Blumenthal, Himes Mark March on Washington Anniversary with CONECT
160 leaders from across CONECT and Mount Aery Baptist Church gathered together on Wednesday night, August 28th, to mark the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. Rev. Anthony Bennett, pastor of Mount Aery and co-chair of CONECT, chaired the gathering, framing the night not only as a chance to remember but also a time to gather strength for the on-going fight for racial and economic justice.
A diverse group of six leaders shared stories and reflections with the gathering:
- Ms. Dorcas White, a member of Mount Aery and a veteran of the Civil Rights movement,
- Rabbi Jim Prosnit, a leader with CONECT from Congregation B’nai Israel in Bridgeport,
- Ms. Therese LeFever, a leader with CONECT from St. James Catholic Church in Stratford,
- Mr. Alan Feldman, a leader with CONECT from Congregation Beth El in Fairfield,
- Ms. Jeimy Zepeda, a leader with CONECT from St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in New Haven,
- Mr. Blair Dawson, a younger member of Mount Aery.
Rev. Bennett and Mr. Donald Day, a long-time Mount Aery member and retired Bridgeport firefighter, then raised two current-day concerns for US Sen. Richard Blumenthal and US Rep. Jim Himes:
- How will they respond to the recent Supreme Court ruling striking down sections of the Voting Rights Act?
- What would they do to rectify the seemingly biased system of jury selection here in Connecticut?
Both Himes and Blumenthal spoke and responded, stressing their own desire to rectify these problems and at the same time expressing their realistic sense that both will take a long-term effort to be fully addressed. Blumenthal, attending a CONECT gathering for the first time, recognized the organization and commented how its ability to bring diverse groups together was similar to what made the Civil Rights movement a success.
Rev. Bennett closed out the evening by getting every one on their feet to sing “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around, ” an old Civil Rights song. As CONECT leaders filed out, they reported feeling “energized” and “privileged” to share the meaningful and moving night with such a diverse group. One leader from Westport exclaimed, “we need to do this more often!”
Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, State Sen. Andres Ayala, and Rev. Cass Shaw, the new president and CEO of the Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport
New Member — St. Joseph!
CONECT Welcomes St. Joseph Catholic Parish in Norwalk as a New Member!
St. Joseph Catholic Church in South Norwalk joined CONECT this Spring. The parish is multi-cultural and mutli-lingual, with masses each Sunday in English, Spanish and French Creole serving Anglo, Latino and Haitian communities in the parish. CONECT is working with parish leaders to form a core team, plan leadership training, and building relationships this summer and fall.
Welcome St. Joseph!
CONECT Founders Receive Major Awards!
CONECT Leaders Meet With Candidates for U.S. Senate
As a non-partisan organization CONECT endorses no candidates, but we did catch the ear of both Linda MacMahon and Christopher Murphy who met with CONECT Leaders and work with us. This is what they said…..Read more…
In the News:
CONECT Healthcare Forum on Eve of Affordable Care Act (ACA) Rollout — 176 people came out to hear from Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman and others about how the ACA will be implemented in Connecticut on Monday, September 30th at Congregation B’nai Israel. Watch coverage of the event on News 12 CT here.
CONECT wins Safer Driving campaign – CT passes legislation allowing all CT residents to get Drivers’ Licenses regardless of immigration status!
National and local coverage includes:
“Senate Sends Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants Bill to Gov’s Desk,” CT News Junkie, May 30
“Senate Approves Driver’s Licenses For Undocumented Immigrants,” Hartford Courant, May 30
“Conn. Senate approves immigrant driver’s licenses,” CT Post, May 30
“Interfaith Group Takes Leading Role on Political, Civic Issues,” Hartford Courant, May 27
“House Approves Driver’s Licenses For Undocumented, ” Hartford Courant, May 23
“Undocumented could get driver’s licenses,” CT Post, May 23
“House Green Lights Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants,” CT News Junkie, May 23
“Weighing IDs For Illegal Immigrants,” Wall St. Journal, May 6
“Right choice to let license law live on” CT Post, editorial, May 1
Other Press Coverage:
$25,000 Grant Awarded to CONECT!September 30, 2012, The Fairfield County Community Foundation awarded a competitive grant of $25,000 to support the work of CONECT to advocate policies for social and economic justice. The grant will be used to support leadership development, training, and capacity building. “CONECT plays a vital role in bringing together community leaders of all faiths to serve as a united voice for their congregants,” said Nancy von Euler, FCCF Program Director. “We are pleased to help…
Clergy Caucus – Nov 20th at 1pm
CONECT’s Clergy Leaders and Clergy from congregations exploring a relationships with CONECT will gather on Wednesday, November 20th at 1pm at Mount Aery Baptist Church in Bridgeport (73 Frank St.). Please RSVP to Pastor Anthony Bennett at Mount Aery or Matt McDermott (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Delegates Assembly – Dec 5th at 7pm
Celebrating two years of significant action & accomplishment, the broad membership of CONECT will gather for a Delegates Assembly on Thursday evening, December 5th at 7pm at St. Gabriel School (1 Tudor Road, Milford, CT). The theme for the assembly is “Building on our Foundation & Moving Forward.” You can find a flyer with more detail by clicking here.
Intro Organizing Training – Jan 26th
CONECT is sponsoring an Introductory Community Organizing Training this coming January — on Sunday afternoon, January 26th from 2:30pm to 7:30pm with a dinner included. Location to be announced. A flyer with the details will be available soon.
Participants must register in advance and commit to attending the entire session.
Please Consider a Tax-Deductable Gift to Support CONECT Today!