Fairfield County has the bad reputation within certain areas of Connecticut who view the county as overdeveloped and materialistic. Many view Fairfield County as a community of place that is insolated by materials and has no need for a strong community structure to influence the distribution of resources within the community. However, they would be drastically wrong. The town of Westport has very strong community power that accomplishes tasks regarding development projects, zoning, and ability to mobilize people, resources and information.
According to American FactFinder, there are approximately 26,391 people living in Westport who filled out their census in 2010. Also, according to American FactFinder, out of the 26,391 people in the town, close to 2k are high school students. When these students become seniors, there is a mandatory internship program these students must complete in order to graduate, if their GPA allows them to graduate. The internships are operated through the Westport PAL league, which stands for Police Athletic League that has the ability to influence decision-making for our towns’ parks and recreation. Through these internships, PAL exhibits political power through the ability to create situations that otherwise would not happen; for instance, the internships and the aid local businesses receive from free high school labor.
Political power is relevant in every area of place. There are various indicators to recognize political capital, like who shows for local elections and the percentage of those voting compared to the population of the town. It is essential in order to understand a community of place, to understand its political capital.
American FactFinder (December 1, 2016). Westport, CT. Retrieved from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=CF