Letter: Mayor Rilling looks out for Norwalkers

Dignitaries from Norwalk Public Schools, Parks & Rec, Public Works, and the Norwalk Junior Soccer Association join Mayor Harry Rilling for a ribbon cutting for the new West Rocks Soccer Complex Thursday, August 5, 2021, in Norwalk, Conn.

Dignitaries from Norwalk Public Schools, Parks & Rec, Public Works, and the Norwalk Junior Soccer Association join Mayor Harry Rilling for a ribbon cutting for the new West Rocks Soccer Complex Thursday, August 5, 2021, in Norwalk, Conn.

Erik Trautmann / Hearst Connecticut Media

Mayor Harry Rilling and his team worked hard to keep us safe during the pandemic. I am proud to have been able to see first-hand the incredible work of his team, under his leadership, that tirelessly gave above and beyond every day. I want to especially thank Director Deanna D’Amore and the Health Department and Lamond Daniels and the Community Services Department. I am so glad Mayor Rilling brought you to serve in Norwalk and am grateful you were looking out for us all throughout this challenging time.

As we remain vigilant about the delta variant, I want to commend Mayor Rilling and his administration for increasing access to health services and vaccines for our underserved communities. City departments helped all residents receive food, financial assistance, and other social services throughout the pandemic. And the Community Services Department took on Family Navigators, who worked directly with in-need families in Norwalk.

The mayor made sure clinics were in the community, with multilingual staff and volunteers, and were near bus routes and within walking distance. Under the m ayor’s leadership, the city worked with Senior Services to make “warming calls” to check in on Norwalk seniors and also provided appointment assistance and partnered with Norwalk Hospital EMS to provide Vaccine Home Visits. And they innovated in real time, working with community partners and using data to help drive decision-making so resources could be sent to specific areas to best support our communities and improve vaccination rates, especially in the hardest hit areas of Norwalk.

If you are a Norwalker who still needs a COVID-19 vaccine and has not yet gotten one, please visit norwalkct.org/vaccine for a list of free vaccine clinics.

Perhaps it’s his experience as police chief that gave Mayor Rilling the expertise to handle a crisis such as COVID-19. But I would also like to think that it is who he is as a leader that helped us stay strong as a City during this pandemic. He is a compassionate leader who cares about people and their well-being, believes diversity is a strength, and that we are stronger when we work together. I hope you join me in supporting Mayor Rilling for another term.

Dominique Johnson

Common Council member, at-large

Norwalk