Here’s our panel of current and past Bridgeport town committee members will share their experiences, insights and personal opinions.
Sauda Baraka is serving her third term as an elected member of the Bridgeport BOE. She was elected Chairperson of the Board in 2013, and currently, serves as Vice Chair. Baraka is President of the Board of Directors for Believe in Me Empowerment Corporation, located in New Haven. She has been a member of the Bridgeport Public Library Board since 1991 and is currently the Vice President. She serves on the Executive Committee of the Bridgeport Chapter of the NAACP as the Chairperson for Criminal Justice. She retired from the State of Connecticut Judicial Department/ CSSD Adult Probation after 22 years of service. She is married with 5 children and 5 grandchildren.
Christopher Caruso is a former Democratic member of the Connecticut House of Representatives, representing District 126 from 1991 to 2011. Caruso resigned to serve on Gov. Dan Malloy’s housing, urban initiatives, and smart growth group. Prior to leaving the House, he served as the Deputy Majority Caucus Chair. Caruso served on the Bridgeport DTC and was Town Chair from 1986 to 1988.
Vincent DiPalma is a lifelong resident of Bridgeport. He has been a member of the DTC for 10 years and is on the Board of Directors of the Water Pollution Control Authority. He attended Saint Raphael’s Grammar School and graduated from Notre Dame High School in 1977. DiPalma has been employed by Paul Miller Nissan for 40 years. He has been married to his wife, Linda, for 35 years. He is an avid runner and has completed many marathons. He also enjoys attending hot yoga classes.
Lisa Parziale was born, raised and educated in Bridgeport. She became a member of the Democratic Town Committee in 1980 and was a district leader. She served on the Bridgeport City Council, representing the 132nd district from 1983 to 2003. She was elected Council President in 1985 and served in that position for 10 years with two Democratic and two Republican administrations. After leaving the City Council in 2003, she served a two-year term as Democratic Registrar of Voters. She has owned a construction company and has been a licensed realtor since 1995.
Rick Torres, was born in Bridgeport and moved back to his family’s native Cuba when he was a young boy. Five years after Fidel Castro came to power, his family returned to America. He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 1983. Torres and his wife Michele have purchased and restored many run-down properties in Bridgeport, including the Harborview Market in Black Rock, which they have owned and operated since 1993. In 2003, Torres ran for Mayor of Bridgeport on the Republican ticket. Prior to his mayoral run, he took an active role in a number of neighborhood and community organizations and ran for several local government offices. He was elected to the City Council in 2013 and served one term as its sole Republican. Rick and Michele have five children.