Tag Archives: 1st Selectman Jim Maarpe

[UPDATE] Marpe, Scarice Speaks Out On Anti-Asian Violence

1st Selectman Jim Marpe says:

I am heartbroken by the recent surge in the despicable acts that are targeting members of the Asian American and Pacific Island community. An attack on any is an attack on all that we hold dear as a community that embraces inclusiveness in how we govern, and in how we interact with our neighbors. I wholeheartedly condemn such violence.

Town Hall flags fly at half staff, in memory of the victims of the Atlanta shooting. (Courtesy of Town of Westport/Facebook)

We celebrate diversity in this community, and we do all that we are able to insure everyone, residents and workforce alike, feels safe, secure, and welcome in Westport.

Together, we must support and encourage programs and policies that include frank discussions on race and inclusivity. By doing so, we will come to a better understanding and open acceptance of our unique personal qualities. We accept and honor every aspect of the human experience that makes us members of a civil society.

To that end, I will request that the Board of Selectmen approve a resolution condemning the hate and violence against Asian-Pacific Americans at its regular meeting scheduled for Wednesday, March 24.

Superintendent of Schools Thomas Scarice says:

Like many of you, I felt great sorrow over the tragic events in Atlanta last week.  I made a prepared statement for the Board of Education meeting this evening.  However, after receiving a number of heartfelt emails over the weekend, I was moved to share my comments with the school community prior to the meeting.

The unspeakable act of violence in Atlanta last week was yet another reminder of the chasm between our world today, and the ideal of the world we envision.  The violent loss of life, of any life, is destructive to what we aspire to be as a nation, and to what we aim to build as neighbors.

The Westport Public Schools stands with all communities in denouncing all forms of violence, racism, and xenophobia. The commitment of our district is to embrace and respect all people, while creating inclusive school environments where all students and adults feel a strong sense of belonging, affiliation, and connection.

This work takes commitment from all levels of the school community. On behalf of the Board of Education, and the faculty and staff, I want to affirm that as we stand beside all members of our community, that we particularly show support for our brothers and sisters in the Asian American community, which has experienced a tragic increase in acts of violence and hatred.

Our district has made a strong commitment to ensuring that each and every student and adult is treated with dignity and feels an abiding sense of belonging.  We continue this work as we engage in an equity study, pushing us to confront our practices and to ensure that we are doing our part to make this a more equitable and peaceful world.

By collaborating with community groups, initiating school based equity teams, and working with our curriculum coordinators to incorporate the appropriate discussion of these topics in our classrooms, the Westport Public Schools can successfully make all those in our schools feel welcome, while preparing our students for the diversity of the modern world.

Although our flags fly at half mast in remembrance of those lost in an horrific act of violence, let us not forget that it is in the day to day work of our schools, the incremental steps we take, that we see the most profound change and progress over time.

Marpe: Celebrate Holidays Quietly — At Home

First Selectman Jim Marpe says:

2020 has obviously been a unique and challenging year in Westport, the nation, and the world. We remember those among us who have been negatively impacted by this horrible pandemic, and we send them our healing thoughts and prayers.

In their honor, I respectfully request that you enjoy Christmas and New Year’s with only those in your immediate household, foregoing travel and large gatherings. Instead, I encourage you to stay safe and stay at home. By doing so, I’m confident that by this time next year, we’ll again be able to gather together in person to recall, rejoice and reaffirm our holiday traditions.

This Christmas season, I wish you the calm and peace that is at the heart of good will and generous spirits.

(Card created by Bonnie Marcus)

And this year in particular, I hope that you have the chance to slow down and thoughtfully reflect on the true meaning of this time in our collective human experience. To quietly celebrate, and to rest. Perhaps take the opportunity to initiate new traditions in your family.

And to reach out – virtually or physical distanced – to a neighbor, relative or friend who may be alone, in need, or less fortunate. Remember, small acts of kindness can have a huge impact.

However you choose to celebrate and worship this year, on behalf of the town of Westport, I wish you a happy and joyful holiday season with your immediate family.

Please continue to be healthy and safe. The proactive behaviors that you take today will insure that our families, friends and neighbors will be here to happily celebrate what I know will be a renewed and uplifting 2021.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Marpe Urges Thanksgiving Precautions

1st Selectman Jim Marpe says:

Yesterday, Governor Lamont announced that 145 of Connecticut’s 169 municipalities are in the red zone alert level, the highest of the state’s 4 alert levels on the weekly COVID-19 Alert Map.  This indicates municipalities with an average daily COVID-19 case rate over the last 2 weeks of more than 15 per 100,000 population.

This week Westport is calculated at 33 cases out of a population of 100,000, compared to 22.4 cases last week.

According to the CDC, more than 1 million COVID-19 cases were reported in the United States over the last 7 days. This is alarming, and demonstrates that we must remain vigilant. We must anticipate that cases will continue to spread as individuals travel, return home from college, gather and shop in the weeks ahead. Wearing masks, social distancing and avoiding gatherings is a must if we are to control this pandemic.

This year, many traditional activities surrounding Thanksgiving and the upcoming holidays have the potential to threaten our health and safety. I urge all residents to refrain from typical large holiday gatherings.

This Stevan Dohanos Saturday Evening Post cover — modeled on a Long Lots Road home — shows a scene that (for many reasons) will not be repeated this year.

As of November 6, the statewide cap on gathering in private residences is 10, down from 25. Please keep your Thanksgiving celebration to no more than 10, and preferably celebrate at home only with the people with whom you live. Gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase the chances of contracting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu.

Avoid crowds on Black Friday, or prepare for strict adherence to the 50% capacity rule at retail stores. Consider Cyber Monday as an alternative. Always maintain a 6-foot distance from others, and wear a face covering.

Review the CDC and state Department of Public Health guidelines for the Thanksgiving holiday, including traveling, gathering, and alternatives to gathering and protocols for college students returning to or visiting Connecticut:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/thanksgiving.html

https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/Covid-19-Knowledge-Base/Holiday-Guidance

Testing

For information on testing sites, please click here for a list of local test sites, or click here for the state-wide listing.

If you have a pending test due either to symptoms of COVID or exposure to COVID, please refrain from going out into the community until you have received results.

St. Vincent’s Health Center is one of several places offerin COVID-19 tests. (Photo/Adam Stolpen)

Winter Sports

Much of the increase in COVID cases and the resulting school closures are a result of gatherings, parties and sports team activities. Effective Monday (November 23), the governor has ordered all club and team sports, including CIAC sports, to postpone all organized events until January 19.

Schools

Staples High School, and Bedford and Coleytown Middle Schools, are on distanced learning through the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Westport Public School Superintendent Tom Scarice and I remind everyone that the ability for our schools to remain open for in-person learning depends primarily on the actions of our entire population. We continue to urge all to follow the appropriate protocols so that our community can remain open, but safe.