connecticut in color

Connecticut In Color: South Windsor's First Black Council Member Sworn-In

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For the first time in South Windsor's history, there is an African American man serving on the town council.

Steven King Jr. became South Windsor's first Black council member on Monday evening which means you can now add his name to the town's history books.

"It's a humbling experience," said King. "Obviously it is historic and archival probably from a town perspective and so I'm excited about the opportunity."

King is used to serving the people. Before Monday, King served on two town commissions which he said was a valuable experience.

"It did prepare me to say OK the people that are in this they really care and so as long as I have the same type of mentality we can do some good things," said King.

Newly Appointed Council Member, Steven King Jr. (above).

One of King's strongest supporters is South Windsor's Mayor Andrew Paterna.

"I'm looking forward to all the number of hours of work he's going to put in and the energy he brings to this position and his experience," said Mayor Paterna.

Through the last year, the town has tried to take bold steps to increase diversity and inclusion.

So far, the municipality has declared racism as a public health crisis, established a Black lives matter subcommittee and the Board of Education has hired a diversity and inclusion staff member and developed an equity council.

"It's not enough to just sit in a meeting room and talk about diversity, we have to step out and show by our actions," said Paterna.

King also mentioned that he has three focuses during his appointed term: work to implement recreational activities for kids, continue to work on the fair housing policies already established in the town and work with other councilmembers to ensure there are diverse candidates coming in for town positions and businesses looking to come to South Windsor.

Steven King Jr. (middle) along with his family during his swearing-in ceremony. Sofia (left), Cam (Center), Roman (right).

King believes the town is headed in the right direction and hopes his appointment opens up the door for more people of color to be in leadership positions.

"I just think that if we continue to put in the work now, it's just going to provide opportunities for everybody in the future," said King. "It's not just about me, it's about advancing as one, it's about saying we're the town of South Windsor and we have to move forward as one."

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