Newton: “Just Hire One,” The Road To Reentry

“Returning citizen navigator” City Councilman Ernie Newton was the featured guest on Tom Dudchik’s Capitol Report show focused on reentry reform for former offenders, second-chance messages and Mayor Joe Ganim’s candidacy for governor.

Newton works for Career Resources that recently hosted a jobs forum for former offenders with the mantra to local businesses, “Just hire one.” Newton touched on the keys to assimilate felons back into the work force to turn tax takers into taxpayers particularly for non-violent offenders and reduce the cost of the prison bureaucracy,

Newton also addressed Ganim’s run for governor just weeks from the Democratic convention, saying “this will be the most exciting convention” in decades.

Ganim needs 15 percent support at the convention to qualify for the August primary. In lieu of that, a massive petition drive securing more than 15,000 signatures from Democratic electors.

Greenwich entrepreneur Ned Lamont and former Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz have the most delegate support heading into the convention.



    1. I’d rather have sandpaper scraped across my knuckles than get career tips Ernie Newton.
      Even when he was a “guest of the government” he was an agent of deficit spending and wasted productivity.
      Why is he on TV ?
      I can’t believe it’s the hat.

  1. I personally don’t know what carer tips are, but getting career tips from Ernie Newton is like getting them from someone who has walked a mile in those shoes, someone that understands that even though you’ve run afoul of the law you still have a family to support and a life to sustain. If you’re not from a rich family from Easton then you need a job and a prior bad acts shouldn’t follow you for all the days of your life, which by the way seems to follow people of color more so than white people especially rich white people from Easton.

      1. Just because one is rich and white from Easton (from anywhere in America) doesn’t mean ones life is without struggles and problems, however ones life is not difficult because one is rich, white and from Easton

          1. Right, when your mirror reflects a complexion of color get back to me after about a month with your responsibility in the mirror report – I meet your wink and nod and raise you 2 fist bumps.

        1. Jennifer, dont confuse difficulty with almost impossible. Do you think that Mayor Ganim from Easton was having a difficult time finding a job or didn’t have the financial support of his rich family from Easton unlike a poor Black from the inner City. What Black felon could be elected Mayor of Bridgeport like the rich white man from Easton?

          1. I teach the brave to do the impossible. But it wasn’t impossible for Ernie Newton to become a City Councilman, was it? He might have shoes on his soles but I’m the only one with soul shoes . If he disagrees, he can use these pages to prove me wrong.

          2. Just because one is white and from Easton doesn’t mean life is without struggles and obstacles, however one’s life is not difficult and full of obstacles because one is white and from Easton.
            Sorry if I was unclear, whites can have a hard life but their life is not hard – or harder BECAUSE they are white. People of color are going to have a harder life out of the start gate BECAUSE they are people of color. That was the Intent of my message to the flippant remark by Paul.

  2. I thought Ernie was in rear form on Thursday hosting a very successful event. If ever a job was tailor made than surely Ernie Newton has it. He has the ability to touch so many people. Black and white and in- between. Convicted felons come in all shapes and sizes. You either believe that they have paid their debt to society or you are a narrow minded individual sitting in judgement.

    Ernie Newton was most articulate in this interview and people will have a choice. Even the delegates. Joe Ganim will take his show on the road. He knows there are haters out there like most on this blog. But, he has a huge amount of support from people at all different socio-economic levels in life. Being born into privilege is not a crime. Being educated is not a crime and going after your dreams and fulfilling your destiny is not a crime . What is a crime? Letting others decide your fate and believing they had the ability to do so.

    Ernie Newton and Joe share many things in common. The most common denominator, against all odds. They won. What they do with their blessing , only time will tell. I believe both will do good works! Ernie’s showing the other day was amazing. People were dressed for success and I hope they get a job! Congratulations to Mr. Christmas on his appointment by Mayor Ganim. Just one more Black man holding a high position in the Ganim administration. That comment was only for those that think Ganim is not supportive and engaged in the city.

    1. “I thought Ernie was in rear form on Thursday”.Steve,I think you meant “rare” form.Or maybe you were referring to Ernie’s prison days..

    2. The mayor is supportive of the private atyorneys donating $3500.00 each to his campaign fund for the privilege of forclosing on homeowners with deliquent sewer usage accounts.

  3. In the words of Steve Auerbach, a “second chance” moralist: “What is a crime? Letting others decide your fate and believing they had the ability to do so.”

    Steve, “going after your dreams and fulfilling your destiny is not a crime” but a politician who committed crimes according to the Federal Law books that had to do with public corruption, crimes that took advantage of the power of the position, the advantage over the people, the opportunity to add to your personal wealth before attending to the needs of those with less power and privilege was found guilty and paid a price with his prison sentence. What did he learn? What did he say that could resonate not with felons like him, but for those who were considering breaking the law, and changed their direction? Where is the remorse? Where is the waste of life and dreams for others who believed in him?

    Now back to Steve’s original question….sounds like the crime is what is happening to the youth of Bridgeport and their parents who have allowed our City leadership to decide your fate by failing to seriously fund the educational needs of this City and failing to vote to remove them in order to make room for a City Charter rewrite (with major changes in financial oversight) and broader City focus on the Council with perhaps a layer of at large representation, among other things. But if you fail to exercise your vote, and you trust the status quo, then maybe your are continuing the criminal behavior to your own family……an abuse of the masses of people? Time will tell.

  4. In the past I’ve had harsh words for Mr. Newton. Given his re-election to the City Council and his efforts toward reforming the WPCA collections process and his work assisting ex convicts re-enter society he has earned respect. He’s working to better the qulity of life for the people of the city of Bridgeport.

    Ex cons face an uphill battle upon release from incarceration and monitoring by the office of parole. The criminal justice system classifies them as rehabilitated, repentant, CORRECTED. They have been forgiven for their debts and trespasses. Too many rmployers discriminate, assume a pseudo moral high ground as an excuse to say “I’ll call you if there’s an opening…”

  5. Just a brief observation of the Council as a whole—Pete Spain and Ernie Newton possess the understanding, intelligence, and respond without out the concern of retaliation. Ernie brings experience and knowledge of the body, Pete brings an incredible mind (intelligence); I hope they continue to interact on the tough issues. As someone who put in a couple of decades, I was curious to see how Ernie handled going back. He shows remarkable humility and jumps in when the less-experienced are getting ready to mess up

    1. Lisa, great assessment of Ernie Newton, Ernie has been around the block a few times and Ernie now has a new role and that’s as senior statesman on the City Council.

      Ernie is very visible in his district and anywhere in the City where a problem pops up. He’s out listening and talking to taxpayers and children. Ernie is in church every Sunday and if someone has an issue with Ernie they will tell Ernie because he has created a comfort level where people have no problem in questioning him.

      When Ernie is wrong about something he knows that Donnie Day and myself will question him on it and he has no problem that, in fact he expect us to question him.

    2. Ernie Newton brings a lot to the table (besides sartorial splendor and piano skills): EXPERIENCE. He had learned some lessons the hard way, lived to tell. After his legal difficulies Mt. Newton seems to be a humbler man. He’s out in the district every day listening to constituents, walking the walk.

      That’s a hell of a lot morecthan can be said about Joe Ganim. Our illustrious mayor never goes out unless there’s an optical benefit.

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