STATE REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 126 CANDIDATES

Alongside State Senators, State Representatives pass state laws, establish a state budget, raise and lower taxes, and uphold or override the Governor’s vetoes. View candidates for other offices here.

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SHANTÉ HANKS

Democratic candidate for State Representative, 126th District (Bridgeport)
Campaign website: www.HanksforBridgeport.com or www.Hanks4Bridgeport.com
Occupation: Doctoral Student, previous Deputy District Director for Congressman Jim Himes
Previous Elected Offices: None

What is your education story?

Education was made a priority in my home. I received parental support and had great teachers while attending Park City Magnet & Central Magnet High School in Bridgeport. I decided to dedicate my career to Education while attending Clark Atlanta University. It is important to me to provide students with a quality & meaningful educational experience similar to my own. Teaching at Housatonic Community College (HCC) was the genesis for my interests in education policy & reform.

If kids aren’t reading on grade level by third grade, research is clear that they’re less likely to graduate.
75% of third-graders in Bridgeport aren’t reading on grade level. What will you do to change this if elected? 

In 1997, Congress charged the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development with conducting a reading study: The National Reading Panel (NRP) consisted of leading reading scientists, college professors & parents. Over 20yrs later, many recommendations suggested by NRP have been effective but not implemented in many districts. If elected, I would explore implementing these recommendations and Universal PreK. Empirical research shows attending pre-k increases vocabulary early and as a result, increases reading/writing skills.  

Should Bridgeport receive increased education funding from the state? Why or why not?

In short, yes, Bridgeport should receive an increase in funding. Currently, the Bridgeport school district is operating at a deficit. In addition, I think it would be advantageous for Bridgeport to increase its number of magnet schools. There is a moratorium but I hope Bridgeport receives an opportunity in the near future to convert more schools to magnet in order to receive additional state funding & resources including counselors, para-professionals, social workers and support staff. 

Why do you believe Bridgeport residents should vote for you? 

I’ve been an active civic leader as Dep District Dir for Congressman Himes, HCC Student Affairs Administrator, Housing Commissioner & a founder of Capital Prep Harbor School. I’m determined to improve the quality of life for the people of Bridgeport by improving education; providing Universal PreK & free community college tuition; development & economic growth; funding job training programs including ReEntry; providing affordable housing including mitigating WPCA costs and partnering with BPD to establish crime prevention initiatives.

 

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CHARLIE STALLWORTH

Democratic candidate for State Representative, 126th District (Bridgeport)
Campaign website: None
Occupation: Senior Pastor
Previous elected offices: State Representative

What is your education story?

My education story is one of struggle, opportunity and remembrance. I attended elementary and high schools in the South that had a lot of love but not much academic rigor. Yet, developing a love for learning later in life caused me to pursue dreams that enabled me to earn three degrees. My task now is to remember those who are encountering academic and social struggles and help them achieve their academic and professional goals. 

If kids aren’t reading on grade level by third grade, research is clear that they’re less likely to graduate.
75% of third-graders in Bridgeport aren’t reading on grade level. What will you do to change this if elected? 

I believe the approach to changing the reading trajectory of our children is to change our paradigm as politicians. We must recognize that as politicians we are experts in various areas. However, we are not all experts in education. Therefore, we must listen to our experts – administrators, teachers parents, and community organizations – then do our best to fund those areas that can ensure our young people know how to read early in their development. 

Should Bridgeport receive increased education funding from the state? Why or why not?

I believe, without doubt or reservation, Bridgeport should receive increased funding from the state, which would be fair and equitable. 

Why do you believe Bridgeport residents should vote for you? 

God has enabled me to serve people consistently for the past 38 years. I will always make sure the betterment of Bridgeport is foremost on my agenda, which includes education, youth violence prevention and creative funding for community projects. I am not serving for personal gain, pride or prestige. Rather, I am serving in a spirit expressed by my campaign’s re-election theme: “Putting People First.”


FaithActs for Education is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that does not endorse any candidate or party. Candidates' views are presented for educational purposes only. Responses were limited to 75 words per question. Aside from editing for length, candidates' responses are presented exactly as submitted.