SHELTON — The election of Joe Biden means new leadership, but some say it may not bring the healing many hope for in the wake of four contentious years with Donald Trump in the White House.
Mayor Mark Lauretti, in his near 30 years as the city’s mayor, said the voters turned to Biden, not because they supported the former U.S. senator and vice president, but because they “disliked Trump.”
“A 47-year career politician who didn’t get much done for people … why would it be different now?” said the Republican Lauretti, who has served as mayor during five presidential administrations — three Republicans and two Democrats.
Greg Johnson, head of the NAACP Valley branch, believes Biden’s election offers a step toward reconciliation while providing Black Americans an improved opportunity to “control their own destiny.”
“Our chances are far greater than the decisiveness 45 brought,” Johnson said of Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ move to the White House. “Biden is a seasoned politician with highs and lows. He gets it, and his VP gets it. America will heal much better under this leadership.”
Matt McGee, recent high school graduate and active member of the city’s Democratic Town Committee, said he’s pleased with the presidential outcome, he does not see Biden succeeding in bringing together a divided nation.
“I do not think Joe Biden will magically solve all our problems,” said McGee, a longtime Bernie Sanders supporter. “We will continue to be a very divided nation … but I am relieved to have someone in the White House who at the very least seems willing to listen, learn and admit when they are wrong.”
McGee said we have “all built bubbles for ourselves, and we are all terrified of those bubbles being popped.”
“Our friends look and think the same way as us,” McGee said. “Our social media feeds reflect how we already think and feel about a topic or subject. The news stations we trust and get our news from all typically tell us what we expect and want to hear.”
Johnson said the focus must now turn to discussing a new civil rights bill, 21st Fair Housing Act, a plan to abolish Pay Day loans, which he says targets Blacks, add lynching as a hate crime, and make it a crime to unnecessarily call the police on Black people.
“So much, but we can get involved this time to take control of our destiny,” Johnson said. “This begins the bridge building.”