Former teacher Jahana Hayes is officially Connecticut’s 5th District Representative, and says she’s ready to make a change.
New 5th Congressional District Congresswoman Jahana Hayes made history today. The former national teacher of the year from Kennedy High school in Waterbury is the first black woman from the state to serve in Congress.
While she’s hundreds of miles away, she’s says shes closer to her classroom that it may appear.
“It’s a long way from my class but not that far. I believe in government. I’ve been teaching that. Trying to really get young people to understand that. Get young people to participate in it so this is all of that coming together.”
Hayes joins a diverse freshman class of 100 newly elected house members. 66 are democrats. 42 are women.
“I think this year, this class, with so many people that are like minded and believe in the same thing that I do and believe that government can work is really encouraging, inspiring.”
She says a large contingent from home made the trip to witness her ascension into the history books.
“I have a bus load of people from Connecticut here to witness it. They probably won’t see a lot of me but I’m happy that they’re here to witness history.”
Someone else that is happy to see her witness history is Senator Chris Murphy. He supported her upstate campaign from the beginning and couldn’t be prouder of what she accomplished.
“I feel like I could be more excited to get over and see Jahana later today than my own swearing in because I think she’s what Congress needs. We need people who come with incredibly diverse life experience like Jahana who has taught kids inspired kids and is gonna teach members of Congress and inspire the public.”
For Hayes, the realization she is making history has taken time.
“I know it but it hit me that 50 years from now someone will be teaching history class and they’ll talk about the first African American woman in Connecticut to be elected to Congress and my name will be there.”
Like we said, it was a busy day for Hayes as well as other members of the Connecticut delegation as Democrats take control of the house.