An award-winning teacher fighting for Connecticut working families
Jahana Hayes is a teacher and community leader who ran for Congress to fight for Connecticut working families. A lifelong Connecticut resident, she grew up in a Waterbury public housing project. Jahana’s family struggled with poverty and addiction. After she got pregnant as a teenager she found her calling as a teacher and overcame 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. Jahana has dedicated her career to public education, and worked as a high school social studies teacher in New Haven and Waterbury. A champion for students and their families, Jahana earned the 2016 Connecticut Teacher Of The Year Award and went on to earn the 2016 National Teacher of the Year Award. Before her election to Congress, Jahana served as talent and professional development supervisor for Waterbury Public Schools. 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
Jahana ran to expand economic opportunity and to help create good-paying jobs for hardworking Nutmeggers. She has personally experienced the power of public education, and she is a powerful advocate for expanding access to educational opportunity to help families and communities thrive. At a time when Republicans are desperate to undo all the progress we’ve made, Jahana is a fierce advocate for expanding access to quality health care. “I believe that we have an obligation to each other to do better for not only our own families but all families,” she has said.
An historic victory
Jahana ran a successful grassroots campaign for the open seat vacated by former Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty. When Jahana began her campaign for Congress, there were no people of color in New England’s congressional delegation and her victory changed that. Connecticut had never elected an African American woman to Congress, and Jahana became the first with her historic win. She is a powerful advocate for the Nutmeggers who are not currently seated at the table in Washington. The EMILY’s List community is proud to stand with this champion for progress in her fight for Connecticut working families.