HARTFORD — A new member of Connecticut’s congressional delegation will be sworn into office with the rest of the incoming 116th Congress.
Democrat Jahana Hayes, a 45-year-old former national teacher of the year, will be the first black woman to represent Connecticut in Congress. She’s scheduled to appear at Thursday’s swearing-in ceremony, to be held on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Hayes succeeds Democratic U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty in representing Connecticut’s 5th District. Esty didn’t seek a fourth term after facing criticism for her handling of a harassment case in her office.
Hayes burst onto the political scene after making a name for herself in education as a former national teacher of the year.
Hayes has strong roots in Waterbury. She grew up in a public housing project with her mother who struggled with drug addiction.
After contemplating dropping out of high school, she eventually went on to become a standout teacher in her own backyard at Kennedy High School and today gets sworn into Congress on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington DC.
Back at home, Hayes will move the 5th congressional district office to downtown Waterbury on Bank Street in the Jones–Morgan building.
The ceremonial ribbon cutting is set for Monday, January 7.
Hayes joins a team of veteran Democrats who represent Connecticut in Washington, D.C.
The delegation includes U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy and U.S. Reps. Rosa DeLauro, Jim Himes, Joe Courtney and John Larson.