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Political Revolt Or A Glitch? Primary Season Beckons

June 21st, 2017 · 55 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Council, City Politics, Education, News and Events

Pete Spain flyer

Four weeks from party endorsements that haven’t meant a whole lot in recent years candidates for City Council are surfacing, including in the 130th District where OIB friend Pete Spain and Christina Smith have formed a coalition in the Black Rock/West End District to challenge Democratic incumbents Scott Burns and Katie Bukovsky in a September primary, assuming current office holders seek reelection. Word is Bukovsky is not running. See Smith/Spain Facebook page here.

One thing is for sure, Smith/Spain can be reasonably labeled a well-educated ticket, both products of Ivy League educations. Spain, for one, has shared his viewpoints in the comments section of OIB for several years challenging the party establishment on an assortment of issues including education, taxes, public safety.

The 130th District is a petri dish examination, something Spain may appreciate, given his Yale School of Public Health education. It marries the most affluent section of the city Black Rock–that cool waterfront hamlet of highest-assessed homes–with the P.T. Barnum housing project populated with working-class residents wondering if public officials hear their voices.

This is shaping up as a bizarre off-cycle (no mayoral contest), with so many potential Democratic primaries across the city for City Council, Board of Education and sheriff. Four years ago voters gave us a taste of establishment displeasure lancing every Democratic-endorsed candidate for City Council and school board. It sent a signal that the so-called “political machine” had rusted into a jalopy. The next year the trend continued in races for the State House. The year after that, 2015, Joe Ganim knocked off endorsed mayoral incumbent Bill Finch in a primary on his way to an intriguing comeback against the odds.

Now, after 18 months of JG2, are we seeing a genuine populist revolt or just a glitch in time?

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55 Comments so far ↓

  • Ron Mackey

    Pete Spain and Christina Smith this is a great move, I’ve been complaining on OIB about CW4BB for years that Black Rock needed to reach outside of their comfort level and bring in the other section of the 130th District. Pete Smith, it has taken you long enough to finally run for elective office. I wish Smith and Spain the best.

  • Maria Pereira

    I believe that is four official city council challenger announcements with more to come.

    Pete Spain and Christine Smith are both impressive candidates. Hearing Bukosky is not running. If true, my guess that we will see the first ever ENDORSED minority council candidate by Roach.

    On a side note, we held all five high school graduations at Webster Arena.

    We had the historic first graduating class of Bridgeport Military Academy first thing this morning followed by Central, Bassick, Harding and ending with Fairchild Wheeler School.

    Neither Mayor Ganim nor a designee attended either the BMA or CHS graduation although he was specifically listed on the programs. Mayor Ganim spoke for five minutes at Bassick and then announced he was heading to Hartford.

    Kim Stanley??? CAO was so late to Harding’s graduation that she missed Mayor Ganim’s place on the program. For heaven’s sake your office is 5 blocks away. Her speech was horrible and she was clearly unprepared. She literally stated “I sat in your very seats years ago”. So I am thinking she was a Harding graduate. In the very next sentence she talked about graduating from Kolbe Cathedral. As she closed, she stated “as a graduate of the Bridgeport Public Schools…” Since when is Kolbe a public school?

    John Gomes spoke at the Fairchild Wheeler graduation. I was not there but my understanding was his remarks “were far from memorable”.

    Approximately 40% of our students that enter the 9th grade do not make it to graduation within four years, therefore whenever 1,000 students graduate and thousands of friends and family attend these graduation ceremonies, shouldn’t our mayor make it a priority to show his support for our students on the greatest day of their public school K – 12 education?

    Our students needed to be encouraged, acknowledged and cheered on for this great accomplishment, not ignored.

  • Maria Pereira

    In closing, last year Dennis Bradley was Chair and did NOT attend a single graduation.

    I give credit to Joe Larcheveque and John Weldon who attended all five graduation ceremonies. Ben Walker attended four. I attended three, Howard Gardner attended two, and Annette Negron attended one.

    Dennis Bradley, Raphael Fonseca and Sauda Braka did not attend a single graduation ceremony. That is highly unusual for Sauda who loves attending???

  • Lisa Parziale

    For those of us who have criticized with abject frustration some of the present district council members, this is an opportunity to get involved in some way, whether it’s your district or not, to correct the present situation. I know for certain that three districts have already filed the necessary paperwork, have chosen treasurers, and have begun the pre election work. Let’s see what the Bridgeport voters do given a clear, professional choice when they choose who to vote for in September.

    • Bob Halstead

      Go Pete and Christine!. Highly educated people have been left off the Council. These will be two brilliant open minds having an impact on Bridgeport. I got to know Peter well the last few years and he clicks on all cylinders
      The forgotten section: other side of the tracks, literally and figuratively ,i.e., the Bermuda Triangle between Mountain Grove St, Staye Street Extension, Howard Avenue and Fairfield Avenue, , a mix of high density housing, industry and commercial with pockets of chronic blight, is part of their district abutting the 132nd Disruct should be engaged- not just Black Rock and PT!

      • John Marshall Lee

        Bob,
        The area is known to us. You term it “forgotten”. By whom? We identified it as one of four section of the 130th two years ago and door knocked there, talked to some of the registered including a member of the DTC who lives there. Spoke to him about convening meetings on his block. Nothing came of it, nor in the following months. “West by east” was the term we used, because folks in that neighborhood knew they resided in western Bridgeport but to reach them from the center of the 130 was to drive east on Fairfield Avenue. No other easy connection. Know that Christina and Peter will attempt to reach “all of the people” with their message. Response? Time will tell.

  • Jimfox

    They care what Ganim and Burns did to Black Rock Taxes.

    Go Chris and Pete!

  • Jennifer Buchanan

    Years in the city political trenches – Working with and sometimes against Pete and his candidates, I would vote for him. Twice!

  • Bob Walsh

    Well…. get some absentees and do

  • Bob Walsh

    They had better get aggressive and not let the election get stolen from them.
    There is nothing wrong with asking a voter if they need an abestee. You do not need to evaluate their reasons. Don’t lie to the voter but don’t talk them out of one either.
    Wanda Geter will be running around PT handing them out like they are candy.

  • John Marshall Lee

    Isn’t Wanda Geter a Secretary in the Department of Aging? Why is a Secretary in such an office seen in motion in so many places throughout the City? Isn’t her new boss, MS.Maria Heller, who in 19 hours weekly is doing the full time work of Ms. Hoyt, a close friend of the DTC, who retired within the past year, but with the glacial speed of IT Department, a Department headed by Adam Heller, still has her name listed in the Departmental Directory? Please do not begin digging into the number of jobs occupied by those related to Ms. Heller these days, as well as back in the day. Were they all acknowledged to be at the top of their respective games perhaps one could dampen suspicions about conflicts of interest and pure political patronage. However, let’s hope for some reader validation. In the meantime: Time will tell.

  • Steven Auerbach

    Wow JML and Bob walsh- one year you attack Lydia Martinez as queen of the absentee ballot. Now Wanda Geter. First for disclosure. I am a friend of Wanda Geter. She has worked for the city under a number of administrations. She has always been more than qualified and under paid to do her job. She is a city activist and an outrech worker for Seniors. Do you imagine she doesn’t work her ass off daily? She is an absolute asset to the city and the Seniors love her. How do I know.? I am all over the city. I have popped my head in at the Senior center in the North end where she puts in her time. She is also on the DTC. She also does what people of the DTC do. Get people elected. The audacity to diminish her position with the city as some political payoff, who should get the job??? Wanda lives in the North end has never forgotten her roots. Which brings us to PT Housing. To assume Buckowsky and Burns have no interest is ridiculous. JML have you ever spent time at PT other than running for office? I have. They throw the best Summer parties. Who is at the epicenter. Wanda Geter . Why? simple. The woman has a huge family and a wide net of friends. She is the epitome of Bridgeport. I have walked the entire city and walking through Trumbull Grdens and Pt Barnum has been a real experience for me. Who was always there one step ahead? Wanda Geter.

    It is nice that you guys do not support Burns and Buckowsky, I do. I have foend them to be a huge asset on the council. Sophisticated and eloquent. They have been equally comfortable in Black Rock at St. Mary’s Church as they have been at the Summer feasts at PT Barnum.

    Talking about Wanda Geter is an insult and it is like cutting your own legs off with a butter knife. She is most respected in her community. Which brings us to Maria Heller.

    What is the problem? Maria is and has always been a worker. Within city hall and on a campaign trail. What planet are you from JML. You are talking about qualified people here. I never knew her husband working in City Hall, although I have heard he is a very qualified employee. I met Adam as a candidate in Shelton. I have friens on the Shelton Democratic Town Committee. They have a very high opinion of him.

    So JML, We know that Mr. Spain was an advisor on your failed attempt at the Council. I do respect your wanting to run and of course I was a huge fan of your running mate. I understand your support of OIB contributor Pete Spain. Attacking Wanda Geter and Maria Heller- not so smart. They serve the city of Bridgeport well. Their ability to work on campaigns is just the icing on the cake. If I were running for office. I would want these 2 in my corner. :-)

    • Jennifer Buchanan

      Hey Steve, it’s not unusual to win at the voting machines in this district only to lose because of absentee ballots. One of the main reasons is lack of access to the senior high rise. Wanda can get in, she’s a city employee. Bonnie Roach can get in, she was (is) a city employee. Both work with seniors in their city jobs. Mario was featured in a CT Post article stating over 60% of city employees were given their jobs by him. Same thing with the BOE. Granted, I doubt he would downplay the actual hire %, as the article does make him appear very powerful. So who is an employee going to advise the absentee voter to support if Mario got you and your family members their jobs? As Danny Roach said behind closed doors, the city is a feeding trough for people like me and I’m going to feast as long as it lasts.
      You are the champion of good candidates, usually, and you are the king of supporting the duly elected officials. I give you great credit for that. Aren’t you a bit tired of watching city employees and voters being manipulated?

    • John Marshall Lee

      Did I strike a nerve with you Steve? Where do you see me talking about Lydia Martinez? I have seen Wanda sitting in for security guards at City Hall, and on the move in one of the two City Halls during the work day but recently was told she holds a position in one of the Senior Centers though perhaps that calls for her to be out and around in ways I did not expect?

      Maria Heller’s name appeared at the bottom of a $100 solicitation letter for Ganim statewide office which is where I recently encountered it. However, I was told that as a part time employee she is able to complete the work of a former full time employee? What is the secret of such efficiency? Should she be giving lessons in other Departments? Or have taxpayers been paying too much for the position in previous years? Think you can answer that one even though it has to do with salaries?

      Where my run for office comes into it or my current Council persons does confuse me, but that just may be your emotions showing. When I ask questions that seem reasonable to me as a taxpayer and do not get answered, does that mean it is an attack, as you suggest?

      Please look at the record of the IT Department in recent years. Big salary and benefit projections at budget time that do not get fulfilled during the year, creating a surplus to get spent elsewhere. Why is that happening in that area? How qualified is our IT area for handling City matters? Who is vouching for that area?

      When multiple people in a family hold taxpayer funded jobs and little or nothing exhibits their vocational fame, then is it not reasonable to wonder whether the political activity for which they have become known, may be more than “icing on the cake” as you put it? A very rich butter cream frosting several inches thick can add many calories but little of good nutrition to the public.

      Since you ask, I continue to be part of activities in Black Rock and at PT Barnum and am happy that you asked. Why you moved onto Scott and Katy, I do not understand, but I sometimes hope that Wanda might spend some time thinking about how the current tenants of PT, from which she is an enthusiastic alumna, can also proceed from public housing into the community at large? Showing up at election time to turn relationships into votes for too many folks facing evictions and substandard living conditions is not serving all of the public needs today. Just saying….Time will tell.

  • Tom White

    Steve, It is well known that Wanda Geter is a long-time DTC operative in charge of absentee ballots in public housing and Section 8 projects. Races in the 130th tend to have huge absentee ballot numbers.

    Marie Heller was a $75,000 per year administrative assistant in labor relations department with McCarthy. She was treasurer for various campaigns and active in the 133rd until she moved out of Bridgeport. Oh, is she still voting in Bridgeport?

  • Steven Auerbach

    Tom White. Are they qualified at their jobs? When you are good at what you do , Kudos. You are assuming these people are doing something illegal. These individuals you are putting under the microscope have done their jobs very well. I wonder if you knocked on thousands of doors and got dozens of absentee ballots, you would still be working for the city of Bridgeport. It is the nature of the beast. It is in every urban center. It is in every rural area. Politics, patronage are the nature of the beast. Some people get opportunities. Some get fired and others get second chances. Some third chances.

    • Tom White

      Steve. Are they qualified? If qualified means they are democrats who respect the chairman and work for candidates, then yes, they are qualified.

      You say these individuals have done their jobs very well. Do you mean their city jobs that tax payers fund or their job as dtc operatives?

  • Steven Auerbach

    Tom White, Lets look at the appointments the President of the United States has made. Seriously, inexperienced and incompetent and yet it is ok. Wanda Geter is only a political operative in the city because she knows what she is doing and she is a very effective communicator. I have learned alot from her. I have worked on many campaigns. There are slugs that have their hands out. You have workers. You have people that are autonomous and do what needs to get done and go where they need to be. I have seen it all and I have seen those that get results. People like Wanda Geter and Lydia Martinez do not wave a magic wand. They are critical to any campaign they are supporting. They exist in every city. Their talent can make or break a campaign. I respect those 2 woman. I certainly wouldn’t be singing their praises if I did not know them personally and witnessed their contributions. They are not going to disappear.

    • Jennifer Buchanan

      Steve, Lydia has paid the state maximum fine for absentee ballot violations election after election. This is the ultimate OIB example of getting results, and making contributions, This absolutely does not exist in every city and state. You are correct they are not going to disappear- not as long as their rewards out weigh the fines.

  • Tom White

    Steve, you addressed the problem. The people you are defending are political operatives who make their living in the political environment of a failing urban center.

  • Jimfox

    I heard that Kool-Aid was going to name a new flavor after Stevie A.
    It,s called Smuck-Aid.

  • Lisa Parziale

    I’ve taken the time, and, therefore had the opportunity, to see promise in several challenge candidates for the CC. I believe because of my refusal to accept favors for the public service I enjoyed, I’m in a unique position to assist whomever I choose to help without consequence or retribution. Because I’ve been vocal in my opinions of the CC for at least the past ten years, I intend to put my money where my mouth is. I will offer whatever expertise I’ve gained over the years, and share my time and energy to assist those that I believe will bring dignity and professionalism to our local legislative body. Steve gave a glowing opinion of what he knows about a couple of women involved in the political process for a long time. I would like to add a brief opinion of my own regarding Wanda Geter. I worked with her in the last general election. The task I performed involved the management and organization of City-wide absentee applications. Wanda interacted with me in that area, as did representatives from each City district. My observation of her was a positive one, she performed campaign work on her own time, I never noticed or heard anything shady, her preference seemed to lean toward seniors, and to my knowledge that’s her position with the City: Senior Outreach. What I have in common with Wanda is I always ensure that homebound or ill seniors have the opportunity to vote. This is probably the most difficult part of any election. If done right, it takes time, vigilance, patience, and must always be performed within the law allowing this privilege. I hate to see Wanda singled out, especially when I know as fact the nefarious character who leads the pack where, “stealing votes” are involved. Candidates beware, Testo is like teflon, his sins are flawlessly passed to unknowing victims; what may seem like help, will take you down

    • Ron Mackey

      Lisa, thank you and Steven Auerbach for your comments about Wanda Geter. If Wanda is doing something illegal then bring her up charges about whatever people have evidence they have.

      Steve, you point out so many important traits about Wanda’s success is something that others need to mirror. If candidates want to get seniors and others  to vote for them, then go into public housing and Section 8 projects jut like Wanda does.

      Steve you said, “JML have you ever spent time at PT other than running for office? I have. They throw the best Summer parties. Who is at the epicenter. Wanda Geter . Why? simple. The woman has a huge family and a wide net of friends. She is the epitome of Bridgeport.” People could learn some very important ways of outreach if they did what you and Lisa did, walk with her, word with her and stop being scare to go into public housing and into senior housing. Don’t hate the player, hate the game. Wanda Geter is one of best in doing outreach.  Candidates need to know that they just can’t show up at election time and expect these voters to support them. 

      • Steven Auerbach

        Ron Mackey and Lisa Parsziale for your comments. It is amazing what you miss in the city until you get out of a car and meet the people. In every campaign I have ever worked on, I was the autonomous one. I was everywhere Finch and Ganim were. I was not asked to be there. I knew where the people were. I hung out at Newfield Park. I met the most amazing people.
        It is painful to read one sided comments about people you know. Thre is not one corner of the city I do not embrace. I respect that many people do not share my passion for the arts, nature, camping, symphony and restaurants. Many people could care less about economic development or gentrification. Many people do not care about Broadway or antiques. Everyone has their own agenda. There is not one resident in this city that I can not find common ground and engage in conversation. I have traveled all over the world and I wouldn’t want to be any place other than Bridgeport. I appreciate the diversity and most people I know do also. Get out and walk the neighborhoods .On a cool Spring day it doesn’t get any better than that. I feel at home everywhere . After 11 years of being a Manager at Home Depot, we were trained to acknowldge everyone. I excelled at that and that is why I am at home everywhere in this city. Just like Wanda Geter- :-).

    • Andrew C Fardy

      Wanda Jeter!!! Really she is Santa Claus for Mario on all election days at PT Barnum. If you want a gift on election day see Wanda Jeter.
      Steve you really are a dumb shit

  • Bob Walsh

    Well, if Pete takes my advice then we will see charges brought against her.
    Mario will pay the fine and all will be lost in the Bridgeport Democratic Machine.

    • Lisa Parziale

      Bubba as Ron stated, if there’s wrongdoing on the part of anyone working primarily in the area of absentee applications, then action should be taken. I stated that in my working experience with Wanda, I saw applications submitted by her that were familial in nature, and legitimate senior applications. I’m attesting to what I witnessed in that particular election. As I previously stated, I assist any senior with absentee applications, if they request one. They don’t have to reside in the 132nd district. Who knows, Wanda may cross paths with me as we assist our preferred candidates. If we do, I feel assured we will both be professional, objective and do what we do.

      • John Marshall Lee

        Last evening Generation Now held their monthly meeting where they invited the members of the City Council to respond to questions about their service in a conversational manner.

        One of the subjects covered was absentee ballots and the way they have been used to get certain people to vote. I had never heard before that some folks, not necessarily incapable of going to the polls, not expecting to be out of town on Election Day, and not meeting any of the other reasons for Absentee Voting, have been trained to expect Absentee Ballots as the OFFICIAL WAY to vote.

        Now it was the first time I had heard such a story, and I did not remain to the end of the session to ask further questions, but if there is truth to that matter, it would seem that CIVICS 101 at least is getting bent out of shape and providing a genuine “high school” opportunity to influence the vote. I heard about “turkeys for Thanksgiving” delivery and “renter rebates” that was new to me. Let’s get all of this OPEN and TRANSPARENT and HONEST. Maybe the sharing is about Graduate Level civics? Time will tell.

        • Ron Mackey

          John Marshall Lee, wow, you really are a novice in Bridgeport politics and you wonder why council members don’t take your advice.

          • John Marshall Lee

            Ron,what are you saying? Are you saying that you know about and wink at registered voters who use the absentee ballot process (as if it were official and private) though they do not qualify at election time for such democratic privilege? Are you acknowledging and supporting rewards for voting bestowed on registered voters in Bridgeport? Never heard you report that on OIB. Have you done so before? As a credible and experienced City observer, why keep that info ‘secret’? Do you get a reward for fostering ignorance and innocence?

            My political knowledge may be unimpressive, but that is not a reason for the City Council to ignore my reports of mishandling of City money, is it? I mean your own knowledge of brain surgery, like mine personally, may be described as incomplete at best, perhaps like the haircutter at your barber shop. But that does not take away from the barber’s expertise and learning in his own field, does it? Time will tell.

        • Lisa Parziale

          John, I read your account of the discussion you heard regarding absentee applications, and I feel compelled to answer. Let me say that nothing surrounding this form of voting surprises me, so those making those statements could very well know what their talking about. In any election, a candidate begins by identifying voters who have voted consistently for at least the last two or three elections, in addition, they must also identify voters who required an absentee application, check to see if that person actually returned the ballot, and reach out as one would to those who go to the polls. Campaigns are competitive and aggressive. Over the years I’ve had requests from the same people for every election. That is until they die. When responding to a request for an application, it’s not our responsible to question why the person needs it. As long as they mark the reason, and sign the application, we’re finished. Of course I follow-up, people, especially seniors, tend to forget to mail back their ballots. A reminder is lawful, going near a ballot is not. I stated in an earlier post that this type of voting requires work on behalf of the person responding to a request. I believe that’s the reason some, I won’t mention any names, take a short cut, I won’t mention how. It’s important to a candidate to ask if this method of voting is needed, and get an application to them.

          • Ron Mackey

            Lisa, once again that’s great advice but I’m not going to be as nice as you with my response to JML. Over the years a number of people have given John important information about politics, the voting process and the DTC on OIB. John was told to seek out those in the know to get a better understanding of the past history of Bridgeport politics and what the rules and policy are of the DTC.. But no, not JML, it was more important for him to showoff his verbal and writing skills in challenging Democrats. He really didn’t want answers because his agenda was to show everybody how smart he is. Lisa, how many times have you had meetings with John to pull his coat about things he needed to know? How many times did John meet with Bob Walsh or Phil Smith to name just a few people who the background and experience in local Bridgeport politics. There is a place for John to share and to assist but you can’t play the game if you don’t know rules. Writing long essays on OIB that most readers don’t read or understand is not the way to go but John is not to good at listening to others and the following that advice.

  • Tom White

    This post has provided comments that reflect why and how the democrat party has contributed to the demise of once-great cities such as Bridgeport, Detroit and others.

    • Ron Mackey

      Wrong again, American corporations decided to relocated their businesses off shore and overseas I foreign countries. They left workers, families, towns, cities and states the hardship of no employment, no income, no health benefits, no insurance, no money from taxes for towns, cities and states. These companies paid slave wages, no safety standards, no environmental standards, no clean air, no pay standards are just some of the problems that these foreign countries had to deal with. Just drive around Bridgeport and look at all of factories that are empty. Bridgeport suffered during the deindustrialization of the United States in the 1970s and 1980s. Continued development of new suburban housing attracted middle and upper-class residents, leaving the city with a higher proportion of poor.

      • John Marshall Lee

        And where have you been in this process? Where is your picture at the barricades for justice, fairness and the American way?

        When Dan Roach explained that “blood is thicker than water” which meant that he would be nominating his sister Kate B. two years ago, I did not know her, but it was a DTC lesson. This lesson says that there is only one way to be active governmentally in Bridgeport. So I ran with another candidate just the way folks with expertise indicated. We knocked on doors. We approached all sections of the District. We raised funds and spent them on materials. We held community info sessions that were reasonably attended.And a 46-54% ratio for our primary effort was encouraging. What became a real problem (that we had not contemplated) was that the Republican candidate for Mayor or the party itself, left his name on the ballot for City Council. That was the big sucking sound we discovered as votes were counted.

        This year a greater number of challengers to DTC endorsed seems a surety. That fact would seem to challenge the common political wisdom you push. As I frequently say, Time will tell.

      • Jennifer Buchanan

        Hey Ron, I see what you’re saying – there is a part of your narrative missing – I’m not saying you’re wrong – I just ran across this recently while doing some research and it says US manufacturing has actually increased – agriculture has dramatically reduced- and the service industry has increased greatly. Very interesting
        https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/01/where-did-all-the-workers-go-60-years-of-economic-change-in-1-graph/252018/

      • Jennifer Buchanan

        Ron, it has been argued Bridgeport took every Federal dollar offered to build public housing, and called it development. Which adds to the city being left with, and by their own design adding more poor.

        • Ron Mackey

          Jennifer, yes, just like almost every other city that had a chance to provide housing. Jennifer, I’ll leave it up to Jeff Kohut explain social housing history.

          • Jennifer Buchanan

            Yes Ron, notice the surrounding towns didn’t jump on that bandwagon- they are now building affordable and senior low income housing, and it’s pretty darn nice. No section 8 and no public housing. I think public housing, affordable housing is important- I also think every senator and congressperson should be required to live there for 6 months – perhaps then a few of the valid residents complaints would at last be fixed.

          • Ron Mackey

            Jennifer, which surrounding towns? Corey Booker did live in public housing when he was the mayor of Newark, NJ.

          • John Marshall Lee

            Actually Ron, why not check out a book I am currently reading about how housing has become segregated because of Federal policy of the past 100 years. THE COLOR OF LAW by Richard Rothstein and just published this year. Lots of praise for the text. Perhaps you want to become engaged in what HOUSING looks like in Bridgeport? Why leave it up to Jeff Kohut or others? If politics is your area of special competence, may I ask how that has contributed to “qualified candidates” who knew how to deal with at least some of the public issues and concerns with which they had to deal as legislators and representatives? Why isn’t public money an important topic in a poor city? Time will tell.

          • Jennifer Buchanan

            Ron, Westport, Fairfield for two.

          • Jennifer Buchanan

            Hey Ron, I’m a fan of Corey Booker! He lived in the Bricks when on city council – was there when elected mayor – moved out shortly after with remaining few tenants when the new housing project was finally designed and funded. i wish more legislators were like him with regard to self reflection (he said he was a jerk while on city council- although I kinda doubt it) and he intentionally puts himself in places where he can learn and do the most good. He will be interesting to watch in the coming years if he stays in politics.

          • Ron Mackey

            Jennifer, C’MON NOW, two rich white towns, they don’t even want people of color living in their town and you think that they would have public housing?

          • Jennifer Buchanan

            Ron, the rich white towns lose federal dollars when they don’t provide affordable housing. And to your point, more than a few of those rich white towns trace their roots to grand and great grandparents from Bridgeport.

          • Ron Mackey

            Jennifer, here is a portion of a piece title, “The “Culprits Behind White Flight”

            The history of postwar white flight. White movement to the suburbs coincided with a period of substantial black migration out of the rural South: From 1940 to 1970, four million blacks settled in industrial cities in the North and West. As they moved in, the fraction of white metropolitan households living in the typical Northern or Western central city fell from two-thirds to one-third.

            Ta-Nehisi Coates refers to the white exodus as a “triumph of racist social engineering,” and he is not wrong. Many white households moved to suburban towns precisely because black households were effectively excluded from them by real estate agents and mortgage brokers. But that’s not the whole story. Even in cities like Minneapolis-St. Paul that had few black migrants, the suburbs were a magnet for newly prosperous families after World War II seeking larger houses and more open space.

            The Culprits Behind White Flight
            By LEAH BOUSTAN MAY 15, 2017

            https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/05/15/opinion/white-flight.html

          • Jennifer Buchanan

            Makes sense Ron, agricultural didn’t need the labor, jobs were in manufacturing in the North. People with assets and income wanted to move out of crowded cities and into larger houses and property. Red lining was common. And discrimination. As much as America claims to be a melting pot, as a nation, to some degree yes, as communities, not so much in my lifetime. I have hope, based on my adult children and their awareness, actions and friends. I most certainly had my eyes and heart opened when I lived in Bridgeport, one of the better experiences for me as a human, and goodness knows, I have miles and miles to go. I’ve learned as people, We’re both as wonderful and as awful as we think we are all at the same
            time.

  • DC Faber

    Isn’t this a thread about Pete and Christina? This is a dream ticket and one I hope can be elected in full!
    I know this a message board and sometime people have heated conversations. I think the majority of people who vocalize on OIB are people who would like to see good governance brought back to Bridgeport from people who are not tied to the Testo/Ganim machine. For this to happened we need to come together and support anyone with the desire to serve and willingness to do the peoples’ business for the long term betterment of the city. The DTC controls the politics of Bridgeport and if we do not find ways to band together in spite of our differences then good candidates like Smith/Spain will fall short, leaving us thinking what if and giving Ganim a signed blank check.

    • Jennifer Buchanan

      Yes!

    • Lisa Parziale

      DC Faber, I plan to assist individual candidates who I know will begin the shift we need in local elective offices. I don’t know what impact my help will have in the outcome of the primaries I’ll be involved with, but I’m privileged to give what I can. And I promise Testo and his minions, I can spot a game in a minute, you will be watched and reported immediately. You’re antics are well known to me and a few others; I will be watching those I call friends also.

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