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Local Leaders From Across U.S. Met In Bridgeport For Women In Municipal Government And Hispanic Elected Local Officials

Local Leaders From Across U.S. Met In Bridgeport For Women In Municipal Government And Hispanic Elected Local Officials

CT Post, August 2, 2019

By CCM staff

More than 75 mayors, councilmembers and other local leaders from across the United States were in Bridgeport from July 24 through July 27 for the national summer meeting  of the Women and Hispanic Caucuses of the National League of Cities (NLC).  The meeting is taking place at the Holiday Inn on Main Street in downtown Bridgeport.  

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) worked closely with the City of Bridgeport and National League of Cities to coordinate this important summer meeting.

Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz and Secretary of the State Denise Merrill also addressed the meeting attendees.

A schedule of intensive, hands-on workshops took place over the three days on a wide range of issues, such as race equity and inclusion; the role of local government in developing healthy children; preparing for the 2020 U.S. Census; paid family leave in the municipal workplace; immigration policy at the local level, bringing government attention to women’s issues; combatting violence against women and the #MeToo movement; latino empowerment, the local housing crisis and much more.   

Two Bridgeport leaders serve back to top

Bridgeport City Clerk Lydia Martinez, leads the Hispanic Elected Local Officials (HELO) Caucus and Bridgeport City Council leader AmyMarie Vizzo-Paniccia leads the Women in Municipal Government (WIMG) Caucus.

HELO is a network and caucus aimed at giving a voice to Hispanic and Latino officials. The group has been around since 1976, and they develop policy and discuss issues directly affecting Hispanic and Latino communities, and providing guidance to the NLC Board of Directors.  WIMG is similar to HELO as a constituency group, and has roots that go back to 1974, becoming part of NLC in 1979. WIMG aims to raise awareness about issues of concern to women. In addition to giving a voice to women who already have been elected.

“This annual summer meeting brought together women in local government to share their experience, strengthen their skills and expand their network, and meet other women leaders -- while exploring the great city of Bridgeport,” Vizzo-Paniccia emphasized.

“Hispanic and Latino members come from all across America,”  noted Martinez. “From Bridgeport, Connecticut to Mesa, Arizona each member brings a unique experience and point of view to the caucus. When members meet, they discuss the challenges they face, they ways they overcame them and the work they're doing to improve their communities.”