City Council Candidate Forum Generates Crowd At Bijou

An informative City Council candidate forum Wednesday night hosted by Bridgeport Generation Now brought out about 20 candidates before roughly 150 spectators in the Bijou Theater Downtown. Moderated by Natalie Pryce and John Torres, the candidates responded to a number of questions posed both by the moderators and audience. In the video clip above the candidates address questions regarding the potential conflict of city employees serving on the City Council and the aftermath of the police-involved fatal shooting of 15-year-old Jayson Negron.

council forum Bijou
Candidates line the Bijou stage.

The following candidates participated:
D = Democrat
R = Republican
CM = Council Member

Scott Burns – 130th District, D, CM
Rowan Kane – 130th District, D
Christina Smith – 130th District, D
Pete Spain – 130th District, D

Jack Banta – 131st District, D, CM
Jorge Cruz – 131st District, D
Denese Taylor-Moye – 131st District, D, CM

Marcus Brown Harrigan – 132nd District, D
Kyle Langan – 132nd District, D
Peter Perillo – 132nd District, R

Bob Keeley – 133rd District, D
Anne Phillips – 133rd District, D

Alfredo Castillo – 136th District, D, CM
Maria Viggiano – 136th District, D

Hector Diaz- 137th District, D
Milta Feliciano – 137th District, D, CM

Eneida Martinez – 139th District, D, CM
Ernest Newton – 139th District, D
John Rodriguez – 139th District, R

Here’s the lineup for the September 12 Democratic primary, the first two candidates are endorsed running on Line A.

130: Scott Burns and Rowan Kane; Line B, Christina Smith and Pete Spain.

131: Jack Banta and Denese Taylor-Moye; Line B, Jorge Cruz.

132: Evette Brantley and Rolanda Smith; Line B, Marcus Brown and Kyle Langan.

133: Michael DeFilippo and Jeanette Herron ; Line B, Bob Keeley and Anne Pappas Phillips.

135: Rosalina Christy and Darrett Evans Moss; Line B, Mary McBride-Lee and Richard Salter.

136: Alfredo Castillo and Maria Zambrano-Viggiano; Line B, Joe Casco.

137: Aidee Nieves and Maria Valle; Line B, Hector Diaz and Milta Feliciano.

138: Line A, no candidates; Line B, Anthony Paoletto and Nessah Smith; Line C, Karen Jackson and Samia Suliman.

139: James Holloway and Eneida Martinez; Line B, Ernie Newton, Line C, Wanda Simmons.



    1. Bob Halstead, Wasn’t Scott Burns,Rowan Kane, Eneida Martinez,Jack Banta and Denese Taylor-Moye ,Alfredo Castillo and Maria Viggiano there participating and endorsed or don’t they count?

      1. Are there 20 endorsed by the DTC? And 7 of 20 show up and answer questions? Can you run or sustain Bridgeport with 35% attendance and participation? Did they show up to demonstrate dis-loyalty to the DTC? Or is it independence that is stressed?

        Or is it such “cocksuredness” of their position and disrespect for the growing number of responsible citizenry that had 65% avoid the Forum?

        Lots of reference to the Charter but I am willing to bet that fewer than half the candidates had read it through in the past year. To my mind was the failure of any of the candidates to mention the lack of the monthly financial report to be available monthly electronically? They kept referring to the “budget” as if it were a static document. Doesn’t the money get spent each month? Revenues change too? And that fiscal photgraph of the CITY with lots of narrative footnotes as well as charts anad graphs? When will we have a discussion of our Annual External Audit, each year? Time will tell.

  1. Looking for independent citizens curious about:
    **better governance in the City, **improved school results as a priority,
    **City employees screened, trained and evaluated so that priority needs are met (and strictly political appointees exit), **adequate public safety presence but trained to meet all of the public respectfully,
    **All City Council members become better fiscally and legally rather than following City Attorney lead and having no idea about budget cutting
    Ernie Newton asked for an audit. PUBLIC NOTICE: We have an audit, annually and pay an outside firm for their services by Government Accounting Standard Board rules. But the City Council apparently thinks it is irrelevant (like the first revaluation of land and buildings in 2013) so they ignore it rather than have one or more open sessions to share trends and results with the interested public.
    They were present on the stage and in the audience. Imagine that some incumbents were not present for this sharing? And some of them were present for a previous session with just City Council persons invited? Scared to be accountable at primary time?

    Hats off to two Republicans who came to share responsible ideas. Is this forum something that will replace the League of Women Voter efforts of the past? Will loyal DTC controlled candidates absent themselves in such case? Will the longest serving City Council representative take a seat on the stage, arms folded until he framed his one minute introduction and departed the scene before the first question? Were there no citizens from his District in the audience? Time will tell.

  2. Conflicted City Employee/Councilman/ School Building Chair/DTC Middleman candidate , James Holloway (139th ) walked out on this forum and his district last night, mumbling something like
    “ acceptance of money for the DTC is perfectly legal, and does not constitute payola”, thereabouts.


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