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A Bridgeport councilwoman is exploring new federal funding programs to improve the city

Bridgeport Transportation Center
Lil Keller
WSHU Public Radio

Over 2,500 city leaders are attending a conference in Washington D.C. this week, including from Bridgeport, to discuss how to best use federal dollars in urban areas.

At the three-day event hosted by the National League of Cities, attendees heard from authorities about how their cities can benefit from new federal funding programs.

Bridgeport City Council Majority Leader Jeanette Herron said with more federal funding, she’s optimistic about the city's future.

“Bridgeport is a city that’s going to flourish," Herron said. "It’s starting to flourish now. Having the amphitheater come in, having Sound on Sound come in and bring 30,000 people into our city that will help with the restaurants, and help with the tax base.” 

Some of the more pressing issues being discussed at the event include infrastructure, transportation and public safety.

Herron said Bridgeport faces similar challenges as other cities around the country.

"Every community that I've spoken to, as well as Bridgeport, is struggling with affordable housing. That's a key issue for the people I have spoken to here, and National League is also aware of that.

She hopes more federal dollars could help the city expand its public-private partnerships to build more affordable housing units.

“I think in the next five to 10 years, you’re going to see Bridgeport be pretty much another Stamford," she added. "And, people are going to come there, they’re going to enjoy, and they're either going to go home, or they’re going to stay. And right now, we’re at that cusp.”

Sabrina is host and producer of WSHU’s daily podcast After All Things. She also produces the climate podcast Higher Ground and other long-form news and music programs at the station. Sabrina spent two years as a WSHU fellow, working as a reporter and assisting with production of The Full Story.