Municipal Advocate, Yale Campaign School Forge Partnership To Train People Of Color Running For Local Office

News release from Connecticut Conference of Municipalities:

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM), in conjunction with the Campaign School at Yale University, will conduct a groundbreaking, virtual two-day training program designed to assist more people of color with the skills needed to run for local public office in Connecticut. Representation Matters: Are You Ready To Run For Local Office? will take place via Zoom February 13 & February 27, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

While Blacks, Latinas and Asians comprise nearly 35 percent of Connecticut’s population, they represent a very small fraction of the local elected public officials and local board and commission members in Connecticut’s 169 towns and cities.

“One of the founding principles of this nation is the ideal of a representative government, and it is a goal America is still striving for,” said Joe DeLong, CCM Executive Director and CEO. “Increasing racial diversity and input on town/city councils and boards and commissions broadens perspectives and ensures more thorough proposals. This effort will help foster a more equitable future.”

This intensive training is being co-sponsored by the Connecticut Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity, and Opportunity and the Parent Leadership Training Institute.

Day One on Saturday, February 13 will be led by the renowned Campaign School at Yale University, which counts Representative Gabrielle Giffords, Presidential-candidate Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and former New Haven mayor, Toni Harp, as alumnae.

This first day of intensive training will provide a foundation and skill set for launch as community leaders. The training includes a comprehensive discussion of all of the components necessary to begin a political career, both personally and professionally; cogent and inspiring speaking techniques; and effective networking. The training will specifically cover: setting up a campaign, fundraising, developing your message, building your communications and strategy plan, digital and social media best practices and more. Other presentation topics include: making the decision to run, essentials of fundraising, finding your voice, making it matter, and a roundtable discussion with campaign school alumnae.

“As President Lincoln declared in the Gettysburg Address, the ideal nation is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people,” noted DeLong. “In the 21st century, we only need the willpower to make that a reality. Over this two-day training, the tools and know-how to get into local politics will be given to all who attend.”

And here is the line-up for day Two of the training on Saturday, February 27, led by CCM.

How to Be a Change Agent in your Community–Shawn Wooden, State Treasurer

I Want to Get Involved in My Community and Local Government–Where Do I Start?–Mark Overmyer Velazquez, UCONN Hartford Campus Director and former West Hartford Board of Education member

Panel of Seasoned Experts to Discuss Lessons Learned/Best Practices–Panelists: Suzette DeBeatham-Brown, Mayor, Bloomfield; Cathy Iino, First Selectwoman, Killingworth; Ed Ford, Councilmember, Middletown City Council; Roberta Gill-Brooks, Tax Collector, Branford; and Aidee Nieves, President, Bridgeport City Council

Municipal Governance and Finance 101–Scott Jackson, former CAO City of New Haven, Former Mayor of Hamden, Commissioner, CT Department of Revenue Services and Department of Labor

Ethics, Public Meetings, Roberts Rules, Freedom of Information and more–Attorney Kari Olson of the law firm Murtha Cullina

This groundbreaking training effort is being advised by the Inclusion Committee of CCM’s Board of Directors. They include:
Susan Bransfield, First Selectman of Portland, Chair
Laura Hoydick, Mayor of Stratford
Scott Shanley, Town Manager of Manchester
Kevin Alvarez, Director of Legislative Affairs, New Haven
Walter Morton, Director of Legislative Affairs, Hamden



  1. Panel of Seasoned Experts to Discuss Lessons Learned/ Best Practices — Panelists: Suzette DeBeatham-Brown, Mayor, Bloomfield; Cathy Iino, First Selectwoman, Killingworth; Ed Ford, Councilmember, Middletown City Council; Roberta Gill-Brooks, Tax Collector, Branford; and Aidee Nieves, President, Bridgeport City Council., a Panel of Seasoned Experts, this has to be a mistake, Aidee Nieves, President, Bridgeport City Council. a Seasoned Experts,hopefully Aidee is one of the students.

  2. Come on Ron. Quit picking on Adyee.
    She has the creds to be on this panel.
    Tell me. She came out of no where to be elected Council President. She beat out Newton to become President a post he previously held, as well as State Rep and State Senator. And how about Evette Brantley?
    Again decades of experience in both the East End and West End. How do you pull that off with out being a seasoned expert?
    Rev Lee up in the North End, Denise Taylor-Moye, Marcus Brown, Jack Banta, Maria Valle, Maria Zambrano and the list of could have been sand never were left in the dust by Aydee. And you don’t think there must be some skilled leadership there?
    Just because you and I don’t see it, there MUST be something there. Don’t kid your self. There MUST be something there, don’t you think?


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