‘Building A Bench In Bridgeport’–Constance Vickers Honored As Connecticut Young Dem Of Year

Vickers, Bartlett-Josie, Lewis
Constance Vickers, right, with friends Christine Bartlett-Josie, left, and Sarah Lewis.

Building a Bridgeport bench. That’s a battle cry of Constance Vickers, president of the Greater Bridgeport Young Democrats, to galvanize a new generation of city activists and leaders. The work of Vickers and her young allies enjoys some early results on the City Council. On Saturday the Connecticut Young Democrats recognized Vickers the Female Young Democrat of the Year at its annual Robert F. Kennedy Awards event. The new young blood in city politics will be active in March town committee primaries, this year’s gubernatorial/legislative cycle and next year’s mayoral races. A lot of work on the horizon.

“I am extremely humbled and honored to be named the Female Young Democrat of the year for Connecticut,” says Vickers. “While I do lead the Bridgeport chapter, this award is for the entire group and the hard work that we put in this last year to earn four municipal seats. This award is for Maria Zambrano Viggiano, Jessica Martinez, Marcus Brown, Kyle Langan, Fabio Mazo, Antonio Felipe, Lauren Gray, Rowan Kane, Gage Frank, Sarah Lewis, Phylicia Brown, Josh Dellaquila, Karla Yanez, Emily Brown, Keyairra Wright and everyone else who joined us to persist, even when we were told that it wasn’t our time, to wait our turn. I am so incredibly proud to be part of this amazing organization and for the guidance of State Reps Steve Stafstrom and Chris Rosario who consistently go above and beyond to mentor and empower the next generation of leaders. We all need to do more to build the bench here in Bridgeport and across the state, to ensure that we have quality leaders that reflect the diversity and values of their communities. I am excited for what the future holds and I can’t wait to get back to work to elect Young Democrats across the state in 2018.”

Vickers Wyman certificate

It’s been decades since city Democratic politics has experienced young interest. Sometimes it takes just a few relentless warriors toiling a message of inclusion to build a viable small organization. The staying power of the group will be tested the next few years. But it’s a welcome energy. Never tell a young person they cannot do something, right?

Saturday’s event in Middletown attracted about 200 people including many candidates for statewide office. Brian Coughlin of Hartford also received a CT Young Democrat of the Year Award.



  1. Way to go Connie, you acknowledge two men for their guidance to the Young Dems yet make no mention of a seasoned woman who, along with Lauren Gray, helped two Young Dems win seats on the CC. Pull out a black dress and join the brave, accomplished women who are willing to recognize and embrace “women power.” Frame your award, because my political gut tells me you have a lot to learn when it comes to public and political skills. Not a good way to make friends! I’ll catch you on the campaigne trail and we’ll compare our results.

    1. Lisa, her name is Constance not Connie. Congratulations Constance you are a force and always share accolades with others. Proud of you and proud to know you. 🙂

        1. Lisa, Her name is Constance. You can not address her anyway you want to or she will address you disrespectfully also, although I can not ever imagine Constance ever showing any disrespect toward anyone. That is why she is receiving accolades. Tell Bridgeport Kid to mind his own business. Me , don’t tell me to mind my own business.I don’t appreciate it. Lennie may accept the disrespect on this blog , I do not!

          1. No Steven, YOU mind YOUR own business. Speak to me directly. The smarmy passive-aggressive bullshit may play in suburbia, not here.

      1. Steven Auerbach reminds me of Frances Fisher’s character in James Cameron’s “Titanic.” you know, severely uptight and politically correct, in need of correction by a good swift kick in the ass: ” Stop that!”

  2. Congrats, Constance. Let’s celebrate you! Privileged to have worked with you and see you grow. You’ve done great work this year, and it’s only the beginning. Many more years of hard work to come!

  3. Thank you for all your work for GBYD and for young dems across the state! Really proud to call you a friend and really proud to serve with you on GBYD leadership. You’ve done so much for Bridgeport and really the entire state of CT and I look forward to continue to work with you!!

  4. Well Connie, you have about ten more of the membership of the Bridgeport Young Dems to sing your praise. I still suggest you dig into your closet and find a black outfit; join the real women who make their accomplishments without “butt kissing” men. Don’t even try to take on a woman who’s survived the political trenches of Bridgeport. Lauren knock it off, you come on as an advocate of women, you should be calling your friend to give her some guidance not showing shallow support on OIB. And Josh, shut up!

  5. Thank you Lisa, for attempting to indicate the obvious to the oblivious. It is all good as some folks are wont to say.

    The award indicates that it is (among other things) for “exemplary commitment to public service and community engagement” though for the life of me, I am looking for evidence of this in the story, the citation or the praise from her associates.

    Frankly from my vantage point of 75 years I look to the two candidates from the 130th, both Democrats, who sought endorsement, were ignored for same as happened two years previously, but were able to take on “old Dems” and young dems and win. Their interest in serious issues facing District residents is an example of “commitment to public service and community engagement” that exceeds those who preceded them, in my opinion. Community engagement in the City of Bridgeport, even in the area of Black Rock, would reach out to the many residents, Hispanic, African-American or white for representation. The local DTC sponsored a middle aged white man with little Bridgeport community service and a family member of the DTC chair who had been service oriented but only engaged for two years, under the banner of “blood is thicker than water” from her brother. So this year with two years experience on the Council including one as B&A chair plus a new Young Democrat with no record of community service and several months of living in the district were selected. Because the “two white guys” lost to a more balanced ticket that was even better educated and community engaged not prove what the certificate celebrates? More genuine service required? More intellectual curiosity about how things run and why? Maybe even a little less Karaoke until Democrats can point to a genuinely better intended, planned and executed financial position? Time will tell.

  6. Thumbs up John! Mention was made of “progress” among the Young Dems. Is that to mean that they were a part of an unknown woman occupying a seat in the 136th district who had to “sell her political soul” to be chosen? Or is there a reference to the one who got his butt kicked in Black Rock? Or maybe the two that made it with the help of the kindness of a stranger. A very experienced stranger. Need I say more? Let’s hear from Marcus and Kyle, theyt may have a different version of their success story.

  7. So Connie was recognized as Female Democrat of the Year and she chooses to recognize two John Stafstrom and Mario Testa butt kissers whom of course are male.

    What about the debacle of Gage Frank’s run? What about their fourth place finish in Black Rock? What about Lisa Parziale’s efforts and AB operation which Connie knows nothing about?

    I’ve said it before and I will say it again, the Greater Bridgeport Young Democrats are filled with pro-charter $chool members, many on the payroll, and they are not a positive force for Bridgeport.

  8. On a lighter note. I think the list of appreciation is paramount to what Constance is all about. Team work, Steve Stastrom and Chris Rosario could not have been better choices to be mentors. The young Dems are a nice group of youthful people that want to serve. They should be encouraged and embraced. We will not always agree but as Democrats we have a common goal.

  9. Hey Len, I’ll bet you thought you were throwing in a filler article until the consent forms start coming in next week. I feel sorry for Connie because I know she had no clue what her comments would spark. She better learn to watch what she writes and be careful with her praise because she may end up hurting the very men she holds in admiration. BTW, I hear she donated $100 to Ganim’s folly. Heavy is the head that holds the crown. hahahahaa

    1. Honey, it’s the ebb and flow of politics. In 2015 you supported Joe Ganim for mayor. Now you don’t. In 2015 Maria Pereira supported Joe Ganim for mayor. Now she doesn’t. What you backed then you now condemn. Everyone finds their own way. I don’t condemn young people for getting in the game. They find their own way.

      1. Len, when you take your fingers off the computer, get out there and watch the glory searchers while you’re busting your butt, then I’ll give credence to your comment to me. I did support Ganim and I never made a secret of that. I know the art of transition when it comes to politics. When Connie is ready to play with the big girls, support women and stop kissing the asses of some men, I’ll cut her some slake. In the meantime, someone has to let Connie know that the girlie pajama parties and pillow fights are over. She’s not a kid, she’s a grown woman; why don’t you and Stevie A let her answer me. Now that would show how far she’s come.

          1. Bridgeport kid I am cutting you some slackon this blog. Your intentional provoking is not necessary. Lennie continues to allow it hoping I take the bait. This will be my last reuest for you to please ignore me. please. I do not want to be reduced to a pathetic whining low life on a public blog. I really do not want to leave the blog but I will not contine to let a degenerate attempt to embarrass me to make himself feel better. Lisa P. loving you is about as embarrassing as her kissing my ass in public and insulting me on this blog. It is absolutely mind boggling to me .. Lennie thanks- I made my comment public. Do with it as you will.

          2. ” I do not want to be reduced to a pathetic whining low life on a public blog.” Really? You need no help from me.

          3. Steven, perhaps it would be better to leave the comments to the very people or person who is the subject of this OIB commentary. I’d guess that by now Vickers would had taken her head out of Nancy Wyman’s ass to take the time to at l;east say tank you to her two supporters (Josh Dellaquila and Lauren Gray). Welcome to OIB Lauren and Josh. Steven, one thing that I’ve learned in my 25 years in Politics and 10 years on OIB. It’s not worth defending (95% of the time) most elected officials, activists, party leaders, etc. Let them hire political consultants like Lennie Grimaldi do it. I have a suggestion, the biggest complaint by readers and politicians about OIB is the constant bull-shit from a few posters here and many have stated that is the reason they’ve walked away from and or pass on OIB when they are surfing the net. Instead of leaving the blog, stick around longer and be a bigger asshole than other posters. Heck, if Lennie won’t listen to you…

  10. Steve I look forward to meeting the Kid someday because while I don’t know him yet, his posts to me are informed, intelligent and a man who doesn’t take bull. He’s also funny. Joel, as usual, you hit it, Steve just can’t seem to resist inserting himself into the opinions of others, especially when they have nothing to do with him or his ideology. He creates tension just because he seems to like to. I try so hard to understand him, but he’s just very different and I don’t know if I mean that in a good way. Steve my friend, I think, stick to facebook.

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