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Letter: Support for Adrienne Billings-Smith

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To the Editor,

I wanted to take a moment to endorse and advocate for a new candidate for Town Council in West Hartford. Adrienne “Ace” Billings-Smith will be on the ballot on November 2nd, and I know our town will be much better off with her in leadership here.

I met Adrienne after she founded Concerned Parents of Color of West Hartford. When I learned of the group, I immediately reached out to her. We met for the first time during COVID – carrying our own coffee and our own chairs, we sat outside on Unity Green to chat about our experiences and learn from each other. What I noted immediately was Adrienne’s confidence and her desire to be active in the community rather than talk about change. She was working on initiatives to create equity in our community and was willing to have difficult conversation in order to work towards positive change. I admired her right away. We started discussing opportunities to get involved, and Ace immediately had ideas and started making email introductions. It takes a special person to recognize how to create connections between people, highlighting each individual’s strengths and exploring how people can benefit from each other in community.

We worked together on the high school curriculum group, and I learned very quickly that Ace is extremely intelligent, very passionate, and has an insane ability to bring people together to work collaboratively towards a goal. In the short amount of time I have known Ace, she worked to have the green in town renamed to Unity Green (so that it no longer memorializes a slaveholder), organized the Juneteenth celebration in West Hartford, and helped to coordinate the beautiful mural on the side of Noah Webster library. But, behind this very public persona, Ace knows how to truly connect with people, understanding individual experiences and personally taking time to get to know her fellow residents. This is one of her most truly unique qualities and is so important for a person in leadership.

In the past year-and-a-half that I have known Adrienne, I have been in awe of her passion, her tirelessness, and her perseverance to better our community with one act of service at a time. Additionally, as an attorney, she possesses the skills required of a Town Council member – she is organized, analytical, detail-oriented and a great communicator. As a member of Town Council, I know that she will not only use her own voice for positive change, she will actively listen to the needs of her constituents to help make the best decisions for the Town and Community. As Ace always says, we all need to “pick up our rock,” and I believe a vote for Ace is one small way we can all move in the right direction. She will definitely have my vote on November 2nd.

Nadia Kachwaha
West Hartford

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