State Senator Marilyn Moore, an establishment fighter, was in an unusual position Monday night, but one she’s savoring. For the first time she won the Democratic endorsement–and by acclamation–an acknowledgement of both her constituent popularity and a nod by politicians who had formerly opposed her, including former City Council President Tom McCarthy who challenged her in a primary two years ago. Moore’s seeking a third, two-year term. Republican Richard Deecken will face her in the November general election.
Moore, a healthcare advocate, thrust into the political scene in 2014 when she knocked off incumbent Anthony Musto in a primary running on a reform platform. Two years after winning election McCarthy challenged her with the endorsement. In a split city-suburban district Moore, a black woman, showed she had staying power in Bridgeport, Trumbull and Monroe, defeating McCarthy handily.
Monday night, accepting the endorsement at the Trumbull Public Library, she made clear she’s a senator for constituents in all her three communities accentuating that the Stern Village senior housing units in Trumbull generates among the most constituent requests.
The venue was also symbolic in nature in suburban Trumbull and not the traditional locale of conventions at the Bridgeport restaurant owned by Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa. McCarthy, in fact, bypassed the City Council meeting to cast his vote for Moore.
Addressing the tri-district delegates who endorsed her, Moore hit upon an emotional tone she has carried since her first election: “I’m fighting for people who don’t have a voice” focused on fair wages, healthcare, concerns for the elderly. She also hammered home her commitment to all constituents in Bridgeport, Trumbull and Monroe, often a difficult balancing act considering the diversity of the district.
At her side, Monday night, Bridgeport’s emerging young voices not seen in decades, particularly a core unit of women including Sarah Lewis, a young community activist from Black Rock and member of Bridgeport Young Democrats, who delivered the nominating speech that follows. Also see video at top. The convention was chaired by Trumbull Town Council member Ashley Gaudiano, another young activist, who’s seeking a State House seat in Trumbull and Fairfield.
Good evening delegates of the 22nd State Senatorial Convention! My name is Sarah Lewis. I’m a woman, a millennial, a proud resident of Bridgeport, and a constituent of State Senator Marilyn Moore.
It gives me great honor tonight to place in nomination for State Senate the name of a tireless advocate for the residents of her district who always puts the interests of her constituents in front of her own feelings–the current holder of the office–Senator Marilyn Moore!
Now you might ask–Marilyn Moore and I might not come from the same background–so why do I support her?
Senator Moore has a lifelong track record of fighting for people and working to improve the lives of residents that government and big business have left behind. Whether that is through the nonprofits she has run or as an elected official to provide safe and affordable housing for families, substance abuse treatment when needed, help for small businesses, improvements to public education, fighting for healthy nutrition for kids and fighting childhood obesity among many other causes–you always have a reliable friend in Marilyn Moore.
That is why this feisty lady with the stylish shoes has such a strong following among people of my generation in Bridgeport. She is a fighter through and through. And she fights hard to represent all constituents of this diverse senate district. Not just Bridgeport
Senator Moore also fights for the hard working people of Trumbull–a growing suburb with good schools and strong property values. And she fights for Monroe, a far more rural town with different challenges such as trying to retain a population of young people and families looking for a beautiful place to raise children with good schools.
My generation of young Democrats are ready to be an army for Marilyn Moore any time she asks because we have seen her fight entrenched interests against the odds but through sheer determination and by sticking to her principles she wins. Not just for herself but for all of us.
She took on an incumbent Senator–challenging him to a primary back in 2014 because Connecticut’s largest city–Bridgeport–needed better representation so it can better serve as a regional hub.
And after two years of hard work as a legislator, the constituents of the 22nd district rewarded her greatly in 2016–giving her a victory margin in the primary in 2016 of over 1,100 votes.
Senator Moore has taken this victory as a resounding mandate and has shown the Senate what a true leader she is. In a very difficult budget year, Senator Moore fought hard to preserve education funding for Bridgeport, Monroe and Trumbull–staying many late nights long after the legislative session was over last summer and fall and making sure our children and families were represented when others wanted to slash funds.
She fought to keep in place key funding for public transportation and prevent drastic cuts from taking effect that would have resulted in devastating bus fare hikes and service cuts for our area.
What is foremost on her mind always is the welfare of her constituents and the struggles that many of us face every day. Senator Moore is always accessible to her constituents 24/7 and is famous for being a night owl–you might even be able to call or email her at 1:00 a.m. and she will get right back to you!
As chair of the Human Services Committee, Senator Moore often fights hardest for our most vulnerable population: the elderly, those on fixed incomes, the poor, and for children who want a safe home and bed to sleep in, a warm meal, and a good school to attend.
And I have Senator Moore to thank for fighting for young women like me as she has led the way in fighting for pay equity and reproductive rights. As a person who had a very high ranking role in the private sector, Senator Moore knows first hand what the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements are all about. She is determined to bring an understanding that there is zero tolerance ever in the workplace or anywhere else for sexual harassment, intimidation, or gender discrimination.
And she did the most difficult thing a legislator has to do sometimes–she called out members of her own Senate Democratic Caucus for making insensitive comments about race.
Now all of this strong leadership has gotten Marilyn some notice. You see, Senator Moore is not one to be controlled by anyone–she has a remarkably independent streak. In the last two years since Senator Moore trounced her last primary challenger, the message from the Democratic establishment has been “Well, if ya can’t beat her, join her!” Marilyn was approached earlier this year by Ned Lamont about running with him to be Connecticut’s next Lieutenant Governor. She said she was honored but respectfully declined. Too much work to do in the 22nd Senate District.
Recently–about a week before the end of the legislative session–Senate Democratic leadership put Senator Moore into a very powerful position. Senator Moore is now the co-chair of the powerful bonding subcommittee in the general assembly’s finance committee. That means she is one of three people in the entire legislature who control what important infrastructure and community improvement projects the state borrows money to fund. That means a potential for millions of dollars in investment in our communities because Senator Moore helps control this funding.
The legislators who get these types of positions are people the leadership trusts and view as wise, strong advocates for their communities. That in itself is about as strong an endorsement of Marilyn Moore for another term as I can think of.
Marilyn is a strong fighter for all of us, and now she is in a position to help Bridgeport, Trumbull and Monroe for years into the future. So I urge my fellow Democrats at this convention–Marilyn has fought for us, and now it’s time for us to fight for her and send her to Hartford for another two years to represent this region strongly.
I urge you give her the endorsement for the 22nd Senate District. Thank you!