STAMFORD, Conn. -- State Rep. and Democratic candidate for mayor William Tong (D-147) met with women at six stops in Stamford to listen and talk to them about top issues, including education, small businesses and social services.
The day -- which featured “women in pink” visibility on some of the city’s busiest streets, including Bulls Head, High Ridge Road and the train station -- is the fifth in a six-week tour devoted to Tong's "Stamford 2020" plan.
The day was created at the suggestion of "Women for Tong," a coalition of more than 100 women, including former House Speaker Moira Lyons; state Rep. Patricia Billie Miller; Board of Finance member Mary Lou Rinaldi; Jackie Heftman and Susan Nabel, former Board of Education members; and Carmen Domonkos, former president of the Board of Representatives.
At his first stop at Parkway Diner, owned by Lushe Gjuraj, Tong met with a group of women business leaders and entrepreneurs and talked about how, as mayor, he could help to create a better environment for startup businesses and job creation.
Fran Pastore, CEO of the Women’s Business Development Council, said the state’s women-owned businesses generate $30 billion in annual revenue but that Connecticut ranks 22 in the growth of these businesses nationwide, according to a statement from the Tong campaign.
Among the ideas Tong discussed are a database of women- and minority-owned businesses to assist in receiving government contracts to grow their businesses; partnerships with state and other local efforts; leveraging the talent of female executives in government; and serving as a stronger voice to inform women about resources and opportunities to grow their businesses.
“If the mayor doesn’t advocate and simplify access to resources for our citizens, how will they know what’s available to them?” Tong said in a statement.
Tong’s next stop was at Mill River Park, where he listened to mothers and talked about his plans to improve public safety and increase capacity in our schools.
At lunch, Tong addressed a group of senior women at the Over 60 Club along with Carmen Domonokos, past chair of the Senior Services of Stamford.
Tong also visited the Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling and Education Center. Then, joined by spiritual leaders the Rev. Kate Heichler and Mary Spell, he served dinner at the Shelter for the Homeless.
Tong concluded the day with a community dinner at El Maya Restaurant, owned by Maria Sandovol. The dinner was hosted by community leaders Beatrice Chodosh, Eva Padilla and Miriam Matos.