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Letter: Welander’s Experience Covers a Wide Range

I have been following the local races, and I noted Dan DeBarba’s Facebook post which was dated September 7th.  He includes this statement, “In November, we need to elect men and women to the State Legislature with experience in finance, business, healthcare and getting things done.  Let those candidates trying to build political resumes put in the effort to build real world resumes before we hand our future over to them.”

It struck me as odd, knowing that his opponent is Mary Welander.  If he is, indeed, referencing Mary Welander in this statement, then I’m concerned that he is maligning women who have chosen to put their careers on pause to raise their children, and subsequently maligning the many mothers in Orange, Derby, and Woodbridge who have chosen that path for themselves and their families.  It also shows that he has trivialized Ms. Welander’s capabilities as a public servant.

Ms. Welander’s experience covers a wide range:  she serves on the Board of Education, is the Co-President of the Executive Board at Race Brook School’s PTA, works with Sandy Hook Promise, raises three children, and volunteers regularly.  “Getting things done” — Mr. DeBarba, I encourage you to see how much women get done while juggling tasks and roles.  And if he’s referencing Ms. Welander, then he is discounting her professional work experience prior to pausing her career in order to raise her children and volunteer in multiple capacities.  Her roles have indeed touched finance, business, and healthcare.

Misjudging Ms. Welander’s work and her experience is a mistake.  Her work ethic, dedication, and empathy are exactly what the 114th district needs.  I would also implore anyone to think twice about underestimating mothers, especially in this season where we are facing a pandemic, entirely new school environments, and various crises.  They are more than capable, and they certainly get things done.

Roo Powell

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