Honoring State Representative Diana S. Urban

During nearly twenty years of public service in the General Assembly, State Representative Diana S. Urban of North Stonington has been one of state’s most prominent and successful advocates for the welfare of animals, children, and the environment.

Currently serving her ninth term in the state house, Rep. Urban has been named Legislator of the Year four times by the Humane Society of the United States, the country’s largest and most effective animal welfare organization. She has also been named one of the country’s top 10 defenders of animals by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, a national organization which protects the lives and advances the interests of animals through the legal system.

Rep. Urban, who is retiring from the House at the end of this term, is chair of the Committee on Children and was one of the primary architects of “Desmond’s Law.” This groundbreaking legislation, named after a dog who was brutally abused and murdered, allows for qualified pro-bono lawyers and volunteer law students to provide investigative insight not readily available to the court, resulting in a more fair and efficient process and more meaningful outcomes in animal abuse cases. It is intended to shine a bright light on the full extent of crimes committed under the animal cruelty statute.

Commenting on the significance of this legislation, Rep. Urban said, “The link between animal abuse and children and family abuse is well-established. In fact, we know that most school shooters started out abusing animals.”

For more than 20 years, Rep. Urban has been a professor of economics and political science and was a fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Governments at Harvard University. An advocate of accountability and transparency as a means to achieve good governance, she has led the fight for Results Based Accountability budgeting and has been recognized by Governing Magazine as a National Leader in High Performance Government.

Rep. Urban is a two-time recipient of the American Lung Association of Connecticut’s Breath of Life award for her work in helping to clean up Connecticut’s “Sooty Six” power plants. She was also named an Environmental Hero and one of the four most influential legislators on the environment by the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters.

Rep. Urban received her bachelor’s degree in political science from Long Island University and her master’s in public administration from SUNY Stony Brook.

In her free time, she is a United States Regional and National Pony Club Coach.

With great enthusiasm, DAWS will be honoring Rep. Urban and her extraordinary achievements at its Fall for Animals gala on Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Amber Room Colonnade in Danbury.