By measures of population alone, the U.S. Census Bureau reported the city went from 117,083 residents in 2000 to 129,638 in 2019. Stamford is the third largest city in the state, only 618 behind New Haven, and the city’s Department of Economic Development expected to surpass that figure in 2020. That question guided Catalyst for Connecticut; the new nonprofit dedicated to promoting more growth in lower Fairfield County. Catalyst appeared first in the public eye during a zoning board discussion in mid-December on new rules for historic preservation in the city. There, Fedeli called the nonprofit a proponent of “smart growth policies that benefit southwestern Connecticut and its local taxpayers.” Fedeli imagines Catalyst for Connecticut as a newer version of the Business Council of Fairfield County, the influential business development organization that closed in March 2020 due to the pandemic, but more geared towards the realities of now.