Elections Government Politics

Meet the Candidate: Barry Walters

Barry Walters. Courtesy photo

We-Ha.com is offering our readers the opportunity to meet the candidates running in the Nov. 7, 2023 municipal election. 

Compiled by Ronni Newton

We-Ha.com is offering our readers the opportunity to “Meet the Candidate” – designed to help them get to know the candidates running for office in the 2023 municipal election.

Identical questionnaires have been sent to all candidates, and each profile received has been submitted directly to We-Ha.com by the candidate or the candidate’s campaign management. The responses have not been edited but have been formatted to match our publication style. Questions left blank have been deleted.

As profiles are received, they will be published on We-Ha.com under the “Government” tab. We-Ha.com is not making endorsements of any political candidates but we are publishing this information in order to assist voters in being informed and prepared when they go to the polls on Nov. 7.

If you are a candidate and wish to submit a profile, please return it by email to Ronni Newton at [email protected] as soon as possible.


Name: Barry Walters

Party affiliation: Democrat

Family information: I have a partner of 27 years and together, we have a now 17-year-old son.

Primary occupation: Director of External Communication and Policy with APNH: A Place to Nourish your Health (formerly AIDS Project New Haven)

Previous political experience: I am a member of the West Hartford Democratic Town Committee and serve as a District Chair. For the Town of West Hartford, I was appointed positions to the West Hartford Human Rights Commission where I served two terms and was a Co-Chair. More recently, I was appointed as a West Hartford Council Zoning Alternate – an appointment that has provided opportunity to fill in for a Town Councilor and consider and decide important zoning issues.

Other relevant experience that may be related to your desire to serve the community, and further qualifies you for the office you are seeking: In my position with APNH, I have worked with the CT Dept of Public Health, local advocacy groups and Federal and State Legislators to improve access to prevention and care and work towards eliminating disparities. In 2022, I successfully worked with the State Legislature to pass legislation that expanded access to HIV testing.

Why are you running for office? I believe I can bring a pragmatic approach to the issues that face our community. As a parent, I want to see that the vision of an inclusive community is realized for not just my son but for all our children. I believe it is important to have a council that represents all persons in our community.

There have recently been numerous residential and commercial developments considered by the Town Council, and there are others in the pipeline. What is your overall opinion of the pace of development in West Hartford? The pace of new construction of residential and commercial properties has thus far been measured and with intent. West Hartford has not opened the town to rampant development but rather provided opportunities to expand our housing types, fill a pent-up demand for housing and increase our Grand List. Change is often difficult but when done correctly, growth will add to the positive sense of place that is so important to West Hartford.

What issue(s) are your primary area of focus? There are several issues that I would like to focus upon. Those include managing West Hartford’s growth with innovation, best practices and with consideration of all persons who may call and want to call West Hartford home. Related, I wish to see the Town pursue affordable housing options that build upon the values our town possesses. Response to and planning for climate change is of extreme importance. Infrastructure including but not limited to stormwater management will be vital to our town’s future.

What do you feel is the biggest challenge facing West Hartford today, and how do you plan to address it if elected? A big challenge that West Hartford faces is an aging infrastructure. Our stormwater management system is overburdened because of age, design and extreme rainfall events that have become commonplace. In addition, some of our roads, bridges, and public buildings are outdated and in need of upgrades or replacement. Some of those upgrades have already begun but more will be needed. Resources to make these upgrades will be scarce and the Town will need to balance cost and need with our availability to pay.

What do you feel differentiates you from the candidates from other parties also running for this position? I will bring a pragmatic approach to problem solving and will celebrate our community successes. I believe and will work diligently so that West Hartford will be even more so, a place for all people to feel safe and have a sense of belonging regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexuality, ability, or socio-economic status.

Anything else you would like to share relevant to earning votes on Nov. 7? I have valued my role as a community builder, a pragmatist and a person who strives to improve the condition of marginalized persons in the community. I believe I can bring those roles to the West Hartford Town Council to build upon our successes and address our challenges. Thank you!

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