Gen Now’s Hate-Brigade Blueprint For Bridgeport’s Future Drowning In Red Ink, Falsehoods, Reparations Demagoguery

Callie Heilmann and Gemeem Davis of Gen Now should pony up their money for reparations. Photo By Ebong Udoma, NPR.

Bridgeport was a key stop along Connecticut’s Freedom Trail, a sanctuary led by the Underground Railroad for slaves fleeing southern states for northern safe havens arriving by foot, wagon and horse to a private embrace.

The Bridgeport stop included Little Liberia, as noted by Bridgeport’s Freeman Center that hopefully is on its way to a significant restoration and future museum in the South End.

Little Liberia (known as Ethiope, then Liberia in the 1800s) was a seafaring community of free people of color. It boasted a luxurious seaside resort hotel for wealthy Blacks (cited in a letter to Frederick Douglass), Bridgeport’s first free lending library, a school for colored children, businesses, fraternal organizations, and churches. Of about 36 structures that comprised Little Liberia, only the Freeman Houses survive on original foundations. Mary Freeman (1815–1883) and Eliza Freeman (1805-1862) were accomplished business women. When Mary Freeman died, the only Bridgeporter of greater wealth was legendary showman P.T. Barnum. The Freeman Houses are listed on the National Register of Historic Places for their significance to African Americans and Women.

Frederick Douglass wrote: “In Bridgeport the blacks may reign. This, then, is the spot for respectable colored people. Let them never play the tail part anywhere, when they can play the head.”

In it’s contrived New Blueprint For Bridgeport’s Future Bridgeport Generation Now Votes–that connivingly raises money on the proviso of non-partisanship invested onto its vitriolic social media platforms–includes a peculiar passage calling for

a study to consider a city reparations fund. Support and fund a City-commissioned study to examine possible establishment of a City Reparations Fund for African-American Bridgeport residents who can trace their ancestry back to slavery.

This is the stuff of hateful demagogues who harbor no real sense for history, make things up as they go, and reside in a widely held fantasy of superiority.

If the leaders of Gen Now Gemeem Davis and Callie Heilmann who lives high on the hill in Black Rock are so passionate about the issue let them finance it with their own money.

No, they want to blame and pick the contemporary pockets of Bridgeport taxpayers–Black, Brown and White–who had nothing to do with the southern plantation owners whose slaves fled on brave journeys for places such as Bridgeport.

Bridgeport was a sanctuary not a sacrilege. But Davis and Heilmann know better.

Meanwhile, a review of their fantastical thesis that they expect their unnamed mayor candidate to embrace is loaded with a price tag of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Fund this, fund that, fund this, fund that.


God save the Bridgeport taxpayers from these people.

Here’s a suggestion, let’s start a fund for Davis and Heilmann to enjoy a blood transfusion with sanity.



  1. Lennie,
    Did you really write this scurrilous review of the comprehensive approach to their ‘blueprint’? No positives? And attacking their democratic approach to listening to members of their group, and reporting out information that has value to Bridgeport voters? Was this written by someone else, as a fictional hatchet job for you to serve up without any other commentary?
    The diverse, younger, group of folks who put this ‘blueprint’ together must have struck some fear and feelings from both City Halls. Remember that the Annex, a repurposed Macy’s location, that has been termed “wildly inefficient” and expensive to operate by the City might cause some out of the box thinking like the opportunity to lease departmental space from M&T, the likely owners of the former home of People’s United bank. What is the vacancy rate after their downsizing? Would that be worth a quick review by OPED and OPM or the Council, Instead of scathing comments about folks who observe life from increased altitude, why not see what floors and offices might form some really big civic news? (If Joe is responsible for this letter, does he not live higher on the hill in Black Rock than the Heilmanns?) What’s the point in terms of CIty policy, process, and practice? Time will tell.

    1. John, what are the positives in your commentaries? You never issue any scathing comments? I texted and called you today about this very subject. Crickets. You deemed not to return a text or a call until after I posted this response. No one in City Hall contacted me about this so-called blueprint. No one. A lot of what’s in that report is already chalk boarded. This is another example of Heilmann and Davis using people for a fraudulent platform. Any organization that raises money on the contention it is non-partisan when it is wholly partisan is no better than the so-called scoundrels they detest.

  2. This is a tough one. While I admire anyone who goes out and works for the betterment of their community through a political, grassroots, nonprofit organization, I must also consider the quality of the leadership that they bring to their effort. Gen Now has a good heart but confused head. An organization is only as good as its leadership and in the case of Gen Now, the leadership is women and minority focused and has tunnel vision on race issues. Communities are not made up of just women and minorities, they are made up of all the people in that community. As inclusive as they claim to be, I have never found them to be inclusive of me. Maybe because I’m an older white guy, I don’t know but I have tried to get involved with this group several times over the years, to no avail. I’ve never felt wanted or valued by this group in all the times I went to their meetings. I admire what they’re trying to do, I just don’t admire how their leadership tries to do it. I really wish this weren’t the case. Bridgeport needs a good, grassroots, political support system, as I have been advocating for, for some time now.

  3. To Lennie’s point, it’s the value/level of their sincerity. This isn’t a “blueprint”. A blueprint gives details on how to construct and accomplish something. This is an artistic picturesque rendition of Port’s political future. Kinda like Cinderella’s story, though comical/racist at times. 🙂

    Sure they say they would like to see the city residents’ and employees’ pay raised from the current 15$ that hasn’t even been completely phased in, to $25. What employee wouldn’t be for that? But is it realistic? Who/how does the city pay all of its employees, nearly doubled increase for those making less than $25? I would have to say any increase in pay would result in an increase in the taxes of the people who own properties, by extension increasing the rents that are apparently already non-affordable for these less fortunate to have city jobs. I would think.

    We know how people of the Port get when their taxes are raised, or should I say revalued to paying their fair share? 😂

    It is pretty rich to see the same people who are supporting/financing Gen Now that’s championing the commoners of Port in the name of good governance, fairness, and racial equality against G2 over his implementation of the revaluation.

    I think Gen Now is a by-product of Juan Cortez Ganim 🙂 and the property revaluation that was kicked down the road by Finch that jack-up their taxes, who were getting over on the other communities’ property owners.

    Perhaps, Gen Now is nothing more than a Vendetta against G2 for making them pay their fair share in taxes. 🙂

    Gen Now’s got motivated by good governance OK :).

    People of the Port unrigged the rigged because the property valuation that was rigged to benefit us was unrigged. 🙂

    I have to give it to the White Libs though. They can create a rendition, picturesque of Port politics. Even the pictures in their New Blueprint For Bridgeport’s Future are “Realisticly” exquisite. 🤣

    I have no issue with courting blacks with MLK quotes, but their another Civil Rights icon who has had a take on the matter. John, do you think Kindred Thoughts has any books on Malcolm X ? 🤣

    To be fair, and to end this on a positive note. I don’t dismiss it all outright. There’s a sense of the need for a check to the balance. Similar to Ed Adams, keeping Juan Cortez Gamin. from the wine selection. 😂

    I depart with the Prophet people of the Port.

  4. Whats the big deal about a study concerning reparations when its just a study? It’s a small part of an otherwise 19 page report that talks about many citywide priorities would have been nice to see those highlighted in the post as well.

  5. They should pay for themselves. Let the Heinemans pay for the whole thing themselves. Then they don’t have to go through the formation of bogus studies. They can just dig into their own pockets and put their money where your mouth is.

    The line begins at their driveway on the hill get in line early so you can get your $.

  6. BptPorter, Gen Now talks about conducting a racial equity study on the diversity of the Port. Should the Latinos pay reparation for America’s slavery past?

    Then go on about the implementation of anti-racist training. They should practice what they preach.

    While it may not seem like a big deal to study something like reparation. However, it is a big deal because it promotes racism. It‘s racist identity politics. So much for anti-racist training. They need to take that plank out of their eye first. 🙂

    California did a study and found that blacks should receive 5 million. Cali didn’t participate in American slavery. In fact, it didn’t even become part of the United States until 10 years before the Civil War. Shit, there are like a dozen states that didn’t even come part of the United States until after the Civil War.

    Gen Now doesn’t give two shits about any actual reparation. It’s just racism on their part to conjure up votes/support/minions. While no common black person will be against it any white who speaks out against it will be deemed a racist.

    Ok, but if Gen Now, is going to call on the City to create a Reparations Fund for African-American Bridgeport residents who can trace their ancestry they also should add that they can’t be part of, or believe in Christian Church, Jesus, Islam, and Judaism. They have to be a proclaimed, Atheists. Because how can Gen Now champion reparations because of American slavery on behalf of someone who believes, and professes God’s teachings where slavery was permitted and accepted? JS

    What say you people, ‘God or Reparations, That’s fair. 😎

  7. As I have said in my previous comment on this subject, a lack of good leadership is the main problem Gen Now has, but on the subject of this blueprint they have published for Bridgeport, there is another major problem. Their blueprint contends that “the next mayor of Bridgeport” should do this, that and the other thing. What they don’t understand is the role Gen Now should be playing in electing a new mayor of Bridgeport and the city council and the Democratic Town Committee. Good, honest, capable people don’t usually just up and run for public office in Bridgeport because Bridgeport is a cesspool of political corruption. Why would good, honest, capable people want to get involved in such a public charade? How are we ever to fix the many problems Bridgeport faces, until we can attract and elect good people to public office? Groups like Gen Now could be very helpful in facilitating this process but in the seven years of their existence, this concept has never been their focus. Almost a year ago, I sat down and explained this concept to Callie Heilmann, at a meeting I had with her. About a week after I met with her, she placed a public ad for “political organizer” to do exactly what we had talked about the week before. I had offered to fill this role for Gen Now myself but she declined my offer without an explanation. Blueprints like the one Gen Now has published is not the answer to anything. It’s a wish list, and not even a good one. What is needed is to organize every neighborhood in Bridgeport, to organize all 10 council districts by way of grassroots organizing, to raise awareness, educate people on the issues, gain supporters and begin the process that will get more people out to vote. Now there is absolutely no sense in doing any of this unless there are good candidates to vote for. That’s where a group like Gen Now could be very helpful, if they understood the above concept in its entirety, which they don’t. Candidates must be recruited and supported for mayor, city council and Democratic Town Committee. This is a big job and will require lots of time and effort but mostly it will require really good leadership at the helm of any organization that attempts this. There is no other way to rid Bridgeport of the corruption and mismanagement that currently plagues our city. NO OTHER WAY. Organize and Vote !!!

    1. Jon, strong points. On some level they’ve tried that and have largely failed. Gemeem Davis failed to win a seat on the town committee last year. Other attempts have gone wayward. They connected on a few singles here and there. They are too busy acting angry than killing pols with strategic kindness. Pent up indignation clouds reason and purpose. People take notice of it. The bottom line is they want to control a mayor, control a city council president, control this and that all in the cause of self-entitled power. They want to be in charge of the city. You don’t like Joe Ganim? So be it. But making him the poster boy of corruption for all things Bridgeport does a strategic disservice to the city and recruitment efforts on behalf of people who aren’t interested in making it personal.

      It’s been tried before and it has failed. People are quite familiar with Ganim’s past. Some will always vote against him because of it. The majority in Bridgeport will not. Four years ago Marilyn Moore almost knocked off Ganim, not because of his past, but due to his inept run for governor that took away his mayoral duties. Moore was the Gen Now candidate. It was Moore’s to lose and she lost it, running a completely disorganized, confounding race. She’s now much weaker than four years ago and it shows in all the defections to other campaign camps. This time around it’s a different Ganim. He’s much more engaged. Still, he’s no lock for reelection.

      Gen Now is also completely conflicted in its misplaced messaging and “non-partisanship” hoax. It demands transparency then hides behind a 501 c4 status that shields it from public disclosure. Where are they getting their money? Who are the donors? How is it be spent? Talk about not practicing what you preach.

      Callie and Gemeem feel they are smart and everyone else stupid. That’s the attitude.

      1. Sorry Lennie, I didn’t know that you were a Ganim guy. If the Mayor of Bridgeport, who is a 6 count felon of bribery and extortion isn’t the poster child of all things corrupt in Bridgeport, then what is he? And I’ll never feel that telling the truth is ever a strategic disservice to the city. In fact, acknowledging it, is the first step to solving the problem. We have a big problem here in Bridgeport Lennie and it’s systemic. It doesn’t matter who gets elected in November, the whole system’s fuc#ed and until a concept and a plan to fix it are set in motion, Bridgeport will be at the mercy of self-serving, unqualified politicians, who don’t give a shit about the people of Bridgeport. That’s the disservice to Bridgeport that we have to change.

        1. Jon, this is not about me being a “Ganim guy” it’s about living in the past. I’m not an ideologue, I write from the perspective of a strategist. Most voters don’t live in the past they vote on the future. Bridgeport voters brought him back and then again. Maybe 2023 will be different. Nothing’s forever.

          To my larger point why doesn’t Gen Now which preaches transparency share information about its donors? Why don’t they reveal funding sources? Where is the money being spent?

          1. That’s a hell of a point, Lennie. Follow the political money, people. They have a lot to say about who’s donating to G2’s camp.


            Does anyone see them proclaiming/being open, honest, and transparent on their people’s platform about their donor list?

            There’s a pledge, Gen Now. 🙂 Show the people the money flow. 🙂


          2. Lennie, Joe Ganim was our mayor yesterday, he’s our mayor today and he wants to be our mayor tomorrow, how is this about living in the past. Nobody with any degree of common sense thinks it’s a good idea to elect a convicted felon as mayor. This is not living in the past, this is about trying to make Bridgeport a better place to live. How do we address the problem of corruption, if we can’t properly identify it, explain it, and understand it? History is the torch that lights our path, if we don’t understand the past, then we are destined to repeat it. We live in a city run by crooks and other unqualified hacks and we need to figure out a way to change that. I’m proposing a solution, you don’t have to agree with it but I think a lot of people will, once they understand it. As far as “voters bringing him back”, that’s a specious argument because the vast majority of eligible voters in Bridgeport don’t vote. That’s how corrupt machine politics gets to be corrupt machine politics. Organize the people and you organize the vote. Organize the vote under honest, capable leadership and we can sweep corruption and mismanagement out of Bridgeport for a very long time. Now isn’t that what we all want, isn’t that what we’re trying to do here. This is not rocket science, it’s common sense and if we just work together and vote together, we can accomplish great things together. That’s all I want for Bridgeport and I think that, underneath it all, that’s what Bridgeport wants for itself. An honest, well run city we can all be proud to live in. We are a community of people. If we don’t work together for our mutual self-interest, who is? Nobody is going to come and do this for us, we have to do this ourselves. It’s our city, we have to fight for it.

      2. Lennie, I’ll give you a few points overall, However, if Gemeem couldn’t win a seat on the DTC in Gen Now’s stomping ground/backyard either the Port is SERIOUSLY corrupted., or they are not looking in the mirror to ask who’s got clout. 🤣

        Lennie, you’re ➡️Moore’s run that almost knocked off G2 was not because of his past, but it wasn’t because of his inept run for governor that took away his mayoral duties either. It was her blackness and in the era of Trump, LOGICALLY speaking. 🙂

        What helped G2 over Moore was either the inept and or, the corruptness in her own camp, PERSPECTIVELY speaking. If so, what does that really say about Gen Now?

        But that’s the game people, just like G2’s run for governor ➡️ after his historic comeback election from his corruption conviction/scandal?

        Perhaps, voters are not the only ones who have to follow the money, perhaps so too the pols

        BTW, Lennie, G2’s governor run wasn’t inept which took away from his mayoral duties. That shit was plain-out retarded. You just don’t wake up after a historic comeback victory that reclaimed the position you were removed and convicted of political corruption. While Y’all were talking about G2’s chutzpah run for Gov. I was here worrying about his mental health. 😂

        To be fair, unless shit is being expressed through coded language that I can’t comprehend, though differs, My Bad. That’s what happens when you wake up retarded. people.🤣

  8. Due to family demands for essentially all of my time, I have been — for some time now — “out of the loop,” politically (and even socially), so I am not up on the latest news/gossip regarding Bridgeport’s political landscape. I will say, however, that I am very suspicious of Bridgeport political reform groups that are led by persons that might conceivably be perceived as carpetbaggers with ulterior motives and sprawling political ambitions. We have seen such persons on Bridgeport’s political scene in the fairly-recent past. While Chris Shays was well-regarded in Bridgeport as a resident that moved to Bridgeport from the Gold Coast in the middle of his Congressional service, he failed, while a resident and 4th-District Congressman, to deliver on any substantial a$$i$tance for Bridgeport commercial redevelopment/commercial grand-list enlargement, and indeed was responsible for having Bridgeport relegated — officially — to being the “housing hub” and (non-taxable) service-infrastructure center for Fairfield County (“One Coast, One Future”). One could actually suspect that the Congressman moved to Bridgeport to lock in the (potentially) huge Bridgeport vote and assure his reelection and an eventual run for a US Senate seat, even as he kept Bridgeport ambitions at bay for the sake of Gold Coast interests… The same can be said for mayors that relocated to Bridgeport from the burbs to clock-in some service in a voter-dense situation, coming here without a vision or real plan for the city’s future… In that vein, I can have to include Gold Coasters behind grandiose, contraindicated/unrealistic schemes designed to mine Bridgeport’s huge minority vote… As a Bridgeporter that wants to see this city regain its rightful regional status and former level of prosperity, I can only say that all Bridgeport voters should beware of “Carpetbaggers bearing gifts”…

  9. Lennie, this document is from ten local organizations, not just Bridgeport Generation Now Votes . It’s from their Unrig Bridgeport coalition partners—Bridgeport Strong, CTt Citizen Action Group, The Greater Bridgeport NAACP, Greater Bridgeport Ed Gomes Black Democratic Club, Make The Road CT Action, PT Partners, SEIU 1199 New England, The Working Families Party Bridgeport & The Working Families Party CT. It’s 19 pages long and has about 80 positions points on the main topics of good government (which Ganim knows nothing about), corruption (with which you are familiar), education, housing, public safety, jobs, infrastructure, environmental protection, and arts and recreation. It is a good progressive vision for Bridgeport.

    You wrote a whole article damning the 80 point document by referring to only 36 words ! Calm down Lennie. since you don’t live in Bridgeport and haven’t since you went to prison, you really shouldn’t get so upset over Bridgeport budget since it does not affect you or your wallet. God save the Bridgeport taxpayers from Gamin’s buddy and partner in crime.

    Madeline Dennis Raleigh – Bridgeport In The Know, Black Rock In The Know

    1. Madeline, myopic perspectives such as yours just proved my point. Once again you bring up something from more than 20 years ago? What makes you so pure and perfect? Unlike you, most people don’t live in the past. They care about what’s going on today. How many times have haters such as you and Gen Now poised yourself on the smallest things that get under your skin. Most of the coalitions you cite just sign on, totally disconnected from Gen Now’s BS. I spent five days on the stand 20 years ago testifying against a mayor who lost his way. That was then, this is now. I don’t live in the past. You do. Nice that you were recruited by Gen Now to comment.

    2. Bepo, do you find it interesting to have seen Bill Finch attend and speak at Gen Now’s People Platform event, considering that their supporters/backers/buddies benefited from Bill Finch’s so-called “good governance” who shafted the other communities by not having the “mandatory” (I believe) property evaluation making Gen Now buddies pay less while those mostly black and brown pay more they the actual value of their property ?

      I also remember reading something about a corrupted driveway deal. It seems Gen Now and their buddies don’t have any issues buddying up with less-than-savory elements of “good governance.

      At any rate, Gen Now proved my point. The question are you, Bepo In The Know, saying the rest of those groups you aforementioned signed on to that racist people platform/politics?

      I stand by my assessment, outside of those 80 generic points on what everybody wants and expects from their elected officials/government. That was racist in nature. They proved that by calling Lennie a racist because he spoke out against reparations. So much for a “STUDY” on the matter. Seem like the results are in. SMH 🤣

      I depart with Buddy on retainer. 🤣


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