As homeowners and renters in Bridgeport, the recent 29% tax increase means too much of our incomes must go to keeping a roof over our head. Some of us can no longer afford to stay in homes we have worked our whole lives to own. The tax increase also means our houses are now worth less on the market, so if we sell we will lose money. Those of us who rent know our landlords are facing the same financial pressures, which means they’ll have to raise our rents, and they have less incentive to make repairs or invest in property improvements. It feels like Bridgeport is sinking.
At the heart of any democracy is the citizen armed with public knowledge and public means to bring that knowledge to bear through open, accountable, and honest processes across the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. This is predicated on a transparent government. We welcome citizens who want to aid us in opening up Bridgeport government.
“Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.” — Thomas Jefferson
“Sunlight is the best disinfectant.” — U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas
Jobs & Economy
As business owners in Bridgeport, we know that strong cities are essential for economic growth locally and regionally. We want to help revitalize Connecticut’s largest city, but we worry about return on our investments. Bridgeport’s empty storefronts and unsafe streets are unattractive to customers. The city’s financial and competitiveness challenges deter new businesses from locating here. Business people are reluctant to buy real estate in Bridgeport for fear it will lose value over time. We worry that if Bridgeport goes bankrupt, we will lose all that we’ve invested. The city needs to make tough choices now before it’s too late.
As parents in Bridgeport, we see the poor quality of our public schools and worry about our children’s future. Many of our fifth graders are reading at kindergarten level. Only 63% of our high school students graduate. Our schools cannot retain good teachers because neighboring towns pay $25,000 to $30,000 more. There’s not enough funding for afterschool recreational and enrichment activities, so our kids have too much time on their hands and no safe place to go. We have to do more for our children.
Seniors & Retirees
As senior citizens in Bridgeport, we must make our fixed incomes stretch to cover increasing housing, food and health costs. The recent 29% percent tax increase means some of us cannot afford to stay in our homes. If we rent our homes we worry about rising rents and poor maintenance that creates safety hazards. Those of us who are retired city employees worry about losing our pensions if the city goes bankrupt. We face painful choices between paying the bills and buying the medicine we need. We also worry about crime. The city’s senior centers are strapped for funding and don’t provide the support we need. We’ve worked hard all our lives. We deserve better.
Public safety and emergency response in Bridgeport’s vibrant urban communities is the primary job of the Bridgeport Police, Bridgeport Fire, and the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (OEMHS) Departments.
“I’ve always said that calling police officers First Responders is to fundamentally misunderstand modern policing … The members of the NYPD are First Preventers. You prevent crimes from happening, and the murder numbers tell the story.” – Michael Bloomberg
As Connecticut’s most populous city, Bridgeport is graced with two public parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., as well as with dozens of additional public parks and spaces along its 24 miles of waterfront. Climate change and pollution pose serious threats to our city’s environment and our residents’ health. To better manage these risks, Bridgeport is becoming a sustainable city through local action on climate, clean energy, and city planning, such as through its BGreen 2020 Initiative a 10-year plan to strategically improve the environmental quality and livability of Bridgeport while promoting our city’s burgeoning green industries.
“A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of … [the living environment]. It is wrong when it tends otherwise” – Aldo Leopold
“[W]e did not weave the web of life: we are merely a strand in it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. Let us give thanks for the web in the circle that connects us.” – Chief Seattle