Mayor Joseph P. Ganim from The City of Bridgeport, located in Connecticut.
Mayor Joseph P. Ganim
Joseph P. Ganim is now in his 7th term as Mayor of Bridgeport, including five terms from 1991 to 2003. After more than a decade of bringing fiscal responsibility to city government and holding the line on taxes, Ganim was re-elected in 2015 to address a rising mill rate and a significant budget deficit. Since 2015, the City of Bridgeport has experienced budget surpluses every fiscal year and an increase in the city’s bond rating. Ganim has overseen the largest growth in the grand list in the city’s history and a historic cut to the mill rate, which is now lower than most similarly sized cities in Connecticut.
Economic development has been a cornerstone of Mayor Ganim's mayoralty both in the 90’s and today, including over a billion dollars of private investment in economic development projects that are now completed or underway. Building on previous successes of building the Harbor Yard arena and ballpark, Ganim led the effort to build a new $35 million outdoor amphitheater in Bridgeport. The Harbor Yard Amphitheater, the inaugural two-day Sound on the Sound music festival was held in Bridgeport and featured amazing artists for the second year in a row. This music festival hosted over 70,000 attendees over the two days.
Under Ganim’s leadership, the city is seeing the development of Bridgeport’s waterfront, including a new marina, housing, retail, and hotel at Steelepointe Harbor, the development of new community grocery store and library on Stratford Avenue, the Wakeman Boys and Girls Club in the lower north end, and several transformative housing developments in Downtown Bridgeport, Black Rock, the south end, and west end.
The City put millions of American Rescue Plan dollars into supporting local businesses coming out of the pandemic and conducting storefront improvement. The City all invested tens of millions of dollars to expand youth and educational opportunities and address important social issues around housing security, healthcare, and workforce development.
Mayor Ganim’s goal has been to make the city more livable by aggressively pursuing blight and illegal dumping and increasing the budget for street paving. The Mayor has focused on beautification by planting 10,000 trees in parks and esplanades throughout the city, as well as planting over 250,000 flower bulbs to beautify public spaces.
Mayor Ganim has also made it imperative that Bridgeport creates a pathway toward being a sustainable city. He has attracted companies committed to developing high-performing, low-cost batteries, that will develop a facility in Bridgeport that will assist with the City’s initiative to provide and utilize clean energy while creating 200 new jobs within Bridgeport. Mayor Ganim has also welcomed the usage of innovative battery technology inside the Fire Department Headquarters in Bridgeport, making this one of the country’s first deployments inside a fire station and the first public demonstration this type of battery technology in Connecticut. The battery will showcase Bridgeport’s ability to lower energy costs while addressing and managing energy challenges.
He has also won national recognition for his efforts to strengthen Bridgeport’s status as a second-chance city by creating the Mayor’s Office for Re-Entry Affairs and helping citizens from Bridgeport returning from incarceration gain employment, housing, and other services.
Mayor Ganim is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and the University of Bridgeport Law School and has three adult children.