The New Britain City Journal asked those running for Common Council this November to write profiles about themselves for the paper. Below are submissions from the candidates that responded.
ALDERMEN AT LARGE
Katie Breslin (D)
Katie Breslin is running for Alderwoman at large on a platform of prioritizing education and creating more business development in New Britain. She has been active on the New Britain Democratic Town Committee since 2009, and involved in state politics since 2007. She’s running on the Democratic slate alongside Mayoral candidate Merrill Gay.
Katie works as a Communications and Membership specialist at the CT Community Non-Profit Alliance. She graduated St. Joseph’s with a Bachelors of the Arts in Sociology, and also volunteers with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
Katie wants to improve our city without making things tougher on the homeowners taxes. She plans on “Reforming the tax structure of the city so that costs do not overwhelmingly get shifted to taxpayers.”
Tremell Collins (R-Incumbent)
After a successful first term, Alderman Tremell Collins is eager to continue the work Team Stewart has started. Born and raised in New Britain, Collins has dedicated much of his time to community organizations. He is currently a civilian advisor to the New Britain Police Explorers, a member of the NAACP, and DJs many different city sponsored events. Most recently, Collins was identified by the NAACP as one of New Britain’s 25 Most Influential Black Citizens. A father of three, Collins has a strong dedication to the youth of New Britain. Collins currently works as the Assistant Store Manager at the Hartford Walmart. Collins cherishes his dream of becoming the Mayor of the city that has given him so much in his life thus far.
Desiree Costa (D running on R ticket)
My name is Desiree Costa and I am a registered Democrat endorsed by the Republican Town Committee. I am a lifelong resident of New Britain. I am married to Dan Williamson and we are proud parents to five children, Kaelyn (23), Savanna (20), Daniel (15), Isabelle (12) and Patrick (10), all of whom have graduated or are currently attending New Britain public schools. I have worked for MassMutual Ins. Co for 20 years; I am a Business Project Manager with a focus on process efficiency. I am also active in our community; I am a Commissioner with the Commission on Community and Neighborhood Development, I am the Vice-Chair for the New Britain PRIDE Organization and I sit on the Board of Directors for New Britain Little League.
I am hopeful for the opportunity to serve the residents in the City of New Britain as your Alderwoman At Large. I am excited about the progress that has been made over the last four years and I am excited about the direction our city is moving in but there is more work to be done.
In my role as Alder-Woman at Large I hope to offer innovative yet direct opportunities for residents to participate in the political conversation and ensure effective lines of communication between our residents and city hall. I will be accessible to, and visible in our community. I intend to stay connected to our residents and remain informed about their concerns and ideas, their questions and innovations, that may directly contribute to New Britain’s continued to growth and success.
I am a strong proponent of quality education, as a parent I have a vested interest in ensuring education and youth programs remain a top priority for the city of New Britain. As a homeowner and taxpayer, economic growth and community development is a critical issue for me and to our city’s sustainability and prosperity. In addition, I would like to contribute my voice toward environmentally conscious leadership. Finally, I am passionate about joining Mayor Stewart in inspiring a generation of young women to actively participate in all levels of government.
I am inspired by the vast array of diversity that comprises Team Stewart and I think bipartisan leadership is the most effective way to demonstrate teamwork and achieve real results.
I hope you will support me and Team Stewart in continuing to Lead the Way for New Britain. Please vote row B on November 7.
Daniel Davis (R-Incumbent)
A lifelong resident of New Britain, Daniel Davis has a dedication to making New Britain the place to be for everyone. Working as an outreach coordinator for the House Republicans in Hartford, Davis has a strong and proven commitment to public service. Davis wants to continue the work he and Team Stewart have started by making New Britain a better place to live, work, and raise a family. Davis has served the community through the Board of Education as well as the Boys & Girls Club of New Britain. Most recently, Davis serves as the Republican Town Committee Chair, proving his leadership skills even at the age of 31. Davis has a strong commitment to bringing more businesses to New Britain and assuring that the diverse communities of New Britain are heard loud and clear.
Eva Magnuszewski (D)
Eva Magnuszewski is running for the city council on a platform of creating growth in economic development, improving education, and defending New Britain’s water supply. She had previously served as an Alderwoman for 8 years and a political volunteer for 12 years.
An Account Executive at a Bristol based manufacturing company where she recently celebrated working there for 12 years, Eva also spends her time testifying in person at the State Capitol and submitting written testimony when animal legislation is introduced and hearings are held. She is a passionate animal rights activist, as well as a Vegan.
Eva is a first generation Polish immigrant who reads and speaks fluently in Polish after attending Polish schools as a child. She got involved with the New Britain Democrats during the Jason Jakubowski campaign in 2005, door knocking, fundraising, and anything else that needed to get done.
One issue that Eva is very committed to is protecting New Britain’s water sources. She has said that while “There are alternatives to heat and electricity, there is no alternative to water.”
Yvonne Muniz (D)
Yvonne Muniz is running on the Democratic Slate in the 2017 Municipal elections for an At Large position on the City Council. She is running alongside Mayoral Candidate Merrill Gay, and she’s running on a platform focusing on Education, after attending New Britain schools from Elementary to High School, and having her two daughters attend them as well.
Yvonne holds a Bachelor Degree in Human Services and a Master’s Degree in Social Work. She has spent over 18 years working in the fields of Social work, Social Services, Mental Health Therapy, and Educational Consulting.
Yvonne has been involved with the local Democratic Party and Town Committee, serving as an Associate of the Town Committee. She has routinely attended DTC meetings, worked on campaigns including those of Merrill Gay and Terry Gerratana, and says she “feels honored to serve with loyal members all working on the same mission to provide the best advocacy for people’s rights.
Yvonne currently serves as the DDS Transition Advisor for the State of Connecticut, and coming from humble roots of a single parent household with three siblings right here in New Britain, she knows great success stories can come out of our city, and believes her two daughters will be able to say the same. She believes investing in our cities education is the key to making New Britain full of such stories in the future.
Richard Reyes (D)
Richard Reyes, retired principal, seeks two-year term as At-Large Alderman, New Britain City Council
Richard Reyes, Democratic At-Large Candidate for New Britain City Council, wants to put his financial and educational leadership acumen to work in helping to better advance and use city finances so that the city does not have to raise taxes, and may even provide some tax relief. Richard Reyes’ professional career as a middle school principal, and his continuing interest in training and education will add a deep and useful knowledge base to the Council’s decision-making actions. Adept at planning and adhering to budgets, Richard aims to help ensure personal and public accountability and a better return-on-investment for city taxpayers.
Richard is a retired principal of Slade Middle School who taught Grades 5-12 throughout his 35-year career. He wants to help achieve better outcomes for New Britain’s students including meaningful job-training and apprenticeship experiences that will help our young people pursue and succeed in good jobs that pay a living wage.
Richard sees multiple priorities to address as Alderman-at-Large, including examining the tax increases implemented during the past four years. He believes that the city’s high taxes call for more honest reporting about spending, and more research into finding new sources of revenue and job creation for the city and its citizens, especially its young people.
Richard is active in the community, serving as Chairman of the Education Committee of the New Britain Latino Coalition and as treasurer of the New Britain School Administrators Union Local 51.
Richard lives his philosophy of giving back to the community, and says he is proud to be on the Democratic slate led by Merrill Gay, whom he sees as a candidate of high integrity, who demonstrates good judgment and a long record of successfully partnering with individual and groups to make New Britain’s future brighter and more secure.
Richard Reyes has a favorite quote of Abraham Lincoln’s regarding city leadership: “If you want to learn about a person’s character, give him or her power.”
Emmanuel Sanchez (D-Incumbent)
Two-term veteran Ward 3 Alderman Manny Sanchez seeks Alderman-At-Large City Council seat in 2017 Election.
New Britain native Emmanuel Sanchez, presently one of just 3 Democrats on the 15-member New Britain City Council, is running for one of the five At-Large Council positions, which each represent the city as a whole rather than the constituents of a specific district. Manny is uniquely prepared to represent voters city-wide because he has participated in a range of important decisions that have made him one of the Council’s most reliable and knowledgeable representatives, and one of its most popular.
Manny was appointed to the Planning, Zoning and Housing Committee, the Consolidated Subcommittee, and the Ad Hoc Council Committee in 2015, and also serves as Council Liaison to the Board of Education, Civil Service Commission, Fair Rent Commission, Housing Authority, Municipal Development, and Board of Police Commissioners.
Manny’s productivity brings to mind the saying, “If you want to get something done, give it to a busy person”. Manny is on guard against wasteful city expenditures, particularly those that can result in tax increases. He argued against a 2017 proposed increase in water rates because he believed it was actually a disguised tax hike. He pointed out that other parts of the budget should have been reduced so the water rate increase would not have been necessary.
In stepping up to represent a wider public as an At-Large Councilor, Manny says that his priorities will likely focus on the city’s school system and a higher level of educational achievement by city schoolchildren. Aiming for this outcome will involve another goal of Manny’s to foster and sustain more community engagement in issues that affect our quality of life and pride in our community. Manny also aims to join with the mayor and councilors in studying and implementing measures to increase the city’s economic and commercial viability.
Jim Sanders, Jr. (R-Incumbent)
Alderman Jim Sanders Jr. is ready to come back and finish the progress Team Stewart started back in 2013. Sanders, owner of Sanders Contracting & Installation, knows what it takes for a small businesses to succeed. Since his arrival on the Common Council, Sanders has been a driving force behind the addition of new businesses around New Britain, the revitalization of the downtown area, and a transparent Common Council that is available and approachable for all residents of New Britain. Sanders has also been a strong advocate for reaching beyond party lines to get the job done for the overall benefit of New Britain, not just one party.
Daniel Salerno (D running on R ticket-Incumbent)
Alderman Daniel Salerno exemplifies what it means to be a transparent candidate for all New Britain residents. Coming on board in 2013 with Mayor Stewart, Salerno has held twenty-four “Coffees for Open Government” open forums where citizens can speak to him openly about any concerns or questions they may have at local businesses. As a registered Democrat and Majority Leader, Salerno is an advocate for working together regardless of party affiliation. Salerno is an instrumental piece to the city’s financial responsibility and offers a broad range of expertise in community outreach and business growth. Salerno is also an adjunct faculty member at the University of Hartford, where he teaches sociology and political science. A proud husband and father to two daughters, Salerno finds time to take on whatever it is he may have the ability to progress. His willingness to work with constituents of any background at any point in time has credited him as a respected and approachable Alderman.