Chris Soto

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Chris Soto (Right)



Chris Soto is a first-term legislator serving the 39th Assembly District of New London. Chris was elected to the Connecticut General Assembly on November 8th, 2016 and is currently serving his first term.[1]

Bio

"Soto, who is of Cuban descent and bilingual, graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 2003. After five years of active duty, he returned to his alma mater as assistant director of diversity. He also helped coach the academy’s boxing team, which he helped launch in 2002. He also holds a master’s degree in public affairs, awarded in 2011, from Brown University in Providence, R.I.
"Five years ago, Soto returned to New London to launch Higher Edge, an education-oriented endeavor, which started with no staff, but now has five employees. The growth of this program, which is being considered in Willimantic, provides an example of what Ortiz said is Soto’s “ability to navigate difficult waters and get results” and “to hold himself to a higher standard of competency.” One of the sponsors of Higher Edge is the largely Hispanic and influential Baptist Church of the City whose Pastor, Daniel Martino, is a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
"Soto also has some familiarity with how things are done at the state Capitol. He is a member of the state’s Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission and has participated in events to advocate the interests and concerns of the state’s Latino population."[2]

Campaign

"Campaign manager Jason Ortiz said much of this support is coming from New London’s Latinos, who are seen as a “sleeping giant” politically. However, non-Latinos are also showing an interest in Soto, attracted by his credentials and his focus on education as the key to job creation in Southeastern Connecticut, an area still beset by recession.

[...]

"Soto, who grew up in a New Jersey area known as “Little Havana” because of its large Cuban population, spoke to his supporters in English and Spanish. This display of “overwhelming support” for Soto was especially encouraging for Ortiz, a veteran of several campaigns elsewhere in Connecticut and who most recently managed Wildalid Bermudez, who won a council seat, and the rest of the Working Family Party ticket in Hartford. Jason Ortiz, a University of Connecticut graduate from Norwich, said they signed up 100 volunteers that day."
"Now, it is up to Soto and campaign staff, described by Jason Ortiz as a team of “smart, young Latinos,” to decide what is the best way to deploy these volunteers and to get out the Latino vote."

School to Prison Pipeline

"State Rep. Chris Soto, D-New London, led a panel as participants brainstormed ways to address school discipline, truancy and fair and equal treatments of all students and parents in order to reduce the "school to prison pipeline."[3]

OpEd Pinned on Twitter

Chris Soto (Right)

Chris Soto pinned an OpEd on Twitter: OP-ED: "U.S. Coast Guard Academy blindingly white" that he wrote for the Baltimore Sun.[4] The OpEd read in part:

"As an alumnus, it is a day that I will never forget as it marked the end to a challenging undergraduate journey but also the dawn of my professional career as an officer. Unfortunately, this year's sun-filled graduation was a painful reminder of the Coast Guard's diversity crisis. Among a class of 195, only four people — 2 percent of the class — self-identify as black or African-American."

Genesis Council

Chris arrived in New London to attend the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, where he was active in the Genesis Council.[5] Chris Soto graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Operations Research. Following graduation, he served five years on active duty as a Coast Guard Officer with tours in Miami and New York, primarily in Law Enforcement roles. He left service, remaining in the reserves, to pursue a graduate degree at Brown University earning a Master’s in Public Affairs (MPA). He left the reserves at the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

Higher Edge

Outside of the legislature, Chris serves as the Founder and Director of Higher Edge, a college completion organization that guides Eastern CT’s low-income & first-generation college-bound students on the path to a college degree and beyond.

Board Membership

In New London, Rep. Soto serves on the Democratic Town Committee, the Hispanic Alliance Scholarship Committee, the Three Rivers College Foundation Board, and the Southeastern CT Cultural Coalition Board.

Prior to joining the legislature, Chris was appointed to represent Southeastern CT on the former Latino & Puerto Rican Affairs Commission, now the Commission on Equity and Opportunity.

Rep. Soto is fiercely passionate about access and opportunity, as evidenced by his community experience which he proudly carries into the legislature.

Jason Ortiz

Jason Ortiz has worked on the campaigns of Connecticut state rep. Chris Soto, and with Maritza Stanchich in 2016 Puerto Rico with Rafael Bernabe (Working People's Party), gubernatorial race.

Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing

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Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing, was a nationwide conference call organized by Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Sunday October 30, 2016.

What's the nature of this right-wing threat? What has this election cycle changed about the political terrain we're fighting on? How do we need to prepare for whats coming after the election? Hear about these crucial questions from our panel of top political strategists, including Nelini Stamp, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Linda Burnham, and Sendolo Diaminah.

Those indicating interest in attending, on Facebook included Jason Ortiz.

References