Derek Slap, who rose through the ranks of local and state government from New Haven to the State Capitol to Chief of Staff for the Senate Democrats Office to the state House of Representatives, was sworn in to office today as the Democratic state senator representing nearly 98,000 people in the 5th State Senate District Towns of West Hartford, Farmington, Burlington and a portion of Bloomfield.
Sen. Slap was elected in a special election on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 to replace former Democratic state Senator Beth Bye; he won 63% of the 9,584 total votes cast in the four-way race, including 72% of the votes cast in his hometown of West Hartford.
“For two decades I’ve had an interest in public policy and in making life better for people whose concerns might otherwise be overlooked. Today I’ve taken another huge step in that journey,” Sen. Slap said. “I want to thank the residents of 5th District who put their trust in me, and I want to let them know that I’ll be working every day with their best interests at heart. I also want to thank my wife and my family for their steadfast support, which makes my legislative work possible.”
Sen. Slap lives in West Hartford with his wife, Alex, daughters Maggie and Zoe, and son, Charlie. He is CEO of the Connecticut Technology Council, working to grow and support technology activity across the state.
So far this year, Sen. Slap has focused his legislative energy on addressing the public health crisis of teen vaping by proposing an increase in the smoking age from 18 to 21 and prohibiting the sale of flavored vaping liquids (which are especially popular with teens).
Sen. Slap is also committed to fighting age discrimination in the hiring process by seeking to prohibit employers from inquiring about birth or graduation dates on employment applications; the bill has more than two dozen co-sponsors and is supported by the Connecticut AARP.
Last year, as a member of the state House of Representatives, Sen. Slap introduced pay equity legislation, which became effective January 1; this landmark legislation eliminates pay history questions from job applications and helps ensure women earn equal pay.
Sen. Slap also passed a bill last year establishing the first-ever independent Metropolitan District Commission consumer advocate, and he was named an environmental champion by the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters (CTLCV).
Sen. Slap previously served one term as state representative for the 16th House District, representing residents in West Hartford, Avon and Bloomfield. He earned his MBA from the UConn School of Business and earned bachelors’ degrees in Broadcast Journalism and International Relations from Syracuse University, where he graduated Magna cum Laude.