This week marked a historic moment for the town of Wethersfield. They welcomed their first-ever Black member of the town council.
Wethersfield was settled in 1634, but 2020 will mark the first time that their town council has included a Black man. It’s a distinction Ryan Biggs said he’s proud to have and he hopes he can make a real difference for everyone in his new position.
“It shows that we’re possibly moving in the right direction to really move into diversifying our town and making this a town for all people,” said Biggs in an interview with NBC Connecticut.
Biggs was sworn in during Monday evening’s virtual town council meeting, receiving unanimous support to fill the seat being vacated by representative-elect Amy Bello.
Biggs is a husband and father of two young sons who moved to Wethersfield just under five years ago. He said he immediately wanted to become involved with town issues.
He’s also a navy reserve officer and hopes to use his seat on the council to connect veterans to benefits and services.
“Veterans are first and foremost on my heart,” he said.
He also wants to help businesses in town withstand the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wethersfield mayor Michael Rell is excited about what Biggs’ appointment represents for the community and what they can accomplish together.
“With 2020 and how it’s been a divisive year, having Ryan come in with a perspective of a gentleman of color this is great for the town of Wethersfield, this is great for the town council and we look forward to serving with him,” said Rell.
Biggs said his appointment is all about helping the community and hopefully being an example for someone else in the place he now calls home.
“I hope that whether it be students in the high school, whether it be young kids at the playscape, whether it be my two boys that I’m raising, they can look at me and say 'oh, I can be [him],'” he said.
Biggs’ is filling a term that ends in November of 2021. He said he intends to run for a full term in the office.