STATEMENT FROM MAYOR LENG
"I won’t profess to understand the feelings that were felt by either Councilperson, I am not a woman, nor am I person of color. I am still actively listening and learning how to best treat people in every circumstance. Dr. Horsley apologized in writing and in person. She reflected, talked and listened to many people, acknowledged a need and made a commitment to continue to learn from this experience and to work together for the betterment of Hamden. She also doubled down on a commitment to working on the culture of equity and understanding I know Hamden strives to uphold. I think a step toward healing and moving forward is to listen to people who want to be better and who own mistakes, not to tear someone down who wants to be part of the solution. People who want to be part of the solution deserve a second chance.
Hamden has a long history of embracing diversity, but like all communities, we still have critical work to do to address systemic injustices. They exist, they are harmful and we must continue working to get better. We must be a community always actively willing to improve, to listen to one another and learn how to be better in all aspects, including treating each other with dignity and respect, even when we don’t agree. It’s so much harder for this to occur in an environment of toxicity, when racial slurs and hate speech are openly being used on social media by some against people they don’t agree with. This doesn’t have a place in Hamden. It’s wrong. It’s not the example we want to set for our kids. It’s doesn’t help us to strengthen and improve upon the inclusive community we strive to be."
-Mayor Curt Balzano Leng