Waterbury needs Neil O’Leary. And I couldn’t feel stronger about this. Shortly after I was elected to represent Waterbury in Congress, I had the opportunity to tour the Waterbury Police Activity League (PAL) with then Police Chief Neil O’Leary for the first time. At the time, I didn’t know Neil that well and was expecting a standard tour and program update. What I got was much more. Seeing the physical structures of the re-born Waterbury PAL organization was impressive, but it was Neil’s vision for transforming a neighborhood along with an entire generation of kids that really struck me that day. Not only did Neil work to build PAL up from 80 kids to 3500, he did it the right way; by bringing people together. He raised private donations, he applied for federal grants, he recruited thousands of volunteer hours. Neil inspired a neighborhood and a city to believe that PAL could be more than a sports association. This is the core of Neil – working his tail off to build stronger communities, one person at a time. As Police Chief, he used this same philosophy to help make Waterbury one of the safest cities in the country by implementing community policing and collaborating with local organizations to clean up old polluted factory sites and turn them into usable property. His hard work created new jobs for Waterbury residents and increased the cities’ tax revenue. And maybe most importantly, Neil is just a great guy. He’s a positive, fun influence on everyone around him, and he’s got a surplus of integrity. You’ll never wonder if Neil’s values are in the right place – his heart and his head serve him well. It’s the honor of my life to represent Waterbury in the United States House of Representatives, and I know that my job will be made easier by working with Mayor Neil O’Leary.
Christopher MurphyU.S. Senator