Welander Unanimously Endorsed for the 114th District

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May 192020

On Monday evening, May 18, via a video conference call from her home, Orange Board of Education member Mary Welander was unanimously endorsed as the democratic candidate for State Representative for the 114th District. The 114th District encompasses parts of Orange, Derby and the Town of Woodbridge.

“My motivation for running, and for most things in my life, is to help people. It’s simple, but to the core, it’s the truth.” Welander said in her acceptance speech. “I realized that if I truly wanted to help people then I needed to be part of the bigger conversations that shape these laws. Despite our culture’s aversion to discussing politics, these laws affect every aspect of our lives and, as the saying goes, ‘If you don’t have a seat at the table, you’re probably on the menu’.

For too long the voices of everyday families have not been heard at the table because the people making the decisions don’t understand what we are facing every day.”

In addition to serving on the Orange Board of Education, Mary holds the Vice Chair positions of both the Finance and Policy, Personnel, and Transportation subcommittees, and is the Co-President of the Race Brook School PTA. She also continues to serve as one of two statewide representatives for the Sandy Hook Promise Organization supporting non-partisan, social/emotional based gun violence prevention programs.

Marc Garofalo, former Mayor of Derby, stated “It is with great pleasure and pride that I nominated Mary Welander tonight to be State Representative for Derby, Orange, and Woodbridge. Mary is different from the typical official you see in Hartford. As a mother, locally elected official and an active member of her community who puts service above self, Mary ‘walks the walk’ more than ‘talks the talk’, and has proven it. I know she will be an effective, dedicated advocate for all of our towns.”

Margaret Novicki, current member of the Orange Board of Selectmen, said, “Mary is exactly the kind of leader we need representing us at the state level at this challenging time in our history. Hers will be a deeply caring and compassionate leadership, keenly attuned to the needs of our communities – whether our young families and children, or our senior citizens. I have seen at close hand how hard Mary works for the issues and principles we stand for as a community, party and district. Always ready to put her shoulder to the wheel, Mary has demonstrated time and again commitment, dedication and true volunteer spirit when our town has needed it. A great representative for Orange, Woodbridge and Derby, Mary will take the people’s concerns to heart and to Hartford. We need her kind of leadership NOW.”

Sandra Stein, current member of the Woodbridge Board of Selectmen, also shared her enthusiastic support. “Mary is an exceptional individual who cares deeply about her community and their access to education, healthcare, benefits for workers, and building our future together. Mary understands the issues that the communities of Woodbridge, Orange, and Derby are facing. It is her real-life problem solving approach focusing on people, not politics, that makes her the ideal person to represent all of us in Hartford.”

Welander said, “We are facing serious challenges; none of the solutions will be easy, and none of them will please everyone, but one thing is for certain: if we want to create better, healthier, more successful communities we need leadership who has already been listening and putting in the hard work to make it happen. When we redefine our future as a district, we will need a voice who brings that understanding, and that care to the table.

I have been here – elected to serve, listening in the meetings, questioning the choices. I am humbled by the trust and support given to me in the past and am determined to keep it through hard work, caring, and dedication to Derby, Orange, and Woodbridge.”

Mary and her husband, Matt, live in Orange with their three children and dog, Bauer.


Welander Helps “Fill the Bucket” For Hunger

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May 152020

When the call went out that the Orange Food Bank was in need, Mary Welander, State Representative candidate for Orange, Woodbridge, and Derby jumped into action. Welander organized a town-wide food pick up to support the “Fill the Bucket” food drive at F&W Equipment in Orange. The idea was to fill the bucket of a front-end loader.

Recognizing the increasing needs of Orange families and the challenges facing the Food Bank in keeping their shelves filled, Welander put out the call for “no-contact” food donation pick-ups from residents across town. On Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, May 8-11, Welander crisscrossed Orange picking up donations left for her on doorsteps as well as gathering those dropped off at her home.

 In an incredible show of generosity, enough food, household supplies, and personal hygiene products were collected to need two separate drop-off trips.

 “As a one-income household living in Orange, I understand the challenges our families face under normal circumstances.  Take those challenges and pile on the fact that so many families have lost income during this pandemic; it’s easy to understand that more people may need a little help right now,” said Welander, who herself was furloughed from a part-time job when Covid19 hit.

She added, “I’m grateful that I can help the Orange Food Bank in this way so that more families in town are supported through these tough times.”

Realizing that many are facing challenges in reaching out during this time, Welander encourages anyone needing assistance to contact the Community Services Dept. at High Plains  Community Center at 203-891-4788 or to feel free to contact Mary directly, at 203-881-6207, or welanderforct@gmail.com.


Orange Board of Education Member Challenging Klarides

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Feb 222020

Mary Welander of Orange officially launched her candidacy on Saturday for State Representative in the 114th House District, serving the towns of Derby, Orange and Woodbridge. Mary enters the race with the goal of representing and fighting for comprehensive educational opportunities for our children, advancement for families, and stronger support for seniors in the district.

“For too long we have been waiting for someone to put our needs and priorities first, and it hasn’t happened,” said Welander. “Opportunities have been missed, families are being left behind, and people aren’t being helped. And that is what this is all about: helping people. It’s not about building up a name for yourself; it’s about building up our communities. The truth is that things aren’t going to get better for the everyday families in our communities until we have more people from those families involved in making the decisions that affect our everyday lives. We feel the effects; we should be part of the conversation.”

“Mary Welander is a dedicated community advocate who is committed to addressing the challenging issues in education, economic improvement, the environment, and a better quality of life for all our citizens.” said Paul Davis, former State Representative and Selectman, and current member of the Amity Board of Education. “Mary’s focus is on people, not politics.”

“Mary understands what our community is facing and is ready to work so that our families have the best chance for success in their futures,” said Beth Heller, First Selectwoman of Woodbridge. “Her commitment to our towns and real-life problem solving is clear and we look forward to Mary truly representing Woodbridge in Hartford.”

Mary is a member of the Orange Board of Education and currently serves as the Vice Chair of both the Finance and Personnel, Policy, and Transportation subcommittees. She is also Co-President of the Race Brook School PTA. Mary is an Ambassador for Connecticut for Sandy Hook Promise and regularly promotes education-based, common sense solutions for gun violence prevention programs both within the state and through bi-partisan outreach trips to Washington, DC. Mary has recently joined the team of Pirie Associates, an architecture, landscape, and interior design firm in New Haven committed to sustainable and equitable built environments.

Marc Garofalo, former Mayor of Derby, said, “Mary shows true commitment to bipartisan problem solving every day with her work on the Orange Board of Education. She has dedicated herself to making better futures for families in her town and I know she will do the same for the families of Derby.”

Mary and her husband Matt (a college professor, small business owner, and volunteer Scout leader), live in Orange with their three children and their dog, Bauer. These days Mary is often found at High Plains Community Center and other various pools cheering on their daughter and the rest of the ARAC Swim Team, or attending meetings for Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, or other various organizations she and her family are part of.

“My dedication to the Orange Board of Education will not change; serving on the board and working in a bi-partisan way to help our children is a huge honor for me,” Welander said. “My commitment to all of our towns hasn’t wavered, in fact it has grown. This district, my neighbors, our schools, and our state deserve someone who will do the work and fight for them. Problems aren’t solved by pointing fingers and I am tired of hearing the same arguments while nothing changes and families continue to struggle. Orange, Derby, and Woodbridge deserve more. I hope I can earn their trust and support.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about Mary or her candidacy for State Representative can visit www.welanderforct.com or @welanderforct on Facebook.


Orange’s Mary Welander Challenging Klarides For 114th District

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Apr 032018

Orange Board of Education member Mary Welander announced that she is running for State Representative for the 114th District. The 114th District encompasses parts of Orange, Derby and the Town of Woodbridge.

“I am running because I believe our district is not accurately reflected by our current representation in Hartford. I am deeply committed to our area and want it to be as strong as it can be now and in the future for all of our children. I believe we have a duty to stand up for what is right and speak out against what is wrong, and I am not seeing enough of either from our representative. We live in a proud, strong, diverse district; I believe that our strengths lie in our differences and Connecticut will be stronger if we embrace new ideas while still respecting our history. I would be honored to represent the voices of my neighbors in Hartford.”

In addition to serving on the Board of Education, Mary was recently re-elected as the Vice Chair of the Orange Democratic Town Committee, serves on the Board of the PTA at Race Brook School, is the statewide representative for the Sandy Hook Promise Organization, as well as other community groups throughout town.

“I first met Mary after the 2016 Presidential election.  Mary began attending our DTC (Democratic Town Committee) meetings.  She showed confidence and knowledge not only of the issues but also she has a keen understanding of the legislative process,” said Jody Dietch, chair of the Orange DTC. “Mary quickly educated herself on how accomplishments happen in Hartford.  She is not someone who would have a learning curve taking on a new job.  She is already schooled in that and also is well known by many in Hartford.  She has the energy and more importantly, the integrity to represent not just the 114th district but all of the residents of Connecticut.”

Laurence Grotheer, Woodbridge DTC Chair, recently said, “Mary will be an outstanding representative for the 114th and Connecticut.  Her commitment to a better future for Connecticut is evident in her work on the OBOE and all she has accomplished in other community service roles. We look forward to her representing us and bringing bi-partisanship back to Hartford.”

“We are very excited that Mary is running for State Representative.  We need a fresh perspective in Hartford.  As a mother of three young children and an active PTA parent, her commitment to the prosperity of future generations is exactly the new approach we need to problem-solving in Hartford.” said Aniello Malerba, III, Chair of the Derby DTC.

Mary and her husband, Matt, live in Orange with their three children and dog, Bauer.