New Look School Board On The Horizon–Fewer Food Fights?

Remember those days of food fights at school board meetings? And you thought The Carroll Nutrition Center just served the kids, right? Who loves pie!

Back in the day, Maria Pereira, Kenneth Moales, Jessica Martinez and Chris Taylor chucked it one way or another. Pereira’s now slinging custard on the City Council, Moales is getting creamed by foreclosure of his church properties, Martinez and Taylor have had enough pie, exiting the nine-member body when the current session ends and starts anew, in December.

A new look will take over led by non-traditional candidates, and some of them with advanced degrees. What a novel approach, as noted above in the fundraising teaser highlighting academic backgrounds of the candidates. You can even don a Halloween costume for the occasion.

Democrats Christine Baptiste-Perez and Erika Castillo had pondered runs for City Council in the 138th District, the domain of Pereira. Party regulars guided them to school board slots, suggesting they’d have a better shot at winning and that is definitely the case.

Michael Maccarone, an adjunct professor at the University of Bridgeport, enjoys Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa’s macaroni. Mario, apron-attired swirling his candidate sauce, said: let’s try someone new. Welcome to the party Michael. How about a little tiramisu to complement an espresso?

The school board is governed by state-mandated minority-party representation meaning three of the nine slots cannot be held by the major party, in this case Democrats.

So the real campaign food fight looms between Republicans and Working Families Party that has made inroads through the years starting with the elections of Pereira and Sauda Baraka in 2009. For November the WFP has endorsed incumbent Joe Sokolovic, Khalid Muhammad and Jose Lopez. Baraka is the local WFP chair.

Republican candidates are led by current board chair John Weldon, and Mary Gaits and Peter Perillo.

Watch for the political machinations. The Republicans are more acceptable to the Democratic establishment than the WFP candidates. Translation: Let’s set some of our people free to vote for them.

Why is Weldon, a Republican, school board chair and not a Dem? School board leaders in Bridgeport have a long selection history based on personalities and not party. After a revolving door of school board chairs, Weldon has settled into that role, but his future depends on his reelection and subsequent makeup of the board.

Republican Michael Bisciglia led the school board for more than a decade in the 1980s and 1990s when pie-throwing incidents were kept to a minimum.

Based on the backgrounds and personalities of the school board candidates it appears the Board of Education is heading back to less pie.



  1. The Republican Slate will throw rotten tomatoes as they did in the primary: See this trump like mailer sent by the three Republicans

    I came up short by 44 votes and I feel like this mailer is why. I knocked on over 1,000 doors, sent 3,000 mailers, and made over 3,000 phone calls. I had a comfortable margin on my win number of voter commitments a week before the election and still kept working like I had not one vote.

    “The three of us are all about accountability, transparency at it for nd collaboration, most importantly,” Weldon said of the slate before the primary. – – CT Post

    Let’s look at their first collaboration and get a glimpse into the future of how the three white Republicans will govern if elected. Let’s break down this attack ad.

    Bullet one: Columbus statue.

    This March was lead by young women of color
    with the explicit purpose to protest peacefully the continued presence of the Christopher Columbus statue in Seaside Park. John Weldon, Mary Gaits, and Peter Perillo derisively used the term “woke” (a state of mind of which I am most proud). They continued to lie about these young women of color to say that the marchers threatened to vandalize the statue, when they clearly stated the march was not about destruction.

    As we all know this is pulled directly from the Trump playbook. This attack is much like the attack ads that preyed upon the inherent fears of the lowest common denominator of the Republican Party, that of xenophobia built on ignorance. The ad seems to imply that, although they will govern in a “minority” dominant city, the three white candidates will not govern in a “woke” manner. They will continue to uphold centuries of white privilege and Eurocentric indoctrination which has been prevalent in our education system since its very inception. An even worse implication is that the Republican ad seems to infer that if elected Sokolovic will help black and brown people steal and vandalize the property that belongs to white people.

    Bullet Two: Sokolovic is seeking the endorsement of the Working Families Party (WFP).

    This is partially true as I sought the endorsement of the WFP, not the far left, just as I was seeking the endorsement of the Republicans and not far right. I am proud to accept the endorsement of the Working Family Party and appreciate their support. It is apparent from this mailer that Weldon, Gaits, and Perillo align themselves with the far right of the party, and will seek to keep the systems of oppression in education firmly in place. Unfortunately, they are not woke to the needs of our students.

    Bullet three: Tried to force district to change name of Columbus School.

    Yes, I tried and failed to force Columbus school to change its name. This shows that not everyone is yet ready to move on from our colonial past.

    Bullet four: Supported by Maria Pereira.

    It really depends on the day of the week, but I gladly seek the support of any and all people in order to further my agenda of bringing an equitably funded, quality education to all our students. Politics or personalities should not get in the way of embracing good ideas. I will align myself with any groups and people I feel will help our children. It’s not about left or right; it’s about doing what is right for the city of Bridgeport.

    Paragraph under the bullet: Sokolovic seeks to impose his far left beliefs on the school system.

    This is yet again straight from the Trump playbook and mirrors the rhetoric we are all seeing play out in our surrounding wealthy suburbs, with angry white parents disrupting meetings, angrily and ignorantly shouting about teaching “Critical Race Theory” in our schools. There are no K-12 schools teaching critical race theory. This is a college course that studies the impact of past and present racism. Its effect is seen in outcomes in today’s education which puts our students at a competitive disadvantage. There are, however, lessons learned through critical race theory implemented in our schools. I wholeheartedly endorse and have implemented these practices in the last four years. Would Weldon, Perillo and Gaits seek to reverse those gains I made over the last four years?

    Under Weldon’s accomplishments: Hired a competent superintendent after the previous superintendent left.

    This is problematic on so many levels.
    Dr. Johnson did not “abruptly” leave. She gave the proper notification as required under her contract. Mr. Weldon always assured that Dr. Johnson, an African American woman, lived up to the letter of her contract. Does he hold the current superintendent up to the same standard? No, he does not. While I do not question the competence of the superintendent, I do question the competence and the motivations of John Weldon in the superintendent hiring process every step of the way. He seems to go through great pains to protect the superintendent from board members seeking to jointly exercise their authority, especially in regards to the budget; a luxury Mr. Weldon did not afford Dr. Johnson.

    Think carefully on November 2nd. Vote WFP for equity in education.

    Joseph Sokolovic
    Board of Education Candidate

  2. BTW as a realist, should I win, I look forward to working with the three Dems, one with a background in finance and two with a background equity work. I ask that the voters elect 4 new board members along with me. WFP for the BOE!

  3. Joseph, this can’t be a surprise to anyone as this has been the Republican playbook for five years now. What’s pathetic is that one of those racist bastards can set on the school board where the district’s minority enrollment is 90%. I feel safe saying that neither based on their ideology will do what’s in the best interest for the education of children of color in Bridgeport.

  4. Comrade Day, you do know Joe is running as a Republican who became a Democrat to block Democrats from gaining a seat on the BBOE? That party that always had/has the best interest of the education of children of color in Bridgeport. Who’s playbook was that from Comrade Joe. SMH

    Bullet Five. If people want to protest and condemn Columbus’ history in America, cancel the Italian celebration of Columbus Day to Indigenous Day, is a perspective. However, if that is your view you should be doing the same for Puerto Rican Day to Taíno Day. Instead of going on a float and dancing to Columbus’ “History” of island San Juan Bautista\Peurto Rico. If not, would it be fair to say that the Columbus controversy has less to do with history and more of a page from a playbook of race-baiting and identity politics? There is no way you can condemn act (Columbus/voyage) and dance on the float celebration the results (Peurto Rica Day/heritage) without being insincere even a bit racist. JS Just my perspective.

    Comrade Joe, you are part of Port’s education. Where did that Puerto Rican Heritage come from? If Columbus, should anyone be on a float celebrating his History? Or does it just pertain to Italian Heritage, Columbus Day, and Statues/whiteness? Honest Question.

    PS Happy Puerto Rican Heritage Month.

    Food for thought.

    BAM I am out of here, Stay woke, people. 🙂

  5. Joe, I am very interested in your response. How do you condemn the act (Columbus’s history/voyage) on the Italian’s heritage celebration, Columbus Day, yet go on a float celebrating the results of (Columbus’ history/voyage) on Peurto Rican Day/heritage without being the unfair or unjust principle of Columbus’ history and discriminatory to the Italians heritage?

    There is not a nation on this side of the hemisphere that doesn’t have its origins from Columbus’ voyage, as well as the history of slavery in human history which was practice by every race, color, and creed since the existence of civilization itself.

    It’s even condoned and sanctioned in the Bible and Quran. That’s considered laws are given by God and unchangeable. Yet, it seems America, the United States of America, is the only nation that is condemned out right of human history.

    Why stop at Columbus? Why not PR Day, the Bible, the Quran?

    Fighting for justice, equality, fairness, and a better quality of life is a noble quest, but not at the expense of justice, equality, fairness, and better quality of life of another. It’s like fighting against racism with racism, for justice with injustice, for equality with inequality. Especially when Columbus had nothing to do with America.

    Painting American racism with a broad stroke of Colonialism is equally unjust too. Every nation on this side of the hemisphere has its root from Columbus Voyage/Colonialism.

    Comrade Joe I would really like to hear your response. How do you condemn the act yet celebrate the results?

    What does it mean to move past our Colonialism?

    How does(in my perspective) a racism/bias act like attacking another race, the Italian celebration/heritage on the grounds of conquest, colonialism and, slavery based on Columbus history, while not doing the same for other nations who share that very same history? Even more so ike PR Day.

    As you can see racism/bias it’s an ongoing struggle in America.

    BTY, America fought that colonialism and created a new nation that was seen for thousands of years, that was heavily influenced by ancient Rome and Greece. America was the key principal nation to end slavery in this part of the hemisphere and throughout the world that many risks their lives to come to, including blacks for other nations.

    Also if Columbus is the litmus test for condemnation/cancelation like the Italians/Columbus Day/statutes. Add the Bible and Quran to that list or check yourself, because if not, it’s unfair and unjust. It’s just a different winning side of racism in America and the struggle continues, in this case for the Italians, trivial, but racism.

    If anyone wants to chime on this discourse on American racism, please do. In my perspective, To single out Columbus’s history as a means to attack Italians and their heritage celebration is either racism/bias, anti-American/Marxist, blind self-righteous, but what it is not, is just or fair and definitely equally. JS

    Hit the comment section. If I am wrong, let me know.

    P.S you can thank the Devil for the comment section. 🙂

    Maybe even anti-Catholicism.


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