Common Council, District A: Tricia Massucco

Tricia Massucco. (Contributed)

District A, Republican, Independent

  • 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.

As the Director of Elementary School Based Programs for The Carver, I possess a unique perspective into the everyday challenges that families face. This role has provided me with an understanding of the needs of the Norwalk community. As a council member, this understanding will be invaluable in ensuring that the decisions we make are grounded in the realities of our parents and students.

1. **Economic Challenges:** Witnessing the economic struggles of many Norwalk families has strengthened my commitment to economic development and financial stability. I will advocate for policies and programs that support local businesses, stimulate job growth, and provide opportunities for residents to thrive financially.

2. **Social Cohesion** Through the diverse range of after-school activities, I have seen how vital social interaction is in building community cohesion. In understanding the importance of inclusivity and diversity. I can advocate for initiatives that promote social cohesion.  I want to ensure that all residents have access to essential services, and strengthen the sense of community in Norwalk.

3. **Academic Excellence:** Balancing social emotional learning (SEL) with academics and sports in our programs has emphasized the need for a holistic approach to education.  It is vital to integrate academics into after-school programs. I’ll advocate for curriculums that address SEL, academic and physical growth for Norwalk students.

My experience with The Carver has provided me with the tools and insights needed to effectively serve Norwalk’s diverse community. As a council member, I will leverage this knowledge to create policies that address the core needs of our residents, ensuring that Norwalk remains a thriving, inclusive, and prosperous city for all.

I would like to serve on the following Committees:  Public Safety and Government as I believe with our growing city that we need to support our Police and Fire Departments. Our continued safety affects the quality of life for all Norwalk residents. I would also like to serve on Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs as it pertains to our greenspace as well as programming and services to the Norwalk Community.  The Community Services Committee is another committee that is line with the work I currently do in my position at The Carver. We must continue to address the needs of Norwalk residents that provide well-being.

  • 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? 

Charter Revision is the document that governs our city.  It was written in 1913 with a few amendments over the years.  Some of the current changes are around updating the document with a table of contents.  It is also updating antiquated language and giving the document gender neutrality. It allows for pre-budget hearings to gain public input; a much needed improvement.  Once passed, the New Charter Revision Commission should be formed within 2 years which is critical for the work to continue.  We need to be looking at the structures, procedures and operational issues that were not reviewed.  I would like to see the addition of minor party representation.  I believe we should also take a closer look at section XII Planning and Zoning and section XVIII (Schools).

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

Civilian Police Review Boards can bring an additional layer of transparency and accountability and bridge a gap between Police and Community but this work should be driven by what the residents of Norwalk want.  If Norwalk Residents supported this, it would be our role on the council to review what other communities have done to see what has worked and not worked.  Civilians would need to be trained as they cannot fully understand every aspect of an officer’s position.

I also believe that the board should contain representatives from the Police Department to give context to each situation in front of them. Residents, city officials, and local law enforcement should engage in a collaborative dialogue to decide what’s best for Norwalk, considering both the potential benefits and challenges.

  • 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.

In Norwalk, there is a constant struggle.  As I have previously stated, the government only works when all parties come to the table and walk away without getting everything they want.  I am a firm believer in consensus. We need to have conversations about what we all agree with and then what we can live with.  It is only through this work that will be able to create our common goals and move forward.  When elected, I would advocate for several working sessions between the city, schools and citizens.  

  •   “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?

In Norwalk, when we talk about ‘housing affordability,’ we need to consider the diverse fabric of our community. For our young families and those just starting out, it means being able to rent or purchase their first home without being burdened by exorbitant costs. For our senior citizens, it means being able to maintain and stay in the homes where they’ve built their memories.

While the median income of Fairfield County provides a guideline, it doesn’t capture the full story of Norwalk. It’s essential that we look beyond just median figures and consider the lived experiences of our residents. A job that pays $30 per hour may seem substantial in some areas, but when accounting for our cost of living, it falls short.

My definition of housing affordability is that every Norwalk resident, regardless of their age or income, should be able to live in a safe, comfortable, and reasonably priced home without having to spend a disproportionate amount of their income. As for making the standard more equitable, I believe we should work towards localized metrics that more accurately reflect the needs and aspirations of Norwalk’s residents. This includes looking at both the high and low ends of the income spectrum and ensuring that our policies address the challenges faced by all.

We must ensure that new developments in our district genuinely meet our neighborhood’s housing needs. Homeownership isn’t feasible for all, so we need affordable rental options to support and nurture community growth. One-bedroom apartments at $2100/month aren’t universally affordable; we must address this.

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

Zero Carbon Footprint is achievable but it would mean some serious changes for the city.  We should start with city buildings and schools by making them all solar.  We need to eliminate traffic in Norwalk.  Although this may sound challenging, we can make sure the traffic signals controlled by computers or AI adjust so that cars are not idling.  We can also develop a campaign for an increase in bus ridership.  At home we need to continue to advocate for use of LED lights, programmable thermostats and the use of cold water to wash our clothes.  This information can be disseminated through our schools as well as campaigns throughout the year.  I would also continue to promote our farmers markets as our food does not have to travel far and in turn less emissions into the atmosphere from trucks that need to drive long distances to get to Norwalk. Each step is in the right direction.


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