Jonathan “Jack” Fazzino, the Berlin Democrat now representing the 83rd House District, which includes parts of Meriden, Berlin and Cheshire, learned his legislative committee assignments and leadership roles last week.
Fazzino was appointed as an assistant majority leader. He also was named vice chair of the legislature’s Commerce Committee as well as a member of its General Law and Public Safety and Security committees.
Fazzino, who is employed as an attorney and also serves on the Berlin Town Council, prevailed last November over Meriden Republican Lou Arata in a close contest for the 83rd District seat.
Fazzino said a message he heard during last week’s swearing-in ceremony that was communicated by House majority and minority party leaders was to respect the legislative process and to strive to reach bipartisan consensus.
Fazzino said small businesses were an important focus of his campaign. As such, the freshman legislator “definitely wanted to do” what he could to be named to the Commerce Committee, which he noted has a reputation for being bipartisan.
As the committee’s vice chairman, Fazzino said he’s already begun discussions with its House chairman around long-term planning for the state. “We both agree there’s more we can do to expand opportunities,” Fazzino, noting all three communities that make up the 83rd district are looking to bolster economic development.
Public safety is another “essential issue” for those communities, Fazzino said. “We want safe streets and safe neighborhoods. We have to make sure we’re supporting our law enforcement, our first responders, to make sure they have tools at their disposal,” Fazzino said, describing the issue of providing police support and protection from harm as things he hopes to address.
Retention of police officers is a legislative topic that Fazzino said he’s already had some discussions around.
“That’s something I really want to focus on,” Fazzino said, noting that he brings the local Berlin perspective and is beginning to develop a relationship with Meriden police officials.
“We definitely need a lot of support on that front. We want to cut down on turnover,” Fazzino said.
Fazzino said, coming from a background in local government, he knows “how important it is to develop relationships with your advocates at the state and federal levels.”
“I’ve made it a priority to develop a good working relationship with local officials in Meriden, Berlin and Cheshire,” Fazzino said, adding that his goal is to “keep the lines of communication going.” He encouraged constituents and local leaders to reach out with their items of concern by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.