Despite the social distancing restrictions now in place due to COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to communicate with your elected officials, at the local, state, and federal levels. During a tele-town hall yesterday with Congresswoman Jahana Hayes and constituents, Senator Chris Murphy reinforced this message saying, “Everything that Jahana and I do we do on orders from you.” He encouraged Connecticut residents to email, call, or write their senators and representatives, as well as take part in virtual meetings.
Constituents asked questions on a number of issues related to the current health crisis, and several questions involved public education. Read more
Jahana Hayes may be a Congresswoman now but she still considers herself first and foremost a teacher. The former Waterbury teacher and 2016 National Teacher of the Year met with CEA members from Connecticut’s Fifth Congressional District recently in Danbury and shared her journey to becoming a U.S. Representative as well as her priorities in Washington.
CEA President Jeff Leake, Congresswoman Jahana Hayes, NEA-Danbury EMAC Chair Luanelly Iglesias, CEA Organizer Herman Whitter, NEA-Danbury President Erin Daly, and NEA-Danbury Vice President Thomas Ross.
Running for Congress had never been in Hayes’ plans, she told the more than 70 teachers gathered at Anthony’s Lake Club in Danbury, until the opportunity suddenly presented itself and she realized the potential the position had to serve educators and further their interests. It was the connections she had with fellow teachers, here in Connecticut and around the nation, that led to her Congressional victory.
Once in Congress Hayes realized that, despite her many years as a teacher, the odds were stacked against her when it came to getting a seat on the House Committee on Education and Labor. As a first-year Congresswoman, she found those with more seniority had priority when it came to committee appointments. Read more
The National Education Association (NEA) and Connecticut Education Association (CEA) today applauded Rep. Jahana Hayes, longtime NEA and CEA member as well 2016 National Teacher of the Year, on her introduction of the Pell Grant Restoration Act, H.R. 4298.
“Jahana Hayes has spent her entire adult life fighting for students, first in the classroom and now in Congress. She knows all too well about how students—often from low-income households and communities of color—are lured into for-profit colleges only to find that the college is more focused on profits than putting students on a pathway to success. And too often, when these for-profit colleges fail, it’s the students who are left holding the bag. That is why educators applaud Rep. Hayes’s Pell Grant Restoration Act, which would allow students who were victims of predatory for-profit colleges to get a fresh start and have a second chance at a higher education with a full slate of Pell benefits,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García.
“Jahana knows firsthand the importance of education and the need to provide our students with opportunities to grow and succeed. We support her efforts to give students who were victims of the predatory lending practices of some for-profit colleges a second chance to secure much-needed education funds and student aid to complete their education. It’s critical for Congress to pass the Pell Grant Restoration Act, introduced by Congresswoman Hayes, to ensure all students have the chance to reach their full potential and live the American dream,” said CEA President Jeff Leake.
“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