Following a legal opinion from the Office of the City Attorney declaring the City Council has the authority to fill the vacant seat in the 132nd District due to the death of Evette Brantley, leaders of The Greater Bridgeport Ed Gomes Black Democratic Club share this statement.
There’s a right and a wrong way to do things. Why, Bridgeport, when presented with an opportunity to make the right decision in the best interest of our community, do we sit back and allow career politicians and beholden City employees to dictate the process and control the narrative? Such ongoing complicity contributes to the demise of our City and does NOT support the greater good of ALL residents.
When Mary Evette Brantley passed away recently, the City of Bridgeport lost a long-serving, dedicated public servant. Since entering politics in 1991, Brantley beat the pavement, knocking on doors, shaking hands and talking to the residents in her district. She EARNED her seat on the Council after every election. She had just won reelection not long before her death but perished before she was to be sworn in on December 1.
Now, the City Attorney has issued a legal opinion that her seat can be filled by a simple vote of the City Council, with the Mayor casting a tie vote, if necessary. In other words, the Council gets to handpick her successor rather than letting the voters decide in a special election. This is NOT a process that elected officials and City employees should be involved in. The voters in the district should be the decision makers. They have the right to be included in the process, which is supposed to be a representative democracy NOT a dictatorship. This is not right.
The Greater Bridgeport Ed Gomes Black Democratic Club is calling on Bridgeport to hold a special election to allow ALL the voters in the 132nd District decide who fills the seat.
The job of a City Council member is to enact laws that have long-term impact on the city and to have a say in the annual budget. Those are massive responsibilities. The person entrusted with them should be voted in by the people to represent ALL the people. Anything shy of that, is just not right.
In the spirit of our namesake, the late Sen. Ed Gomes, we call on the city to hold a special election and let the voters in the 132nd decide. That is the right thing to do.