NEW CANAAN, Conn. – The Daily Voice sent five questions to each of the candidates running for statewide office this fall. The following responses are from Remy Chevalier, the Green Party candidate running for state Senate in the 36th District, which includes New Canaan, Stamford and Greenwich.
Chevalier, 59, lives in Weston and was born in Norwalk. He is the the owner of the Environmental Library Fund. He made a run for the 26th district in 2004.
Chevalier is challenging incumbent Republican L. Scott Frantz and Democrat Dan Dauplaise. Although he is on the ballot in the 36th district, he is also running as a write-in candidate in the 26th district.
Daily Voice: What are the biggest issues facing the 36th district?
Chevalier: The same issues as facing the entire country. Jobs and sustainability. To keep jobs in Fairfield County, we need to tap into the state’s number one industry, that’s defense contractors. One out of every three jobs in Connecticut is directly related to defense. That’s why I am working to create a military technology transfer office in Fairfield County. Greenwich could be where this office will ultimately exist, to help entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists can gain access to the latest innovations declassified by the Pentagon. This will encourage new technologies to be developed and manufactured in the state, stemming the tide of outsourcing currently destroying our economy, and our ecology.
Why ecology? Because we’re losing all the best new green technologies to Asia, Brazil and other foreign nations. These technologies come from labs often located in our region, affiliated with certain schools and universities, like MIT. More effort should be made by the Legislature to protect our brain trust, enabling local businesses to benefit from home grown licensing opportunities. Too often, because both Republicans and Democrats discourage disruptive energy technologies, to protect oil, coal and nuclear interests, these fly the coop to foreign lands so they can find more welcoming shores. We’ve lost so much this way, we need to stop the hemorrhaging immediately!
DV: What would you do differently than the current office holder?
Chevalier: I am not a Democrat or a Republican, so my primary interest will be to give new and upstart companies and contractors the opportunity to demonstrate their innovative systems, despite the fact that it may, in time, displace old and outdated infrastructure. My voice at the Legislature would also undo the log jam caused by the extreme polarity that now exists between Republican and Democrats, paralyzing both social and technological progress in both houses.
DV: Is Connecticut going in the right or wrong direction?
Chevalier: Connecticut is going in the right direction by following California’s lead in legalizing marijuana, removing this drain from law enforcement, putting a stop to our American Kulag of McPrisons. Connecticut has taken the lead in many progressive decisions, but then fails to follow through, remaining timid in its implementation.
There is a disconnect between a profoundly Republican Fairfield County and a Democratic state of Connecticut. Green Party candidates can restore the focus on taking the lead in green consumer technology and services, which are the future, despite what naysayers and climate change deniers seem to think. Our military wants cheaper, faster, smaller, better and that’s exactly what green technologies provide. Military interests and Green Party interests are very much in tune with each other in that respect. We want the same thing, increased performance and efficiency, if for different strategic reasons.
Cronyism and protectionism is what is both killing the planet and killing our economy. We need better motors, better batteries, better fuels, and Greenwich entrepreneurs and venture capitalists should be the ones investing in this green future rather than desperately trying to preserve oil, coal and nuclear interests. Connecticut is going in the right direction because the tide has turned. A younger generation will learn to take advantage of the amazing opportunities this private sector-military dynamic is creating.
DV: What would you do to involve your constituents in your decision-making process?
Chevalier: Restore funding to science fairs and spur more interaction between different income levels. Greenwich, New Canaan, Stamford, are very much areas of privilege with deep community pockets of borderline poverty maintaining our infrastructure. While local schools, both public and private, have instilled the environmental message in our children, we need to get these messages translated into all the other languages which comprise the fabric of our multicultural society.
While the gap between rich and poor widens dramatically, it can also, as history has shown, lead to dramatic political and social upheaval if not addressed appropriately, resulting in heartache for all involved. This can be avoided, through better community relations, training of law enforcement, redefining emphasis on priorities. Instigate an open-door policy to every office and public servant. Involving the community in development of regional resources, like increasing local farm production through modern indoor hydroponic methods, a trend rapidly expanding thanks to farmers markets and farm to table restaurants.
DV: Why should people vote for you?
Chevalier: Because we need an active third party in America, and that also means here in the 36th District as well. The two-party system caters to the needs of the established corporate power base which has proven over time to only pay lip service to the needs of the planet and its own community. Look at General Electric for example. Thousands of its employees work and live in the area, and yet, how often have you read about General Electric co-sponsoring a community event? Shouldn’t that also be an active part of its very successful EcoMagination campaign? I have 45 years of experience as an environmental activist and entrepreneur. Given the chance to now apply that experience in government, not simply in the private sector, we might restore the necessary vibrancy local politics need to reinvigorate public enthusiasm and participation, in a quest for long term solutions to very real social and environmental problems.