“This history teacher is making history,” 2016 National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes told her supporters at a victory celebration in Waterbury last night. “I am honored to be your next congresswoman.”
Five months after announcing her candidacy, former Waterbury teacher Jahana Hayes won her bid for Connecticut’s Fifth Congressional District seat—defeating opponent Manny Santos by a margin of 148,000 to 116,000 votes. She will be the first African American woman to represent Connecticut in Congress.
“Your vote is your voice, and you used your vote and you used your voice to vote for me,” Hayes said, thanking supporters. “We need somebody in Congress who is us, who understands us, who understands what we’re going through.” Read more
At a rally this weekend, Jahana Hayes thanks teachers and other union members for their support. For more rally photos, visit CEA’s Flickr page.
Chanting “Labor is your neighbor,” dozens of union members—including fellow educators—gathered on the Meriden town green Saturday to show their support for teacher-turned-Congressional-candidate Jahana Hayes. Hayes is vying for the House seat in Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District.
A former Waterbury educator and Connecticut Teacher of the Year, Hayes was named National Teacher of the Year in 2016 and spent the following year traveling across the country, advocating on behalf of public education, and listening to educators, administrators, community leaders, and others about issues that impact students, families, and communities.
“Jahana is a strong champion and advocate for Connecticut students and teachers,” said CEA President Jeff Leake. “She has overcome numerous challenges and has taken every opportunity to improve her own life and the lives of others. She is exactly the type of person we need fighting for all of us in Congress.” Read more
“Jahana Hayes is someone who is not just pro-teacher but has a hands-on understanding of what goes into our profession, the things we need to be successful, and the challenges we face. She has the ability to be really advantageous for us,” says Zach Blain, an East Haddam teacher and the president of his local association.
Blain was among a group of CEA members learning about political activism and organizing at CEA’s Summer Conference this year. The group learned the ins and outs of advocating for pro-public education candidates when they went door knocking for Hayes, a former CEA member and the 2016 National Teacher of the Year. CEA has endorsed Hayes, who is running for Congress in Connecticut’s Fifth Congressional District.
Summer Conference attendees Fairfield teacher Marion Richards, Portland teacher Jerome Manning, Glastonbury teacher Miles Lubben, and CREC teacher Jesecia Miller visited CEA members who live in Cheshire this week to get the word out about Jahana Hayes, the Waterbury teacher and 2016 National Teacher of the Year who is running for Congress.