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Latinos Throw Support Behind Rilling

Pena, local leaders say Moccia administration not up to task

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Norwalk, CT | Added on October 23, 2013 At 03:38 PM

Just a day after the Democratic party rallied behind Harry Rilling, so did members of Norwalk's Latino community Wednesday at Don Floro restaurant on Cedar Street.

"[Mayor Richard Moccia's] approach to the Latino community is very minimal," said councilman Warren Pena.

That was the main message Rilling and councilman Warren Pena pushed:  that current mayor Richard Moccia's administration does not do enough for Latinos.

"What I've seen is him cutting ribbons.  What I've seen is him showing up to cultural events if he has time that day," Pena said.  "That's what he says, in his perspective, is supporting the Latino community."

Rilling said the Latino community needed somebody who would "understand the Latino culture, the Latino needs."

Nathalia Gonzalez owns a business on Cedar Street, which is currently seeing a lot of road work.  She says when construction started in late September, the neighborhood was never informed it would happen.

"We come in one morning and we can't even get in our doors," she said.  "Some of us have gone to City Hall.  Nothing happens.  No one takes us seriously."

Pena and Rilling urged Latinos to vote if they wanted change.

"The Latino community will be heard loud and clear," Rilling said.  "And they'll be heard saying, 'We want a voice,' and we have to give them that voice."

In a phone call, Public Works Director Hal Alvord said the $1.8 million Cedar Street project had support from the neighborhood. He says DPW worked with the Golden Hill Neighborhood Association to get word out about the construction, and says DPW had no reason to think residents were not being informed.

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