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Concerned Voters Turn Out In Bridgeport, Call Stamford March Just The Start

Bridgeport resident Marcia Eckerd speaks to a group of concerned citizens at U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal's Bridgeport office. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
Fairfield resident Lisa Boyne, right, speaks with a group of concerned citizens who met with Joe Rodriguez, center, deputy state director for U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
Concerned citizens gathered outside the federal courthouse in Bridgeport Tuesday before going to speak with a representative from U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal's Bridgeport office. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
Jeré Eaton of Stamford makes her thoughts known at a meeting with a representative from U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal's office in Bridgeport. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Concerned citizens converged on U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s offices Tuesday, looking to keep the momentum from the weekend’s Women's March alive through continued activism.

Two waves of residents — about 50 spurred by and another 30 from the 5,000 who marched in Stamford — met with the Democratic senator’s staff in Bridgeport. A third group visited his Hartford office, said Deputy State Director Joe Rodriguez.

“We know that we have his support. We want him to know we have his back,” said Bridgeport resident Marcia Eckerd, who marched in Stamford.

The groups’ concerns were wide-ranging, with many worried about President Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees and the possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Those attending the meetings came from across the state, Rodriguez said.

Fairfield resident Lisa Boyne, who organized the Stamford march, delivered a stack of postcards from residents who wanted to explain their personal stories to the senator.

“Activism is in the air,” she said. “The Women’s March did not want to die on Saturday.”

Her group applauded when she mentioned that Blumenthal took part in the Women's March on Washington on Saturday.

The group spurred to action by MoveOn’s new Resist Trump Tuesdays met with Rodriguez earlier in the day. Woodbridge resident Jennifer Just helped organize that group.

Fifty-eight people signed up for that meeting within 36 hours, she said.

“We should support our senators that are voting no" to the Cabinet nominations, she said.

Some in the Stamford march group asked why Blumenthal and fellow Democrat Sen. Chris Murphy, who have sharply criticized some of Trump’s nominees, supported former gubernatorial candidate Linda McMahon of Greenwich to head the Small Business Administration.

Rodriguez said McMahon’s background and experience running her own successful wrestling entertainment business, Stamford-based WWE, meant her nomination “made sense.”

He encouraged the marchers to engage at all levels of government, boning up on the issues and running for election or helping other political campaigns.

“Not on Facebook or Twitter, but in person,” he said.

Rodriguez encouraged others with concerns to call the senator’s offices at 860-258-6940 or 203-330-0598.

Boyne echoed his thoughts, saying supporters of the movement should pick up their phones and pens and take action.

“Don’t give me an emoji!” she said.

Jeré Eaton, who owns PrintabiliTees of Stamford, said she believes the women’s organizers need to form a wider coalition, especially among women of color. She said Blumenthal, who supports so many causes across the state, provides a model for fighting for his beliefs.

“He’s a great example of human being not just talking the talk, he’s doing the damn thing,” Eaton said.

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