We hear you.
Save Westport Now (SWN) has been giving voice to the planning and zoning concerns of Westport residents for more than 40 years. As a nonpartisan organization, we have aligned ourselves with P&Z candidates, from both major political parties, who have defended historic neighborhoods from out-of-character development while promoting smart, right-sized projects, who’ve supported the rational and smart flexibility required to respond to climate-change-driven crises like Hurricane Sandy, who added to the parcels of open space that Westporters can enjoy for generations to come, who are residents with residents’ concerns like traffic congestion, environmental safety and small business viability, not developers representing their own interests (although these candidates remain sensitive to developers' commercial needs).
And we are still at it.
The P&Z candidates that we support this election cycle -- Michael Cammeyer, Neil Cohn and Danielle Dobin – have already proven that they are capable of ushering Westport into the future you want, while preserving what we love about our town.
• They led the fight to maintain municipal control over our local zoning regulations concerning multifamily development in Westport, working to prevent the state government from dictating how we plan, conserve and develop. Our community – not the state or outside developers – now decides where and how multifamily units are built in Westport.
• At the same time, they are proactively addressing housing diversity and working to expand the inventory of affordable housing opportunities in our community.
• They are protecting the environment, pushing back in court and winning against violators who damage our coastal resources with illegal projects.
• They worked collaboratively with the Board of Selectmen & DOT to improve traffic & sidewalks.
• They sparked a retail renaissance and expanded outdoor dining downtown.
• They are addressing drainage issues in Westport.
And they are doing this while dramatically changing the tone at P&Z, streamlining processes, going "green" with paperwork, and treating applicants with dignity and respect.
Learn more about the candidates below and pease vote the SWN line “E” for P&Z.
Michael serves as the elected Secretary of the P&Z. Michael is a champion for the environment, open space and improved recreational spaces on the Commission. He is spearheading stronger drainage regulations to ensure resilience to climate change even as storms become more frequent.
Michael holds a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and an MBA in Corporate Finance from Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business. He spent eleven years on Wall Street working for a large family office, and in 2010 joined his family’s Mergers and Acquisitions Healthcare business. Currently he is responsible for negotiating transactions with financial sponsors and public strategic acquirers, while being an advocate for his clients. Michael has lived in the area since 2011 with his wife Ali and their two sons. He is actively involved in the Westport soccer, lacrosse, and basketball and has held positions of Commissioner and for his sons rec and travel soccer teams. He enjoys spending time on the water in the summer and skiing in the winter.
Danielle is the elected Chair of the P&Z. Danielle founded the P&Z's Affordable Housing Subcommittee. She also co-created the P&Z Council of Chairs of Fairfield County which successfully pushed back on state efforts to broadly upzone every town in CT. She is focused on ensuring that Westport proactively addresses state mandates to create affordable housing so that Westport residents, not private developers, choose where multifamily is built, what it looks like and that quality housing for families is created. Other interests on the committee include updating Westport's regulations to ensure sustainable economic development downtown, climate change resilience and updating drainage regulations to protect neighbors.
Danielle is the go-to resource for organizations like the Westport Community Garden and Wakeman Town Farm as they work to create greenways and pollinator pathways on town owned land. She is an active community volunteer chairing ArtSmart for the PTA Council for the 3rd year, serving on the Staples Parents Music Assoc Exec Board, helping lead fundraising & outreach for the Staples Players Boosters and helping with a variety of other PTA roles. Danielle has two decades of commercial real estate and zoning experience as an attorney and investor. Danielle lives with her husband, their two teen boys and their beloved dog in the Compo/Longshore area. Danielle earned her MS in Real Estate Finance from NYU, her JD from Georgetown Law and her BA in Political Communication from the George Washington University.
Neil has spent the past 3 decades driving positive impact through financial markets and investments – and he is passionate about public service. Neil started his career at Glencore trading physical commodities. Experiencing environmental destruction across the developing world inspired Neil to co-found Natsource Asset Management, the first private sector fund focused on carbon removal and renewable energy. Currently, Neil is building out Chia Network: an eco-friendly blockchain aimed to deliver the best intentions of cryptocurrency — sustainable growth and inclusive prosperity.
Neil was an environmental advisor to Obama’s first Presidential Transition Team and has served locally on the Westport Planning and Zoning Commission since January 2018, initially as an alternate and then appointed as full commissioner. P&Z achievements include an active role on the Affordable Housing Subcommittee that was able to secure an 8-30G moratorium and establishing the P&Z’s Economic Growth Subcommittee where Neil serves as the Chair. This new committee worked collaboratively to shepherd the successful adoption of a text amendment that enables public bus shelters – a basic need that had been stalled for decades. Neil also serves on the Westport Public Arts Commission and the Westport Little League Baseball board. Neil has enjoyed living in Westport since 2012 with his wife and three kids in middle school.