From Democratic mayoral candidate Lamond Daniels.
Bridgeport is at a crossroads. As a city with tremendous potential, we have been stagnated for too long. But hope for a better future–and the ability to make it happen–is in our reach. Together, we can help Bridgeport turn the corner. Like so many of you, I believe in Bridgeport, and in Bridgeport’s future.
This moment is a call to action. To me, that means building a more sustainable, strong, and fair Bridgeport, a Bridgeport that thrives. That, however, requires courage and the political will to fight for all of our families. In partnership with the community, we can make real investments in education, housing, and good jobs. We can build wealth in our communities by addressing poverty and supporting small businesses and local entrepreneurship.
Our policy platform is more than a vision. It’s a promise to Bridgeport residents to take on some of our hardest challenges, to put the people of Bridgeport first, to bring a fresh perspective, to pursue economic development and stability and to build a local government that is open, accountable, transparent, and honest.
I see a tomorrow where our communities are lifted out of poverty and we deliver the jobs, housing, education, safety, and the quality of life we all deserve. But we only get there if we decide, together, that it’s time for real change in our City’s leadership. With a vision and the hard work to make it a reality, we can succeed.
For each of the policy areas below, our campaign will be releasing detailed policy proposals in the coming weeks so that we can act with the scale and urgency that this moment demands when I become Mayor. Progress, democracy, community, and advocacy are the motivation behind everything that we do. Together, let’s build a Bridgeport for everyone. Let’s thrive. It’s time.
MEET LAMOND: BRIDGEPORT’S PASSIONATE ADVOCATE, RESPECTED LEADER AND RELENTLESS CHEERLEADER
I love this City and I love our community. I’m a licensed Clinical Social Worker, currently serving as the Chief of Community Services for the City of Norwalk, with oversight of the library, health department and community services. I have spent 20 years helping some of our most vulnerable residents navigate through government red tape. I know how much government matters. And I’ve seen what happens when people fall through the cracks. It’s what led me to pivot my career to work in government administration so I could push for change from within. With my current experience working in City government, I know how government and politics can help solve problems, remove barriers and empower citizens.
Investment in our City requires trust and faith in our leadership. As Bridgeport’s next Mayor, I will be the passionate advocate, respected leader and relentless cheerleader our City needs. Throughout my career, I have built relationships that have garnered the respect of the philanthropic community, local and state leaders, and elected officials around the country. I will promote all that our City offers to neighboring cities and their residents, to businesses and to our elected officials in Hartford.
Our City has so much to offer, and I will make sure they all know it. This will be key to generating the economic development and jobs we need to address our longstanding economic decline. Other cities with a similar history of economic challenges have found success when a trustworthy leader takes on this role. There’s no reason it won’t work here in Bridgeport with me as Mayor.
My administration will develop a full marketing and promotional package, meet with Mayors and other leaders throughout our region, Chambers of Commerce, Trade Associations, unions and other groups to generate the interest and awareness necessary to drive investment.
I’m a father, and a husband, who lives in Bridgeport, so this work is deeply personal for me. A new, honest and transparent administration can attract the business and investment that people outside of Bridgeport have rejected because of the politics, perception of corruption and mediocre approach to business engagement. People know Bridgeport has assets and I am ready to build the administration to maximize our strengths.
Bridgeport can be a welcoming city where we all thrive. Let’s get to work and do this together!
A FULL JOBS & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AGENDA
Unless we bring back good jobs and economic growth, our City will continue to be left behind. Lamond will work nonstop to attract new employers to relocate here, support startups and tech, and help our current small business and MWBE’s thrive.
ADDRESSING OUR AFFORDABLE HOUSING CRISIS
Safe, healthy, accessible, affordable housing is a human right. The cost of housing is crippling our local economy, taking much needed money out of the pockets of our residents who can least afford it, and effectively siphoning that money out of our local economy. As Mayor, Lamond will protect the affordable housing we do have, make sure renters’ rights are protected and demand the construction of new affordable housing throughout our city. In addition to protecting renters, Lamond will also protect Bridgeport property owners by ensuring that the value of their investment in Bridgeport grows and their taxes are affordable.
We can either invest in lifting people out of poverty, or we can pay far more for the impacts of poverty that we refused to address. It’s that simple. Higher poverty rates hurt us all.
As a licensed clinical social worker, Lamond got his start helping at-risk kids on Bridgeport’s East Side, and he knows that addressing poverty lifts an entire City. After overseeing the Health and Human Services Department of our neighboring city of Norwalk, Lamond knows how we can do better here and will take on the root causes of poverty to create a brighter future for everyone.
PUBLIC SAFETY AND COMMUNITY JUSTICE
Our current police force of approximately 265 should be around 425. Under our current Mayor, there has been an over-politicization of our police, creating unhealthy divisions that undermine both the public’s confidence in our city’s ability to reduce crime and recruitment efforts. Bridgeport has gone through three police chiefs in as many years, leading to a department that has lost the trust of too many people in the communities it serves. Too many people see Bridgeport as dangerous, and too many residents feel disconnected from our police. But the fact is, we need police. We need them to be effective, accountable and engaged with our local communities, and we need them to have community support to make our streets as safe as they can be. As Mayor, Lamond will never politicize public safety and he will work in strong partnership with the police department to support its efforts to restore positive community relationships and give it the resources it needs by being creative and aggressive in its recruitment efforts.
QUALITY OF LIFE
Believing in a better Bridgeport means making our city shine not only metaphorically, but literally. As Mayor, Lamond will address blight–cleaning and repairing our streets and sidewalks, building a stronger sense of community and helping residents support and beautify their neighborhoods.
SCHOOLS & EDUCATION
Bridgeport students, teachers and families deserve a system that is responsive to their needs and provides the type of support that enables everyone to succeed. Our schools are the key to our future, but the Mayor’s role in school oversight and administration is limited, with most of the authority vested in our elected Board of Education. However, the mayor can provide funding and a vision for improving education by being our schools’ chief lobbyist in Hartford and relentless cheerleader to encourage private and public partnership to secure the funding our children deserve.
GOVERNMENTAL COMPETENCE, ACCOUNTABILITY & TRANSPARENCY:
Bridgeporters need to have faith that their city government can competently run the city, without corruption, nepotism or pay-to-play politics driving the decision making. Our current administration operates behind closed doors, ignores Freedom of Information requests for public information and refuses to fill key appointed positions and board and commission positions, leaving independent voices out of the dialogue on the issues plaguing our city. This directly obstructs our ability to revive our City and allow it to thrive again. As Mayor, Lamond will be committed to a fully transparent and accountable City government and he will appoint a competent and qualified cabinet and staff all board and commission that not only fulfills our needs, but also reflects the full diversity of our city.
YOUTH & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Too many young people in Bridgeport grow up without the support or services they need to succeed in life, or simply move away for better opportunities elsewhere. When we lose our promising youth, we lose a promising future. As someone who started his career supporting at-risk youth on Bridgeport’s East Side, Lamond knows that investments in our youth pay the highest possible dividends, and as Mayor, he will make sure those investments are made.
ENVIRONMENT & CLIMATE CHANGE
As a waterfront city, Bridgeport has experienced more flooding in recent years due to rising seas resulting from climate change. We face poor health legacies of generations victimized by environmental injustice. We need to work with the state to address flooding in the South End, keep industrial land use out of residential neighborhoods and plant trees in our most urban area. As Mayor, Lamond will breathe new life into stalled projects and launch new efforts to make the Park City is the environmental haven it should be.