On Tuesday, I attended an event at the Bridgeport (CT) Department Of Labor, after a friend mentioned that Senators Anthony Musto (Bridgeport, Monroe and Trumbull) and Andres Ayala, Jr. (Bridgeport and Stratford) would be present.
Political affiliation was irrelevant, as was the topic. What peaked my interest was the opportunity to take photos. However, as I listened to the audience, I recognized the importance of what I was surrounded by; how the economy is affecting my friends and neighbors, and the impact it is having on each of us.
The WorkPlace's Mortgage Crisis Training Program, was intended to provide foreclosure information, counseling and assistance; these people were anguished.
There was fear. There was struggling. There was suffering. It was all happening right under my nose.
Reading about it is one thing. Knowing people who have discussed it in my presence is something else. But, none of that was able to do what attending this event had accomplished; impressing upon me the dire anxiety and distress that people are suffering, today.
Joe Carbone, president and CEO of The Workplace, recounted an experience of how he met a man who was crying because he had to tell his children that they would have to move, the next day. The man struggled with the effects it would have on those who were most precious to him, and Mr. Carbone wanted to impress upon us just why he and his organization are so adamant in their efforts.
Mr. Carbone, let me tell you that your story started to open my eyes!
One at a time, homeowners voiced their opinions and concerns, finishing what he had started.
These weren't people who wanted a free ride on society's dime. They were hard workers who were becoming casualties of the economy in Southwestern Connecticut and places just like it, all over the country. These were professionals, teachers, factory-workers... the list goes on. Many had worked for their employers for more than 20 years. They raised families.
I listened. I learned.
Eventually, Senator Musto, accompanied by State Representative Christina Ayala (128th Assembly District - Bridgeport), stood to address the public. Senator Ayala arrived late, siting voting responsibilities for his delay.
After the presentation, I spoke to both senators and Mr. Carbone. (Ms. Ayala shook my hand and invited me to call her "Christina", as she rushed off.)
Aside, I asked Senator Musto if he would grant me an interview to discus the housing issues that his district faces. He took my information, hopefully with the intent to visit this blog to vet me, before reaching out.
As you might imagine, I would be surprised if he called. That doesn't mean that I'm not hopeful.
I also took the opportunity to thank Mr. Carbone for his efforts, as he offered me his card and an invitation to reach out to him.
As we spoke, Senator Ayala greeted me. He too gave me his card, inviting me to reach out to him. I will, but aware of how busy politicians tend to be, again I don't know what kind of reaction to expect, if any.
Let's see what happens, next.