To the Editor:
The definition of “grass roots” according to the Webster Dictionary is “the common or ordinary people, especially as contrasted with the leadership or elite of a political party, social organization, etc.; the rank and file.”
Like many, I was born and raised here in Bristol. Like many, my family and friends have been watching our town over the last four years remain stagnant while surrounding towns are thriving, where education is valued, where elected public officials are held to a higher standard and lead by example.
For these reasons and many more, I decided that watching by the sidelines wasn’t going to make a difference or positive change, so I picked up my phone and called Ellen Zoppo Sassu and I asked her to meet me for a cup of coffee.
I learned that she has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Providence College and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Connecticut. In fact, she is trained to be a city manager.
Ellen is married to Peter Sassu who is a Bristol Police and resource officer at Bristol Eastern High School. Together, they have three children – Michaela, Zack and Carson. They have an adorable chocolate lab named Jeter, whose bark is mighty loud but truly a gentle giant. She is an outstanding cook and when she has free time to herself which is rare, Ellen likes to sit on her porch with a Starbucks coffee and a good book in hand.
While working full time and raising her family, Ellen is an active member and volunteer in our community, she is devoted to public service and a mentor.
As a city councilor, Ellen was a consistent advocate for quality schools and safe neighborhoods, she was the chair of the Ordinance Committee that wrote the property maintenance code, she created the Code Enforcement program and chaired the MBS task force and so much more.
She is the part-time development director of the Bristol Historical Society, a board member for Friends of the Bristol Animal Shelter and For Goodness Sake, Inc. the Host Family Coordinator for the Bristol Blues Baseball team and a member of St. Joseph Church, just to name a few.
Ellen demonstrates an impressive professionalism, her excellent communication skills both written and verbal allow her to connect with all kinds of people. Everyone has a seat at her table, whether it be her kitchen table or a conference table. She is efficient, detail orientated and extremely competent.
Ellen’s moral compass mirrors my own. She is honest, humble, responsible and trustworthy. Most importantly, she is kind, loyal and faithful to her family and friends.
To quote her, “I will work with everyone to build a healthy community that attracts families and businesses - a strong education system, quality public services, and an understanding that we are elected by the people to serve the people - not ourselves.”
Ellen is a leader, she is the “grass roots” of Bristol, she is my friend and mentor and I hope you will join me and support her for mayor of our town. Like many, we deserve better.
Together, we can be the positive change!