Jahana Hayes

  • U.S. House
  • Connecticut

An award-winning teacher fighting for Connecticut working families

Rep. Jahana Hayes is a teacher and community leader who serves in Congress to fight for Connecticut families. A lifelong Connecticut resident, she grew up in a Waterbury public housing project. Rep. Hayes’ family struggled with poverty and addiction. After she became a teen mom, she went back to school to become a teacher, overcoming barriers to break the cycle of poverty with the support of her community. She enrolled in her local community college and went on to earn her bachelor’s, master’s, and advanced degrees all while working to support her family. Rep. Hayes has dedicated her career to public education, and worked as a high school social studies teacher in New Haven and Waterbury. She earned the 2016 Connecticut Teacher of the Year Award and went on to earn the 2016 National Teacher of the Year Award. When Rep. Hayes began her 2018 campaign for Congress, there were no people of color in New England’s congressional delegation, and her victory changed that. Connecticut had never elected a Black woman to Congress, and Rep. Hayes became the first with her historic win, in 2018. She lives in Wolcott with her husband, a police officer, and is a proud mother of four children.

A proven leader dedicated to expanding economic opportunity

Rep. Hayes is running to continue expanding economic opportunity and helping create good-paying jobs for her constituents. She worked tirelessly to help pass the American Rescue Plan Act and played a pivotal role in drafting this historic legislation as a member of the Education and Labor and Agriculture Committees. During her first markup as chairwoman of the Nutrition, Oversight, and Department Operations Subcommittee, Rep. Hayes defended the vital legislation from attacks aimed at diminishing access to nutrition assistance. She is a steadfast advocate for reproductive rights. “Let us not forget that many of these attacks are aimed at our most vulnerable communities – low-income women, and women of color,” she has said. “Access to safe, affordable reproductive care is critical for all.” Rep. Hayes is fighting to make sure every voice from Connecticut’s 5th District is heard. “With everyone involved in the conversation, a brighter future is possible.” 

A must-win reelection fight

Rep. Hayes is a formidable grassroots campaigner, and we know she has what it takes to once again defeat Republicans determined to unseat her and undo the progress she has made. Rep. Hayes fiercely believes all people have value and all people deserve to have a voice in Washington, and considers herself to be living proof that good government works. We need her vital perspective in Congress now more than ever, and this is a must-win race in the fight for control of the House. The EMILYs List community is proud to continue standing with this inspiring leader, and to help keep this champion for Connecticut working families in the House.