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Elona Vaisnys Inspires College Students About CEP

Published on April 11, 2017

Elona Vaisnys Inspires College Students About CEP

Elona Vaisnys of the League of Women Voters of Connecticut spoke to Eastern Connecticut State University students on April 4 about the importance of the Connecticut Citizens' Election Program (CEP). The CEP provides public funding to run election campaigns for seats in the state legislature and for states offices.

"Most people don't know about the CEP," said Vaisnys during her talk, "No Need for Big Bucks, Run for a State Office." "I wanted to increase awareness as well as empower college students to become more involved on the state level. This is an amazing program and we love to see all the support."

Vaisnys spoke about how both major political parties tried to get rid of the CEP in recent years and will most likely try again. "That's why it's so important to make people aware," said Vaisnys. "Not many people are aware of the program." The CEP is funded from the sale of abandoned property in Connecticut, not from taxes.

Vaisnys, who leads CEProud, an initiative to inform the population of the state about CEP, wants to raise awareness of the program. "I've never even heard of the CEP," said senior Kylie Foldy. "It was interesting to see all the benefits the program had to offer as well as how it relates to young people like me. One woman in the audience told a story about a 20-year-old who used the CEP to run for office and actually won. That's really impressive."

Vaisnys has held league offices on the local, state and national levels. She has also served on a U.S. presidential commission (to develop recommendations on U.S. preparedness in international trade, security, and diplomacy); was a project manager in the Connecticut governor's office; wrote a column for the New Haven Register; and provided editorial support for five engineering departments at Yale University.

Written by Christina Rossomando