BRISTOL - A portrait of the cityâ€™s first female mayor, Ellen Zoppo-Sassu, now hangs in the council chambers beside the portraits of her many male predecessors.
Current and former city officials, along with members of the public, filled the council chambers Tuesday night to witness the unveiling of the portrait.
While standing next to young girls that helped on her campaign, Zoppo-Sassu explained that the unveiling of her portrait was not only to signify the change in administration.
More importantly, she said, it indicates the future role of women in the cityâ€™s government and to have the young girls that helped her make it into office be a part of the cityâ€™s â€śmilestone.â€ť
â€śWhen I first got elected, I realized how much this meant to so many of the younger girls who had volunteered on the campaign,â€ť she said. â€śWe really wanted to make it a milestone event to kind of mark that point in history for people who were such a great part of the campaign, and who helped get me to here.
â€śI have all these great young ladies who have been here through the campaign, through our backyard cabinet, and have really shown an interest in what weâ€™ve done and I really think have a bright future,â€ť she added.
Before the portrait was unveiled and as Zoppo-Sassu held a picture of herself at the age of 10 when she began to attend City Council meetings with her father, she touched upon the history, connections and lessons learned from many of the past mayors.
Zoppo-Sassu then pointed out to all that were in attendance that 21 of the 22 portraits on the wall are of men just before her portrait was revealed and attendees were jubilant and cheered. However, they noticed that being the only portrait of a female was not the only thing that set it apart from the rest.
Zoppo-Sassu looked to the right in her portrait, which was unlike the majority of other mayors who looked to the left in their portraits.
â€śWhat I like to take from that, is Iâ€™m looking forward to have a lot more female mayors follow me on this wall,â€ť she said.
Lorenzo Burgio can be reached at 860-973-5088 or by email at email@example.com.