Mangiacopra endorsed by area politicians, labor leaders

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Norwalk Democratic mayoral candidate Vinny Mangiacopra speaks Friday in front of the South Norwalk Community Center.

NORWALK, Conn. – Politicians from near and far came out Friday to support Norwalk Democratic mayoral candidate Vinny Mangiacopra.

Middletown Mayor Dan Drew endorsed the “wonderful future leader” in the press conference held in front of the South Norwalk Community Center, while former Fairfield First Selectman Ken Flatto said, “Let’s get our Democratic Party in Norwalk united behind Vinny.”

Manchester state Rep. Geoff Luxenberg said Mangiacopra has a great campaign platform and cares about the right things. Bridgeport City Council President Tom McCarthy put in an appearance, union leaders voiced their support and former and current Democratic Common Council members were present for the rally-like conference emceed by Councilman David Watts.

The campaign called it “an unparalleled display of political strength” days before the Democratic Party nominating convention on Tuesday, in a statement released later Friday.

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Middletown Mayor Dan Drew endorses Norwalk Democratic mayoral candidate Vinny Mangiacopra Friday.

Drew was the first out-of-towner to speak.

“Being in public office, particularly in executive office, is about character,” the Middletown mayor said. “It’s about integrity. It’s about being willing to take a stand and being aggressive on behalf of your community and knowing what your community is going to take, what it’s going to need to move forward. Vinny embodies those characteristics.”

Mangiacopra has sincerity and integrity and would focus on what makes sense for Norwalk, rather than partisanship and politics., he said.

“I believe deeply in his ability to lead this community,” he said. “I believe he has the character, he has the heart. That’s what counts more than anything.”

Luxenberg also endorsed Mangiacopra.

“There is only one campaign that’s heating up in Norwalk and that is Vinny’s campaign,” he said. “He’s raising the money. He’s knocking on the doors. He’s listening to the people of Norwalk. He’s got the energy, enthusiasm, integrity, and frankly the hard work. He’s doing the hard work that it is going to take not just to win this election, which is critical, so critical that he win this election, but to transform this city.”

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Fairfield County Building Trades President Peter Carroll speaks in support of Norwalk Democratic mayoral candidate Vinny Mangiacopra Friday.

Fairfield County Building Trades President Peter Carroll said Mangiacopra has the future of Norwalk at heart.

“We need a level playing field for everyone to get a chance to work in their community,” he said. “That’s not happening under this administration. I stand here before you to tell you that the building trades, IBEW, iron workers, sheet metal workers, glazers, painters, plumbers—everyone is here to endorse Vinny.”

Iron Workers Business Manager Jim Doheny and Painters Business Manager Willie Vega were also there to support Mangiacopra. Also in the crowd were Councilwoman Anna Duleep, Democratic State Central Representative and Former Councilwoman Nora King, former councilman and two-time World Boxing Association champion Travis Simms and former Norwalk Selectman Taber Hamilton. The Rev. Nellie Mann gave the opening prayer.

Watts said he was there as Mangiacopra’s friend, and would soon have a statement about who he is supporting. Mann said she was honored to give the prayer.

“I would do that for any of them,” she said. “However, he is a fine young man.”

Mangiacopra has pledged to be an advocate for Norwalk in Hartford and beyond should he get elected.

“Friends from out of town and around the state are extremely important to any elected official,” he said, as he began his remarks.

As mayor he would represent all of Norwalk’s 85,000 residents and give the city back to the people, he said.

“We’ve been able to go and talk to voters and ask them what they feel is lacking in city government and an overwhelming response is said – the same people going about the same problems in the same way just doesn’t cut it anymore,” he said. “We need a clean break from the current administration, not johnny-come-latelies, not people willing to throw people under the bus when times get tough. We need real leadership in this city. It’s time for a change. That’s what this campaign is going to be about.”

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The Rev. Nellie Mann gives the opening prayer Friday afternoon in front of 98 South Main St., which houses both the South Norwalk Community Center and Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON).


14 responses to “Mangiacopra endorsed by area politicians, labor leaders”

  1. NorwalkDinosaur

    This is an impressive turnout for Mangiacopra. I have to say that between Mangiacopra and Rilling, I am liking the fire that I am seeing from Mangiacopra’s campaign. Rilling is in slow motion it seems. He’s talking about old fixes and old ideas. Not surprising for old hat…

    @TimT told me that Mangiacopra has no ideas, so I looked into things a bit:

    Mangiacopra has proposed implementing a business development office (sorely needed) that will help minimize the red tape/fees/bureaucracy for new and existing businesses. A growth in business will reduce all of our taxes.

    He wants to set up a legislative “lobbying” team, from City Hall, that will press Hartford for overdue dollars. He understands that Norwalk is being shortchanged by the State.

    And to build a more positive environment for City kids, he has committed to bringing a Boys and Girls Club to Norwalk through a public/private partnership.

    These might be ideas that people don’t agree with or inadequate, but to say he is without ideas is very misleading.

    It seems that many Democratic leaders around the State consider his candidacy the real deal.

  2. Suzanne

    Mr. Mangiacopra had the opportunity to show leadership with the recent DTC debacle and, instead, left it to “investigation” without condemning using violence to solve problems under any circumstances. His “to committee” response was as empty as his rhetoric to make Norwalk a “better place.”

    Another layer of bureaucracy to help businesses, a boys and girls club and yet another group, a “lobbying” team in Hartford, do not a platform make when overall urban development, increased taxes, endless budget questions and general ill behavior and lack of transparency are issues that need to be addressed with a PLAN.

    I feel like everyone is falling for sound bites – Mr. Mangiacopra knows how to sell himself and his hyperbole. (He reminds me of Robert Redford’s character in the film “The Candidate”: he gets elected too on good looks and slogans then, when he is elected, says in puzzlement, “NOW what do we do?”)

    When do we see a comprehensive administrative plan, an address of the issues currently plaguing Norwalk especially in the form of consistent “gives” to developers and Authorities while the constituency continues to be taxed more? I don’t get it – does everyone have to be soothed by digital-age ads in order to endorse? Do they throw on the snooze button when the message is anything other than an illusory shiny object?

  3. NorwalkLifer

    Suzanne, I suggest you got back to Nancy’s article that included all the questionnaires from the candidates. I believe it was Mark Chapman who said Vinny’s was of the most forthcoming, original and detailed (paraphrasing).
    Here’s the link: https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/2013/05/mangiacopra-reponds-to-dtc-questions-garfunkel-stays-mum/
    I implore you to compare it to the other candidates’ questionnaires and judge for yourself who was the most specific. You’ll find it easy to draw a conclusion.

  4. D(ysfunctional)TC

    “Mangiacopra has proposed implementing a business development office”

    So because Vinny is clueless about what it takes to start and run a business, he thinks taxpayers want to pay for yet another layer of government.

    He might want to look at something called the Small Business Administration http://www.sba.gov and get a clue.

    Speaking of getting a clue, he might want to understand that we elect representatives and a senator to lobby for us in Hartford. We elect a mayor to administer the city.

    The only good idea on his website is internet broadcasts for city meetings, but that is hardly a fresh idea and no way qualifies someone with zero experience to be mayor.

    The rest of it is just platitudes. Talks on one side of his mouth about keeping taxes low, then on the other side about the current mayor not fully funding the school budget even though that has grown $60 million in the last 7 years.

    Talks about zero tolerance for violence in schools, yet it seems very acceptable to him for grownups on the DTC to behave that way. What a joke.

  5. Joe Espo

    You know that these unions are going to want payback.
    You know that payback will mean Vinny, if he’s mayor, is going to allow the unions to get their hands on city money anyway they can.
    First thing: Vinny is going to trash the City Carting contract and give up on $10 million in savings just so 6 guys can return to their part-time work for full time pay jobs.
    Then he’s going to insist that developers hire union workers and pay union scale as a condition of approval of projects…and that’s going to kill development in Norwalk.

    Then he’s going to try to impose the super-minimum wage on all new large-scale retail employers like Lowe’s.
    Heck, he’s the type that would personally try to organize Walmart workers into unionizing. That means Walmart shuts down their stores.
    This guy is a socialist; an Obama-type community organizer.
    Hold on to your wallets if he’s elected.

  6. Tim T

    Mr. Mangiacopra and Mr. Rilling had the opportunity to show leadership with the recent DTC debacle and, instead, left it to “investigation” without condemning using violence to solve problems under any circumstances

  7. Rod Lopez-Fabrega

    All Norwalk citizens should be asking themselves why so many politicians and trade union leaders from outside Norwalk are waxing enthusiastic over Vinny Mangiacopra and why such an impressive percentage of his donations have been coming in from other communities and even from out of state.

    Why are all these people so intent on interjecting their preferences for one of our mayoral candidates? What do they want from us? Why are they so eager to get a foothold in Norwalk’s City Hall?

    Why is that Vinny?

  8. Tim T

    Rod Lopez-Fabrega
    What Norwalk should be asking is why would anyone vote for Rilling. He was a nightmare running one department and now he wants to run the whole city.. Only in government would anyone have that nerve.

  9. Tim T

    Joe Espo
    Actually the hold on to your wallets candidate is Rilling.
    Can you say out of control overtime at the NPD. Cops making 65 bucks an hour to play on their IPhone and sit in a running city car with city gas with the AC on.. All on the the backs of the taxpayer.

  10. Smitty

    From the looks on the faces of his supporters it seems like they are forced to be standing up there! Where are the smiles? The enthusiasm? The pride?

    Seems like Vinny and Ernie Newton pics proclaimed happier music together!

  11. NorwalkVoter

    You forgot to mention the infusion of Ganim money into Vinny’s campaign. The PAC and those particular unions, yes it is Bridgeport style politics come to Norwalk. Aren’t we lucky 🙁

  12. Rod Lopez-Fabrega

    Tim T:

    Here’s how Norwalk’s new Chief of Police,Thomas Kulhawik evaluates Harry Rilling’s achievements as Norwalk’s Top Cop (as per The Hour’s interview today):

    “In what ways did the former chief influence how you lead?”

    “He absolutely loved the job and that was obvious. He brought that everywhere and every time he came to work. If you don’t want to be here, you’re not going to be successful. If you’re not happy in what you’re doing, you’re not going to be successful, and people see that. Even if you’re having a bad day, try to still have a positive attitude and try to set an example for the rest of the department. I think that Harry always tried to do that. Secondly, he made a big push, going back many years, to move the department into a philosophy of community service and community- oriented policing. It gave me the opportunity to work in that environment and to learn about that, working as the commander of community policing and working with the Weed and Seed grant years back. Those experiences showed me the importance of it, and he got the department going in the direction that was necessary. My goal now is to take it even farther. “

  13. LWitherspoon

    I had to laugh when I read of Mr. Mangiacopra deriding someone else as a johnny-come-lately. Pot, meet kettle. Three out of the four candidates have notable career accomplishments they can point to, Vinny does not, yet we’re supposed to give him the reins to a $350 million budget? Sorry but that dog won’t hunt. What volunteer or other public service to Norwalk does Mr. Mangiacopra have on his resume? If there is none, what does that tell us about his motivation for running? Those who have suggested that Mangiacopra is running because he needs a job may not be far off the mark.
    Harry Rilling is clearly the best chance the Democrats have of winning back the Mayor’s office; they are lucky to have him as a candidate. Rilling is well-respected, has great name recognition, and he’s the sort of “law and order” Dem who can draw votes from Republicans and Independents. Rilling’s response to the Amanda Brown debacle was disappointing, but even so, the Democrats are foolish to even consider anybody but Rilling as their candidate.

  14. Tim T

    Rod Lopez-Fabrega
    What Kulhawik has to say about Rilling means ZERO. Did you ever hear of the “blue code of silence”?? However when a cop breaks the “blue code of silence” and criticize another now that saying something . Here is what a retired high-ranking member of the NPD has to say about Rilling.


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