Submitted by Ed Lopez, Chickahominy, RTM (District 3), former National Vice Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus
Among the many reasons to support First Selectman Fred Camillo’s re-election, I wanted to underscore a particularly important one to me: he honors Teddy Roosevelt’s standard on the environment. Specifically, that conservation is conservative – not a subject matter to be diminished by partisanship.
Roosevelt once said: “We have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage a people ever received, and each one must do his part if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune.” Greenwich is particularly abundant in this great fortune: from our coastal line spanning Byram to Tod’s Point and the hiking trails and parks in the back-country. The Greenwich First Selectman’s role summons a unique stewardship over a truly incredible set of natural resources.
Fred has put together one of the most robust efforts to help successfully manage our town’s resources and to better prepare us to respond to changing environmental circumstances. His Flood Task Force couldn’t have been organized at a more critical time. His Energy Management Advisory Committee has helped cultivate a stronger dialog on reducing energy consumption. Fred organized a Sustainability Committee to help raise awareness of the challenges our ecosystems face. The town has been able to nurture a vigorous dialog about recycling – and under Fred’s leadership has managed to add things such as textiles and food scraps to that effort. In his first term as First Selectman, Town Hall has added electrical vehicle charging stations, paving the way for more across town. Additionally, Fred has helped secure funds in the budget for coastal resilience.
One of the greatest accomplishments in these efforts is the people he has coalesced to work on these projects, spanning many ideological and political backgrounds.
As a college student, I worked for and was mentored by the late US Senator John H. Chafee. He was a great example of leadership across the aisle on environmental issues – an iconic public servant after whom a national wildlife refuge and a national park heritage corridor are named. In my national political work, I’ve wholeheartedly supported, endorsed, and spoken for ConservAmerica’s great initiatives, ideas and policy proposals fueled by free market principles. I also did work with its predecessor, Republicans for Environmental Protection, which successfully expanded the dialog on environmental issues on that side of the aisle, piercing through partisan barriers productively. These experiences have given me a foundation – a barometer – to recognize when a leader is committed to these causes… even when it may not seem ‘politically expedient.’
Greenwich is fortunate to have Fred’s leadership on the environment and conservation issues: his approach rises above the rest, it’s municipal leadership that rises to national stature in its qualities.
Those of us who are committed to a cleaner environment, sustainability, conservation of natural resources and spaces, and who have seen the momentum these efforts benefit from when we look past party lines will support Fred in his re-election to First Selectman next month.