Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now, Inc. (NEON) is sponsoring a community information forum at the Ingalls Road school Wednesday. The organization has invited the remaining candidates in Norwalk’s mayoral race to come and speak with prospective voters.
There are five major-party candidates for the mayor’s office. Republican Mayor Richard Moccia is seeking a fifth term. On the Democratic side, former Police Chief Harry Rilling, former Town Clerk Andy Garfunkel, Democratic Town Committee District D Chair Vinny Mangiocopra and Common Council Member Matt Miklave have until Aug. 7 to file petitions to enter a September primary.
“Understanding each candidate's position is critical to good decision making. Following through with a vote is critical to getting your voice heard,” Pat Wilson Pheanious, NEON's interim president and chief executive officer, said in a news release. “There are important issues and very important differences among the candidates. NEON wants to provide a forum where our community can see and hear the candidates speak for themselves.”
The community forum will have a “town hall” style, where attendees can ask questions directly of the candidates. Eligible residents will also have the opportunity to register to vote at the session through representatives of the NAACP.
Topics up for discussion Wednesday night include the following: the quality of education in Norwalk’s Public Schools; affordable housing; access to health care; reducing neighborhood crime and violence; police-community relations and the availability and access to local social service programs.
“Our goal is to ensure that community needs are being met as it pertains to housing, education, workforce development, health care and social services just to name a few,” NEON's Chief Operating Officer Chiquita Stephenson said in a news release.
“Voting season is the time to understand the issues and actions of the candidates -- to make known your pleasure or displeasure with the way things have been handled,” Pheanious added. “Which candidate -- by their words, but more importantly by their actions will make a positive difference in the lives of people.”
The meeting is from 7 to 9 p.m. at Nathaniel Ely School, 11 Ingalls Ave. Light refreshments will be served prior to the meeting from 6 to 7 p.m.
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