Candidate Profile: Jim Jinks, 90th District
Updated: Oct 15
Sep 25, 2020 7:18 pm ET | Updated Sep 29, 2020 9:57 am ET
Jim Jinks shares with Patch why he should be elected to the state House of Representatives to represent Cheshire and Wallingford.
CHESHIRE, CT — The 2020 election is heating up in Connecticut and there are plenty of races with candidates eager to serve in elected office. Eyes are primarily focused on the presidential election, but every state representative and senate seat is up for grabs. All five of Connecticut's congressional seats are up for grabs as well.
There are 151 seats in the state House of Representatives and 36 in the state Senate. Democrats currently hold majorities in both chambers with a 91 to 60 lead over Republicans in the House and a 22 to 14 lead in the Senate. Connecticut Patch asked candidates to answer questions about their campaigns and will be publishing candidate profiles as election day draws near.
Jim Jinks, a Cheshire resident, is running for election to the House of Representatives in the 90th District, representing Cheshire and Wallingford.
Party affiliation: Democratic Party
Family: I've been married for 21 years and have four children.
Occupation: Since 2002 I've held leadership positions in Connecticut-based advertising services businesses, including operating my own direct marketing business. I'm currently Vice President at Mediabids, the leading direct-response print advertising firm in the country.
Previous elected experience: Cheshire Town Council. Cheshire Planning & Zoning Commission. Vice Chairperson of the Cheshire Democratic Town Committee.
Campaign website: www.Vote4Jinks.com
The single most pressing issue facing our state is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.
The single most pressing issue facing our state is our stagnant economic growth. For Cheshire and Wallingford I'd pursue initiatives that lower energy costs and expands housing options at the affordable end of the scale. To grow our local economy we need to address affordability and in doing so we'll attract more young workers, families and seniors as well. In Wallingford, in particular, the new train station presents an opportunity to build on the present and stake a claim in our future. I'll work with local and state officials to put a plan in place for revival and recovery of the downtown rail district. We also need to invest in workforce development and educating our kids for the advanced manufacturing and hi-tech jobs that CT-based employers are increasingly offering. We need to keep pushing to lower health care costs and better leverage our open space and farms to attract more eco- and agri-tourism. Lastly, we need to invest in computing and tech infrastructure. We have a bright future if we work toward it.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidate seeking this post? I've been in the private sector my entire career. In the private sector we traffic in innovation, ideas and creativity to meet challenges and make progress. My opponent has three government positions and a law practice seemingly dedicated to wasteful, poltically-motivated lawsuits against our Governor and the state. I take a broad view of things and draw on my graduate training in policy analysis, to work toward common sense solutions. My opponent is driven by narrow interests and ideology and is too extreme to effectively represent the district.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job? I've been successful in building small businesses. I went back to school in my 40s (juggling a demanding career, raising four kids, being active in my community) and earned an advanced degree in public policy with honors. But being successful as a state representative isn't about my past accomplishments. The people of Cheshire and Wallingford will be able to rely on me to treat them with respect, to be transparent, to be very accessible and to fight for them, all of them. I will be a representative for everyone in the district (without regard for race, gender, religion, orientation, class, party etc.) I take a broad view of things and seek out the best solution, regardless of whether it comes from the right or left or somewhere in between. I can bring people together. Unlike my opponent, I can build consensus and work across the aisle. We need to get back to focusing on getting things done. We need to recover and rebuild a sense of community, civility and that we're all Americans and ''we're in this together.'' This is my promise and I'll deliver.
Do you believe Connecticut needs reform when it comes to electric utility oversight? What steps, if any should be taken? For a variety of reasons I suggest we need to focus on local energy production not just reforming our current electric utilities. For example, at the local level we can collect food waste, convert it to bio-gas and burn it to provide electricity. This would allow our communities to be less dependent on just one energy provider and it's a way to be more efficient and climate-friendly. But more immediately, I'd want our electric utilities to change the way they prepare for storm impact. If they pre-position at least 50% of their recovery resources before a storm strikes, they'll either have more than enough resources out to start cleanup or they'll have far less resources they need to spin-up quickly in the event the storm impact is greater than expected. At the very least, the public should expect that our utility providers are generally over-estimating storm impacts and are ready to respond to the best of their ability.
What steps should state government take to bolster economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic for local businesses? Pandemic or not my top priority is growing a stronger economy in Wallingford and Cheshire and more broadly, Connecticut. We need to address affordability in four areas - health care, transportation, housing and energy. We need to work on educating our kids better in math and science. Our state has employers in advanced manufacturing and bio-tech offering jobs to out-of-state residents because they can't find the people with the skills right here at home. We also need to find ways to make it easier to start small businesses and foster entrepreneurship, especially as more people are out of work now. Traditionally economic downturns spur innovation and are times when more people are looking to start new businesses. We can also be encouraging businesses to enable their employees to continue to work from home. This lowers living costs for employees and can increase productivity and efficiency for business. Telecommuting also reduces traffic on our roads, reducing transportation costs for all the businesses relying on our highways for distributing products. We need to invest in computing power and connectivity. This is important infrastructure in our hi-tech economy. High value services and industry need strong, reliable communications networks to function effectively and efficiently. The lack of this infrastructure has been a big drag on job growth in our state. We have to make it a priority now.
List other issues that define your campaign platform: Please view the platform page on my website www.Vote4Jinks.com for further detail on all the issues that are important to me. These include reducing the cost of health care, taxes and the state budget, investing in our schools, leveraging the new train station in Wallingford to invigorate the downtown rail district, safer streets, eco- and agri-tourism initiatives, preparing more of our students for the good jobs being created her at home and more.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions? I got into this race because our values are not being represented by my opponent. His racist retweet was one instance, among many, that have shown us we're not being well served in the 90th District. Mr. Fishbein is often one of the one to two to three legislators that vote no on important bills. The vast majority of even his own Republican colleagues find reasons why legislation is good for their constituents. But not our ''representative.'' This dynamic effectively shuts us out of the democratic process. The vast majority of the district simply doesn't have a voice in Hartford. I'm not going to the legislature to be an ideologue or to perform for a narrow set of interests. I'll deliver for Wallingford and Cheshire. I'll be effective for the people of our district. I will not, time and time again, vote according to my personal opinion. It's time we stop the nonsense and the madness and stake a claim to our future.
Read the original article at https://patch.com/connecticut/cheshire/candidate-profile-jim-jinks-90th-district