Graphic by Jason Stein ’22
Jennifer Tooker and Andrea Moore will be sworn in as Westport’s first and second select women as of Nov. 12, 2021. After a tight race, according to Westportct.gov, the pair won by a mere 69 votes on Nov. 2, with Democrats Jonathan Steinberg and Candice Savin coming in a close second.
Coming into office, Tooker and Moore aim to address Westport students’ social and emotional health beyond school hours.
“Communities such as Westport have disproportionately high levels of anxiety, depression [and] stress within our youth,” Tooker said. “This is not a school issue; this is a community issue, and we are trying to shift the dialogue on that.”
Beyond being a voice for struggling students, Tooker plans to expand these discussions to community-wide events. One of their initiatives, Westport Together, is a community-wide project that hosts events between the Westport Public School district, nonprofits and the PTA. From forums to workshops, the pair aim to use their upcoming term to promote awareness for the positive development of local youth.
In addition to tackling mental health in schools, Tooker and Moore plan to revitalize Westport’s economy post-COVID recession. Already, Westport has begun its recovery with the opening of 30 new businesses downtown.
Using her experience in Westport’s ReOpen Advisory Team, a collaboration specialized to safely lift mitigating measures, Tooker plans to support businesses by fostering more collaboration and taking direct feedback from the community. “Through my ‘Westport Means Business’ initiative, we will continue to host panel discussions between business owners about important community-business-related topics,” Tooker said.
Recently, Tooker also launched Choose Westport, the official town website for businesses looking to come to Westport. Including everything from demographics, testimonials, and feedback on commercial real estate, the site is a one-stop-shop for all information about launching a store. As a result, Tooker aims to continue the growth in local businesses and commerce.
Beyond promoting local business, Tooker and Moore also plan to preserve open space in Westport’s many cherished parks and amenities. By maintaining areas such as Winslow Park and Sherwood Island, they aim to keep Westport clean.
When asked their favorite Westport spot, both said “Compo Beach” without hesitation. However, the Selectwomen-elects also want to bring attention to hidden gems throughout Westport.
“Baron’s South property is a small parcel of land with trails and picnic tables that not many residents know exists,” Moore said. “We really want to promote less well-known and smaller parcels of land around town and make sure our residents know they can enjoy them.”
When asked what they bring to the office, Moore said, “Deep roots into the community, ability to listen, open to talking and listening to everybody, and giving everyone a voice from here on out.”