Cynthia R. Jennings Esq.
Independent candidate for Secretary of the State
Cynthia Jennings is a civil rights attorney, environmental activist, former Hartford City Councilwoman for six years and now independent candidate for Secretary of the State.
Cynthia has been an attorney for the past twenty-two years. She graduated from UCONN Law School in 1998 fulfilling a goal inspired and insisted upon by the mentoring she was offered by former Mayor Carrie Saxon Perry of Hartford. In fact, Carrie Saxon Perry insisted Cynthia study for the GED. When Mayor Perry met Cynthia she had dropped out of high school and went to work when she became a single mom at seventeen. Cynthia would go on to work for Carrie Saxon Perry at CRT and follow her to the legislature where she would become Executive Director of the Black and Hispanic Caucus for three years. Cynthia created the famous ‘spring fling’ in order to pay for her own salary while working at the Legislature. Cynthia, through her early years, volunteered for Mayor Thirman Milner, State Senator Wilber Smith and Senator Margaret Morton. Her early jobs included being executive assistant to Hartford Mayor Carrie Saxon Perry, and Assistants to both Connecticut’s Education Commissioner and Chief Court Administrator.
As a councilwoman, Cynthia was elected as a Working Families Party member and served on the Hartford City Council for six years. While on City Council, she served on the Hartford School Building Committee the Council Budget Committee, the Health and Human Services Committee, the Labor Committee, the Public Safety Committee, and she chaired the Parks, Recreation, Public Works, and Environment Committee on the Hartford City Council.
One of Jennings most recent environmental initiatives was the February 8, 2016, passing of a resolution by the Hartford City Council, to oppose the building of a gas pipeline through the reservoir where Hartford residents obtain their drinking water. She was a presenter at the Toxics Action National Conference held at Northeastern University in Boston, following her trip to Flint Michigan to assess the Flint water crisis.
On April 24, 2014, Councilwoman Jennings received an Official Citation from the Connecticut General Assembly in recognition of her service to the City of Hartford for her work through the Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice (CCEJ), an organization which she served for six years, as Board Chairperson and as one of the founding members, under the leadership of Dr. Mark Mitchell, former Health Director for the City of Hartford; Sharon Lewis, CCEJ current Executive Director, and the assistance and ongoing support of the late Larry Charles, Sr. Executive Director of ONE/CHANE, Inc., a powerful community based organization located in North Hartford. Her efforts were largely supported by North Hartford Seniors in Action, led by the late Gladys Ellis and Fannie Arnum, both extremely active and influential seniors in Hartford, Connecticut.
Jennings is recognized as bringing the issue of environmental justice to national attention, through her opposition, clean-up and closure of a polluting landfill located in North Hartford. She was one of 26 people nationally, appointed by the Clinton Administration, to serve on the National Environmental Justice Advisory Committee (NEJAC). In this capacity, she visited more than 28 Native American Reservations in thirteen states and was appointed as one of the advisors to Carol Browner, Environmental Czar under the Obama Administration.
Cynthia also served as a Board Member on the Connecticut Fund for the Environment, in New Haven, Connecticut. She also served as a consultant to Northeast Utilities, now Eversource, a consultant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region One Office, and she worked as an Environmental Attorney through the firm of Alan Kosloff, Esq. in West Hartford, Connecticut. Cynthia was a founding partner of the Barrister Law Group in Bridgeport, Connecticut, one of the largest African American-Caribbean Law Firms in Connecticut. She served on the Hartford Town Committee, and the Bridgeport Town Committee, and she is licensed to practice law in federal and state courts in Connecticut, and at the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York.
Cynthia has been a civil rights and environmental justice attorney for twenty-two years. She has represented thousands of clients who have been discriminated against by their employers. Cynthia has been a fierce protector of her clients and has sought to end discrimination on the basis of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation and all other protections we are entitled to under the law.
Anyone who knows Cynthia, knows of her love for people, justice, civil rights, and the right for all people to have employment and educational opportunities in an environment that is healthy, supportive, and caring. She is known to be a protector of the youth and elderly, and for those who are not able to defend themselves. She is a strong advocate for an end to the unjust prison system that disproportionately imprisons African American and Latino men and women, depriving them of their right to a respected place in this society, and she is a true fighter for justice and an end to educational, employment, health and economic disparities that affect African Americans, Latinos, women, children, seniors and other protected classes throughout Connecticut.
Cynthia owned and operated a private school by the name of Plan B Incorporated, and Plan B Test Preparation, LLC in Hartford, Connecticut. Through Plan B, Cynthia has provided jobs to African American and Latino men, and women throughout Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey, by preparing them to take and pass employment and educational examinations.
She was written up in Black Enterprise for her ground-breaking work in employment testing preparation, and she has served as a Testing Consultant for the State of Connecticut Department of Education.
Jennings was also featured on the top of the Hartford landfill, in the November 2018 issue of Hartford Magazine for her groundbreaking work on the clean-up and closure of the Hartford Landfill, in an article that covered the Hartford Landfill ten years after closure and clean-up, an initiative that she is known to have spearheaded and carried through to completion.
Cynthia has been attributed to changing the face and race of the Hartford Police Department, and the Hartford Fire Department, through Plan B, Incorporated, where she trained hundreds of individuals to pass the police and fire entry level and promotional examinations. Some of Cynthia’s students have served in the highest ranks of the police and fire departments, including the positions of Chief, Assistant Chief, Captains, Sergeants, and Detective positions. The first African American and Latino women on the Hartford Fire Department were her students through Plan B, Incorporated.
Cynthia has trained thousands of individuals through her business, Plan B Incorporated, and the National Black Police and Fire organizations. She has trained over 2500 people to take and pass State Correction Officer examinations, teacher certification examinations, fire and police examinations, and she has been successful in the placement of hundreds of individuals into employment with the U.S. Postal Service, State Police, U.S. Census Bureau, and other Civil Service Positions throughout Connecticut, New York and New Jersey.
Jennings has served as a trained observer for the Connecticut Secretary of the State to monitor elections in urban centers throughout Connecticut, and she served with elected leaders and former elected leaders in Hartford, Connecticut, to conduct voter exit interviews, write up complaint Affidavits for voters, go door-to-door to interview voters who believed that their voting rights had been abridged, and to man the Voter Suppression Hot Line to respond to what may have been regarded as voter irregularities at the polls before voters left the polling place.
Jennings has received awards from the Hartford Enterprise Zone Business Association (H.E.Z.B.A.) & Inquiring News as a Champion for Hartford’s Northend (February 22, 2019), the Commander of the Rite Connecticut Council of Deliberation United Supreme Council. A.A.S.R. Prince Hall Affiliation Silver Eagle Award for Sterling Service in the Uplift of Humanity (June 25, 2016); 100 Women of Color Honoring Cynthia R. Jennings, Esq. (September 18, 2015); the Small Business Night Out Community Service Award for Dedicated Service to the Greater Hartford Business Community (April 2014) the Greater Hartford NAACP W.I.N. Award for exceptional work in the Greater Hartford Community (2014).
Jennings is a powerful leader whose experiences have insured that she is the most qualified and able candidate to run for Secretary of the State in 2022.