By Marc Bradley
NORWALK, Conn. – I’m glad to see that the Norwalk Democrats are considering a real alternative to Mr. Moccia. Vincent Mangiacopra is a different kind of candidate and the type of leader that Norwalk needs in the Mayor’s office.
His call for Norwalk’s Future Now is poignant, because Norwalk desperately needs to move forward. Mr. Mangiacopra is not part of the bickering old guard – D and R alike – that has been “running” the city for the past 20 plus years. Norwalk’s taxpayers are sick and tired of it.
During my time as chairman of the DTC, Mr. Mangiacopra invested countless hours working to improve our city; fighting to ensure that all Norwalkers had a voice at the table. He understands the issues facing the city and he has the creativity and managerial experience necessary to jump start Norwalk’s growth.
In his announcement speech, Mr. Mangiacopra proposed real solutions to help Norwalk reach its potential. As a Norwalk business owner himself, Mr. Mangiacopra knows that small, local businesses are the engines of the city. He called for the creation of an Economic Development Office to better streamline the process for businesses to move to Norwalk, and more importantly, to help existing businesses grow and prosper. Mr. Mangiacopra understands that hammering businesses with taxes and fees won’t move the city forward or put people back to work.
He promised to vastly expand “community policing” with an aim at reestablishing trust between the police and the residents of Norwalk. He called for an around-the-clock, boots-on-the-ground approach (including his boots) to let residents know that the city cares whether or not your kids are safe in the community. He also pledged to bring a Boys and Girls Club to the city. With the loss of the YMCA, this type of public-private investment is exactly what Norwalk’s children deserve.
Lastly, Mr. Mangiacopra doesn’t need a reminder about the importance of a good public school system. He lives with someone who knows; his wife Kelsie is a public elementary school teacher in the Norwalk. Mr. Mangiacopra understands that teachers are much more than “budget busters,” as the Republican leadership has expressed, and he has pledged to work with the BOE and school employees to devise a plan to weather the current budget crunch and to create a topnotch school system that will attract new families (aka taxpayers) to Norwalk.
These investments cost money and Mr. Mangiacopra knows that. But these investments are necessary to rebuild Norwalk and make it the vibrant and attractive place that it should be. In the coming months I’m confident that he will lay out a detailed plan to bring forward Norwalk’s Future Now, and I am excited to endorse his candidacy for Mayor.
Norwalk Democratic Town Committee, Chairman (2010 – 2012)