Meriden City Councilwoman and 13th Senate District candidate Dante´ Bartolomeo today announced that her campaign has received endorsements from the American Federation of Teachers Connecticut affiliate, as well as the Meriden and Middletown Federation of Teachers. All three organizations cited Bartolomeo’s advocacy on behalf of Meriden’s schools.
“We know that Dante´ will fight for working families at the capitol,” said Melodie Peters, Vice-President of AFT Connecticut. “She understands that public education is necessary for an effective democracy and a vibrant education. Dante´ Bartolomeo supports health care benefits and pensions because they are part of the pay earned by workers.”
During her tenure on the City Council, Bartolomeo has served as Liaison to the Board of Education and negotiated responsible education budgets on behalf of Meriden’s public schools each of the last four years. Prior to holding elected office, Bartolomeo was a member of the Board of Education’s Full Day Kindergarten Committee and a former President of Nathan Hale Elementary School’s Parent Teacher Organization.
“As a City Councilwoman and Liaison to the Board of Education, Dante´ has proven she understands what a school system needs to sustain itself and improve,” said Erin Benham, President of the Meriden Federation of Teachers. “She has been a great asset to the Meriden Federation of Teachers, and I have no doubt that the expertise Dante´ has demonstrated at the local level will serve her well at the state level.”
“Dante´ has shown through her work in Meriden that education is one of her top priorities,” added Steve McKeever, President of the Middletown Federation of Teachers. “She brings fresh ideas and a great work ethic to the plate. She will be an outstanding leader and representative for the people of her District.”
Bartolomeo’s life in public service first began when she successfully challenged the City’s public school system to ensure her oldest son, Riley, received access to special education necessary for his future development. Today, Riley is an honors student and was recently reelected as Class President for his junior year at Maloney High School. The complexities of navigating the system motivated Bartolomeo to then support other Meriden families whose children had special education needs.
“Giving our students the best chance to succeed should never be a partisan issue, and as a mother of two sons, I recognize the need to provide quality education to our children,” Bartolomeo said. “We must invest intelligently in our public schools so that we can close the achievement gap throughout Connecticut. The most effective way to provide the highest quality of education is through enhanced cooperation at all levels, accurate student assessment, and the hiring and retention of effective teachers.”
Dante´’s support of strong public schools stands in sharp contrast to her opponent, Senator Len Suzio. Last year, Suzio voted to cut $165 million from the State’s public education budget, which would have dramatically decreased the quality of education by increasing class sizes and eliminating programs dedicated to school readiness and other vital student resources.
About Dante´ Bartolomeo
Dante´ Bartolomeo has served on the Meriden City Council since 2008 and is currently Deputy Majority Leader. She is also Chair of the Public Works and Parks & Recreation Committee, Vice-Chair of the Finance Committee and Liaison to the Board of Education. Under her watch, Meriden has reduced its operating expenses three out of the last four years, fully funded its pension obligations and increased its bond rating by three notches to AA-. Prior to her role as a City Councilwoman, Bartolomeo served her community as an advocate for universal health care and enhanced educational opportunities for Meriden students. She and her husband, Doug, have two sons: Riley, 16 and Cameron, 10.