Meet Michele

A Connecticut Story of Leadership and Service

“Let's be willing to challenge the status quo: work together, innovate, and be extraordinary.”

I’m a proud Connecticut native from a small-business family that still operates the company started by my great-grandfather, an immigrant farmer, in 1937. From childhood, I learned the power of common-sense principles like excellent customer service for honest, fair prices. Solving people’s problems became my “true north.”

“My Connecticut experience showed me that hard work is easy, but the courage to be innovative is often what’s necessary to make a difference.”

With a UCONN education and a strong innovation muscle, I dedicated myself to the success of small business owners during a 25-year marketing and communications career. I worked with hundreds of people across the state and the U.S., often in collaboration with municipal, state and federal governments.

As a working mom of three, I’ve never rested in my determination to balance the challenges with the joys. I have found time for coaching basketball, the arts, gardening, and community service – always anchored by home cooked meals with the family around the kitchen table.

In 2020 the people of Southbury, Bridgewater, Roxbury and Washington will choose new representation for the first time in 32 years, as the honorable Arthur O’Neill retires at the end of his current term. Send me to Hartford where I will honor his legacy of diligent service and powerfully support the district from day one.

I want to use my qualifications and energetic leadership in the state legislature on behalf of the citizens of the four remarkable and distinct small towns of the 69th House District. I ask for your vote to become your next State Representative.

“Michele has impressed me with scholarly, researched work, full of insight, and detailed analysis.” ~ John Monteleone, Chairman (Southbury Strategic Planning Task Force)

As a 20-year resident of Southbury, I have served my community and volunteered my time, talent, and leadership experience during the past three years. Town officials in Southbury have repeatedly blocked my effort to participate. I have persisted despite their undemocratic conduct.

Michele Zommer at the Ella Grasso 100th Anniversary Tribute Dinner "Women & Power" with past-chair of the Southbury Democrats, Ron Pugliese.

Southbury Economic Development Commission Volunteer:
Met with Chair and began participating in meetings in 2017. My effort to join ended after three months when a resident suddenly appeared and filled the vacant voting seat.

Strategic Planning Task Force Volunteer:
Served (8/17 to 10/18) and designated an “Advisor” after the First Selectman refused to appoint me to one of two vacant voting seats. The chairs told me that, by orders from the First Selectman, Strategic Planning didn’t need communications professionals on the board. As a non-voting contributor, my attendance is not reflected in minutes.

Southbury Planning Commission Volunteer:
Appointed to a vacancy and served (8/15/19 to 12/2/19) as an Alternate with a term ending in December 2019. The town’s land use administrator was on medical leave but was still in charge and kept canceling meetings. I applied to rejoin as an appointed Alternate after losing my bid for a voting seat in the 2019 election. Board of Selectman put my appointment under New Business on their regular meeting agenda in January 2020. Against all standard protections for private citizens and town hall personnel and protocols established under state statute for Minority Party representation, the Republican majority voted down my appointment and engaged in a drawn-out discussion, seeking to publicly embarrass me.

Charter Revision Volunteer:
Participated in commission meetings and sponsored (5/19 – 11/19) an effort to make Southbury government more inclusive by advocating to update the 300-year-old Selectman title to be gender-free. The provision ended up on the ballot (question 4) but was fought by the town hall bosses. They placed it on the back of the ballot in hard-to-read legal terminology. In 4,703 votes cast, it lost by only 203.  A separate vote to make all town charter gender references neutral (question 1) was approved by voters. To date, the Manville/Harrison administration has defied the referendum and failed to make the required legal changes to the document.

Southbury Democratic Town Committee Volunteer:
Joined the organization in January 2018 and currently serve as Vice Chair. Co-led a number of events including a successful 100th anniversary memorial celebration of the life of Gov. Ella Grasso, attended by her daughter, Susanne, and more than 150 guests.

Southbury Training School Future Use:
Participated in public workshops (2017 and 2018) intended to give Southbury residents advantages in negotiations for what this spectacular property can become and how it can best honor its legacy and serve future generations. Town bosses have done nothing with the property since and simply abandoned task force efforts to stay in communication with the state initiated by First Selectman Ed Edelson and State Representative Arthur O’Neill.

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