In recent contract negotiations between CSEA and the State of Connecticut, the administration proposed the elimination of Lincoln’s Birthday as a state holiday. CSC member Ida Terry sent this letter to the Governor’s office to voice her displeasure:
Governor Malloy & Lt Governor Wyman,
I am a loyal Democratic and I voted for your team because I believed in your ideals. However, I am still reeling with disbelief, when I read in Black and White your administration’s proposal to eliminate Lincoln’s Birthday as a State holiday. As an African American State employee and a correctional supervisor with 26 plus years of state service, such a proposal is at its very least insensitive, if not, inflammatory to African Americans.
President Lincoln was our greatest President prior to President Obama. In fact, President Barack Obama publicly expressed his admiration for Abraham Lincoln, invoking the great man’s name and accomplishments in his speech. Honoring President Lincoln’s birthday is honoring a man who was willing to divide our nation to eradicate our nation’s greatest sin, slavery. The irony of your proposal is that most frontline correctional employees will be working on Lincoln’s birthday, but that should not diminish the importance of this Holiday.
I remember when Governor Weicker made the same proposal more than twenty years ago. He made the proposal because this Holiday inconvenience some citizens that wished to do business with the State government. Governor Weicker immediately became aware of the hypocrisy of his proposal and withdrew it. Please follow Governor Weicker’s direction and withdraw your proposal. I believe President Obama would be in agreement with your withdrawal. Let the public be inconvenienced for one day and maybe they will remember President Lincoln and his legacy for all Americans.
Ida M. Terry
Counselor Supervisor of Addiction Services