A longtime chairwoman of the Women’s Center in Danbury and board member of Connecticut Against Gun Violence, Glori Norwitt, was appointed to Ridgefield’s Economic and Community Development Commission (ECDC) by the Board of Selectmen in December 2019.

Norwitt, with experience as an employment attorney with a specialty in discrimination and harassment litigation, told the selectmen she’s no longer practicing law.

“Not since we moved to Connecticut,” she said. “When we moved here, our children were very young.”

She outlined her background in a letter of interest to First Selectman Rudy Marconi.

“Since moving to Ridgefield in early 2004, I have been closely engaged with the Ridgefield community in many ways,” Norwitt wrote.

“I served as a board member of Veterans Park PTA and organized many VP events; coached both youth soccer and softball; was a crisis hotline volunteer for the Women’s Center of Greater Danbury, and subsequently have served on the board and became board chairman for the last eight years; currently serve as an advisory council member of Ms. President US, and currently am a board member and chair of the governance committee of CT Against Gun Violence.

“Through many of these activities, I have closely coordinated with local state and federal officials, including spending time in Hartford to secure support for a wide variety of initiatives.”

Through the women’s center, Norwitt said, she’s been helping “women and children facing crisis.”

She added, “I’m stepping down as chair of the women’s center.”

Cultural districts

Chatting with the selectmen about the ECDC’s work, she expressed interest in a bill passed recently by the state legislature, advanced by Ridgefield State Rep. John Frey and State Sen. Will Haskell, allowing municipalities to create cultural districts.

“It definitely will help our town and towns in and throughout the state,” she said.

From Ridgefield’s point of view, a cultural district, backed by promotion that the state’s tourism office regularly undertakes, could be a real benefit, she said.

“People will know about ACT, or The Playhouse,” she said, but a cultural district could be “something that made Ridgefield a bigger destination for a longer period of time.”

She added, “We have so many arts destinations, so many locations in town … If you live in New York City, come for the whole weekend!”

Norwitt said she’s interested in the work of the ECDC, which she has been following closely.

“I’ve read about it in the paper a lot, and looked at the website,” she said.”...I have friends who are local business owners.”

Legal background

Norwitt had worked as an employment lawyer for Paul Hastings LLC in both Los Angeles and overseas in Hong Kong. In addition to discrimination and harassment work, Norwitt said she’d “counseled clients on a wide range of human resources issues such as discipline and termination, and employment policies, contract and handbooks.”

Norwitt got her law degree from the University of Southern California Law School after graduating from the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in communication.

“If I am appointed as an ECDC commissioner,” she told the selectmen.

“I look forward to assisting the town and local businesses and organizations with promotion and project support.”

She spoke to the selectmen at their Dec. 11 meeting, and was appointed on a motion by Selectman Bob Hebert, seconded by Maureen Kozlark.

They were joined by First Selectman Marconi and Selectman Sean Connelly in the 4-to-0 vote to appoint her.