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Bridgeport coalition launches campaign to influence this year’s mayoral election

Ebong Udoma
Callie Heilmann and Gemeem Davis of Bridgeport Generation Now Votes, coordinators of the Unrig Bridgeport Coalition. Its a coalition of local civic organizations working on a 2023 People's Platform to endorse reform candidates for mayor, city council and board of education.

A coalition of civic groups concerned with city government in Bridgeport, Connecticut, launched a campaign to influence this year’s mayoral election.

The coalition’s “Year of Change” campaign seeks voter engagement to elect a slate of reform candidates for mayor, city council and board of education, said Callie Heilmann of Bridgeport Generation, a coordinator of the coalition.

“Over the years our local democracy has stopped working for the betterment of all Bridgeporter’s and really started working for a select group of people and their personal gains,” she said.

Heilmann added that the coalition is drafting a platform that calls for a more inclusive and accountable city government. “That is why we are committed to the people’s platform which really has a vision for justice, equity and good government.”

Only candidates who support that platform would be considered for endorsement.

The city’s incumbent Democratic Mayor Joseph Ganim is facing several challengers as he seeks reelection to a third consecutive term in office this year.

The Unrig Bridgeport coalition includes members of the Greater Bridgeport NAACP, the union SEIU 1199 New England, a local Black Democratic club, and other grassroots organizations.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.