tour of Steadfast Farm, a veteran-owned and operated business in Bethlehem, I spoke with Jared, Steadfast Farm owner, and Amanda, Agricultural Program Director at Connecticut Resource Conservation and Development, about how the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Energy For America Program (REAP) brings renewable energy to places like Connecticut's Fifth District. 

Connecticut has received over $2.3 million in REAP grants since 2010. This has resulted in roughly $17 million in projects - including Steadfast Farm. I was proud to advocate for robust funding to continue this program in the coming year.


Congresswoman Hayes discusses USDA REAP grants with Steadfast Farm owners. 


 Collaborating with Local Leaders 

I met one-on-one with Simsbury First Selectman Eric Wellman to learn about local issues and to find ways we can collaborate. We discussed an array of great projects Simsbury is working on using Department of Transportation grants - from the flower bridge to extending bike paths. I regularly work with local leaders like First Selectman Wellman, as well as business leaders, to secure federal funding for projects like these across the Fifth District.

I also got to see the great new rainbow crosswalk the town recently installed on Iron Horse Boulevard: 


The Iron Horse Boulevard crosswalk.


 Supporting Education Funding for our Students

At the Housatonic Valley Regional High School's 21st Century Fund Annual Dinner in Lakeville, I saw all the exciting extracurricular activities supported by the 21st Century Fund. Established 20 years ago, the Fund is a local effort to support the creation of clubs and activities that enhance students' education. 


Investments like these in our students' interests are fundamental to preserving their engagement in their own education. That is why I supported more than $1.3 billion in funding for 21st Century Community Learning Centers, a federal program designed to provide after school and summer programming for working families.



Congresswoman Hayes operates a robot built by a student using grant money from the 21st Century Fund.



Combating Domestic Violence with Local Leaders

I helped to support survivors and those we have lost to domestic violence at the Danbury Women's Center SafeWalk and visited the Prudence Crandall Center in New Britain to learn about the services they provide to Connecticut residents who are currently experiencing domestic violence. 


I am proud to advocate for federal programs funding vital community services like those offered by the Danbury Women's Center and the Prudence Crandall Center. I pushed for full funding and reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which passed the House in April. 



Congresswoman Hayes stands with the leaders of the Prudence Crandall Center, which uses federal Violence Against Women Act funds to continue their lifesaving work in New Britain.


 Talking With You! 

Last but not least, I held a Facebook Town Hall where I answered constituents' questions live! Check it out here - and do not forget to like my Facebook page!