Common Council, District A: Jalin Sead

Jalin Sead. (Contributed)

District A, Democrat

  • Describe how your occupation will assist you in serving Norwalk and give three brief but specific examples, including what committees on which you hope to serve.

I have been working for Hocon Gas for 8 years, and I am currently the Sales Manager where we sell comfort solutions with fireplaces and other propane products. I have also served on the Fair Housing Commission for over six years, and I am currently the Chair; as well as serving on the First Taxing District Commission for over 5 years and I am also the current chair. I have a unique experience and set of skills that I believe will help me be effective from day one on the council. At Hocon I get to meet so many great Norwalk Residents, and I get to talk and learn about their lives every day. I believe that, that connection with the everyday person will help me in all of my decision making on the council. I would love to serve on the Economic and Community Development Committee, to help improve our permitting process and, I would also love to strengthen are efforts in attracting new businesses to our city with new and exciting ways. Lastly, my time on the Fair Housing and FTD commissions gives me experience of how the government works, from budgets to personal issues. With the work that I already have been doing in Fair Housing working towards a more equitable Norwalk, I would be honored to serve on the Ad-Hoc Affordable Housing Committee.

  • The Norwalk Charter is on the ballot for its first major revision in about 100 years. Assuming it passes, would you support forming a new Charter Revision Commission in the coming term to address unfinished business? What would be your top three priorities for change? Can you explain why?     

First, I hope that everyone votes to approve this important and overdue revision to the charter. This current charter revision cleans up the charter and sets the timeline for the next rounds of Charter Revision. I am interested to hearing what the community wants to change. I am favorable to a 4-year mayoral term, leaving the council at a 2-year term. I am also in favor of expanding the powers of the Council so that the Council can truly set the budget caps, without the BET Vetoing, as seen in this year’s budget. I also think that we need to address the pay for the Council, so that it reflects the work that is put in to this city. However, my main priority is getting as much insight from the community as to what they want to see changed, and work on ways to implement that. I think that with something this grandiose it is vitally important to let the people decide.         

  • Do you believe Norwalk should have a Civilian Police Review Board and why or why not?      

I strongly support a Civilian Police Review Board in Norwalk. The Norwalk Police Department has a reputation of being a professional police department, and a Civilian Review Board would only help ensure accountability and strengthen the relationship with the community. When someone feels the need to file a complaint against the police, it can be extremely intimidating to do it with the same department you feel has done you wrong. The Civilian Review Board would be made up of community members who represent our diverse city, giving the community somewhere to go, with people they can trust. Not only would it help the community, it would also help the Department when they go for accreditation showing that the department can work with the Civilian Review Board to ensure a professional and transparent Police Department.   

  • There is a constant public battle between city government, the school board, and concerned citizens. It seems that all are “dug in” with their positions, eager to “defeat” the other to win their own agenda. What would you specifically propose to bring all groups to the table to solve issues rather than fight about them? Policy changes and revisions can certainly be part of your answer.             

I believe that this must be addressed with a clear understanding, that we are all here to do what is best for Norwalk and fully agree that education is extremely important to the future and stability of our community. The Council and the Board of Education have started meeting quarterly, and communication has seemed to slightly help, but our last budget cycle was one of the most contentious. Every new council member and BOE member starts off saying that “we are going to work together,” but come budget time things seem to always be the same. I can promise that I will do all that I can to work with the Board of Education and my colleagues on the council to ensure we do what is best for our students. I unfortunately do not have the magic answer that every municipality seems to be looking for. However, I strongly believe that we need to meet with the understanding that we are all working for the betterment of our city. 

  • “Housing affordability” means different things to many people. The current standard is based on the median income of Fairfield County, which is $84,233 per household. A job that pays $30 per hour misses that standard by approximately $22,000. What is your definition of Housing affordability, and do you think the standard should be made more equitable? 

I grew up in Norwalk, and I have watched as many of my friends have been pushed out of Norwalk, because of the lack of Affordable Housing. As stated in the question a job paying double the minimum wage missed the median income. In Fairfield County we have a huge socioeconomic gap causing many of these formulas to be skewed. My definition of Affordable Housing is actually pretty close to what HUD defines it as, “Affordable housing is generally defined as housing on which the occupant is paying no more than 30 percent of gross income for housing costs, including utilities.” I believe that the standard should be made more equitable, so that people who are raised in Norwalk can afford to grow into adulthood and stay in Norwalk. This isn’t going to be solved by the Common Council, but it will be solved by working with Hartford, and D.C. to collectively change these broken formulas that just don’t work for Norwalk. We also need to change the narrative to expand our focus to affordable ownership. We cannot rely on people solely wanting to rent, but we need to provide pathways to affordable home ownership.

  • What would you propose to move Norwalk’s government agencies, businesses, organizations, and private citizens towards a zero-carbon footprint?

I would first look to speak to people in these industries that will be affected by zero-carbon initiatives, to see how we can work together to achieve this. We need to protect our earth, and I am a strong advocate for Green initiatives, however sometimes we get ahead of ourselves without talking to our neighbors and business owners who can help. This was the case with the leaf blower ordinance, which is a huge success for Norwalk; however, many people felt we should have spoken to our local business owners more about these changes. I would also propose stricter enforcement of the ordinances that we already have in place, to ensure the work that has already been done is doing what we set out for it to do. Moving toward a zero-carbon footprint is going to take a collective effort by stakeholders to strengthen our commitment to bringing about real change.


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