Local legislators, state Sen. Ted Kennedy Jr. (D-12th District) and state Rep. Lonnie Reed (D-102nd District), recently received awards acknowledging their work in the areas of the environment and life science research.
Reed is donating the stipend that comes with her award to BHCare, a non-profit headquartered in Branford that provides programs and counseling for individuals and families dealing with mental health and addiction challenges.
Earlier this month, Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) presented Kennedy with its 2017 Environmental Champion Award. Reed was honored in Boston by the Massachusetts Society for Medical Research (MSMR) as this year’s “Government Leader” for her legislative work championing life science research.
As co-chair of the Environment Committee, Kennedy has worked to draft and pass multiple laws affecting Connecticut’s environment. Some of the laws he introduced and passed include: Establishing a Long Island Sound Blue Plan, banning microbeads, pollinator protection, cutting down on consumer packaging, bringing “Cow Power” (which promotes the use of cow manure and food waste as a renewable energy source through the process of anaerobic digestion to Connecticut Farms).
Reed was one of five awardees at MSMR’s annual Biomedical Research Day celebration that recognizes individuals who have made important contributions to the field of biomedical research. She is the first non-Massachusetts elected official to receive MSMR’s “Government Leader” award. She serves as House chair of the legislature’s Energy and Technology Committee and co-chair of the Bipartisan Life Sciences Caucus.
“Kennedy a Fighter”
“Sen. Kennedy is a fighter on key environmental protection issues and LI Sound restoration,” said Louis Burch, Connecticut program director for Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “He has demonstrated himself to be a strong advocate for recycling in Connecticut, fighting to reduce plastic packaging and successfully defending the state’s Container Deposit Law. He has also helped protect children’s health in our state, as well as protecting the health of bees and other struggling pollinator populations by eliminating undue exposure to harmful, toxic pesticides. CCE is honored to present him with our 2017 Environmental Champion Award.”
Kennedy said, “Connecticut’s environment is one of our state’s most vital assets, and its protection is critical to the future of our state and our economy. I have worked alongside the Citizens Campaign for the Environment to pass laws that have removed toxic pesticides from playgrounds, expanded access to green energy, protecting Long Island Sound and state waterways and cutting down on plastic pollutants.”
He added, “These laws have passed with strong, bipartisan support, and the advocacy of Citizen’s Campaign for the Environment helped make that happen. I look forward to continuing to work with them in the upcoming legislative session as we continue the fight to ensure Connecticut’s environment remains intact for the benefit of future generations.”
“Reed a Champion of Life Sciences Research”
“I am deeply grateful to MSMR for this unexpected honor and am proud to share it with my Bipartisan Life Sciences Caucus colleagues,” Reed said. “We are dedicated to supporting medical research and development in our state that saves lives, stimulates economic development and grows jobs.”
“Our members recognize, honor and thank Rep. Reed for being an avid and effective champion of life sciences research in the State of Connecticut,” MSMR Board Chairman William Barbo said.
Reed has led efforts to grow Connecticut’s bioscience industry and was part of the team that brought Jackson Labs to its Farmington facility in 2014 with help from state incentives. Jackson Labs collaborates with many start-up companies, including several in Branford, such as CORE Informatics and the Mt. Sinai Institute for Genetics Research. In April, Rep. Reed and the Bipartisan Life Sciences Caucus hosted a forum at the Capitol showcasing microbiome research and product development in Connecticut.
An environmental advocacy organization formed in 1985, CCE now has 80,000 members in Connecticut and New York who work with legislators like Kennedy to pass laws that preserve and protect the environment.
MSMR is the nation’s oldest non-profit organization supporting biomedical sciences across New England.