Ganim To Suburbanites: If You Care, Practice What You Preach (Home)

Ganim sanctuary city
Mayor Joe Ganim with City Council members Michelle Lyons, Alfredo Castillo and Anthony Paoletto on the Fairfield Metro station platform.

Mayor Joe Ganim on Tuesday issued a message through his Twitter feed putting suburbanites on notice: “If we care about the most vulnerable, suburbans must help, not criticize us for not doing enough.”

sanctuary city CT Post
CT Post cutline: Ann McCarthy, of Fairfield, attends a rally to make Bridgeport a sanctuary city outside City Hall in Bridgeport, Conn. on Monday, February 6, 2017. The rally was organized by the group Make the Road Bridgeport. Brian Pounds photo.

The reference challenges an image posted by the CT Post of Fairfielder Ann McCarthy attending a Bridgeport City Hall rally urging passage of Bridgeport a sanctuary city, organized by “Make the Road Bridgeport.” Isn’t it easy for suburbanites to dictate what’s good for Bridgeport at their convenience? Has McCarthy asked the good First Selectman of Fairfield Mike Tetreau to do the same?

Ganim is balancing calls for a sanctuary city against his relationship with President Donald Trump who has threatened to withhold federal dollars. What does the city gain by declaring sanctuary city? Why aren’t there equal calls in the suburbs? If suburban residents are so concerned about shielding undocumented immigrants why not invite them in to their communities?

It brings to memory former City Attorney Larry Merly, who served under Mayor Tom Bucci, reminding suburbanites to not take the city for granted.

Merly declared often, the suburbs send Bridgeport their garbage, their sewage, their sick and their homeless; the way to preserve the suburban lifestyle is to wall off all the social problems in the city.

It’s nice to show up in a neighboring community without asking your town to do the same, right?



  1. He’s got a great point. Takes some real balls to come to Bridgeport to petition for this while you are living in Suburbia. And at the same time brings up the question–why not the Suburbs?

        1. What in hell difference does it make if it’s in caps or not? If you know what you are talking about please explain it because your cryptic post means NOTHING. OMG. I used capital letters. Go back to school and find out why capitalization is used in letter writing.

    1. Who came up with this idea? I like it. Are those some of the signs left littering the council chamber after the meeting? Ann got slammed on this one. I originally thought the photo was a meme. What I don’t get is: WHAT IN HELL IS WRONG WITH FRANK GYURE? IT COULD IN FACT BE MAD COW DISEASE, LENNIE.

  2. I just saw this on the ONLY IN BRIDGEPORT FB page. This group of whores should be embarrassed of themselves. I went to The City Council Meeting with the group that was advocating sanctuary city for Bridgeport. Joe Ganim threatened to shut down, cancel the CC meeting so people would shut up.A nd Paoletto has already announced his opposition to sanctuary status for BPT. This picture and everything about it is a LIE. To go to a Fairfield Station and do this is nauseating. Ganim and all his BS’ers are disgusting.

      1. Lennie, you have brains. The suburbs are not conducive to sanctuary status. The fact that Ganim, within 24 hours, threatened to shut down and shut up the sanctuary advocates at the City Council Meeting and then appear with his puppets in FAIRFIELD is the height of hypocrisy. Ganim was one gavel away from shutting down the CC meeting. Paoletto already said he was against sanctuary city for Bridgeport. Give me a break. Can we please go back to reality? This PR stunt of going to a Fairfield train station is a joke. Ganim wants to shift the focus away from his own inadequacies as a leader and dump it somewhere else. Ganim is an embarrassment.

          1. Please re-read my post and previous posts as well. I posted my opinion about Bridgeport as a sanctuary city. It’s all there. It’s your blog. READ IT.

      2. NO. I do not support sanctuary status for Bridgeport. I already posted this here. Bridgeport does not have the ability to maintain that status. Suburbs are not sanctuary cities. If anyone claims that suburbs are sanctuary cities, which is being implied by Ganim and his puppets at the Fairfield train station, this activity is pure hypocrisy. To chair a City Council meeting and shut down sanctuary discussion about BPT and then stand on the Fairfield train platform is DELUSIONAL. LET ME REPEAT. THIS PR JOKE WAS PURELY DELUSIONAL. Ganim loved his campaign to become Mayor of Bridgeport again. It re-created meaning and purpose for his life. However, the actual managing of the City of Bridgeport is a entirely completely different set of circumstances. He is The Missing-In-Action Mayor. He is probably in shock as to the day-to-day running of the City of Bridgeport. He sent out his 51 mil rate property tax and he completely disappeared. As a leader, he should have been out meeting with community groups to support HIS budget. He did nothing of the sort. We had some City Council meetings which had City Council members completely out of their depth. Ganim sent out Flatto to do his dirty work. We were lucky enough that ONE concerned citizen–John Marshall Lee–went to the budget meetings. How dare you question my personal opinion of Bridgeport as being a sanctuary city when our so-called leader, the chief elected officer of the City of Bridgeport is disingenuous about his own position of the city he leads and he brings his own hapless puppets to a neighboring suburbs to change the focus away from his own deficiencies and try to move it to the next town. Lennie, were you at the CC meeting where Ganim threatened to shut down the CC meeting and he said it was ONE GAVEL AWAY?

          1. Frank, why are you upset with me asking you about question that was asked of you? I don’t go around remembering everything you post. What am I going to do?

          2. Hey Frank, if Ann McCarthy lives in Fairfield and enters Bridgeport, doesn’t that make her a Bridgeport Immigrant with temporary status? Could she be related to your buddy Tom McCarthy?

    1. I think what is really nauseating is to come over to Bridgeport from Fairfield and demand we decide the way this Fairfield Protester would want Bridgeport to decide. That is a total sham right there.

  3. Metro-stop photo op! And at a stop many Bridgeporters use, no less.

    First of all, if you couldn’t read their signs and didn’t know who they were (so embarrassing), what jobs do you think they’d be advertising for? Michelle looks very lovely.

    Second, can the Joe Ganim quartet please stand at the Southport Metro-Station tomorrow with their signs? Then on Thursday at Westport and Rowayton? Darien and Greenwich on Friday? Could be a soft open to the “Ganim for Governor” campaign.

    Seriously, what evidence do we have of “… [Ganim’s] relationship with President Donald Trump”?

    Don’t keep us in suspense, Lennie. Show us!

    What evidence is there of that other than some fond memories and a few Kodachrome photos of a wooly-haired Lego Joe in the good old days 20-something years ago?

    In the 21st century, has Trump visited Bridgeport? Did he contact Ganim since Ganim got out of prison?

    Can someone crack open the mythos? Or should we FOIA request re Ganim’s liaisons with the Trump administration in 2017?

    Undoubtedly, this metro-stop photo op is a ploy by Joe Ganim to avoid the real issue confronting him: Are you going to stand with the growing Hispanic community in Bridgeport in designating Bridgeport what it probably is already, a “Sanctuary City” (no local police heavy lifting for ICE) or not?

    (Answer to yesterday’s puzzle: He’s not, unless Ganim sees the wind blowing in a way that risks his power.)

    I was there last week at McLevy Green when Joe and Mario suddenly appeared and, to all our eyes, saw Joe chanting the chant, “Sanctuary City.” I wish I’d video’ed it.

    Undocumented immigrants are concentrated in cities–true since there were cities, e.g.,

    They call them “Sanctuary Cities” for a reason.

    Nonetheless, thanks to State Rep Edwin Vargas for advancing a bill to make CT a “Sanctuary State,” so we can be spared more Ganim and Paoletto Metro-north spreads. Anthony, get back to class and try shaving more often!


    1. Pete, I think Ganim’s stunt is dumb. How do we know the woman featured in the CT Post isn’t a Bridgeport teacher, or the grandparent of a Bridgeport child, or a mentor of a Bridgeport child, etc.?

      I was upstairs at a BOE committee meeting last night and could not attend the City Council meeting.

      Can someone tell me where I can find a public statement or vote by Anthony and Nessah regarding Sanctuary City status?

      This picture is a great start for the upcoming election. Has there been something more official?

    2. Pete, I am stating this tongue-in-cheek, but didn’t you chastise me for my comment about Stafstrom?

      Please ease up on Paoletto, he may break down over your harsh comments. 🙂

    1. Pete Spain was much more eloquent than my own outbursts. This idea of suburbs being sanctuaries is ONLY in effect from approximately 9am to 5pm, when the Coastal Link Bus picks up all the people who go through Fairfield, Westport etc. to clean toilets. And then we have the reverse commute. As the Coastal Link Bus goes through Norwalk, Westport, Fairfield and picks up loads of people and then drops them off in Bridgeport.

    2. Lennie,
      I look forward to seeing a photo of you with a “sanctuary small town” poster at the West Redding station.

      What real evidence is there of this alleged Trump-Ganim relationship that benefits our city???

      1. Pete, relationships are always a work in progress, be it a mayor’s relationship with legislators, governors, presidents, constituents. Nothing is for certain. That’s how relationships work (on every level). What’s the benefit of declaring Bridgeport a sanctuary city? So it sounds like you’re saying if you’re certain a strong relationship between Trump and Ganim benefits the city, you’ll abandon your call for a sanctuary city? Hmmm.

        1. Did anyone notice after the Public Speaking session closed, a member of the public, from Trumbull I believe, went to the lectern and began speaking. The system was still live and Crystal Mack was also.
          She was challenged and set down the mike. What happened next was curious.
          A Council representative came down to disengage the mike from the stand, and triumphantly bear it away while also closing the gates to the inner Council chamber. None other than Anthony Paoletto at work … if you call this work … but definitely a guardian of “Council privilege.” He does not like the idea of Sanctuary City (or probably anyone challenging his privilege and power… until the day he no longer is vested with it).

          So we have Fairfield and Trumbull residents who come in to speak about Bridgeport? Why is their interest deflected? Not because there are more potential undocumented persons residing in their communities, for sure. Is it because they are part of a region, understand what Bridgeport offers for the region is critical, and wish to see respect for the vulnerable weighed right up there with respect for the law?

          By the way, when the City-suburbs divide is discussed, usually in terms of fiscal differences, has anyone considered the large number of suburban neighbors who work in the City as volunteers of one type or another to mentor, to assist, to volunteer for any number of merciful activities? And those active people see a reality that causes them to continue to their efforts for Bridgeport residents. And our “second chance Mayor” thanks them in what way? By inviting them to talk to their own representative governments when he should be honoring their worthy input into the care and development of Bridgeport neighbors.
          Representative Paoletto, what employment do you pursue daily that allows you to wander the halls of government, every ready to be part of a Mayoral photo op? Time will tell.

          1. Anthony should have stayed in his seat. I always tell people he is a really bad version of Blumenthal. He is so entrenched in the administration and being in every photo or press conference.

  4. I support the Mayor, Anthony Paoletto, Michelle Lyons and all other individuals who have taken all the issues into consideration. I support Sanctuary status in Fairfield, Shelton, Trumbull, Norwalk and Stamford. Bridgeport does not have the housing, schools or any services to support but just a hop skip and jump away, these communities would be great. I respect the passion and support to make Bridgeport a sanctuary city but if the President of the United States made it clear he would hold back federal funding, I will believe him. Bridgeport can not take care of its own. It is ironic those standing in support knowing our school system, police and home owners are overburdened. Seriously, the BOE leadership supporting this. Oh how thoughtful. That’s why our schools are suffering. Let’s talk about our 21,000 students and add hundreds who do not speak English. Let Fairfield residents shoulder the burden. Bridgeporters do not go to their meetings. Please stay away from ours that burden our taxpayers. We are not haters, we are realists and this is not our battle. On Facebook I have heard stories of the underground railroad, we have to stand up to Trump, How awful their lives are. I agree their lives are awful. There are already sanctuary cities in the United States. Let Trumbull and Fairfield build affordable housing and become a sanctuary city.
    It seems every decade in Bridgeport we find a way to undermine our future. No wonder people continue to leave as soon as they can afford to. Homeowners already are overtaxed and pay for private schools for their children. Enough already. I suggest these protesters make demands from the BBOE.

    Voters will be grateful Joe Ganim stood up for Bridgeport. I am!

    Jim Fox–I do not adhere to NIMBY. If we weren’t a bankrupt city, I would welcome these refugees with open arms. I love diversity and Syrian cuisine. Some of my best friends are Syrian and yes that is a fact.

        1. Steve, how can a comment be wasted if it provokes a civil response? And if it betrays a lack of charity, mercy or intellectual thoroughness, well that is a cost of opening your opinions to public view, isn’t it? Thank you for speaking out on this subject.
          And perhaps the walls you suggest when you tell others to stay in their communities and attend to their business are only “invisible walls.”
          You enjoy Ganim2 even when his aim is off and a smiling photo-op was his purpose and mention you
          would think differently if Bridgeport were not so fiscally challenged. But you never object to the way finances stay poor in the City. And where else would the poorest and most vulnerable set their heads to rest each night rather than in a community of poverty attempting to rise? Time will tell.

    1. Steve, you are suggesting walls get erected to protect the current status of each city and town?
      And you see Ganim2 as standing up for the City in this action? If your concerns are fiscal, which funds can be denied? If the Mayor is fiscally interested, other than taxing property owners, wouldn’t he be laying out where we are vulnerable? Has the Mayor, without and assist from State Controller Lembo or Finance Director Flatto even commented on or allowed himself to be addressed on the City budget? Why did he walk away from an offer from resident volunteers with AAA fiscal credentials to address City finance problems and outline solutions? Will he be able to answer all fiscal questions this year wearing his Groundhog Day costume, as a magician, fiscal variety, so we can call him “The Great Ganimi!!!”? Didn’t Houdini escape from ropes, chains and locked in a trunk being dunked in the water? Oh, the suspense of it, the photo ops, the myth of THE GREAT GANIMI is born. Time will tell.

  5. They did make “demands” of the BOE, and we obliged this evening.

    Ms. Baraka submitted a resolution making the BPS a “Safe Haven” school district which directs our staff not to cooperate with ICE, and designates all our schools as a safe place of mutual respect regardless of race, ethnicity, immigration statues, etc.

    Joe Larcheveque said he supported it but was concerned by potential legal issues, therefore he wanted to refer it to our attorney for review. The Director of Make the Road stated it simply reiterated federal law and talked about inclusion for all.

    Dr. Johnson stated our children and parents are very frightened and there has been a noticeable increase in absenteeism because parents supplied proof of address to the BOE. She said she completely supported the resolution.

    Larcheveque, Walker and Weldon voted to refer it to legal counsel. Baraka, Gardner, Negron, Bradley, and I voted against it.

    Larcheveque correctly stated that passing the resolution was against BOE policy, therefore I made a motion to suspend that rule which required 6 of 8 votes. I called his bluff to put him in the position of voting against it. I was surprised the suspension of the rules passed unanimously.

    A motion to approve the resolution was put on the floor, Larcheveque voted against it. Baraka, Gardner, Negron, Bradley and myself voted in favor. Walker abstained and Weldon either voted against it or abstained. I have to double check.

    Our student body is 96% minority with over 80 languages spoken.

    This was an easy vote for me. There is no doubt this was the right thing to do for our children and parents.

    1. Maria, I understand students, parents and family members who are undocumented and need some sense of security in this current political climate, this is very political. ICE for the last eight years, under a Democrat President, created this immigration deportation climate where this country now has over 200 cities and many campuses publicly claiming sanctuary status. This city and BOE didn’’t voice or weigh in on the need to claim sanctuary status about the “Deporter in Chief” Obama, whose administration had created the need to publicly claim sanctuary status.

      This is not just political drama like what took place when the BOE was boycotting meetings until you resigned, or your tree lighting. In some ways it is, however in this case lives, families can be and are used and sometimes destroyed over the current political games over immigration.

      You’re right, this is going to play in the next election cycle. (Considering all 20 council members and six BOE members are up for reelection.) The question is how is this going to play out. You and Joe are safe for now and I think Bradley too. I’ll tell you this, if the council votes for sanctuary status and funding dries up and those members lose their seat because of it and the new council drops the status and funding resumes, Joe comes out a winner. If funding doesn’t dries up he still wins. This tweet was well played. It doesn’t pit him against the President. Let’s face it, it has always been and is about funding. His plan was to repeat JG1 and borrow $170 million like city did when in his first term but I think it was $350 million that’s going cost the city tax base close to a billion (I think). It’s who’s holding the purse who will dictate how this will play out.

      I don’t see ICE raiding schools. I would think the immigration plan under Obama will maintain its status, and Trump and the Federal government will deprive these sanctuary cities of funding. This will bring force in both parties to pass a real meaningful immigration policy somewhere along the lines of George Bush’s policy. Strong border, Strong E-verify work identification, with a path to citizenship.

  6. Really; the down-county ‘burbs (e.g., Fairfield) benefit the most from the slave labor of the undocumented–per the essential work of the latter as nannies, domestics, landscapers, day laborers, etc. (often at sub-minimum wage). Indeed, most of the undocumented in Fairfield County are housed in Bridgeport–most in overcrowded, substandard housing. The tax bases and quality of life of suburbanites are greatly enhanced/supported by this segment of their Bridgeport-based, “discounted” labor. They truly owe it to the undocumented–who raise and care for their children as surrogate parents, and keep their suburban surroundings clean and maintained, to protect their US residency and offer them official, municipal sanctuary status per official legislation enacted on behalf of the undocumented in these suburban towns.
    The Mayor et al. were right on target in pointing out this aspect of the gross, suburban hypocrisy related to the pernicious/parasitic exploitation of the ailing City of Bridgeport and its citizens/residents–especially the undocumented.

    It is morally incumbent upon Fairfield, Darien, Greenwich, et al. to show some fairness and gratitude to this segment of the labor exploited in their towns by affording them sanctuary by way of official, municipal sanctuary status in this time of distress and need for these worthy, laboring people.

    Bull’s eye, Mr. Mayor! (How dare suburbanites play on the guilt of exploited Bridgeporters?!)


    From an earlier posting:
    Jeff Kohut // Feb 7, 2017 at 6:08 pm
    We can’t save the world until we get our own house in order. We have an official unemployment rate of 12.5%–feel safe in doubling that for real accuracy to at least 25%. We have an understaffed PD and grossly underfunded, failing school system. We have paltry grand-list growth (grossly outstripped by growing budgetary demands) that consists solely of tax-negative housing and environmentally contraindicated infrastructure created for suburban convenience and prosperity at Bridgeport expense… Our poverty/near-poverty rate is about 60%-70%.

    For us to pretend we can officially open our doors and accommodate an unlimited stream of need (by way of officially declaring Bridgeport a sanctuary city for the undocumented) is really delusional and potentially destructive. To think in terms of officially presenting ourselves as a capable host to desperate people in great need when we are already a city of that description is an invitation for disaster–especially being a failing city in a failing state in a country threatened by terrorism and political and economic chaos. (Don’t let the “robust” stock market numbers and manipulated/distorted employment numbers fool you–things were looking good in 2000 and 2008 until. And we are still a house-of-cards, credit-based economy, as we have been, increasingly, for 50 years.)

    That being said; I do believe our unofficial policy should be to not cooperate with efforts to harass or deport benign, undocumented people with no criminal history or suspected criminal activity. Let those people live in Bridgeport in peace, unofficially.

    To those who want us to become a sanctuary city: open your homes to benign, undocumented refugees: Seek them out, befriend them, support them, protect them at your discretion with the unofficial city sanction of non-harassment, non-cooperation with federal efforts directed toward undocumented persons with no criminal history or suspected criminal activity. (Individuals and groups are already doing this.) Otherwise; those of us concerned with refugees seeking to come here legally can offer official, legal sponsorship.

    Perhaps, when Bridgeport again becomes viable, we can realistically consider becoming an official “sanctuary city;” but right now, such a move would be foolhardy, if not disingenuous.

    All that being said: If the federal government takes on Nazi/fascist-like dimensions toward refugees who present no threat to the US, national and personal conscience dictate good Americans will do what is necessary to counter those efforts.

  7. Not sure about the motivation behind this. Although the point would not have been made so succinctly via surrogates, Bridgeport is not an island unto itself. What happens when we need to play nice in the sandbox with Fairfield regarding mutually beneficial issues? Would this “line in the sand” approach to this issue have been worth it? Why do this? Because you got wind of some suburbanites attending the CC meeting in Bridgeport? What is the end game plan here? Seems like game playing with a very sensitive issue. #notsomuch.

    1. Thanks Zena, you said what I was thinking. There’s a bigger picture here, this issue will come and go, but if G2 aspires to higher office, this may come back to bite him. (I’m not expressing a position on Sanctuary status, there have been good points made pro and con.)

      1. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, both Governor Malloy and Mayor Ganim have bad poll numbers and Malloy will lose if he runs again and Ganim brings nothing to the voters statewide.

        Toni Harp is currently the 50th Mayor of New Haven. Harp, a Democrat, was a state senator in Connecticut from 1993 to 2013. Mayor Harp is well respected and she has the background and experience and she doesn’t have any baggage.

  8. I’m at a loss, what does Fairfield have to do with Bridgeport becoming a sanctuary city? Is it relevant because the lady from Fairfield was out there with a sign or is this a Joe Ganim diversionary tactic not to have this distinction while saying if Fairfield doesn’t then Bridgeport won’t. Does Fairfield tell Bridgeport its local contribution of $2,868 per student to the BBOE is the lowest in the state and Bridgeport only spends $14,3208 per student while Fairfield spends $16,567 per student?

    C’mon Lennie, one has nothing to do with the other and Bridgeport needs to do what’s right irrespective of what any other city does. Joe Ganim, doing good is its own reward so do the right thing even if you have to stand alone.

  9. I know. Let’s take a poll of just Black Rock and North End residents. Let’s see how taxpayers feel. Maybe a referendum. Should Bridgeport shoulder the responsibility of Sanctuary city status or should the suburbs???

    1. Steve, that’s the way to go, take a poll of just Black Rock and North End residents. Let’s see how taxpayers feel, yes, let’s just ask whites, right Steve?

  10. Put me down as a Sanctuary City.
    This does not mean a thing until Bridgeport passes the ordinance.
    We will not pass the ordinance until Fairfield considers one and adopts one? That is making a real stand. Good for JG2!!!
    Give it a break. Adopt our own and then we can shame other towns into acting but right now we look like f’n clowns in the Clown Posse!

  11. Lennie,
    Let me add Donald J Trump has long forgotten Joe Ganim and the city of Bridgeport. Back when he was a “friend of Ganim (FOG)” he was also a Democrat, at least in matters that matter.
    He is now a dyed in the wool Republican. He changes party affiliations like it has no meaning whatsoever; and to him it does not.
    So you can stand in any train station in the state of CT right next to Joe and be the second in command of the Clown Posse.
    So Joe is number one in my book.

  12. Fairfield residents have a lot of nerve coming to Bridgeport with a “holier than thou” attitude when their exclusive zoning keeps anyone but the middle class out and thereby excludes immigrants. A built-in discrimination policy!
    Out-of-towners already have much too much power in leadership and operative positions that run Bridgeport. Good for Joe!

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