Monthly Archives: February 2014

Testimony on Increasing the Minimum Wage

Dear Senator Osten, Representative Tercyak, and members of the Labor Committee,

My name is Matt Waggner, I live in Fairfield, and I’m here to speak in support of two bills today: SB 32, the proposed minimum wage increase, and HB 5069, “An Act Concerning Low Wage Workers.”
Labor Committee Testimony - February 18, 2014
Increasing the minimum wage will improve the lives of thousands of Connecticut residents, both for those working for the minimum wage and those who work where the pay scale is based on the minimum wage. Further, recent labor market research has found that while increasing the minimum wage does raise earnings, there is no measurable job loss associated with these increases.

While the bill before you will help working Connecticut families make up for lost ground, I hope that you will consider both reversing the long-running erosion in wages for tipped workers, as well as indexing the minimum wage to ensure that lower wage workers can earn their fair share of future gains in the economy. Continue reading

Waggner Begins Campaign for State Legislature

Matt Waggner, Fairfield’s Democratic Registrar of Voters, announced today that he has begun organizing a campaign for State Representative, in the district represented by Kim Fawcett.

Waggner said, “We are getting an overwhelmingly positive response for a candidate that will highlight the needs of those in our community who don’t have a voice or a way to be heard. Even in Fairfield, poverty and inequality are rising, and every day people are growing more frustrated about their ability to change the course. We need to do more to make our economy reflect our values, and I’m ready to help deliver that change.”

Lisa Havey, a local education activist, says that “It’s hard to get people to understand that they have a personal stake in the process, but that’s what Matt does best: he inspires people to make a difference in our community.”

Jack Hennessy, legislator from the neighboring 127th District and Chairman of the Veteran’s Committee, cites Waggner’s record of advocacy as a plus. “I’ve worked with Matt for years, and know that he’ll make things happen for Fairfield from his first day in office.”

Former Selectman and lifelong Fairfield resident Kathleen Howard added that “Matt has shown that he has the energy, participation, and follow-through to be a fine legislator for our town.”

Waggner sees this as expanding on his history of service. As Registrar, Waggner has worked to increase participation among underserved communities in Fairfield such as students, new residents, renters, and persons with disabilities. His past work at the state level includes developing poll-worker training with the Secretary of the State’s Office and service as Chair of the statewide Registrar association’s technology committee.

Waggner, age 33, is a Fairfield native and a graduate of Rensselear Polytechnic Institute and California Institute of the Arts. He has served as the Democratic Registrar of Voters for the town of Fairfield for the past 5 years and frequently travels to Hartford to testify in connection with proposed legislation. He was a local organizer in Ned Lamont’s 2006 campaign for U.S. Senate, has been a District Leader on the Democratic Town Committee since 2007, and won the Denise Dougiello Young Turk Award in 2009. Waggner is also a free-lance graphic designer and a partner in a small business.