Veteran. Advocate. Mother. Fighter. Public Servant.
are about taking care of our family, our friends, and our neighbors. We are all
in this together, and it is our progress as a community that I am passionate
about.” – Cathy Osten
many of us in Eastern Connecticut, Cathy Osten
considers herself a “local.” A longtime resident of Sprague, Cathy’s passion
for her neighbors and the community led her to stand up for the people in
public office as Sprague’s first female selectman. As a continual advocate for
those around her, Cathy’s record of standing up for others did not start with
running for office…
from the Norwich Free Academy
in 1973, Cathy heeded the nation’s call for volunteers during the Vietnam era by
enlisting in the United States Army. After several months in the United States,
she shipped out to Japan
as a translator interpreter in Chinese Mandarin. After four years of active
duty, Sergeant Osten returned to the United States, taking up residence
in Norwich and
Community College. In
line with her no-nonsense work ethic and rough-around-the-edges style, Cathy
joined the Connecticut Department of Corrections serving as an officer and lieutenant.
For 21 years, Cathy experienced first-hand the issues surrounding our prison
system, public employees, pension disputes, and women’s rights in the
2003, following a string of harassment cases against women, stemming from
inside the CT Corrections system, Cathy joined together with other female
corrections officers to protest the treatment of women in the workplace.
Bringing this fight to the Capitol, Cathy was able to hold the Department of
Corrections accountable for pervasive sexual harassment. Understanding the need
for more progress in the workplace, her organizing did
not stop there. Cathy assisted in the passage of laws necessary to allow
corrections supervisors the right to organize and was elected to be the
President of the Corrections Supervisors’ Council of CSEA/SEIU 2001. Cathy
worked tirelessly to directly represent more than 600 professionals in the Connecticut
Department of Corrections. Advocating for workplace rights, senior citizens,
and pensions, Cathy made a name for herself as a fighter for those in need. As
an active individual, it was only a matter of time before she brought her
advocacy into the public arena.
to continue her record of advocacy in public office, Cathy Osten ran and won
Sprague’s First Selectman’s seat in 2007. Her record still stands strong.
During Cathy’s first five years in office, she fended off all tax increases
while increasing services to the public. Just in the past year, Cathy was
appointed by Governor Malloy to the Two Storm Panel, giving small-town issues
state-wide attention by highlighting necessary changes in emergency response
from both the state and the utility companies responding to the recent
emergency. Locally, Cathy has ensured ADA
accessibility in Sprague’s public library and established an agriculture
commission. She serves as a financial officer for Post 85 in the American
Legion and was also recently elected District Historian, has worked to create a greenway from Lisbon through Windham, and is involved in the management of
the Sprague Land Preserve. In addition, Cathy serves as co-chair on the
Connecticut Conference of Municipalities Education Committee.
outreach to seniors, intent to fight for the middle class, desire for open
government, and care for the environment, continually shows that Cathy’s focus
will always be on the betterment of our community. As a proud mother of one, grandmother of four, and neighbor to thousands, Cathy will always see her
advocacy as a personal endeavor to improve the lives of us all, one community
at a time.