Trumbull Gardens Gym Reopened For Summer Youth, How Long?

Ganim, Trumbull Gardens gym
Ganim joined by officials at Trumbull Gardens gym.

Last year Trumbull Gardens experienced a historic shooting that became a flashpoint for the mayoral election. Following a recent community meeting organized by U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, Mayor Joe Ganim on Monday announced the reopening of the gymnasium for use by the public housing project children. But for how long?

More from city Communications Director Av Harris:

Mayor Joe Ganim today returned to the gymnasium at Trumbull Gardens to open the facility for the summer with Connecticut U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, State Senator Marilyn Moore (D-22), State Representative Charlie Stallworth (D-126) City Council President Tom McCarthy, City Councilor and Reverend Mary McBride Lee and City Councilor Anthony Paoletto. Bridgeport Police Chief AJ Perez also joined in opening the gym. The Bridgeport Housing Authority agreed to open the facility as a recreation center for the children of Trumbull Gardens following the demands of residents who came to a community forum on gun violence in the gymnasium on May 31, 2016. During that discussion, Bridgeport Housing Authority Executive Director George Lee Byers agreed to open the gym for youth activities in two weeks.

“If we are serious about reducing gun violence in communities like Trumbull Gardens, kids need space to run around and have fun in a safe environment,” said Mayor Ganim. “This gym on Trumbull Avenue is a great facility but for too long its doors have been shut to the residents who live here. The residents demanded that this facility open its doors and we heard their pleas and made it happen. Now the key will be scheduling some good kids activities in here and keeping them busy during the summer!”

“When I visited Trumbull Gardens a few weeks ago, I heard from kids who were desperate for the gym to stay open–all they wanted was a safe place to run around and play basketball with their friends,” said Connecticut US Senator Chris Murphy, who organized the forum on gun violence where residents demanded that the gym be open for use. “Mayor Ganim and local and state leaders worked quickly afterwards to make it happen. This isn’t the answer to stemming gun violence in the city, but I’m proud our community forum brought action so Bridgeport’s kids could have a safe place this summer to just be kids.”

After the gym was re-opened, Mayor Ganim played pickup basketball with neighborhood kids. Mayor Ganim will soon unveil details of a proposal to fund summer youth activities citywide to give teenagers in many Bridgeport neighborhoods positive alternative opportunities in contrast to the negative influences of violent gang activity and the false promises of the drug trade.



  1. Three African American leaders present and standing side by side. Not one dared to say, “Basketball, a basketball? For years that’s all you’ve been giving our children. How about some desks, books, chalkboards, teachers or tutors? What good is a basketball or knowing how to shoot hoop when your arm is broken? All of you, get the hell out of my neighborhood before I shove …”

  2. I find this disingenuous at best and straight-up bullshit at its worst. We can open this Center, but we don’t know how long we can keep it open because we don’t have the money for the long term. You have Tom McCarthy standing there looking like he’s saying I don’t know what you kneegrows want from me we don’t have the money because I had to make sure all my white friends, me and the white mayor got raises we didn’t deserve and someone had to pay for my severance package, so I’m sorry kneegrows, the money can only go so far. You have Sen. Blumenthal saying I’m sorry kneegrows there’s no money from the Federal Government for you people, me and my white Senators just sent $35 billion to other countries in foreign aid and you know America values the lives of other people in other countries more than you kneegrows and after 400 years of this you should know better. You have City Councilor Mary McBride sitting there saying I’m sorry my kneegrows, if I hadn’t been asleep at the wheel when Tom McCarthy presented this to the council I would have caught his thievery and there might have been money left to keep this center open long term. What do you kneegrows expect of me, to read all the stuff white folks give me and make an educated decision on behalf of my constituents? After all, they only give me $9000 a year stipend and you kneegrows can’t fully expect me to read this shit and besides everyone knows you can trust a white politician to do what’s in the best interest of the black community, can you?

    Finally there’s Joe Ganim, sitting there saying what do you kneegrows want from me? Didn’t I come up here during the elections and fill your heads with visions of grandeur and a nice dog and pony show by spending my own money to open that bullshit police sub-station and now you kneegrows want me to find more money to keep this center open? Really, you just can’t please you people. Didn’t I pay the current police chief over $100,000, added another police chief at over $100,000 and then paid Wilbur Chapman over $100,000 to look over the shoulder of both of these two high-priced chiefs? How much money do you kneegrows think the City of Bridgeport has and besides Wilbur Chapman is one of you kneegrows, well not really he’s from New York and I’m not really sure he is indeed black, but I think he is. You kneegrows need to be thankful for what you have and what I did for you because I didn’t have to hire 40 or 50 of you during my campaign at $10 an hour to get me elected. I didn’t have to do anything because in the 3-1/2 years I have left before the next election history has shown me you kneegrows will forget what I did to you and what I didn’t do for you and I’ll just hire another 40 or 50 of you kneegrows in 3-1/2 years and you will work your black asses off for me again just like you did this time.

  3. Where is the emphasis on youth programs in the City? We have a Council for Nutrition but not for youth populations and needs? Why aren’t summer programs contemplated at budget time by a sitting Mayor? G2 was to be a man skilled in governance, who with a second chance and OPEN, ACCOUNTABLE, TRANSPARENT and HONEST process would bring LOWER TAXES, public safety, and quality of life to citizens. But governance process has not improved overall, I will suggest. Honesty is not a hallmark of the information we get. Mil rate up 29% and monthly operating reports less useful than ever before. Who are the players with youth programs, after school, in the summer, athletic, character-forming, etc. in Bridgeport? Who is keeping track of the 22,000 youth in these areas? How is the coverage? How many participating? When and where? Who is bearing the expense? Anybody, fill in the blanks, please. There is no community source, apparently. Time will tell.

  4. Donald,
    Very sad but true. Joe Ganim will give $50K to the BRBC to fund a program to hire ex-felons. He will take a similar amount to hire a staff person to oversee this program.
    And yet he cannot or will not find the money to open and keep open this facility.
    It’s all a matter of where his priorities lie.

  5. The city needs to exploit its untapped resources in pursuit of adequate funding for summer and year-round youth recreation/education and employment programs. Here are some “untapped” resources:

    1. UI: The city hosts most of the region’s power supply infrastructure, to the detriment of our overall tax base (devaluation and crowding-out effects). In lieu of a “devaluation” surcharge that should be exacted by Bridgeport in this regard, UI should be asked to make a major contribution to the city for use toward youth recreation/education/employment needs. (Truly, the legal option of levying such a surcharge by the city should be a legislative priority of our GA delegation in any event, with part of the surcharge earmarked for these purposes.)

    2. PSEG, et al.: Ditto the above regarding PSEG, et al., which operate super-regional power generation plants on the Bridgeport WATERFRONT.

    3. SHU: SHU should be asked to pony up for their deleterious effects on Bridgeport’s quality of life and tax base, and especially for their theft of/stress upon city services. Their academic, manpower, and infrastructure resources should be availed to the city for assistance with youth needs in addition to $ provided for youth services funding.

    4. Wheel-a-brator, O & G, et al.: Surcharges should be levied on the regional trash-to-energy and other regional waste-storage/waste-recycling operations in the city in the same context as in 1 above.

    5. Miscellaneous non-profits hosted by the city: All the tax-exempt organizations hosted by the city, with the possible exceptions of the hospitals/health clinics, should be asked to contribute to the city’s fund for youth needs, in lieu of taxes. They should be able to contribute cash or in-kind services in state-licensed/approved youth programs to the extent where that would be appropriate.

    There are many unexplored/untapped sources of revenue for all city needs that can and should (MUST!) be developed and tapped through formal legislative measures. In the meantime, these sources should be identified and approached for contributions in meeting the immediate youth safety needs of Bridgeport youth during summer 2016.

    It is ridiculous a distressed city that provides so much to profiteering/pirating corporations and parasitic, freeloading nonprofits should be scratching for pennies for summer youth programs. These entities should all be providing $, training/education/jobs and facilities by way of partial/initial compensation for the well-being/gains made from their “relationship” with Bridgeport.



  6. *** Throwing the kids a few basketballs and double-dutch ropes along with some board games is not going to solve deep-rooted problems in the N.E./’hood over the summer, no? ***

  7. Jeff,
    In suburban communities no doubt you go to the larger companies and provide them a chance to be stars in the local firmament, beyond their sales of goods or services to the public and beyond the variety of taxes of all kinds and at all levels they pay.
    Unfortunately the big companies you suggest have such a wide regional market, they do not feel especially loyal to a Bridgeport audience. If I am wrong, I would like to see a chart with the contributions of such utilities and public service entities to local organizations.

    When Wheelabrator is selected, we must remain aware the Finch administration truly stuck it to that organization in the 2008 revaluation. Wheel had to fight back now for closing on ten years and has won enough judgments for the City to take care and make a plan to do without a large chunk of annual tax funds from them due to them paying more (at 90%) than Wheel must pay. So some of the overpayment may be applied to current and future. What does the City do then? How much good feeling does that engender in a large corporation? What is G2’s assessment of the case? Chances for winning or losing? Extra expenses of continuing legal wrangle? Time will tell.


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