While some of our newer members might not remember what Connecticut was like before state employees could bargain collectively, Ed sure does. He worked hard to get pro-labor candidates elected to better the political environment for working families. One of his biggest accomplishments was his work to elect Governor Ella Grassa who would go on to give state employees the right to form a union.
While many of you may know Ed as President of Council 400, or previous President of CSEA, Ed has served CSEA, Connecticut and our country in many, many more ways.
A Korean Conflict Veteran, Ed served from 1953 until 1955 where he then went on to study Animal Science at UCONN. After moving his family to Vernon in 1969, Ed’s passion for civic engagement began to show. He became involved in both Governor Ribicoff and Dempsey’s election efforts and served as Representative Chet Morgan’s Treasurer during his re-election bid as well as managed several mayoral races. He eventually rose to become the Vernon Democratic Town Committee Chair from 2001-2003 where he helped bring a democratic majority back to the Town’s Council.
In his professional life, Ed worked for the State in several different facets—from a Dairy Inspector at the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, to a Land Agent and Assistant Director of Land Acquisitions in the Department of Environmental Protection, of which he is a founding employee.
He was also instrumental in creating the Open Space Program which helps direct Federal grants to cities and towns and establishing the Tidal Wetland Program to regulate our vulnerable salt marshes.
But that is not all. All the while Ed was also passionately fighting for state employee’s right to bargain collectively, eventually joining other members to create CSEA. In 1986 he was elected CSEA President until his retirement in 1992 where he has since served as Council 400’s President.
As a union leader, veteran, and public servant Ed has worked tirelessly to protect and support his fellow state workers and Connecticut has been better for it. Thank you Ed for your 60+ years of activism, CSEA wouldn’t exist without your efforts.