Bridgeport has so much potential. With new leadership and a concrete plan for our future, we can live up to it. That’s why on January 24th, 2023 the Unrig Bridgeport coalition launched this year’s people-powered campaign, The Year of Change.

In Bridgeport, we are a diverse people with a long history of caring for our families and neighborhoods. We love the Park City and want our children to have a good education, safe streets, affordable housing, a police department that respects us, and a thriving democracy and economy. Yet, year after year the current occupants of City Hall seem incapable of advancing a vision for Bridgeport beyond recycling old ideas like Donald Trump’s 30 year-old promise to bring a casino to town and giving special interests carte blanche access to our waterfront while shutting residents out.

After Nearly 20 years of Mayor Joe Ganim’s leadership, Bridgeport has largely become a symbol of urban failure.

But it’s not 1993. It’s 2023. What we need now is visionary leadership that is focused on fostering innovation and creating the right climate to attract jobs and new businesses. We need leadership that will advance good government policies, be transparent and accountable, and invest in the public institutions and services we need to live healthy, productive, joy-filled lives.  Unfortunately, this administration has often blocked progress or was shockingly silent on the issues that matter to us most. And voters are paying attention. According to an August 2022 poll conducted by Lake Research Partners, 51% of Bridgeport voters under the age of 30 say we are headed in the wrong direction. A damning indictment that shows that in the nearly twenty years of Mayor Joe Ganim’s leadership, Bridgeport has largely become a symbol of urban failure. 

Our schools are consistently underfunded and underperforming, our city streets and sidewalks are unsafe, our police department is in constant crisis, and our city charter hasn’t been updated in 30 years. Predatory landlords have gone unchecked with rents skyrocketing and evictions on the rise. Economic opportunities mostly benefit special interests, not Bridgeport residents. And, let’s not forget the drip, drip, drip of scandals still coming out of this administration being reported on a nearly weekly basis.

Failure doesn’t have to be our future.

But failure doesn’t have to be our future. In this year’s municipal election, we have the opportunity to course correct by electing a new mayor and other city officials who reflect our values, care about our issues, and have the vision and skills needed to get things done. The people of Bridgeport are clear. We want new leadership and to rid ourselves from the stigma of corruption. We want a serious mayor and administration that will fund our public schools, make housing more affordable, improve public safety, fix our roads and infrastructure, and create economic development that benefits everyone. In short, we want to move corruption out of the way so we can finally get to the business of building a better Bridgeport that we can all be proud of. We want to move on.

The Year of Change campaign centers the people of Bridgeport’s voices and highlights our most pressing issues. In March, the coalition will launch the second edition of The People’s Platform, a policy agenda informed by our 7  years of on-the-ground organizing and strengthened by the Lake Research Partners poll results. All candidates running for Mayor, City Council and the Board of Education will be invited to pledge their support of The People’s Platform and also to seek the endorsement of the Unrig Bridgeport coalition. We will then hit the streets to get out the vote for the candidates who are for the people! 

get involved: join the year of change

Ultimately, the Year of Change is about US – the voters – and the vision we all collectively have for our city. In 2023, we can vote for change. We can vote for our future. We can show that we have the political power to take back our city. And then, together, we can build a beloved Bridgeport. 

Click the link HERE to Pledge to Vote in this year’s election, donate to the campaign and stay informed!

The Unrig Bridgeport coalition is made up of the following community and statewide organizations: Bridgeport Generation Now Votes, Bridgeport Strong, Connecticut Citizen Action Group, Greater Bridgeport NAACP, Greater Bridgeport Ed Gomes Black Democratic Club, Make the Road Action, PT Partners, and SEIU 1199 New England.