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State Rep. Christine Palm Announces She Won’t Seek Re-Election In 2024

By Jessica Ciparelli, Press Aide | Connecticut House Democrats

(January 23, 2023) — The three-term representative will continue to advocate for environmental causes through public education.

State Rep. Christine Palm, a Democrat who has served three terms in the General Assembly representing the river towns of Chester, Essex, Deep River, and Haddam, has announced she will not run for a fourth term.

Palm, who has served for several years as Vice Chair of the Legislature’s Environment Committee, will continue to advocate for environmental protection and other causes through public education to enhance civic engagement among advocacy groups.

“There are many ways to move the needle on the pressing issues of climate change, women’s reproductive rights, gun violence, human rights violations, and the insidious attacks on our democracy, to name a few,” Rep. Palm said. “In my nearly six years in elected office, I’ve seen time and again that there is a large disconnect between government and the people it serves. I want to find new, creative ways to bridge that gap. I truly believe government can be a force for good, and I want to help demystify it – to amplify citizens’ voices to make sure public policy is, truly, the public’s policy.”

In 2023, Palm, who is Majority Whip-at-Large, was named “Legislator of the Year” by the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, was a recipient of the national Walter Cronkite Award for Environmental Education, and received the 2023 Outstanding Public Official Award from the Connecticut River Coastal Conservation District.

In her time in office, Palm raised, sponsored, and successfully got across the finish line individual bills to require the teaching of climate change in all Connecticut public schools, establish the Office of Invasive Aquatic Species to combat hydrilla and other dangerous water plants, expand Environmental Justice laws, and enhance the teaching of media literacy and civics.

Along with her colleagues, she was a key advocate for bills that have made Connecticut a sanctuary state for those seeking a safe and legal abortion, a bill to reduce college debt, a bill to create paid family and medical leave, a bill to ban toxic PFAS from fire-fighting equipment, bills to ensure early voting and unconditional absentee ballots, bills to protect LGBTQ youth, numerous bills to address domestic violence and gun safety, and, during the Covid-19 pandemic, various bills to ensure public safety.

“Christine and her family have been active in Hartford for a long time – I will truly miss serving with her,” said Speaker of the House Matt Ritter. “I’m betting, despite stepping away from the State Capitol, Christine will continue to be a strong voice for her constituents and an advocate for her policy issues.”

“Rep. Palm’s announcement that she is not seeking re-elections means we are losing one of the legislature’s strongest and bravest voices on climate change and the environment,” said Majority Leader Jason Rojas. “She was also an essential voice for many other issues important to her and the state. Rep. Palm served tirelessly and challenged colleagues, her constituents, and the public to consider issues more broadly and with an open mind. I am grateful for her service and to the voters of Chester, Essex, Deep River, and Haddam for electing her to three terms in the House of Representatives. We are a stronger institution because of her service, and I know that she will continue to make her voice heard on the issues she cares deeply about, and our state and world will be a better place because of it.”

One of Palm’s constituents, Deep River resident Dr. Al Saubermann, said, “During her time in office, Christine set an outstanding example and role model for whoever comes next. She has used her remarkable skills and many talents to set the standard for what it means to be a great state rep, made all the more challenging in these unprecedented times. My wife Olga and I will always be grateful to her for making our community stronger and safer, and for helping to make Connecticut a better place to live.”

Before running for office, Palm served as a newspaper reporter, public information officer for the Connecticut Office of the State Treasurer, a high school Creative Writing teacher, a communications director for various organizations, including the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, an essayist (for which she was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize), was president of the Friends and Enemies of Wallace Stevens, and once owned a duckpin bowling alley.

With her husband, the painter and graphic designer James Baker, Palm has raised four sons.

Photo courtesy of Jessica Ciparelli

 

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