Two Years After Superstorm Sandy, Tony Hwang Still Inspired by Volunteers

Two Years After Superstorm Sandy, Tony Hwang Still Inspired by Volunteers

If we could travel back in time two years ago from today, hundreds of thousands of us were without power and thousands had been displaced from their homes as our state woke up to one of the worst natural disasters our region has ever experienced. Superstorm Sandy’s unprecedented destruction became a reality most of us would care to forget and just as soon never see again.

Yet in that moment of darkness we also saw some of the brightest spots of humanity right here in our own community. We witnessed neighbors helping neighbors, organizations coming to the aid of those in need, and our first responders working around the clock to ensure our safety. There were so many acts of kindness that some may never even be known beyond the people on the receiving end of those who gave so selflessly.

As I reflect on those harrowing days of Sandy’s aftermath, I am overtaken by an incredible sense of pride for our community. The positive power of volunteerism was on display everywhere, but perhaps nowhere more evident than along Fairfield’s storm-ravaged coast.

What started as a few people’s way of helping evolved into an awesome movement to clean and rebuild our community, made possible by the hard work and generous hearts of hundreds of volunteers. I had the honor of participating in that cleanup effort, and I am still amazed at what we accomplished together.

As I wrote two years ago in an op-ed published by the Connecticut Post, “Let us remember the indomitable spirit of the Fairfield Beach cleanup and apply it to our legislative process. It is what makes us special as a community – practicing the premises of ‘service above self’ and ‘thinking globally and acting locally’.”

I have sought to live by those words in my daily life and, for the past two years since Sandy, as your state representative. I believe that in doing so, we have much to be proud of. We brought about greater accountability to our utility companies, we refined our emergency response plans, and many homes have been made some stronger and others rebuilt.

We still have much more work to do, though. Many of our neighbors’ lives have not returned to normal as they await the funds needed to rebuild their homes, and the Penfield Pavilion, a beloved landmark that would usually come to life each summer, remains closed.

Rest assured, I will continue to help those still recovering from Sandy and I won’t stop until every resident is back in their home and our great towns are back to normal.

My commitment to our community has certainly only grown since Sandy, and it is my dedication to public service that has motivated me to do more by running to be your state Senator.

I hope I have earned your vote. More importantly, I hope you too are still inspired by the outpouring of support we saw after Sandy, and that you also act on that by continuing to give back to this wonderful community we call home.

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