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Pereira Promises Political War If Schools Not Funded

April 18th, 2017 · 38 Comments · City Budget, City Politics, Education, News and Events

Pereira, Fonseca, Ganim

Maria Pereira, left, City Council candidate Dollie Fonseca and Ganim in 2015. How things have changed.

She ends her letter with “warmest regards” but school board member Maria Pereira made clear in a letter to Mayor Joe Ganim and incumbent city councilors in her district that it will be political Armageddon in the Upper East Side where she serves as Democratic district leader if city schools don’t receive $11.4 million more for the budget year that starts July 1.

Pereira is rallying school parents to attend the public hearing on the Board of Education proposed budget April 25, 6 p.m. in City Council Chambers.

A supporter of Ganim’s return to office in 2015 as well as backing 138th City Council candidates Anthony Paoletto and Nessah Smith, Pereira promises to “be walking door-to-door this entire Summer educating 138th voters about how each of you have performed as it relates to keeping your campaign promises.”

Paoletto, Smith

Incumbent 138th District city councilors Anthony Paoletto and Nessah Smith.

Paoletto and Smith are up for reelection. So far they are being challenged by neighborhood activists Gage Frank and Dollie Fonseca. Pereira may back two candidates of her own so it could be a crowded field for two seats in a September Democratic primary.

Ganim is not up for mayoral reelection until 2019 and has already banked about $200,000 for the cause, but he’s also eyeing a potential statewide run in 2018.

Fonsceca, Frank announcment

Dollie Fonseca and Gage Frank on campaign trail.

Pereira letter:

Dear Mayor Ganim & City Council Members Anthony Paoletto & Nessah Smith,

I am writing to you in my capacity as both the 138th District Leader and a member of the Bridgeport Board of Education.

The proposed budget presented to the City Council has a ZERO increase yet again, although the school board has made it clear it must have a minimum increase of $11.4 million just to maintain all current staff and programming, and to add back the kindergarten paraprofessionals. As you are fully aware, the BOE requested $15,000,000 LY and you appropriated a ZERO increase. We now have up to 25 five year olds in class 6 1/2 hours per day, five days a week, with only a certified teacher. One staff person must take care of every bathroom need, help them open their milk cartons, etc., all while doing their very best to educate all our kindergartners. We have one Social Worker & Guidance Counselor for every 625 students, which is outrageous.

And to add insult to injury, the budget has an unlawful reduction in the Minimum Budget Requirement of over $2,000,000 where Nestor notified CFO Marlene Seigel that you intend to STEAL these funds to pay for a BPD Lieutenant, Captain, Sargent, five SROs and Crossing Guards. This is defined as THEFT.

Out of 169 school districts, no town/city contributes less to its public schools on a percentage basis, than Bridgeport. You should be completely embarrassed by that statistic.

I have worked tirelessly in the 138th to build the number of voters and to educate them regarding the importance of holding politicians accountable for their campaign promises. I have taught them to NEVER vote for a lying politician because it teaches lying politicians to keep lying. It is my hardwork  over the last 3 1/2 years which has made the 138th District the only district with both schools in the top five voter turnout polling locations.

I will be walking door-to-door this entire Summer educating 138th voters about how each of you have performed as it relates to keeping your campaign promises. Unfortunately, so far, it isn’t looking to good. In addition, I was able to keep ALL your campaign literature where all THREE of you placed in writing that you would fund our public schools and make sure they had “the resources” they needed. We will be walking door-to-door with copies of your very own campaign literature.

We have requested and MUST have an additional $11.4 million this upcoming school year or our 21,000 students will face another round of devastating cuts.

This decision is in your hands, however I will be holding you accountable for any decision that negatively impacts our over 21,000 public school students.

Warmest Regards,

Maria Pereira

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38 Comments so far ↓

  • Ron Mackey

    Oh wow, is that Maria Pereira smiling in that first picture with Joe Ganim and she took credit for electing Ganim?

    • DC Faber

      It is, she did, but she has also fallen on her sword and publically admitted she got duped. Sad to say a lot of folks are playing that tune.

      • Ron Mackey

        DC Faber, so which was Maria telling the truth, now since she hates Mayor Ganim or before when she had gone out of her telling voters to vote for Joe Ganim? How you trust what she’s saying now then later Maria’s changes her mind?

      • Maria Pereira

        Dan, I am requesting that you NOT respond to Ron or Don when it comes to matters regarding me. I would appreciate your honoring my request.

  • Maria Pereira

    Howard Gardner, Ben Walker and myself were the ONLY BOE members in attendance.

    Where was our Chair Joe Larcheveque, Vice-Chair Sauda Baraka, and Secretary John Weldon? Where was Dennis “Bulls_it” Bradley, Raphael Fonseca and Annette Negron?

    There is no board or commission that is more important than the BOE. Being responsible for the academic well being of 21,000 students is a serious responsibility. For those BOE members that do not understand or care about the importance of serving on the BOE; please resign or do not seek re-election. This includes those colleagues I have been most aligned with.

    We have a lot of LAZY BOE members.

  • Maria Pereira

    Howard Gardner, Ben Walker and myself were the ONLY BOE members in attendance.

    Where was our Chair Joe Larcheveque, Vice-Chair Sauda Baraka, and Secretary John Weldon? Where was Dennis “Bulls_it” Bradley, Raphael Fonseca and Annette Negron?

    There is no board or commission that is more important than the BOE. Being responsible for the academic well being of 21,000 students is a serious responsibility. For those BOE members that do not understand or care about the importance of serving on the BOE; please resign or do not seek re-election. This includes those colleagues I have been most aligned with.

    We have a lot of LAZY BOE members.

  • Ron Mackey

    I see that the big effort to rally parents, BBOE members and others to the meeting on Tuesday didn’t work out to well.

  • Lisa Parziale

    Ron, what does that tell you? Only one-third of the BOE members were present, parents and the public in general didn’t take the time to attend the beginning of these meetings, and in the end those that will suffer are the most important asset we have, the children. There’s enough apathy to go around.

    • Ron Mackey

      Lisa, my entire life in Bridgeport the mindset has been “apathy,” in politics, in supporting businesses, social issues, education, the voters feel that things will workout by those who are elected but they feel that there is nothing that they can do. We have not found the glue to keep different communities together and more importantly to get up and speak out and demand change. Yes Lisa, apathy, apathy, apathy, it’s so sad but true.

    • Maria Pereira

      Lisa, Ron Mackey doesn’t know what he is talking about, which should not be a surprise to you or anyone else.

      The effort to organize parents and the community has been for the Public Hearing on the BOE Appropriation which is on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 6:00 PM located at 45 Lyon Terrace.

      Stating facts seems to offend some, but the truth is just that, the truth.

  • Donald Day

    Mayor Ganim doesn’t give a damn about Maria or the education of a bunch of Black and Latino children. I see Maria is calling out Sauda Baraka, is there a rift developing between these allies or has Sauda outlived her usefulness to Maria just like a litany of others that have been cast aside like yesterday’s news?

    • Ron Mackey

      Don, you got it right about Mayor Ganim, he doesn’t give a damn about Maria or the education of a bunch of Black and Latino children. Being loyal is something that’s just a one way street for Mayor Ganim and Maria Pereira, the black voter was loyal to Joe Ganim but he turns his back them after he gets back into office and Sauda Baraka was loyal to Maria when Maria made her attempt to run for the BBOE position but now Maria is being disloyal to Sauda. Sauda Baraka has always been a fighter, ran and got elected to the BBOE first as a Republican without any help from Maria but then Republican Party didn’t want this black female as a BBOE member so Sauda ran on the WRP ticket and won. Maria has demonstrated that if you don’t support her totally then you are her enemy, everything is about padding Maria on the back and telling her how good she is.

      • Lisa Parziale

        Ron I know the dedication and attention you always gave to Bridgeport. What saddens me is the apparent despair felt by the “good, devoted ones” of this City. How long can a few hold on and hang in when there’s no cohesiveness? Every thinking, caring adult in Bridgeport should look first at how the children are being taught and groomed for the future. I care about taxes, public safety, the regrowth of Bridgeport, but without a new generation properly educated to carry one, we’re all doomed. There was more attention given to the stupid parking meters downtown than to the kids. The blame game is old, the way I see it is there are those who have tried, served and continue to do so, but we can’t do it much longer without a group of successors willing to organize and demand that education is a priority. We read about the special interest individuals willing to take out their checkbooks to support a candidate that has no idea what he plans to do in the future.I wonder who would show if a fundraiser was planned to support an educational initiative? Does Testo have an altruistic bone in his body? Is there anyone who remembers the “king of fundraising” ever offering one of his restaurants to show an act of kindness. He’s just the tip of the iceberg, it rolls right on down. Before the one constant throws in the towel, folks should give her credit for her persistence, tenacity, and genuine concern for the BOE. Maria Pereira GO!

        • Ron Mackey

          Lisa, I’ve said to you before Maria is a hard worker and deserves credit for her efforts but it’s either you support her 100% or she’ll turn on you and talk about you on OIB. She doesn’t know how to except constructive criticism or tale advice from people who share information with her. Lisa, Maria doesn’t want to expand her base outside of the 138th district, she knows nothing about coalition building because it has to be her way or no way. Lisa, doesn’t need to do the name calling that she does.

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    This is a crock of shit. Keep filing legal actions, Maria. After a while the judges will tell you to get lost.

  • Lisa Parziale

    Ron I hear you. When I met Maria, just a couple of years ago, it was her determination, and hard work that I saw. Maria will admit that I share experiences with her, and I also tell her when she’s a little off the grid. It’s my choice to “put my hands over my ears” when she vents because I know and see what apparently most don’t. I’m more interested in effort and hopefully results, personalities don’t faze me anymore. Her heart’s in the right place, until I see differently I will continue to support her efforts. Tell the truth, if you had a choice between a smooth-talking, backstabbing, hypocrite, or an honest, sometimes unfiltered person, who would you choose. Ron you go all the way back with me and we still share a mutual respect and admiration, so therefore you know better than anyone that I’m not naive. If I still have anything to offer, it’s because I learned the hard way. For too long I chose the first example.

  • Harvey Weintraub

    Maria does so much arguing,name calling,and threats of “legal action”,that people at this point don’t listen anymore.Its more of a ” just let her speak so we can move on” thing now…it’s human nature…I agree with her position on this topic, but unfortunately,she doesn’t know “how to be heard”.

    • Lisa Parziale

      Harvey I can’t argue that point. Emotional logic can’t be heard, it’s an oxymoron!

    • Ron Mackey

      Harvey Weintraub, you have sum it pretty good.

      My good brother Donald Day has a great question about a choice that goes like this, “take whatever your favorite meal and have it serve to you on top of garbage can top, it’s not to appealing is it.” That’s what Maria gives OIB readers, she gives out some good information but then she turns people away by serving her information on a garbage can top and that’s not appealing.

  • Maria Pereira

    While some were just posting on OIB today, some of us were grassroots organizing.

    I spent two hours in front of Multi-Cultural Magnet School during their report card conference speaking with parents about the BOE Budget while many of those that posted here today did nothing to help our children, parents, residents, or city.

    I explained we are the most underfunded school district in CT, that Mayor Ganim promised that if we voted for him he would fund our schools, I explained that the BOE requested $15,000,000 LY and Mayor Ganim and the City Council gave us ZERO. I explained that Multi-Cultural School lost all their kindergarten paraprofessionals, their Home School Coordinator, etc.. I explained when the Mayor & City Council doesn’t give our children the money their children deserves; who pays the price? Your child, right.

    I then explained that we are fighting for their children but we need them to stand with us in that fight. I review the date, time and location of the Public Hearing and asked them to commit to coming. Then I asked them which school they vote at and circled their city council members on the black of the flier which has all twenty listed with their names, emails, and phone numbers. I urge them to send an email to Mayor Ganim, whom is featured prominently on EVERY version of our flier, and their City Council Members to express their views on funding their children’s education.

    I let every parent know that EVERY City Council Member is up for reelection in September.

    One parent said “your famous, your the lady I always see on Channel 12″. I replied” no one on Channel 12 is “famous”. We chuckled, and then I I explained I am a bit of a troublemaker, but I am fighting for our kids. He told me “I know, keep it up”.

  • Maria Pereira

    IIIIIIIIIIII am fighting for our 21,000 students while many people just post on OIB and do nothing in our community to make a difference. :)

  • Ron Mackey

    Maria, you got a lot of dam nerve to say, “Where was our Chair Joe Larcheveque, Vice-Chair Sauda Baraka, and Secretary John Weldon?” How dare you question where Sauda Baraka was. Let me tell you something, Sauda Baraka is the only elected who holds a position in Bridgeport who has supported you and now you want to put her on front street because she was not at that meeting. I’ve know Sauda and her whole family for over 30 years and worked with her husband on the fire department for over 20 years, so I know Sauda and she smart and well respected and she doesn’t play games. You are but a backstabbing liar who only wants to use people. Maria, seeing that Sauda wasn’t at the meeting then did you know where she was and what she was doing?

  • Donald Day

    Oh my goodness Maria, give me a damn break. They’re are a myriad of people that post on OIB that have been in the battle to make Bridgeport a better place to live, work and raise a family and they did this for decades prior to anyone ever hearing about Maria. Most of us have done more in this city than you could ever comprehend of replicate.

    Long before anyone had ever heard of you Sauda was the voice for our children on the BBOE and any outspoken critic of the oppressive nature of the city and state to underfund the educational pursuits of our children. How long before Howard Gardner and Ben Walker becone persona non grata and what will it take, a disagreement on the weather?
    The children of Bridgeport would be better served if you do what I did, move the hell out of the city and give our children a chance. If you’re the answer to the education of Bridgeport children one must wonder, what the hell is the question.

  • Robert Teixeira

    WOW WOW WOW!!!!
    Ron I’m not going to call Day out, while his and yours comments are one side, all things black,(kind a racist) I view his comment a progress on his misogyny when he came to Sandra’s defense. Mostly because I like Day more than you, As for you Ron,

    A. Maria didn’t single out Sandra, you did. She called out the entire board members that didn’t show up to this meeting. The two white dudes, Latino dude. Black lady, and whatever race Dennis and Annette are.

    B. Please stop using Latinos to perpetuate your racism. It is nice you to incorporate them in your “fight” for a better Bridgeport school system to bash Maria while leave out the whites students that are equally affected by Bridgeport’s failing education system. That’s racism.

    C. If you are going to call Maria out for calling Sandra out, and you are going to incorporate the Latinos in you fight against her. Please incorporate them in you comment about Sandra in your defense against Maria calling Sandra out. Like your claim on Ganim, he only use blacks to win then he forgets about them.

    D. You do know people can read Maria’s statement and there’s something called context, Right?

    E. She starts off with US “While some were just posting on OIB today, some of us were grassroots organizing.”

    1. I spent two hours in front of Multi-Cultural Magnet School during their report card conference speaking with parents about the BOE Budget while many of those that posted here today did nothing to help our children, parents, residents, or city.

    2. I explained we are the most underfunded school district in CT, that Mayor Ganim promised that if we voted for him he would fund our schools,

    3. I explained that the BOE requested $15,000,000 LY and Mayor Ganim and the City Council gave us ZERO.

    4. I explained that Multi-Cultural School lost all their kindergarten paraprofessionals, their Home School Coordinator, etc..

    5. I explained when the Mayor & City Council doesn’t give our children the money their children deserves; who pays the price? Your child, right.

    6. I then explained that we are fighting for their children but we need them to stand with us in that fight.

    7. I review the date, time and location of the Public Hearing and asked them to commit to coming.

    8. I asked them which school they vote at and circled their city council members on the black of the flier which has all twenty listed with their names, emails, and phone numbers.

    9. I urge them to send an email to Mayor Ganim, whom is featured prominently on EVERY version of our flier, and their City Council Members to express their views on funding their children’s education.

    10. I let every parent know that EVERY City Council Member is up for reelection in September.

    11. One parent said “your famous, your the lady I always see on Channel 12″.

    12. I replied” no one on Channel 12 is “famous”. We chuckled, and then I

    13. I explained I am a bit of a troublemaker, but I am fighting for our kids. He told me “I know, keep it up”.

    It’s funny until it’s not.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6hM0PrS8XU

    • Ron Mackey

      Robert, show me where I mention anything about race? I see that you enjoy running behind Maria trying to clean her shit up but you can’t because her shit is all over.

      Robert, Sauda Baraka has been involve with Bridgeport long before Maria even started to think about getting involve and it’s Sauda who has supported Maria before anybody else. Robert you can not find one elected City official who supports Maria or who have publicly came out and spoke in favor of Maria.

      Robert, why was it so important for Maria to post on OIB that Sauda was not at that meeting?

      Robert, do you know why Sauda was not at that meeting? Robert try asking Maria where Sauda was during that meeting and ask her why didn’t she write about where Sauda was?

      Robert, I standby everything that I said about Maria.

  • Robert Teixeira

    WOW! Ron you came right out the gate and attacked Maria about her letter to Ganim and incumbents. You made posts about how black people shouldn’t get fooled by Ganim again, yet you attacked Maria for not getting fooled by Ganim again and going against him on his promise of funding the BBOE.

    She called out every board member who didn’t show up. This is not about Maria or Sauda (not Sandra my bad). It’s about racism, you are somewhat of a racist and have something against Maria (obviously) Unlike Maria, who called out all the board members that didn’t show up at this meeting, you on the other hand just called out Maria and her statement for only Sauda. Not saying it was productive but I won’t say it was wrong either, for Sauda or any other board member to be called out for not showing up at this meeting. It’s is a volunteer office, people do have lives and things do come up.

    This is more about calling out your racism than me defending Maria. She not wrong on her opinion for calling out board member who didn’t show up at this meeting, she’s not completely right if there’s more important assemble being planned the next week, on the matter. The Superintendent did speak on behalf of the board. I would like to know if Maria or any other board member who did show up addressed the committee.

    Like not incorporating whites that are equally affected about BBOE and its funding or any other post regarding Bridgeport students and BBOE and only seem concerned for the Blacks and Latinos. What about the other board members Maria called out along with Sauda? Aren’t they equally exposed to Maria Statement as Sauda was?
    You attack Maria for whatever reason. I attack you for whatever reason. It’s the circle of life on OIB

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GibiNy4d4gc

    • Ron Mackey

      Robert, you are all over the place, just address what Donald Day and myself said about Maria writing that Sauda was not the meeting with Maria. Second, Maria KNEW where Sauda was and what Sauda was doing but Maria didn’t day anything about that, Maria wanted to make Sauda look bad because she wasn’t at the meeting but Maria was a COWARD by not being honest telling everybody where Sauda was and she was doing. I hope Sauda turns her back on Maria for being so disloyal.

  • Robert Teixeira

    Ron I’m all over the place because unlike you i’m not one sided. All Things Black. If Sauda what to tell why she didn’t go she can like all the rest who didn’t show up. That’s not my point. My point was very clear.

    PS the topic was about Maria and her letter. You attacked her on it prior to her comment on Sauda and the other board members. That comment gave you a black angle to attack her further. I would have bet if Sauda did go and Maria comment was just on there other board members you wouldn’t have attack her on the comment at all.

    Day’s comment was more an observation on Maria calling Sauda out. Which I found more valid that is why I like Day more they you when it come to afrocentic cause than you. He’s more on point is his commennts about Maria.

    here some observation question about Sauda. Why did she first run of the BBOE on the Party of Trump (Republican)

    Why did the party of Trump didn’t flip flop on her?\

    If the party of Trump still wanted her would she still be a Republican?

    • Ron Mackey

      Robert, you got it backwards, it was Maria who put Sauda’s name out there on OIB so it’s up to Maria to show to Sauda that she didn’t mean any ill will by saying that Sauda was not the same meeting as Maria. Maria knew where Sauda was and Maria could have said that Sauda was not the meeting because Maria knew what Sauda was doing and where Sauda was. Robert, Maria is showing how disloyal she is to Sauda. Robert, trust me Sauda and Maria’s friendship is over.

      • Robert Teixeira

        Ron all Maria did was tell OIB what board members showed up and made a statement about if any board member don’t care to understand how important BOE is, she ask them to resign or not seek reelection. Each board member has one vote the end. Maria works hard at building political support while others build political descent toward Maria.

  • Robert Teixeira

    was to tell,

    She could have,

    on the other,

    Than you,

    Here’s

    Questions

    for the BBOE
    (omit) didn’t

  • Maria Pereira

    Publicizing where Sauda was at the time of the Public Hearing would make her look bad, not good.

    Sauda and I have never been “friends”. We are, and always have been “colleagues”. We have never gone to a movie, social event, etc. together. I don’t consider Howard and Ben to be “friends”. We don’t socialize, we are colleagues on the School board.

    Since apparently I am “sh_tting ” everywhere; I am publicly announcing that I will turn 50 in June, and I am requesting gifts of DEPENDS from all my enemies AND supporters.

    Please do gift wrap my DEPENDS because I do love tearing off the gidtwrap. :)

    • Ron Mackey

      Maria, just what your purpose listing BOE members who did not attend the meeting that you were at?

      Maria, you said, “Sauda and I have never been “friends”. We are, and always have been “colleagues”. We have never gone to a movie, social event, etc. together. I don’t consider Howard and Ben to be “friends”. We don’t socialize, we are colleagues on the School board.” Your comment is why you will never move forward in politics on any level because you don’t truly understand politics.

      Maria, talk to Lisa Parziale, Dottie Gunman, Ed Gomes, Chris Caruso and there are others who will tell you the importance of being social with colleagues and making and having friends who are colleagues, there I nothing wrong with attending social events with colleagues. Discussing issues over a cup of coffee (like JML does) does not corrupt anyone and it allows a more free spirit of being able for those who are attending and to honest. If there are five issues on the table and there is agreement on three of those items then you are ahead of the game, now you work on one of the two issues that are still on the table but you already ahead of the game. Calling people names is already taking you down. Remember you won in a recount and you are really pissing voters off, just go outside of the 138th district and you will see and hear for yourself.

  • Hector A. Diaz

    “Et tu Brute”

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