School Board Challengers Hope The Primary Math Adds Up

Eric school board

In campaigns numbers speak volumes. Three challengers–JoAnn Kennedy, Eric Stewart-Alicea and Helen Losak–to the Democratic-endorsed Board of Education candidates have math on the mind in more ways than one, securing 2,245 certified signatures from registered Bridgeport Democrats to wage a citywide September 12 primary against Hernan Illingworth, Jessica Martinez and Chaila Robinson. They’re hustling in the heat for signatures, along with a team of volunteers with one week left to submit petition sheets to elections officials. There’s the signature math, the calendar math and then, if they make the primary ballot, the results math on to the general election. First things first, the signature math.

Strategy is key to a successful petition drive. Fishing where are fish are so critical to landing registered Dems. Knocking on doors clutching a list of Democratic electors is good. Camping in front of a shopping center is bad. You’ll just end up with a majority of bad signatures jettisoned by a review of elections officials. To guard against noncomplying hancocks petitioners must bank hundreds more than the 2245 magic number.

Calendar math: they have until 4 p.m. August 9 to submit petitions to the Registrar’s Office. If the challengers are approved for the ballot all that hard work has a built-in payoff, you’ve spent a couple of weeks touching and identifying voters to drag out for September 12.

The challengers are armed with a walking piece with corresponding images declaring:

“Now, here’s a math problem that benefits all of our 21,000 kids:

All three of us were born and raised in Bridgeport

All three of us graduated from the Bridgeport public schools

Two of us are current/former Bridgeport public school parents

One of us is an Educator

= Kennedy, Losak & Stewart-Alicea “Caring for OUR Kids”

The latter two are no strangers to primary math. Losak and Stewart-Alicea are members of the Democratic Town Committee in the Upper East Side 138th District whose leader Maria Pereira serves as treasurer for the campaign committee of the school board challenge slate. The three were part of a coalition that captured a DTC district primary last year.

So the heat, the sweat and the door knocking continues. All in the name of solving a math problem.



  1. I did vote for Eric Stewart Slices the last time he ran for the Bridgeport Board Of Education but I’m not about him now. Let’s say that he gets on the ballot the problem I have with Eric now is will he be independent or will he be a puppet for Maria Pereira.

    1. Ron,

      I am and have always been an independent thinker. Maria knows how I felt about her “Fight the Power” action. She cares for the students and parents of Bridgeport Public Schools, and on that we are definitely aligned.

  2. That is a fair and reasonable question, Ron. Not many people attempt to keep track of allegiances.

    However, who has asked whether the Democratic endorsed ticket is independent? What are their credits and experience? Who vetted their qualifications, and is independence or integrity in the face of DTC history and support, expected by City voters of them? Time will tell.

  3. Eric Stewart, I’m still waiting for a reply to my question of perhaps you can inform on what Maria has done and is doing to improve the education level of the Bridgeport school system?

    1. Ron,

      You should attend a BOE meeting and you will see who stands for the students and their families and who does the bidding of the mayor and his cronies.

      Clearly, each board member is one of nine votes. It’s obvious that without support one member can’t make anything happen.

      It is not my place to make you aware of what Maria has done, nor should I “defend” her. Her votes speak for themselves. She stands for the students and their families, teachers and other professionals in the BPS.

  4. Eric, base on Bridgeport’s 2010 census of 144,229,  I’m sure that everyone of those 144,229 Bridgeport residents agree and stands for the students and their families, teachers and other professionals in the BPS, so your statement about that has no meaning. BBOE members must know how to form a coalition of 5 votes to get items passed but Maria has pushed other BBOE members away from her because of her mouth. Eric, you are looking like Maria’s yes man. Eric, I don’t have to attend BBOE to know that the Bridgeport public school system is a terrible failure to the 21,000 public school students, there are NO improvements in their test scores in fact you can not read anywhere that Maria is talking about getting test scores up and improving our schools and that’s what you are supporting base on your comments about Maria. Like I said before, I voted for you the last time because I thought that you would be a good member to assist the BBOE to move in the right direction but not now.

  5. Study after study shows that standardized tests don’t reflect if a student is learning or improving. Standardized tests prove that a student can take a test.

    The likes of Pereira, Baraka, Walker, Simmons, et al have never had the benefit of having a 5 person majority. Your ignorance around the inner workings of how the school board has operated as a majority owned subsidiary of Mario Testa and his cronies is really sad.

    Yay, you’re googling again. What a foolish statement to say that every citizen of this city cares about student achievement. There isn’t a 100% consensus on anything. Furthermore, if ALL parents were concerned about their children they would vote.


Leave a Reply