Sauda Baraka

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Sauda Baraka
Sauda Baraka.jpg
Bridgeport Board of Education, At-large
Incumbent
Term ends
November 2017
Years in position 9
PartyWorking Families
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
First electedNovember 2005
Term limitsN/A
Education
Bachelor'sFlorida A&M University
Master'sFlorida A&M University
Personal
ProfessionRetired
Websites
Office website
Sauda Baraka is an at-large member of the Bridgeport Board of Education. She won re-election to the board as a Working Families Party candidate against seven other candidates on November 5, 2013. Baraka was first elected to the board in 2005.

Biography

Baraka earned a B.S. in History and African American Studies from Florida A&M University in 1978. She later earned a Master's degree in Applied Social Sciences from Florida A&M University in 1979. Baraka worked for 22 years as a probation officer with the State of Connecticut before retirement. She currently serves as quality assurance director for the Believe in Me Empowerment Corporation.[1]

Elections

2013

See also: Bridgeport Public Schools elections (2013)

Opposition

Baraka won re-election to the board against seven other candidates for five available seats on November 5, 2013. She received the endorsement of the Working Families Party along with Andre Baker, Jr. and Eric Stewart-Alicea in August 2013.

Results

Bridgeport Public Schools, General Election, 4-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngDave Hennessey 20.1% 940
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngHoward Gardner 15.7% 731
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJoe Larcheveque 15.1% 706
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngAndre Baker, Jr. 15.3% 714
     Republican Steve Best 11.8% 550
     Republican John Weldon 10.3% 482
     Working Families Eric Stewart-Alicea 4.2% 194
     Working Families Green check mark transparent.pngSauda Baraka Incumbent 4% 186
     Working Families Andre Baker, Jr. 3.6% 167
Total Votes 4,670
Source: Connecticut Secretary of State, "Municipal Elections - November 5, 2013," accessed December 16, 2013

Endorsements

Baraka was endorsed by The Connecticut Post on October 27, 2013.[2]

Campaign finance

Sauda Baraka reported no contributions or expenditures to the Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission.

What was at stake?

Democratic incumbents Leticia Colon, Thomas Mulligan, Jr. and Bobby Simmons did not file for re-election in 2013. The Democratic primary yielded a slate including Andre Baker, Jr., Dave Hennessey and Howard Gardner. Although the candidates were not endorsed by the party's town committee, all three won election to the board.[3] The Bridgeport Republican Town Committee selected Steve Best, John Weldon and Joe Larcheveque as their candidates for the board. Weldon was the only Republican pick to not win election to the board.[4] The Working Families Party sought to retain two seats and pick up a Democratic seat by endorsing incumbent Baraka and Eric Stewart-Alicea, as well as Democratic candidate Baker. Neither Baraka nor Stewart-Alicea won election to the board.[5]

Issues

Board relations with Mayor Finch

The main issue during the Bridgeport Board of Education elections in 2013 was the relationship between the board, Democratic Mayor Bill Finch and Superintendent Paul Vallas. Finch has been criticized for his efforts to orchestrate a state takeover of the school board by the state in July 2011. The mayor argued that conflict on the board prevented reforms necessary to improve test scores and reduce budget deficits.[6] This effort allowed the state to appoint new board members and appoint education reformer Paul Vallas as superintendent. In February 2012, the Connecticut State Supreme Court ruled 6-1 that the state takeover was unconstitutional and resumed local control over schools. Five members of the board who were replaced by state appointees were reinstated after the ruling and four new members were elected during a special election in spring 2012. The Democratic and Working Families candidates in the 2013 election had hoped to take all five available seats to counter reform efforts by Finch, Vallas and current board members. However, two seats were picked up by Republican candidates Joe Larcheveque and Steve Best.

Board relations with Superintendent Vallas

Paul Vallas was appointed by the state as Superintendent of Bridgeport Public Schools in January 2012. Vallas, a former school administrator in New Orleans and Chicago, has been criticized for budget cuts as well as excessive testing. Critics like Baraka have focused on the use of standardized testing every six weeks and resource deprivation in the classroom as reasons to oust Vallas. Supporters, including Mayor Finch, note that the district has closed a budget deficit and placed local schools on the right path. The Democratic and Working Families candidates in the 2013 election were vocal opponents of Vallas.[7] Vallas is currently serving under a three-year contract approved by a majority of board members in 2013 which opponents are challenging in state court.[8]

About the district

See also: Bridgeport Public Schools, Connecticut
Bridgeport Public Schools is located in Fairfield County, Connecticut
Bridgeport Public Schools is located in Bridgeport, the largest city in Connecticut and the county seat for Fairfield County. Bridgeport is located along the Long Island Sound with the Pequonnock River cutting through the downtown district. The population of Bridgeport was 60,477 according to the 2010 U.S. Census.[9]

Demographics

Bridgeport lags behind the rest of Connecticut based on median income and higher education achievement while outperforming the state poverty rate. The 2010 U.S. Census found the median income in Bridgeport was $60,032 while the state median income was $69,243. The percentage of city residents over 25 years old with undergraduate degrees (21.7%) was lower than the state average (35.7%). The city's poverty rate was 8.2% compared to the state's 9.5% poverty rate.[9]

Racial Demographics, 2010[9]
Race Bridgeport (%) Connecticut (%)
White 87.7 77.6
Black or African American 3.8 10.1
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.2 0.3
Asian 1.9 3.8
Two or More Races 2.5 2.6
Hispanic or Latino 9.6 13.4

Presidential Voting Pattern[10]
Year Democratic Vote (%) Republican Vote (%)
2012 85.7 13.8
2008 83.5 16
2004 70.7 27.8
2000 72.7 22.1

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages.[11]

Recent news

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See also

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References