Class of 2002 alumnus Josh Elliott won his reelection campaign to continue his work as the State Representative for the 88th District House in the Connecticut General Assembly. He was originally elected in 2016 and began serving in 2017 for the town of Hamden.
Prior to starting his political career, Josh worked as an organizer for the Bernie Sanders campaign around Connecticut and began a working relationship with the members of the Working Families Party. He was asked to run for office in Hamden and successfully won his first election.
“I understand now that everyone has the power to do this type of work and connect with people on a human level,” said Josh. “There is a lot of work to be done and knowing I am in a position to fix and exact wide-scale change and have the tools to do so is a rewarding feeling. I do not take this position for granted.”
Through his tenure, Josh has been a member of the Public Health Committee and the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee along with serving as the co-chair of the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee. In 2019, he co-sponsored two successful bills: The Paid Family Medical Leave Act, which was signed on June 25 and guaranteed paid leave for eligible workers tending to personal and family health needs, and The Minimum Wage Increase, which was signed on May 28 and increased the minimum hourly wage to $15. Passed in 2021, his Telecommunications Rights Bill allows inmates to contact family members for free via video, email, or phone.
For his next term, which convened January 4, Josh said he’s been hard at work outlining several proposals and bills. He is working on criminal justice reform, voting rights for the incarcerated, two-week-out early voting, aid in dying for terminally ill patients, property tax reform, and other local and national issues.
Josh noted that relationship preservation and working across the table are key components in being a successful legislator.
“There is no way to shortcut any of this work and long-term relationship building with fellow constituents allows for effective conversation when discussing policies and bills,” said Josh. “There are no two people who will agree on every issue, but you cannot have litmus tests on those you work with because it cuts off the work you can do down the line, and everything I do is for the people.”
During his time at Hamden Hall, Josh was a member of the Varsity Boys’ Soccer team, Varsity Wrestling team, and Varsity Boys’ Lacrosse. He was also part of several clubs and activities including the Math Team, Theatre, Yearbook, Chorus, and Improve group.
Josh graduated from Ithaca College in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and went on to obtain his Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) from the Quinnipiac School of Law in 2013. He also owns two natural foods businesses, Thyme & Season in Hamden and The Common Bond Market in Shelton. He lived in Ithaca for a few years after graduating and in Virginia Beach for a year where he worked on a political campaign. Josh said looks forward to continuing his fourth term in office as a state representative.