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Norwalk District A Council candidates opine

Norwalk Democratic District A Common Council candidates David Heuvelman, left, and Kadeem Roberts. (Contributed)

The election is Nov. 5.

NORWALK, Conn. – Today, we bring thoughts from David Heuvelman and Kadeem Roberts, two Democrats who are shoo-ins to the Common Council as they are running unopposed to represent District A.

NancyOnNorwalk sent questionnaires to every Common Council candidate and every Board of Education candidate. Look for more of the responses we received, in the coming days.

 

 

David Heuvelman

The Heuvelman family. (Contributed)

Heuvelman is a member of the Board of Education’s Ad Hoc Special Education Committee and is co-chair of both the Naramake Elementary School Governance Council and Norwalk SpEd Partners. He’s on the Zoning Board of Appeals as an alternate.
Professionally, Heuvelman is Director of Operations at Essay Video LLC, according to his LinkedIn page, which says he does production management and technical direction for the event industry and scenic design and construction for the theater.

Here’s the Q&A:

 

What has inspired you to run for office?

I have always been engaged in politics.  I have had opinions and thoughts and I have expressed them to my friends and colleagues all of my life.  I marched and protested when I saw the need, and I supported when I saw the need but in 2016 I hit my personal limit.  That election cycle made me take a page from the phrase that radio host Thom Hartmann uses “Democracy is not a spectator sport so TAG your it…”  I found my way to the DTC and District A and began to take a more active role.

What qualifications do you bring?

I am a problem solver.  I have spent the last 25 years of my life working in the event industry where deadlines and changes are a constant.  I have worked with large and small budgets to achieve a clients end result. My even temperament and ability to multitask make me a strong candidate to dive into the issues that face our community in the 21st century.

Why should people choose you over your opponent? 

I believe that we are only as strong as the weakest among us.  To this end I feel that we have to support strong programs that bring everyone along on the journey.  Hyperbole yes, but my instincts tell me that working together is generally better than working in a vacuum.  Everyone Altogether is how I see things.  Working to find commonality and compromise while still moving things forward are a challenge.  I feel that I am a team player who will ask the tough questions when needed.  A lot is made of fiscal responsibility, and we have to be aware of this as we sift through all issues, but we also have to remember that we serve a very diverse population who all have needs.  I believe that I have what it takes to navigate these issues and find answers that serve.

What is the biggest challenge facing Norwalk?

Keeping up with the changing world.  We need to address issues that plague all Urban areas.  Development of our city in a way that keeps us ahead of growth and keeps our infrastructure solid.  We need to make sure that all areas of our city are desirable, livable and affordable for the diverse population that makes up our citizenry.  We need to be stewards of our land and insure that we are working to combat the effects of climate change.

How would you address it?

We need to look at development and determine how it will serve our community.  We have to find ways to entice developers but be very careful of losing revenue in the process.  We need affordability to attract our younger generations to stay or move to Norwalk, and we need programs to help keep our diversity as we grow.  We need economic growth in jobs, and industry that works in harmony with our city.  Creating ways for us to live, work and recreate while using our cars less and our pedestrian and public transportation options more.  To achieve this we need to stay vigilant and steadfast.  We need to support the growth of our Education, and make sure that all students excel.  These things will continue to make Norwalk strong and attractive and this will keep our value high.

 

 

Kadeem Roberts

Kadeem Roberts. (Contributed)

Kadeem Roberts is taking his second run at the Council, forcing a primary two years ago and coming in third behind Eloisa Melendez and Chris Yerinides, neither of whom is running for reelection. Roberts is a lifelong Norwalker now in his 20s, who graduated from Virginia Union University in 2014. He attended law school and then spent time at Fairfield University, seeking a graduate degree in Public Administration.

Here’s the Q&A:

What has inspired you to run for office?

What inspired me to run for office were those individuals in my community that taught me what it means to be “great” no matter the circumstances. In Norwalk Connecticut, we all come from different backgrounds and lifestyles. Growing up as a child in the city of Norwalk I was fortunate to get inspiration from many people in my community. Those individual’s in my community made it their responsibility to make sure that I wasn’t just labeled as just another statistic. Those that inspired me also made sure I exceled in and out the classroom by making sure education was my main priority. My family made sure that I was well taken care of by teaching me wonderful work ethics and tools that I would need in order to accomplish my dreams. Attending college inspired me to be grateful for the opportunity I was given to receive a wonderful education, and acquire a magnificent degree. My city, and the city activists inspired me to give back to the youth of my city and share with them my success stories so that it can one day inspire them as well. It is true that many children look up to those they can relate to and are knowledgeable about. I am someone that the youth and the community can relate to. In the end, many ask what inspires me to run for office I simply state Norwalk’s Finest the teachers, The Carver, school counselors, parents, low income housing facilities, mentors, churches, the community and most importantly my family.

What qualifications do you bring?

  • B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies, Minor Elementary Education
  • MPA: Masters in Public Administration; Concentration in Local and State Government; Published Thesis 2018
  • Certified Grant Writer
  • Proactive Leader
  • Public Speaker
  • Innovative
  • Community Leader
  • Transparency
  • Dedication
  • Flexibility
  • Organizational and planning skills
  • Motivation and enthusiasm

 

 

Why should people choose you over your opponent? 

I believe the people should vote for me over my opponents because I am a visionary that sees the true potential of the city of Norwalk and understands the steps it takes to get there. I am a young proactive leader within the community for over five years. I am receptive to the thoughts and opinions of all the constituents. As an educator and youth leader I support a quality education for all. I am very innovative and I bring forth wonderful and new ideas that well help excel the city to its true potential I believe in thinking futuristically and not in the present. All in all, being transparent and inclusive is the key when building a community and being successful that is what I stand for.

What is the biggest challenge facing Norwalk?

  • Demographics, Diversity, Transparency, and Inclusiveness

 

How would you address it?

In order to address the biggest challenge facing Norwalk we must first understand and know that our diversity in the city is one of our greatest strengths. Which is why we are continuing to receive recognition for our lovely school systems city and statewide due to our diverse children and educational instructors. We must make sure that everyone’s voice is being heard, and that everyone deserves a seat at the table. I will make sure I am developing a system of open communication and skills that boost self-esteem, brings fourth the transparency, and inclusiveness. Communication is key when also addressing the issues of diversity, demographics, transparency, and inclusiveness. We need to continue to acknowledge all holidays and cultures and make sure no one is left out. Furthermore, I will make sure all constituents are able to be part of their community and develop a sense of belonging and become better prepared for life in the community. In doing this we will provide better opportunities for learning and much more.

4 comments

John Levin October 7, 2019 at 10:47 am

I wish both of these candidates the best, but I am sad to see them running without any opposition, and I believe the Norwalk republicans do our community a disservice by not getting District A council candidates to step up, even if they consider success unlikely. I don’t pretend that to be an easy task, but I do believe it to be an important one. Even an independent candidate (many signatures required, I would guess) is preferable to no choice at all.

John Miller October 7, 2019 at 2:35 pm

John Levin is spot on. The RTC really dropped the ball in District A and needs to get their act together. VERY DISAPPOINTING.

Tony Pavia October 8, 2019 at 8:27 am

One of these candidates live on my street – nice guy, but no real platform. Didn’t hear anything about traffic calming on East Ave, or the recent string of break-ins on Lockwood Lane and how he would handle that. Nothing about how development on Wall Street and East Norwalk affects our quality of life, or how the proposed new interchange at exit 16 will turn East Ave into a raceway. But the obligatory climate change bit thrown in. All cute soundbites, no actual substance. The RTC punted this entire district (where there certainly many potential voters), not even giving me an option.

Barbara Meyer-Mitchell October 8, 2019 at 9:34 am

Thank you, David and Kadeem, for stepping up to serve. I look forward to collaborating with you both on education issues and city issues that affect our families such as walkability, traffic safety, recreation programming, ball fields, playgrounds, social services, and job placement. The lack of candidates from the RTC is too bad, but I think that with the low compensation for Council service and the registration statistics in District A that it is understandable.

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