GREENWICH – For much of the world, Greenwich is an enclave of the rich and powerful, the benchmark for Connecticut’s “Gold Coast.” For satirists, it is a target for their humor.

“We wanted to be 100% clear that everyone belongs in our neighborhood,” a fictional Greenwichite states in the article. “As long as you have the type of down payment that only comes from inherited wealth, of course. But that’s a technical detail.

According to the article, another city resident in makeup has two signs outside her Greenwich home that read “In this house, Black Lives Matter, no humans are illegal, and love is love” and ” This neighborhood is closely monitored by Connecticut Police.

Sarah Pappalardo, editor and co-founder of Reductress, said the article aimed to highlight the hypocrisy that exists not just in Greenwich, but in communities across the country.

“There are plenty of well-meaning liberals in all kinds of suburbs who preach inclusiveness, yet the very structures they benefit from are inherently exclusive,” Pappalardo said. “I think that’s what contributor Sarah Cassell, who pitched this title, was ultimately looking for and executed very well. Obviously, we respect anyone who at least tries, but hopefully we can make fun of people who don’t always practice what they preach when it comes to NIMBYism or support for restrictive building codes and practices.

Reductress is based in New York and Pappalardo said Greenwich “is just one of the most iconic affluent suburbs that come to mind in the area.”

But, she added, “many other cities in the tri-state area and across the country fit those criteria just as well. Don’t worry, it’s not just Greenwich.

The item was shared on social media by Washington Post columnist Taylor Lorenz, who grew up in the city and graduated from Greenwich High School. She told Greenwich Time that she “had a good laugh” reading it.

“I feel extremely privileged to have grown up in Old Greenwich, but you can’t deny that the whole town is full of glaring contradictions,” Lorenz said. “Greenwich is a bit like your old, rich, out-of-touch uncle who wants change, but isn’t really willing to sacrifice anything or jeopardize his place at the top to get it.”

From his experience growing up in the city, “Greenwich is full of extremely wealthy people who are happy to engage in performative activism, but when the rubber meets the road they won’t support the real politics needed to effect change. “, she said. . “As someone who cares a lot about social progress, I didn’t find Greenwich to be a very open-minded or inclusive place growing up. There was a ton of racism, classism and general elitism.

Lorenz said she was a regular reader of Reductress and said a friend from Greenwich sent her the article. It was the topic of discussion the following day during a group chat with friends from the area, she said.

“We were all laughing a lot because we all knew people like that growing up, and I think the play is about a deeper divide in society right now,” Lorenz said.

But first Greenwich manager Fred Camillo said the Greenwich jokes popped up ‘again and again and again’ and he said they didn’t take into account the number of Greenwich students taking part in the free lunch scheme and reduced or residents who are classified. as having limited assets and limited but employed income, a designation known as ALICE, who could be one missed paycheck away from financial disaster.

And he also pointed to all the residents who live in affordable housing in the city, what members of his own family have done, and its “diverse working-class neighborhoods.”

“People throw these things out there all the time because it’s something that resonates with other jurisdictions that view the city as super rich and indifferent,” Camillo said. “Yes, we have very wealthy people here, but a significant portion of this population is very civic-minded and helps the city with donations, civic involvement and equity. It’s a very generous and very, very diverse city. You can go pick the houses featured in this article, and we have some expensive properties, but I could take that person around Greenwich with me and I’m sure they’d be very surprised.

Camillo said it’s not about not having a sense of humor, it’s about letting people see what Greenwich is really like.

“You never want to complain or complain and say you’re the victim,” Camillo said. “I’m not suggesting that here. What I’m saying is I’ve seen articles like this and I’ve heard what other people say about Greenwich over and over and it gets old. It’s really getting old. Growing up here, yes, I’m a bit more protective of the city because I’ve seen how diverse it is and how generous it is. I saw how we take care of each other…

“You can laugh at yourself. He’s a healthy person who can laugh at himself — my dad always told me that — and I think people here have a sense of humor. But these articles are not entirely trivial. They are meant to sting. They are meant to hurt and they are wrong,” he said.

Camillo cited the work of Greenwich Communities, the city’s social services department, nonprofits like Jewish Family Services and Neighbor to Neighbor, and city organizations like the Knights of Columbus who “always do things for people.” less fortunate.

Lorenz agreed that “Greenwich is in many ways a more diverse city than people realize. It’s certainly not all the kind of people who think a banana costs $10she said, referring to a popular meme based on a clip from the Emmy-winning comedy “Arrested Development.” “But I think the Reductress article made everyone laugh because the contradictions it talks about are alive and well.”

Camillo and the bipartisan City State delegation all expressed strong support for Greenwich Communities, which builds and operates affordable and seniors housing, and the newly created Housing Trust Fund, which has was created to raise private funds for incentives to developers who create or renovate affordable housing. units.

State lawmakers joined Camillo in calling for reform of the state’s 8-30g law, which requires municipalities across the state to designate at least 10% of their housing stock as affordable. Camillo, along with other city officials, said this is an issue best handled locally and not through mandates from Hartford.

But for Nick Abbott, a city resident and member of the advocacy group Desegregate CT, which lobbies for municipalities to provide more affordable housing near public transit, the article cuts to the chase.

“The Republicans and Democrats I met in Greenwich expressed a desire to welcome people of all races and backgrounds and to welcome refugees,” Abbott said. “I think it’s done in good faith. I don’t think they’re being dishonest and the people of Greenwich are so welcoming. But where I think there’s a disconnect is between this profession of openness and housing policies in Greenwich which make it virtually impossible for many communities, especially those with low or even moderate incomes, to be able to afford to live in the city”.

Camillo added that he felt the criticism coming from Abbott was hypocritical.

“They grew up wealthy in this town and they turn around and say we’re a bigoted town,” Camillo said. “(Abbott) lives in a part of town that is not threatened by overdevelopment. It’s hypocritical, don’t you think? He doesn’t know what he’s talking about and I’m offended by this portrayal of our city.

But Abbott said there was an app with an 8-30g development planned for King Street near his home and said he strongly supported it.

“As someone who has grown up and is now looking for their own place in Greenwich, I would love to be able to live close to Greenwich town centre, either in one of these proposed new developments or right next to it,” Abbott said. . “I think they make the city a lot better.”

[email protected]