Connecticut (District: 5)
Elizabeth Henderson Esty (born August 25, 1959) is the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_House_of_Representatives">U.S. Representative for http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connecticut%27s_5th_congressional_district">Connecticut’s 5th congressional district. The district spans northwest and central Connecticut and includes Danbury, Litchfield County, the Farmington Valley, Meriden and her hometown of Cheshire, as well as the Naugatuck Valley. She is a member of the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Party_(United_States)">Democratic Party, having been elected on November 6, 2012. Previously she was a member of the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connecticut_House_of_Representatives">Connecticut House of Representatives, representing the 103rd Assembly District, which consisted of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheshire,_Connecticut">Cheshire and parts of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamden,_Connecticut">Hamden and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wallingford,_Connecticut">Wallingford. She also served two terms on the Cheshire Town Council.
Esty defeated two challengers in the August 14, 2012, Democratic primary to become the Democratic nominee in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connecticut%27s_5th_congressional_district">Connecticut’s 5th congressional district, and on November 6, she defeated challenger http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Roraback">Andrew Roraback.
Elizabeth was elected to Congress on November 6, 2012. She serves on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Esty also serves on the Congressional Gun Violence Prevention Task Force.
Elizabeth knows that job creation and economic development is a top priority for the residents of the 5th District. She’s committed to reinvigorating the district’s manufacturing tradition through investments in infrastructure, research and development, and job training. She is also a strong proponent of helping small businesses and promoting the green jobs of the future in the 5th District.
As the Representative for Newtown, CT, Elizabeth believes it is critical for our country to address gun violence and make a strong commitment to keeping families safe. That means sensible gun policies – enhanced criminal background checks, a dedicated federal law to tackle gun trafficking, reinstatement of the federal assault weapons ban and placing a ban on high-capacity magazines – as well as making a firm and lasting commitment to mental health services. It has been made clear by law enforcement, first responders, mental health professionals, and community leaders in Newtown, across Connecticut, and around the country that Congress must take comprehensive action.
Elizabeth served in the Connecticut General Assembly (2009-2011) and the Cheshire Town Council (2005-2008) where she made her mark as an advocate for responsible budgeting and job creation. On the Town Council, she worked to balance the budget while providing property tax relief to seniors and ensuring strong funding for public schools. In the General Assembly, Elizabeth cut her own pay, returning 10% of her salary to taxpayers. When a local plant closed in her hometown, laying off 1,000 skilled workers, Elizabeth fought for job placements or early retirement packages for the workers.
Elizabeth has acted on her lifetime commitment to equality and fairness. As an attorney at Sidley Austin she authored Supreme Court briefs for medical providers to protect access to reproductive health services. In the state legislature she proudly voted for full marriage rights and benefits for gay couples.
Elizabeth graduated from Harvard University in 1981 and earned her law degree from Yale Law School in 1985. After clerking for US District Judge Robert Keeton of Massachusetts, she joined the firm of Sidley Austin and served as a member of the Supreme Court bar. She later went on to work in health care and Medicare policy as a Senior Research scholar at Yale and to teach as an adjunct professor at American University.
Elizabeth lives in Cheshire with her husband of 28 years, Dan Esty. The mother of three – Sarah, Thomas, and Jonathan – Elizabeth has spent her evenings and weekends at PTA meetings, soccer fields, and hockey rinks. She is thankful for the opportunity to serve her church and her community, working with the local Chamber of Commerce, League of Women Voters, Land Trust, Cheshire Public Library, and the United Way.