Council President Nieves: No Tolerance For Racism Or Bigotry In Bridgeport City Government

Nieves, Martinez
Aidee Nieves and Eneida Martinez on night Nieves was elected City Council president the first week of December.

City Council President Aidee Nieves, with councilor Eneida Martinez listening nearby, announced to a crowd of roughly 100 Monday night that “we can never have any tolerance for racism or bigotry in Bridgeport city government.” Her remarks drew applause on a night residents showed up for an Ordinance Committee meeting in City Hall addressing complaints about collection practices involving Water Pollution Control Authority user fees. Nieves made the remarks just prior to the meeting.

Earlier on Monday Martinez issued a statement to clarify remarks she had made at a December 27 Ordinance Committee meeting about Russell Liskov and Juda Epstein, lawyers involved in the collection process.

Nieves statement:

Clearly, the City Council needs to get to the bottom of the WPCA’s procedures. For a long time low and middle income residents of Bridgeport should not end up losing their homes because they’ve fallen behind on their sewer bills by relatively small amounts of money.

That being said, even when moments get heated, we can never have any tolerance for racism or bigotry in Bridgeport city government. Council member Martinez has issued a public statement to express her sentiment on the statement she made. We will not be addressing that issue or make statement in the regard. This meeting is meant to find as solution for the residents of Bridgeport with service providers and city administration.

CT Post reporter Brian Lockhart shares this report about the Ordinance Committee meeting:

Attorney Juda Epstein, who helps the city collect delinquent sewer use bills–and sometimes forecloses on homeowners who cannot pay up–claimed he is not the heartless monster critics portray him to be.

“I have tremendous empathy for every single person who’s in foreclosure,” Epstein told the City Council’s Ordinance Committee Monday. “My job is to not take anyone’s home. It’s to make them prioritize this debt and pay the bill.”

Epstein’s firm over the years has done a lot of business with City Hall and Bridgeport’s Water Pollution Control Authority. And that has made him a target for a City Council that is investigating what it feels is an overly punitive sewer use bill collection process that needs to be reformed.

Full story here.



  1. Leading by example: There “can never have any tolerance for racism or bigotry in Bridgeport city government. Council member Martinez has issued a public statement to express her sentiment on the statement she made…”

    Little Joe Ganim is conspicuous in his silence on the issue.

  2. Judge Carmen Lopez was an asset to the committee and pointed out some very interesting facts which hopefully will be reported on in a proper manner. Many good questions from several council members. More to come I’m sure. The use of outside attorneys in other matters not addressed tonight to be brought forward soon. I was impressed and didn’t expect this meeting to go the way it did. It will be interesting to see how deep this may go.

    1. Also: regarding OPED writing “new” liquor regulations for Willinger and Michael Defilippo- Liskov has hired an outside attorney to review OPEDs text amendment. Defilippo’s personal agenda is costing Bridgeport taxpayers alot of money. Just think how much he will cost the city if he gets elected to the council. How is this possible that an outside attorney will now be paid to assist or adjust text amendments written by OPED? The law is already clear that what OPED is proposing on behalf of Defilippo is not permitted. As Meyer stated at this hearing “municipalities can’t just do what they want, they have to follow state law”. This will not go unnoticed. How much is Defilippo’s absentee ballot fraud costing? To be continued. Maybe judge Lopez can weigh in on this as well.

      1. The entire OPED/Zoning Board/Defilippo is another issue that the City Council should look at if it has the authority. This has been going on for two years plus. It is clear with every single Zoning meeting that the people of Bridgeport oppose this. Yet,we continue to have to fight against Mario Testa’s latest pet project and that pet project is Michael Defilippo.

  3. Congratulations to Aidee Nieves. She has proven herself to be a most professional leader. Ernie and Eneida need to be commended on their well thought out suggestions. Marcus Brown Harrington was very impressive as chair. You would never know he was a rookie. I was very proud of Tyisha Toms, whom I have known since I had hair on my head. Her presentation as an attorney out of R Christopher Meyers office was thoughtful and impressive. All pics on Facebook.

    The event was extremely well attended by those who care about the city and the plight of their neighbors. Very impressive turnout indeed. I think Eneida Martinez knew she had support in the room. R. Christopher Meyers also addressed the issue and was most supportive of Eneida.

  4. As a woman who trod these waters, I’m happy and proud to see these women stepping up and doing the best possible under difficult circumstances. It appears they and others are taking the reins of their office, and so far have not allowed the influence of “others” to affect their actions. Hurt feelings and perhaps unintentional verbiage aside, the issues are what matter and it looks as though everyone on the Council is on board.

  5. Lennie, Enough about Steffie and Stevie and what is or is not racist (although I do not think of of this is racist) what the next step in the great WPCA debate?

  6. Lennie, that does not answer my question.
    What’s next?
    If there is a contract between the WPCA or the City of Bridgeport and Juda Epstein that must be produced immediately. If there is not then the city should stop doing business with him.
    If there is then the council should immediately see what steps need to be taken to break the contract.
    As long as the city gives Juda Epstein a soap box to stand up on then he can delay and delay and delay.

  7. Lennie,
    Marcus Brown’s comments are well thought out and a sincere statement of what should be expected BUT he is swimming with sharks now.
    Do you think Ed Marcus is a match for Marcus? Juda Epstein? Russ Liskow? Mark Anastasi?
    He is way over his head. Put a stop to EVERYTHING. No foreclosures until the council gives its OK. Put the onus on the lawyers and make them produce not the other way around.

  8. Bubba, Marcus moves a patient course, he may seem over his head because he’s just starting to research the process necessary to take it where others have failed. He works closely with like-minded council members, Pete Spain is an example, and others are now paying attention and participating. Let’s not forget Ernie Newton, he’s no newbie and is not to be taken for granted. He’s letting the good ones catch up, and I believe when he’s ready to show his game, watch out! Unlike what you and I faced, most of this Council will not let the Administration erect the roadblocks we had to face. There’s a lot of undoing to be done, what a disappointment Myers turned out to be, and to think in the beginning he claimed Joey G. forced him to take the job. What a joke, he loves the attention, negative or not.

    1. Please make sure you go back up in these comments and see the piece about the office of policy and economic development—
      Oped—-hiring outside attorney on the Defilippo liquor matter.

  9. I sent an email to some council members explaining some things. If you read this blog and the ct post you may recall all the controversy over “Mario’s bartender”, his attempt to change liquor rules to benefit himself, and I’m sure you aware of the A/B investigation.


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