Submitted by Paul Cappiali Jr.
This week, New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker (D) has on two occasions made public comments calling Greenwich a community that practices “racist zoning policies” of which the goal is to “keep black and brown people out” of our town. These comments are false and offensive. I am disturbed that State Senator Kasser has not swiftly condemned this attack on our community and her constituents.
In a note to her supporters, Ms Kasser went so far as to say that vocal opposition to SB 1024 (Zoning Bill) by Republicans “is precisely what leads others to suggest that local zoning policies are racist”. In other words, if you vocally oppose this bill, you are inviting this type of backward criticism. All Ms Kasser’s statement does is deflect the issue at hand and blame Republicans, tacitly making excuses for Mr Elicker’s remarks.
Imagine, this is a bill, brought to the CT legislature by Democrats, and the only votes it will get will be from Democrats but somehow in her alternate reality, Ms Kasser is blaming Republicans for opposing it?
This is not the first time our Democratic delegation remained mute in the face of comments accusing Greenwich of being a racist community.
In a Greenwich Time article, published last July, the organizer of a protest in town was quoted as saying this about our community; “Our issue is with the residents of Greenwich, who consistently are racist”. She went on to say, “Let them know that we’re not going to let them be racist anymore in this town,” she said. “This is our town.”
Ms Kasser did not leap to the defense of her neighbors in the face of those blatantly false comments about our community and its residents in July, so is it any surprise that today, when a Democratic Mayor of New Haven says; “There is a history of explicit racism in all of our towns – including Greenwich” that she deflects blame instead of standing up for our community?
Town Republicans have blasted Mayor Elicker’s comments publicly. Both Kimberly Fiorello and Harry Arora have condemned his remarks publicly. In fact, First Selectman Camillo even called Mayor Elicker and offered an olive branch to have a continued dialogue, only to have Mayor Elicker double down on his comments after the call.
Alex Kasser has a history of shrinking away from defending Greenwich when it is attacked. This a pattern of behavior, not just a one off incident. It begs the question, does Ms Kasser agree with Mayor Elicker and the person quoted above? Maybe the simple truth is that she does.