Marpe Challenges Hatred, Urges Civility

In the wake of last weekend’s mass shootings, First Selectman Jim Marpe says:

Following the tragic events in Charlottesville 2 years ago, I stated that “there is no place for hatred and bigotry in our country,” and expressed our community’s prayers for the victims of that senseless tragedy.

Those events led to the “Hate Has No Home Here” movement in Westport and other communities. Last year, after the Parkland, Florida tragedy, I again addressed the issue of gun control and sensible gun legislation.

After another weekend of shocking headlines involving mass shootings which obviously have roots in white supremacy, and frankly, 2 more years of incidents similar to Charlottesville and Parkland, we are still faced with the challenge of inflammatory public rhetoric and hate-filled internet postings and activity.

We are fortunate that Westport is represented by national, state and local legislators and elected officials who act and speak responsibly in the face of these divisive issues.  They are committed to pursuing and enforcing responsible and effective gun control legislation, as well as condemning the racial biases demonstrated by others.

The fact that these incidents are happening on a regular basis is appalling. Each time I am asked to address them both personally and in my role as first selectman, it is done with an extremely heavy heart.

Although recent national incidents were much more horrific and tragic, the sentiment where I prompted a call to civility and respect to all Westporters after an unfortunate incident during a local public meeting last year holds true today.

I stated, “We will continue to publicly deal with issues and challenges that ignite passions on all sides, but we can’t let those passions create an air of disrespect, intimidation and bullying. I implore all Westport residents to allow their personal and public interactions to be driven by respect, tolerance and a desire to coexist in a positive manner with all of our neighbors.”

I will continue to address this issue within our community, and I will continue to denounce any form of hatred, bigotry or cultural bias.

19 responses to “Marpe Challenges Hatred, Urges Civility

  1. Rozanne Gates

    If you truly mean what you say, you must publicly denounce the hateful rhetoric coming from Donald Trump. We are very fortunate to have thoughtful and responsible Senators from Connecticut and a Congressman who works very hard to do the right thing – but do notice that they are Democrats and they are Democrats for a good reason. The Republican President stokes hatred and violence and is a clear and present danger to this country. If you don’t denounce him, your words fall empty on a community and a country that is very tired of politicians doing nothing to protect us from gun violence.

    • Rozanne – thank you for your wonderful post. I was about to write something similar, but you beat me to it. I honesty don’t know how anyone can remain a Republican today.

  2. Bart Shuldman

    These are troubling times with rising hate crimes. While overall crime rates are dropping, hate crimes rose to a decade high in 2018 and continues in 2019.

    The attached article is about a report that was just published which highlights the risk to growing white nationalists violence. Very troubling.

    As a Republican I openly speak out against our President and his constant tweets and speeches that I believe is ‘fanning the flame’. I hold my values high and would hope others do the same.

    It is time.

    • Richard Fogel

      Thank you Bart. I am very proud of you for speaking out. I am very disappointed that our local republican leaders refuse to criticize Trump. I have been writing to the town and asking if our local republican leaders support Trump. No answer, I want to ask M<r Marpe if he will vote for Trump. I would urge every concerned citizen to ask if our local republican representatives will vote for Trump. Do they feel Trump is unethical in his leadership and did he break any laws. Ask our republican leaders if they view the president as a role model for their children and family? Mr Marpe did not mention Trumps name. I am very disappointed in Mr Marpe. If Mr Marpe is not strong enough to condemn Trumps leadership , he is not worthy to represent Westport. We deserve smart ethical strong leaders to do not bow down to the devil

      • Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

        Mr. Marpe, I would suspect, has chosen to keep his private political opinions separate from his public official responsibilities. But, really, do you honestly believe that just because he hasn’t declared it publicly he intends to vote for Trump?

      • Bart Shuldman

        Richard-Jim Marpe has been the BEST, let me repeat, the BEST First Selectman in Westport in the 25 years I have owned a home in this town. Not only has he led with honesty and integrity and spoken out against hate, he has helped manage this town with fiscal discipline. There have been NO, let me repeat, NO property tax increases during his leadership of Westport. And this all occurred as the State of CT stopped millions of dollars in state aid to things like education to westport.

        Mr Marpe’s personal decision on who he votes for is his personal decision. What you should care about is his leadership of this wonderful town during the ongoing fiscal crisis in CT.

        Thank you Jim Marpe.

        Bart Shuldman

      • Thanks, Bart & Richard, for having the balls, obviously missing from our first selectman and every other elected Republican ( I eschew the word “leader” after Republican because none is, obviously a LEADER) to call out that Terror in the White House.

      • It is shocking that these “local Republican leaders” give lip service, prayers and thoughts to all the victims of hate crimes and yet, do no have the balls(ovaries?) to call out the Leader of the Gang and hateful rhetoric, TRUMP.
        Thank you, Bart, for breaking the mold.

  3. Adam Schwartz

    @Richard I agree with everything you said. But, do you honestly believe Mr. Marpe should waste his breath on trump? Westport is a small town of what, 27,000? It’s a pimple on a pimple of the country. I think Mr. Marpe has bigger fish to fry and more important topics regarding the town to talk about, than trump. Additionally, do you feel elected officials have to declare who they favor or vote for? Is that a town, county or state law?

    • Richard Fogel

      yes, every single decent person should condemn the devil. Trump is dangerous.

  4. Susan Iseman

    At a recent public hearing in Hartford, Jim Marpe and Melissa Kane testified together in favor of the passing of gun safety laws. I know because I was there to provide testimony of behalf of the LWVCT. (Today, CT is #3 in the US for gun safety laws!) Let Mr. Marpe continue to to the great job he’s doing for our town and leave it at that. I think many of us have trump fatigue to put it mildly.

    • Richard Fogel

      The issues is not fatigue. The issue is that each person has to stand up and repudiate this man. Repudiate Trump. Call him out by names and encourage others to do the same. Call your local legislators ,state,and senators to repudiate Trump. Let me remind you that Trump changed Obamas gun law to allow people with mental disease to purchase guns. Trump also has not allowed funding for election security. He embraces Putin and never says a bad word about Russia but sticks it to our allies . He is a racist. Bigot. Liar. Lewd. If you cant stand up to this and allow Trump to ridicule global warming and pollute the planet, you are allowing this monster to destroy the good we the USA used to stand for. For you to say Trump fatigue and leave our local legislators alone is nonsense. That a cop out and thats what the reugnant party does. Say nothing. See nothing. Alternative facts. Stand up and act like a responsible citizen. Your children and grandchildren need your help. If Trump gets reelected the USA will sink even lower. Danger. You cant live inside a bubble.

      • Bart Shuldman

        Richard-if you want Trump then dems have to run a candidate that can win the national election. As we witnessed in CT, despite all the tax increases and ongoing budget issues, the same party is in office in CT because republicans ran a bad candidate.

        The same thing can happen in 2020 with the national election. Run a progressive and dems lose. You have to remember CT is nothing like the rest of the country. JMHO, your worst fear could come true.

        As for Westport, please acknowledge the great work by Jim Marpe and stop worrying about how he will vote. With the electoral system, CT is squarely in the dems hand.

        Bart Shuldman

      • Elaine Marino

        Your statement “Trump changed Obamas [sic] gun law to allow people with mental disease to purchase guns” is not accurate. CNN wrote:

        “This now-removed rule did not alter federal law which prohibits individuals ‘who (have) been adjudicated as a mental defective or (have) been committed to any mental institution’ from owning a firearm. Mental impairment is a complex issue, and claiming that Trump made it easier for those with a mental illness to access firearms is an overstatement that ignores what the regulation did and who it affected.”

        • Bob Stalling

          It doesn’t need to be accurate…Richard believes it, and so it is.

          • Richard Fogel

            so bob,lets review what you and all the excuse makers that have no balls make for Trump. Did Trump say at a rally you can shoot immigrants in the Florida Pan Handle and get away with it. That if you beat up protesters Trump will pay your medical bills. When the crowd in Charlottsville shouted Jews will not replace us, Trump said there is good and bill on both sides. All of you know this. It is so disingenuous to ignore such crap spoken by the moral leader of the the free world. Trump attacks American Cities. When chants of send her back are screamed he stands in admiration of such hatred. Trump fans the flames of hatred. WTF is wrong with you to stand for such a low life. The KKK has supported Trump. David Duke loves Trump. Putin Loves Trump and helped him cheat and win which Trump accepted. What leadership position has Trump taken to help lower the gun epidemic. You want to defend a Trump Party the Regunlicans , the Republikkkans, that does nothing about keeping our children and families safer. Newtown. Dayton. El Paso. Pittsburgh. On and on and on and on. WTF is wrong with you??????

            • Richard and others, you have made your points. Please refrain from further comments. If someone has not yet commented, he or she is welcome to.

  5. John McCarthy

    Are you scouting for Trump cabinet members?

  6. Eloise See McGaw

    My Dad was Ed See. He died in 2009 but lived in Westport, was town attorney, founder of the law firm Wake, See & Dimes, and beloved by many, especially his wife, Kay See, and his four children. He was also a registered Republican, but more for local purposes. He supported many Democrats, including Barak Obama. How glad I am that he is not here to witness what Trump is doing to our country. He would never support him and would be ashamed of republicans who are unable to stand up to him.