Hanks: Why I Am Running For State Representative

Shanté Hanks
Shanté Hanks

Party-endorsed Shanté Hanks faces incumbent Charlie Stallworth in an August 14 Democratic primary in Connecticut’s 126th State House District that covers a portion of the North End, Whiskey Hill and a piece of the Upper East Side. She shares this commentary about her background and rationale for running.

Years ago, just after receiving my master’s degree and pursuing my dream of becoming a professional boxer, I was in a nearly fatal car accident when a drunk driver hit my car head on. The accident left me in a coma for 3 weeks, with a crushed pelvis, punctured lung, broken wrists, ankles, and femur.

After multiple surgeries and a few days of touch and go, my family was told that I had a 40% chance of survival.

My family and friends put their faith in God those dark days and prayed for my recovery. With the help of my amazing doctors at Bridgeport Hospital, an incredible support system, my faith in God and my determination, I was able to recover. My broken bones, pelvis and crushed femur were rebuilt with titanium.

The road to recovery was the most difficult challenge of my life and ultimately, the most rewarding. I share this story because it was largely through this experience that I learned that in life you should take nothing for granted and when you are inspired to do something, you need to carpé diem–seize the day.

As a native of Bridgeport, I have watched the quality of life in our city change–jobs from local, family-owned businesses and large factories have gone, crime at an all-time high in the ’90s decreased and is now taking an upswing. As an administrator in Student Affairs and part-time professor at Housatonic Community College, I saw the quality of education determined by zip codes and a hemorrhaging school budget. This coupled with a shortage of quality, affordable housing and rising property taxes, in addition to exorbitant WPCA costs is why I am running for office.

The issues we are facing have been growing for decades and it is time that we begin electing representation that will show up for us and demand that our city gets the respect and attention it deserves from the State. When I have been out speaking with people in this district about where we have been and where we are going, it is clear that there is a deep desire for change.

Bridgeport has great potential: major transportation arteries, underdeveloped waterfront property, amazing people and is just a stone’s throw away from New York City. We deserve a leader in Hartford that has vision and will fight to bring jobs, programs and funding to build a better Bridgeport.

I served on the Bridgeport Public Housing Authority for several years and after serving as Deputy District Director for Congressman Himes, I decided to take the experience, contacts and knowledge I gained regarding the legislative process to advocate for my city. I will carry on the legacy of the Honorable Margaret Morton and fight for Bridgeport like I fought for my life while in that coma. I truly believe we all have a calling and mine is to do purposeful work and to help my people.

I humbly ask for your vote on August 14th!

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21 comments

  1. Not my District but I became impressed with Shante when she worked for Congressman Himes and her special competence was public housing. There are problems with HUD programs in the City fiscally, administratively and relative to the health of resident populations. Ms. Hanks has enough energy and expertise to make a difference in representing Bridgeport citizens and sharing her ability on behalf of Bridgeport in the legislature. Time will tell.

    1. Folks, you can’t make this shit up. JML, It look like time is moving at lightning speed. That is so fast that you missed the telling.

      “I truly believe we all have a calling and mine is to do purposeful work and to help my people.” Lets break it down a bit more: “…mine is to do purposeful work and to help my people.” Shanté Hanks, your people? You mean blacks, right?
      Does it include white members of the NAACP like John Marshal Lee? Does it include light skin Puerto Ricans or those with black skin like me and my family? I don’t think so, considering that the author of this commentary holds a “master’s degree” besides other so called experience.

      I hereby endorse Representative Stallworth. Stallwworth has the active support of Representative Rosario and Ezequiel Santiago whom have been campaigning alongside other black and white supporters of Representative Stallworth. We need diversity not division.

      “I served on the Bridgeport Public Housing Authority for several years and after serving as Deputy District Director for Congressman Himes, I decided to take the experience, contacts and knowledge I gained regarding the legislative process to advocate for my city.”

      As Housing Commissioner, what did you change or improve? I can say you didn’t do shit. ‘Till this day the horrendous condition at the Green Homes still exist, not to mention other housing sites. It seems like the only thing we have in common is the dream of one day being a professional boxer. I still bear the scars on my face. OIB is the ring where I’ve made a name for myself by beating any elected or aspiring public official who enters the ring. I just jabbed at you here as I don’t hit ladies. Having said this, here’s a box of Godiva Chocolate, if it’s too much for you, you can share it with Representative Jim Himes. Bing, bing, bing, bing…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QoTo8_FXS0&t=265s

    1. *** I would have to agree with the relevant work experience part however, any change from what most of the Bpt. legislation has been getting done up in the capital would be a welcome change! So why not, maybe Himes past influence on her might be helpful, no? ***

      1. Mojo, where was Congressman Jim Hines with all of these issues with the BHA, there are still big problems in those housing units and with the running of this organization?

        1. *** Where he’s always been, being a Congress man is not like being on the city council, he covers lots more Ct. area’s & issues. Where was the city council, Mayor or State’s Bpt. delegation on the BHA issues? ***

          1. Mojo, that’s true, the problems with the BHA are many and on going. The problems go back to when Chris Shays the Congressman. These problems go back 30 years and we’re talking about real people who reside in these government housing, I’m not blaming Shante Hanks for anything my concern is like what Mojo has listed, Mayor Ganim has done nothing in G1 and now in G2, the City Council has done nothing, Congressman Hines and Bridgeport’s state delegation all have done nothing
            Cecil Young for years would bring the issues of public housing before the City Council, just like the video that Joel posted are major health issues but the BHA does nothing in fact the BHA is probably the worse committee in Bridgeport.

  2. While many of us were rallying to block two more charter $chools in Bridgeport Shante Hanks was supporting them. She also served on Dr. Perry’s Charter School Board until she resigned right before she announced her candidacy.

    The BPS will lose over $5,000,000 next year to fund bus transportation and special ed. costs for these 6 charter $chools. This includes the loss of $600 per child in federal funding.

    Shante Hanks wants to help charter $chools and has never done a thing to help the BPS.

    We have about 166 ABs floating around Thomas Hooker and ask every single voter NOT to cast a vote for Hanks or Stallworth.

    Neither Stallworth nor Hanks will be good for the district or Bridgeport.

    I will be surprised if she gets 25 AB votes. We will have to wait and see.

  3. Joel,
    Reverend Stallworth has a wonderful smile, is trusted by many fellow ministers in the City, but you forgot to mention what he has done as a legislator for local constituents in public housing or out? What has he originated in bill form to change current situations? What has he seen as the biggest issues? Perhaps he can share his most recent relevant work he has done for compensation for the City of Bridgeport?

    Joel, were you trying to suggest that an intelligent, conscientious and competent person of color seeking office will not be able to accomplish purposeful work that will benefit her people and indeed all people? Why would you strike such a divisive chord at this time? Isn’t the separation of community members by religious, skin color, or country of origin perhaps the biggest reason this City continues to elect folks who like the status quo because they get a piece of the cake without effort and shut out real change from happening? That is fundamentally corrupt and racist, it seems to me. A place at the table where one has an invitation, can be heard, and gets a response is not routine in Bridgeport. Is it changing? Time will tell.

  4. *** Cecil talks for 2-mins. about the BHA at city public speaking time which is 6-mins. max & takes another 8-mintues talking about how the city did him wrong,etc, etc…***

    1. Mojo, my main point is Cecil Young it’s the entire BHA with their past record of investigations and failure to follow the law. These same politicians who turned their back on the problems concerning public housing have no problem going to these same public housing residents seeking their vote and in return these politicians do nothing to help them with their housing problems.

      1. *** Who brings these candidates to the BHA public housing units, “ex-residents or even present residents” looking for votes for the candidates & some-type of pay-off for them. “What can you do for me & mines”, no? They know of the problems being present or ex-residents of the BHA. Lets not point the finger at one person or political group for problems that have been around for decades in Bpt. ***

        1. MOJO,

          Why can’t we blame the Mayor? Why would it be unfair to ask the man who appoints and re-appoints commission members what experience they had when appointed? What has been their attendance and participation since beginning service? Whether there is any training offered outside the Committee on best practices, for example, or when the last Ethics session was attended?

          Our Charter provides the opportunity for good governance but the Mayor is the man in the power seat. If a Board or Commission is not living up to its responsibilities to the public, why doesn’t the Mayor deserve some heat? He is present when there is a photo op? Why not present for questions when there is “Mission Drop”? Time will tell.

          1. *** JML, if anyone knows the BHA problems in Bpt. its Joe Ganim who was Mayor for 12-yrs. before going away & now back again 20-yrs. later with basically the same problems still there. Only a lot less than before cause of the demolition’s of FPV, Pequounick’s, Evergreen’s, most of the Terrance, Marina Village, Marine Apts; etc. So when you look at public housing today, you’ll find many of the same problems from the past still today, aswell as terrible tenate’s that would make lousy neighbors & tenate’s of the housing complex. All adds up to a not so nice place to live @ times, past & present. It would boil down to survival of the smartest & fittest & largest family members that learn over time how to take it & give it! You sort of grow-up quick & are exposed to adult vices before your time at times. Family, close friends, faith & sports and lots of dreams of hope, kept you strong to carry on. ***

          2. Here is someone that I truly respect statement about the Bridgeport Housing Authority.

            Phil Smith // Jan 28, 2014 at 2:03 pm
            For more than thirty years the history of the Bridgeport Housing Authority has been marked by political cronyism, federal audits, investigations, indictments and HUD takeovers. It’s time to clean house, starting with the Board members who, the audit indicates, haven’t been doing their job.
            The Mayor has the power to remove Board members. Does he have the political courage to do so?

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