Portia Bordelon – Town Council

Portia Bordelon

I am a 41 year-old Medical Assistant and mother of two children in the community, a longtime Groton resident and active member of the Democratic Party. I’ve been an elected representative for just about four years. I was elected to the RTM in 2017, appointed to fill a vacancy on the Town Council in 2019 and elected to that seat later that same year. Since I’ve been on the council, I have served on the Public Safety Committee, Long Term Recovery Committee, the Athletic Fields Task Force, and the Short Term Rental Task Force. Outside of public office, I also serve as a board member for Noank Community Support Services, an organization that provides support for families and children of the region who are in need.

As a Town Councilor, my primary duty is to uplift the voices of my constituents and give back to the community where I was raised and where I chose to raise my children. With so much at stake in our community, now, more than ever, we need to engage thoughtfully and critically. Re-election to the council would provide the opportunity for me to come back with more experience to help move the town forward in a positive direction. I have great care and concern for our most vulnerable constituents: seniors, students, youth, active service members, veterans and people with disabilities – especially in regard to the developing COVID situation. It is vital for the council to consider the interests and needs of every district in the town in an equitable and empathetic manner.

While it can be good for elected officials to have items they want to address or ideas they want to promote, the primary responsibility of any elected official is to serve as a conduit for citizens’ concerns and facilitate community conversation in a constructive manner. That being said, I am all for equitable education opportunities along with environmentally responsible, sustainable and community-rooted economic development. I’m interested in doing whatever I can to help foster a culture of inclusion, equity and progress for Groton, as well as representing a full range of the diversity in thought that exists in this town.

I’d like to see the restoration of citizens’ petitions to twice a month, at each regular Town Council Meeting, as it once was before. The Council needs to be more open and interactive with the public on a more frequent basis which will help keep the lines of communication flowing smoothly. It is essential that we minimize any sense of disconnect that might develop between the Town Council and the community we are responsible for representing.

I’d like to see more rigorous inclusion of community input in the initial planning phases of development. I’m also very concerned with ensuring the Long Term Recovery Funds will be allocated and invested across town in an equitable, empathetic and accessible manner.

Through hard experience, I’ve learned the value of advocating for one’s self and the constant vigilance that it requires. There is a tenacity, stamina, and rigorous attention to detail needed — along with a willingness to consider and prepare for possible worst-case scenarios when contemplating choices in course of action.

These qualities, along with the other perspectives, experiences, skill sets and knowledge bases from other members of the community who are elected to serve as representatives, are greatly needed in local government. Good representation resembles a mosaic art piece, constructed of many seemingly disjointed pieces jumbled together until a person shifts their perspective to a certain distance and can see how the individual pieces form something more substantial.

As we all wrestle with the impacts of climate change, COVID and evolutions in social awareness, it is important for Groton to maintain an ongoing, healthy, cooperative discourse and relationship with other municipalities in the region.