NEWINGTON â€“ Universal healthcare and education are among Michelle Louise Bickingâ€™s top priorities if elected Governor this November.
The 45-year-old Newington resident is the official 2022 Green Party Candidate and is campaigning as a write-in candidate alongside Lt. Gov.-hopeful Cassandra Martineau.
â€śIâ€™m always hopeful; thatâ€™s just the nature of who I am,â€ť said Bicking, who holds two masterâ€™s degrees in public administration and social work, which she earned at Rutgers University and Springfield College, respectively.
A first-generation American whose family came from the Eastern Caribbean, Bicking grew up in Brooklyn, NY.
â€śMost of my siblings didnâ€™t have the same privileges I had growing up in the U.S.,â€ť she said, recalling how her family did not readily have access to clean water or other resources people often take for granted.
From age 18 to 32, Bicking worked in her motherâ€™s restaurant in New York, simultaneously earning a bachelorâ€™s degree at Denison University and going on to earn the two advanced degrees. She is currently working toward earning a doctorate in divinity studies and social work.
Currently employed as a hospice social worker for Masonicare, she is also a certified doula and the mother of a six-year-old boy. No matter what avenues she pursued over the years, Bicking always found herself helping others.
â€śI would like to give people a sense of mutual obligation, especially for the least of these,â€ť she said. â€śThe sex worker, the young man or woman aging out of foster care, the elderly shut up in nursing homes, the disabled, the indigent, the single mother or father.â€ť
Bicking worked behind the scenes for the Green Party before ever considering a run for office.
â€śI see myself as a global citizen,â€ť she said. â€śIt was the only party talking about social justiceâ€¦Unfortunately capitalism is not conducive to social welfare. We have no safety net in this country.â€ť
Along with universal healthcare and education, Bicking would like to address interconnectivity among the stateâ€™s mass transit system and economic shortfalls.
â€śWe donâ€™t have a solvent budget in this state,â€ť she said. â€śWe have a budget floating on submarine contracts and federal funds. By reinvesting in our own people we have the possibility of earning intergenerational wealth for our state.â€ť
The candidate was denied a spot at the gubernatorial debate, but plans to host a listening session at the same time to respond to the questions posed to incumbent Gov. Lamont, republican opponent Bob Stefanowski and independent candidate Rob Hotaling.
Bicking is registered as a write-in candidate and said people can vote for her by filling in the oval in the bottom row of their ballot labeled â€śWrite- Inâ€ť then writing in Bicking and Martineauâ€™s initials, as â€śMLBâ€ť and â€śCAM.â€ť
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.