Finger Politics! Piranha Power Sweeps To Democratic Town Committee Victory

Pereira, Figueroa, Alicia
Maria Pereira, left, enjoys her win Tuesday night with slate members Angel Figueroa and Eric Stewart-Alicea.

Board of Education member Maria Pereira, Bridgeport’s self-described establishment fighting piranha of politics, reasserted her voter strength in the Upper East Side leading a slate of nine candidates to a sweep in the Democratic Town Committee primary in the 138th District, according to unofficial returns. Tuesday was a night of sweeps in two other districts as well in the West Side 132nd District and East Side 137th District. Pereira’s slate delighted in sticking it to the political establishment in more ways than one.

Pereira’s slate performed well on both machine totals and absentee ballots against a challenge slate that included incumbent City Council members Anthony Paoletto and Nessah Smith. Paoletto ran the strongest among his slate but fell short of preserving a town committee seat. The Paoletto slate had the backing of Mayor Joe Ganim.

Pereira, finger
Pereira, Figueroa and Stewart-Alicea salute Democratic powerbrokers after slate win.

Joining Pereira on the town committee are neighborhood activists and some newcomers to politics she recruited: Angel Figueroa, Dolores Fonseca and Rafael Fonseca, Michelle Fox, Helen Losak, Erris Roy Allen, Eric Stewart-Alicea and Andrea White.

In the 132nd District, a slate that included long-time District Leader Mike Freddino and incumbent City Council members Evette Brantley and John Olson defeated a slate led by former City Council President Lisa Parziale. Marcus Brown, Anthony Lancia, Democratic Party Vice Chair Elaine Pivirotto, Rolanda Smith, Vernon Thompson Jr. and Reggie Walker were also winners on the slate.

In the 137th District it was no contest: a slate led by veteran District Leader Gil Hernandez and City Clerk Lydia Martinez led an absentee ballot drubbing over a slate that included former City Councilwoman Maria Valle and veteran committee member Juan Hernandez. Anderson Ayala, Teresa Davidson, Maria Hernandez, Jessica Martinez, City Council member Aidee Nieves, Joel Rosario and Alreta Taylor were also victorious.

The winners join the 90-member Democratic Town Committee that endorses candidates for public office and selects a chairman. Town Chair Mario Testa will soon call a meeting of the entire body to select party officers.



  1. Does this mean Bernie Sanders has the support of the 138th DTC? Okay Lennie, why are you avoiding the Absentee Ballot totals like the ones in the 137th?

  2. I am really looking forward to helping the people of Bridgepor, working to improve our quality of life one way or another. I’m grateful for this opportunity and hope I can make a difference, I always have and will be for the benefit of the people, hard-working, taxpaying people, and will work diligently for the better of our Great City. I want to thank everyone for their support and pray I won’t disappoint my supporters. Again, I thank you and God Bless.

      1. By doing what I have always been doing Mr. Mackey, taking care of my neighbors, my community, being proactive on the needs of my community, taking care of distressed units that are literally falling apart, getting the right people involved to take care of health risk factors children and elderly are enduring in my community with mold, lead and asbestos … and I have been doing all these things and more for my community, and I always will. I am my neighbor’s keeper and I take pride in helping my community. Mr. Mackey, I hope I answered your questions, sir. God Bless you and yours.

  3. Lennie, you keep talking about community activists in the 138th. You can count Helen Losak as the lone community activist, the rest of this slate are Maria clones. It will be the same old same old up here.

      1. Please tell me how you have been active in the neighborhood and made things better up here. BTW sticking the middle finger up is stupid and immature and maybe next time we will work to stick that finger where it belongs.

        1. First and foremost I am a proud father and advocate of three awesome children. As a parent leader I was responsible for Classical Studies Academy going from K-6 to K-8. It is now Classical Studies Magnet Academy; our kids get an automatic spot at Central Magnet, and it is now PreK-8. I am a part of the ad hoc committee (Board of Education) addressing the dropout rate of black and brown males in our city. I also coach youth football and semi-pro football (these are adults). In addition my family has been a part of the East End community for more than 50 years. I recently moved to the 138th, why not jump right in?

          As for the middle finger, it’s all fun and games until someone’s eye gets poked out.

          1. That is an admirable response and good works but there are other things. Let me say I object to your statement about the dropout rates. There are more than black and brown males dropping out of school. No matter what you say, the middle finger I hope is not indicative of your feelings.

          2. The black and brown male dropout rate is almost at far and above any other group of students. It’s alarming more than half of the young men don’t graduate high school in Bridgeport. I didn’t start the committee, it was created under the auspices of BPS.

            I’m a jokester, and the three of us in that pic have been through a lot. The thumbs-up photo was the original pic. We felt “peer pressure” from L. Grimaldi to be edgier, LOL.

          3. The freaking dropout rate is the dropout rate no matter what color. I find your answer offensive and racist. BTW the middle finger from an elected official is wrong. I am sure the kids you are involved with would not understand. BTW what is going to change up in the 138th with a new district town committee?

          4. The city we live in is 80% black and brown. How is it racist to try to find out what is causing a large percentage of young males from that 80% to drop out of school and come up with ways to turn that around?

            As you may know, DTC is charged with vetting potential candidates for other offices (it’s called being endorsed). We’ll have to see who chooses to step up to the plate to represent our district for city council, and our precinct for state rep. As JML would say, time will tell.

          5. Okay, I get it. Screw the white kids, there are not enough of them to matter. BTW so far you and whatever group it is has not stopped the dropout rate. Do you know why?

          6. White males graduate at almost a 90% rate in BPS. White children tend to have more support systems in place than black and brown children, especially boys.

        2. What have you done for your community, Mr. Fardy?
          You’re a mean, nasty old fluck. Maria, Angel and Eric can’t use their middle finger, but you can call people nasty names. You’re a miserable human being.

          1. Advanced Therapy??? And you are? Another chicken-shit person who is afraid to use their real name. You have no validity. You are right. I am a nasty old man who basically does not like most people because most people are gutless and cannot be trusted, just like you.

    1. Mr. Fardy, you have a right to your opinion, sir, that’s why we’re privileged in this Great country of ours where we’re given our freedom of speech, but to say we’re clones is a allegation with NO validity, my colleagues and myself all have been involved in our communities one way or another and I have faith we will represent well in our position, thank you sir for your support and God Bless you and yours.

      1. You say you have been involved in your communities, does that mean you don’t live in the 138th? You don’t have my support and never will. Please keep God out of this, I don’t need your blessing.

  4. Facebook
    Maria Pereira
    7 hrs
    The democratic voters made history in the 138th!
    For the first time in over 20 years not a single member of our democratic town committee is a city employee or city council member.
    In fact, out of the ten districts in the City of Bridgeport, we are the only DTC that does not have a single city employee or city council member on it.
    The Democratic Party Bosses have never given us anything, therefore they can’t take anything from us if we don’t do as we are told.
    All 9 of us are free to solely represent the interests of the democratic voters in the 138th, and that is exactly how it should be.
    Thank you to all those that placed their trust in us.

  5. Wait until the newly elected candidates learn the facts of life. You go against who or what the party wants and all of a sudden it takes longer to get your street plowed. In the summer no one comes to clean out your sewer basin. You have nine votes out of 90, do you really think your nine votes will matter? There was a time the TC got its residents jobs and such, now we will have a bunch of neophytes thinking they will change the world.

  6. On the chance the newly elected (who are neither City employees currently nor elected members of the City Council) wish to learn more about fiscal matters in the City, I will be happy to address a gathering of that DTC on one or more questions and answer any questions they may raise about the City financial affairs.
    The new administration including all City Council members are facing tough economic times with a negative balance sheet and an operating budget left in the red by the Finch team. With new revelations coming out every day (Vibes–$750,000; OPED missing $955,000 used for Port Authority debt) and more to come, they will need more people who can see the big picture, and it may look ‘rosy’ but it’s really just red. Time will tell.

  7. Let’s see if I get this right. It is wrong for an elected member of the city council to serve in the town committee. But it’s okay for an elected member of the Board of Education, who actually has more say over jobs than a council member, to serve?

        1. Phil implied one person on the BOE has control over jobs. That’s not an accurate statement. That’s one vote out of nine. Another thing to consider, Maria will not be able to vote for herself as candidate for BOE as the DTC term is two years, and she is serving a four-year term on the BOE.

          1. I am not worried about Maria, she will do what she did on her first term, nothing. I am sure you and the others elected will have pissed her off by then. BTW so you and the other two finger-pointers know, you don’t have nine votes you only have six, there are three defectors in your group.

    1. Phil,
      I believe there was a comment somewhere in the cloud above that none of these nine were a City employee or a Council member. I was making no comment about right or wrong of it regarding being a member of a DTC.
      What I was leading up to is if these people are not worried about their jobs because of the City fiscal position, or if they were not Council members who get to hear financial commentaries in public speaking sessions, that is if they were only to hear what what the CT Post has to say about the City’s financial position, then in my opinion they have little to draw on or appreciate when they would be vetting future electoral candidates.

      One year ago the City ‘appeared’ to be above water with a balanced operating budget. When I reported to the City Council at least 20 errors were obvious in their annual audit, no one bothered to say anything.

      One year later, another administration and big fiscal discontinuities appear weekly. And the CAFR 2015 has errors, including whoppers in the Pension notes, where the public is led to believe we are scientific and regular, but we are not when whoever proofs the report allows a 70.0% RATE OF RETURN LONG TERM TO APPEAR ALONGSIDE ANNUAL AVERAGE RATES FOR OTHER asset classes.

      138th District Council members Paoletto and Smith are new and have raised no questions on fiscal matters that I have observed. Are people of the 138th any better served today than they were with the old DTC? Time will tell.

  8. Phil, not to worry. She has done nothing on the BOE and she sure as hell does not understand the role of the 138th DTC. As usual she will get nothing done.

    1. He is definitely no angel. Even with all his talk of freedom of speech he doesn’t even allow that freedom on his own Success Village community page. He runs it like a dictator. He makes accusations and slanders the former board claiming theft and corruption yet has not provided the proof of said thefts when asked. What he does is delete your comments and block you from his page. It’s a public page and all you have to do is go through some of the reviews to see exactly how he handles any sort of criticism. I honestly wasn’t surprised to see him giving the finger in that picture.

  9.              /´¯/) 
      1. It’s funny and sad how Alicea and Figueroa mention God and church over and over again. I keep coming back to the picture of these two and Maria with their middle fingers extended. Amazing.

        1. Looks like you’re taking your turn with Joel’s goat. I have yet to invoke God, church, or ever considered offering blessings to your miserable self on OIB. Be well.

          1. Gee, you mentioned Joel’s goat. I wonder, is that racist when it is referred to me? The Phantom will know.

        2. All you have to do is go to his Success Village 411 page and look through the ratings. You can see how he leads and helps his community by blocking them when they ask him questions he doesn’t find in his favor. He’s even gone as far as threatening me in text messages. Also almost picking a fight with a member of success village as he went to vote because he speaks about his military service and lack of proof. Or why he has not brought forward proof of corruption and money theft he has claimed against the former board.

  10. Maria and her team, we have seen this picture before. Maria with Bradley and Walker. Maria supporting Baker/Hennessy. Maria crossing off Barney and Fardy. Maria supporting Paoletto and Smith. Just a matter of time before she points the middle finger at some of the nine on her current slate, as soon as they show some independent thought or idea that clashes with hers. Good luck to them!!!

  11. Mr. Fardy you seem very upset towards me, yet I never had the pleasure to meet you sir, nor have I done anything to you sir, I wish you blessings and your answer is this isn’t church. I guess I would have to agree it isn’t church, but it’s one human being to another wishing you blessings and there’s nothing wrong with that, sir, and if there is any bad blood between you and Maria, you shouldn’t retaliate on me. I never have met you nor done you wrong, again I wish you well. God Bless.

  12. *** Congrats to all the new district slate winners, this is where changes start, at the district level. Voting for the right DTC board and of course picking new quality people to represent and serve the district, etc. Work to get rid of all the nepotism, rubber stamping, city workers or political welfare individuals who are in it for themselves or family members and close friends. The entire DTC, city council and state legislators need a complete overhaul instead of the same old shit year after year! Bpt’s both political parties are a MADHOUSE, a MADHOUSE! *** WHOOP ***

  13. The time has most definitely come for folks to realize Maria has arrived and she’s got votes. The more she wins, the more votes she will acquire. She appears to operate differently than most. She appears to be mastering the art of converting anger into productivity as a normal modus operandi. Love her or hate her, that’s the fact, Jack.

  14. Zena Lu, I totally agree with you. Congrats to Maria Pereira and her slate. Hopeful she can help make a difference in the politics of Bridgeport, and start dismantling the machine one by one, district by district, maybe one day this City can be great again. If the idiots would only look and realize the people in power for the past 20-plus years haven’t done anything for the residents (taxpayers). Many have suppressed their ethnic communities, keeping them poor and uneducated having controlled them through politics and power. GO MARIA, GO!

    1. My response was given from a strictly analytical point of view. I am not a supporter, or a non-supporter. It’s just her playbook I was commenting on. People get very testy when it comes to her. I don’t think getting pissed off because her game plan is successful is productive. She has established herself and has a formula that works nicely for her in this current political climate. Tearing her to pieces is a waste of time and energy.

  15. No one is doubting her ability to win elections and bring out voters. The issue is the aftermath. The actual governing. No one pays attention to that part. Endless arguments at BOE meetings over items like putting a person’s name on the agenda etc., nothing substantive to the actual issues. Who are the children. Also, we all rail on here about elected officials being puppets and not thinking for themselves. Well look at the trail of trashed former allies she has left in her wake who dared to have their own voice and defy her. Yes she is a campaign force. But if nothing positive comes out of it then what does it matter?

    1. It matters very much. Especially when, like me, the only thing I was looking at was her approach to retail campaigning and how effective it is. That’s it. Nothing more.

  16. Certainly it’s a known fact Maria knows how to rally supporters. Now if only she would change her negative energy to a positive, she’d be a force to be reckoned with.

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