To the Editor:
Forced school regionalization, despite being pushed by the majority party in Hartford, was defeated this month in large part because of one person–Rep. Gail Lavielle. When the first vaguely worded bills appeared in Hartford it was Gail who alerted the Wilton community to the threat to our schools and our town. When citizens gathered at Trackside on a frigid January night it was Gail who told the crowd what was happening and what could be done to stop it. Hands Off Our Schools was a spontaneous grassroots response to her call to action. The group grew to a statewide movement with more than 10,000 members writing letters, organizing rallies, and delivering testimony at the State House. At every point in the fight Gail gave us valuable insight into how the legislative process works, who to contact, and how to frame our arguments for maximum impact. Because of her years of experience in Hartford, her natural skepticism of political partisans, and her network of contacts throughout the state, Gail was able to rally concerned citizens in towns all across Connecticut and stop what had looked like a fait accompli. We own Gail Lavielle an enormous debt of gratitude.