Accountability Politics

I usually use this platform to speak about holistic living or my family but I would be remiss to not speak on the blatant corruption happening in my hometown. It is very prevalent to my journey & a huge part of my desire to live as far off grid as I can possibly get! When I was growing up Bridgeport, Conn. was one of the wealthiest cities in the state of Connecticut. As I got older corruption & greed became a part of the fabric of Bridgeport & remains there until right this very minute. There is no hope in the near future for the current residents, which is pathetic because they are one of the higher taxed cities in the state.

Property taxes are the main source of income for local government. Extravagant spending has always been a perk for politicians in Connecticut. Unfortunately the 1% of Connecticut get richer while the less fortunate get poorer. Connecticut's capital city, Hartford is in jeopardy of going bankrupt. Bridgeport is corrupt from the top all the way down the line. If you can find a politician or city representative that isn't corrupt I applaud you! The mayor, police department, city council, the school name it! There's no budget for education or after school programs, but there's enough money for the police chief to make over a hundred thousand dollars a year.

That hundred thousand dollars a year that he was making is now in question because he is currently out on bond for defrauding the exam that made him police chief in the first place. The mayor is a convicted felon, might I add he is a felon for his handling of funds the first time he was the mayor. There are police officers currently being indicted for not only fraud, but domestic violence & sexual assault on minors as well. In the meantime there are gang wars happening all over the city & no real police presence. Where is your highly paid police chief or any officer for that matter while your children are killing each other?

I was born in Bridgeport in the late 70's. The mid 80's brought in the crack era & that was the beginning of the end for Bridgeport. The 90's came in with gangs littering every housing project or low income housing in Bridgeport. Crack ushered in a new income source for the less fortunate & a new, cheaper high for those that could no longer afford the cocaine that had impacted the city for years prior! As a teenager I watched crack completely take over our city. As an adult I have watched greed destroy any chance of getting it back to its former glory.

Where there were once thriving businesses, corporations, dog tracks & theaters there are now abandoned buildings that nobody cares to renovate or remodel. There have been in influx of businesses opening in Bridgeport in the last 5 years, but none that truly cater to or service the members of the communities there. Bridgeport residents can barely get jobs in them. Most of the residents are generational residents who have also watched the destruction of our beloved city. There is no help for this forgotten city of Connecticut.

The problem with this, for me is that the children are suffering while the adults are pigeon holed into staying there. Mostly because they can not afford to move, the rest are content with the life they live there. I have lived in Bridgeport as an adult for only a short time. I realized very early on that it was not a place I wanted to raise my children in. My peers were murdering each other at an alarming rate, there were not many safe places in Bridgeport as a teen. All the statistics for people that looked like me were perpetuated in Bridgeport. Not because we were lazy, stupid or violent, but because there was basically no other way.

The people I grew up watching try to be productive citizens of a corrupt city were all extremely miserable & could not get ahead. The same pandering at election time politicians were nowhere to be found. The only time you see this is when it is time to ask for your vote. I understand why the citizens of Bridgeport are so forgiving, but it is time to hold people & ourselves accountable for the destruction of this once beautiful city! The residents deserve to live in peace. I have elderly relatives that have lived in Bridgeport my entire life & they are afraid & fed up! 

It is not enough to make promises of better days, better police presence when you are taking funding away from programs that community needs. The powers that be already have their minds made up about the residents. It isn't even possible for the officials to be that blind when it comes to the goings on there. They know what is happening, they just don't care to do anything about it. They turn a blind eye to the violence that has taken over the city so they can profit from it. Eventually they will gentrify Bridgeport & the residents won't even be able to afford to live there!

It is not solely their fault Bridgeport is in the state it is in. I don't deny systemic racism plays a huge part in the state of affairs there, but as residents we must take some responsibility for its demise. It is their job, but it's our home.The people that live there voted the politicians & representatives that are robbing them blind into office. One time is understandable, but to keep voting the same people into those positions & not see any change for the better in your community is the definition of insanity.

The community needs to start policing itself! Parents must get a hold of their children & not let up until they are out of Bridgeport or productive members of that community. For too many years we turned a blind eye to the nonsense that was happening in our community. Some of us participated in the very activities that caused the destruction of the community. When you know better, do better. It was all fun & games when we were children or teenagers, but we are adults now! It is well past time to stand up for what's right & discontinue any behavior that works against the greater good of our communities.

I technically don't have a dog in this fight anymore. That doesn't stop it from hurting me & it doesn't stop me from still caring. Those residents deserve community leaders that care about what happens to them & their children. The children deserve after school programs & safe spaces to learn & play. They deserve a police force that doesn't beat them in the midst of a simple traffic violation! They deserve better than what they have been getting for the past 20 years! Life is too short to work & pay bills for a place you are afraid to live in. 

There are many people in Bridgeport that I love & admire for the work they are doing for the youth there. However, they need help, resources & officials that care as much as they do or even just a little bit. Most of them grew up in Bridgeport so they have a vested interest in what happens there. I wish the people that could help them make more of a difference looked at those kids the same way we do. Maybe then they would look past their pockets & find their hearts & help us save our kids.


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