Tonight, September 28, 2021, Mayor Harry Rilling will appoint 10 residents to the Norwalk Commission on the Status of Women. Mayor Rilling is resurrecting the Commission to help address pressing needs in the community. He will be appointing the following women, who are all subject to Common Council approval:
Sharon R. Baanante, Chantal Coffy, Anna Keegan, Shannon O’Toole Giandurco, Jazmine Prezzie, Sarah A. Rendon Garcia, Kristina Testa-Buzzee, Claudia Werman Connor, Ivonne Zucco, and Iliana Zuniga.
“I am honored and inspired to resurrect the Commission on the Status of Women. These are 10 amazing women of diverse backgrounds, ages, races, ethnicities, and lived experiences. They represent Norwalk and have so much to offer,” Mayor Rilling said. “From women’s suffrage to Me Too, women have raised their voices and used their collective power to bring about important change. I know putting this group together is going to make a lasting impact for our community.”
While many of the City’s goals, priorities, and achievements benefit women and girls in Norwalk, the Commission will solely focus on improving the lives of Norwalk women. The National Women’s Law Center recently announced that based on current job growth reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it would take women nine years to regain the jobs they lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Women were hit disproportionately hard by COVID-19, and as we emerge from the pandemic, the time is right for this Commission to be reinstated. While we have made great strides, the fight for gender equality continues. These women are going to be real leaders and partners for my administration and our entire community,” Mayor Rilling said.
The Commission was first created in the late 1980s but unfortunately, several years later, after participation waned, the Commission disbanded. The Commission on the Status of Women will be staffed by Maria Escalera, Director of Human Services for the City of Norwalk.
A special swearing-in ceremony of the new Commissioners will take place at 10 a.m. on Friday, October 1, outside of Norwalk City Hall. Members of the public are invited to attend.