WESTPORT, Conn. – From gun control to higher education, U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy covered many topics in the hour and a half he spent at a “Pancakes and Politics” breakfast forum held at the Westport Woman’s Club on Wednesday morning.
But beyond talking politics, Murphy, D-Conn., recognized a dozen high school students for their work as community leaders.
From Westport, he recognized many of the Westport High School Young Democrats, thanking them for their work in the school and the local community.
From Weston, he recognized the co-student body presidents, juniors Jack Seigenthaler and Jackson Marvin, as well as 16-year-old Becca Marks for her work as a leader in the school.
“I think leaders in Connecticut are really starting to realize the power we have,” said Westport High School Sophomore Brandon Rakowski.
Westport 18-year-old Christopher McKinney said that beyond being recognized by Murphy, he also came to find out more about the upcoming elections.
Introduced by state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, D-Westport, as the youngest U.S. senator, Murphy touched on topics important to the constituents gathered in the room.
For Marvin and Seigenthaler, having Murphy speak with them was encouraging. That Murphy is the youngest senator is something they could relate to as juniors who lead their entire school.
“He made you feel like he’s going to go do something,” Seigenthaler said of Murphy.
After speaking about gun control, the cost of higher education and the crisis in Ukraine, Murphy answered questions from those in attendance.
After one question from the audience, Murphy spoke at length about the work he and other New England senators are doing to improve the infrastructure in the Northeast.
“You don’t spend more than a month representing Fairfield County to realize that infrastructure is key,” Murphy said. This came in answer to question about what he is doing in the Senate about the state's failing highway, bridge and rail systems.
“The key to Connecticut’s economic recovery is in fixing the infrastructure to New York and Boston,” Murphy said. If it doesn’t get fixed, he said, “We’re going to risk becoming an economic cul-de-sac.”
Murphy ended his talk by encouraging everyone to reach out to him in the future and to let him know what they think is important.
“I feel like I’m as prepared to do this job as I can be,” Murphy said. “But I still know only 5 percent of what I need to know.”