In support of Jennifer Leeper

To the editor:

I am writing you to urge you to support my friend Jennifer Leeper in this falls election.

Jennifer Leeper is intelligent, dedicated and hard-working. Jennifer looks at all sides of an issue and comes up with creative policies to address problems. Her master’s degree in public policy with a focus on education made her perfect for the Board of Education, where she has served for two years.

Educated at Wellesley College (bachelor’s in political science and religion) and University of Chicago (master’s in public policy), She has worked in a high school on the west side of Chicago, then as a school administrator in the most diverse elementary school in New York City. A few years later, Jenn took a job as a policy and data analyst at the Department of Education in Hartford.

Married to Nick Leeper, a principal at RJA Asset Management, they chose to settle down in Fairfield because of the high-quality schools, greater community diversity, charming downtown, and proximity to the train. They see Fairfield as the perfect place to raise their two sons.

She has lived in our district, worked in our district and along with her husband Nick, are raising two boys in our district. She proved her worth on the Board of Education and is now ready to represent us at the state House.

I urge you to come out and vote for Jennifer Leeper this fall.

Richard Jacobs

Fairfield

Why I support Jennifer Leeper

To the editor:

The first time I ever met Jennifer Leeper was at a PTAC Board of Education candidate forum two years ago. I was particularly nervous about the election and the candidates who were going to come onto the Board of Education, but all that anxiousness melted away when Jennifer rotated over to my group, and she hadn’t even uttered a word.

She simply wanted to listen to our concerns first, and then one by one, she addressed each and every one of our issues with such warmth, composure, empathy, intelligence, and mind blowing knowledge about every one of the subjects. I just knew that as long as she was on our Board of Education, all would be well. Both my children would be beyond OK, and in particular, my son, who has special needs, would be advocated for.

And that is precisely what Jennifer did for the next two years of her term on the Board of Education. She contributed to one of the most stellar boards our town has ever seen, working in a bipartisan way to make good by all of our students, which led to the strengthening of our school system, and by extension, our town and its future, overall.

In the time that has passed since the special elections were held back in January of 2020, our world has become an entirely different place altogether. With all the unprecedented circumstances that we are currently enduring, Jennifer has stood out as an exceptional leader within our community. She has continued to listen with the utmost care, compassion and commitment, both in her capacity as a member of the Board of Education, and also as a friend.

Be it with regard to the safety of our children within our schools as this pandemic rages on, or to answering the call for the implementation of social justice and all that is fair and just in our community, and our world at large, Jennifer has thrived in taking it all on and working to achieve sound, concrete, results! Today, more than ever, I stand by her as the best candidate to represent the 132nd. She has an acumen like no other, is unbelievably knowledgeable in all matters, and would be a gift to the legislature up in Hartford.

I am hugely excited that she has been confirmed as a candidate for the 132nd district here in Fairfield. I’m even more elated that I get to vote for her. I hope you too will all support her as well during our upcoming election on Nov. 3.

Rabab Hussain Syed

Fairfield

Affordable housing will not hurt historical church

To the editor:

I am writing with regard to the proposed development at 131 Beach Road which includes affordable housing, under the provision of Connecticut General Statutes 8-30g. I strongly support the development of affordable housing which is desperately needed in our town. While there are questions about the scale of the proposed development, it is important to note that the inclusion of affordable housing is most welcome in our neighborhood.

Operation Hope began when First Church Congregational provided temporary shelter to people without homes. Today Operation Hope is an essential partner of First Church and is one of the most effective homelessness prevention programs in the state that provides scores of affordable rental units throughout Fairfield.

In light of the history, allow me to clarify that several statements which were made at the Town Planning and Zoning Hearing on 131 Beach with regard to First Church Congregational. None of the statements were made on behalf of and nor with the knowledge of the congregation and its leaders. Indeed, in some cases I would suggest that they were not consistent with the thinking and commitments of the congregation.

Yes, 131 Beach Reach “is across from the historical First Church Congregation(al) that dates its founding back to 1640.” However, the church does not feel its “historical significance will be irreparably damaged” nor that this “project is inconsistent and is potentially very damaging to the historical nature of that neighborhood and of the town.” Indeed the commitment and legacy of First Church is to provide help, housing and hope for the least among us. I would see providing for the affordable is a fulfillment of that legacy and disagree that “The legacy of those properties ... the historical significance is more important.”

I do sincerely hope that some form of the proposal will succeed, taking into account the stated concerns of neighbors, and that this property will be used to provide market rate and affordable housing and so strengthen the town’s historic legacy of caring for all its citizens.

The Reverend David W. Spollett

First Church Congregational, Fairfield