Submitted by James Clifford, RTC District 9
Indivisible Greenwich, a local and decidedly left-of-center political action group, arrived on the scene in 2017. That year, they disrupted a slightly sleepy Greenwich RTM by flooding it with new candidates. Since then, they have created an environment that has made local politics considerably more divisive, antagonistic and unfriendly. Now, the co-founders of this group (Joanna Swomley and Nerlyn Pierson) have decided to make our Police Chief their new target of ire. (Indivisible: No, Chief Heavey, we should not be quiet. May 11, 2021)
Chief Jim Heavey’s career spans forty years of service. He is a veteran of Operation Desert Shield (as part of the Army Reserve), and has been Chief of Police in Greenwich since 2011. The fact that Indivisible’s co-founders decided to target him in our local press speaks not only to their tin political ear, but also to their lack of respect for our Chief of Police.
Chief Heavey recently wrote an OpEd in the Greenwich Sentinel in which he urged people to; get more engaged with the community; refrain from uncivil political discussions; treat others as you wish to be treated and be grateful we all live in such a wonderful community. It was a decidedly positive piece.
What did the co-founders of Indivisible Greenwich do? They went on the attack. Instead of accepting Chief Heavey’s words for what they were – an honest attempt to steer our public discourse back toward the direction of respect, civility and sanity, Ms’ Swomley & Pierson took a decidedly different tac by calling the Chief’s words; “chilling” and “dangerous”. This is typical demagoguery used by the omnipresent practitioners of the Cancel Culture.
This is the game plan Indivisible is implementing as we head into our municipal election campaigns. They stir anger, spread decidedly false narratives about their opponents and leave behind a trail of animosity and acrimony all in the name of acquiring more power in town.
Now Indivisible is attacking one of the most well respected people in our community, our Police Chief. This, after a year in which the Chief and thousands of other CT law enforcement personnel were faced with a decidedly political Police Accountability Bill which was passed in the CT legislatures solely by Democrats, and made doing police work significantly more difficult.
So, we are left with two diverging schools of thought on town discourse. Take Chief Heavey’s high road based on civility and respect, or take the low road of Indivisible, where anger and bitterness rule the day.
I’ll ride with the Chief who was right when he wrote; “Honor yourself by refusing to spend your time wallowing in negativity, and instead seek out the timeless positives: Truth, Beauty, Love, and Joy.”