State Representative Robyn A. Porter was first elected to the Connecticut House of Representatives in April 2014 following a special election to represent New Haven and Hamden. Since winning the 94th Assembly District seat, Porter has championed legislation that has helped to establish fairer wages and working conditions for all Connecticut’s workers. She has been an authentic voice for oppressed communities by being a staunch advocate for social, economic, and criminal justice reform, as well as continuously increasing protections for domestic violence victims and undocumented immigrants. Small businesses have also been a pivotal focus for Porter.
For the last 3 plus years, Porter has served as House Chair of the Labor and Public Employees Committee. Under her leadership, the Labor Committee has helped advance several progressive initiatives such as creating legislation that strengthens gender pay equity laws, that had not been updated since 1963. She led an historical 14-hour debate in the House to raise the minimum hourly wage to $15/per hour by 2023. She also shepherded an 8-hour debate for the passage of the Paid Family Medical Leave Insurance Program (PFMLI), which is the most generous paid leave program in the country to-date. Additionally, she is the principal lead on the Council on the Collateral Consequences of a Criminal Record, which aims to redress the over 500 barriers for justice-impacted citizens. Her hard work has also helped to expand Workers’ Compensation Benefits to police officers and firefighters with Post Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI) and has co-introduced legislation this year to include Correctional Officers, EMTs, and Dispatchers.
In addition to her role as Chair of Labor, Representative Porter is also an active member of the Appropriations and Judiciary Committees. There, she authored and sponsored legislation that has helped reform bail settings for misdemeanors; outlawed the solitary confinement of minors and the shackling of pregnant women in prison; made Connecticut the 13th state to “ban the box,” which removed the felony check from job applications; and strengthened the transparency between law enforcement and the public through police accountability, and landmark legislation that establishes new prosecutorial data collection and reporting requirements.
She also serves as Co-Chair of the Minority Teacher Recruitment Taskforce. Through team efforts, Rep. Porter has worked tirelessly on legislation to reform certification standards and its associated costs to make the process more equitable and affordable. In doing so, helping to reduce the barriers that have systematically limited the number of teachers of color in the profession. This taskforce is also looking at ways to create alternative routes for educational certification programs.
Representative Porter’s educational background includes an Associate’s Degree in General Studies from Gateway Community College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Charter Oak State College. She graduated with high honors and was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa International and the Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honor Societies.
Rep Porter was employed by the Communication Workers of America from 2001 to 2017 and since has fully devoted herself to representing the 94th district. She is a longtime community activist who has served as Co-Chair of the Steering Committee for the Newhallville Community Resilience Team (NCRT), which focused on increasing public safety and social and economic equity.
Porter is the proud parent of two adult children, Akeem and Aminah, and the spirited grandmother of Alana and Amir. She is a native New Yorker who has been blessed to call New Haven her beloved home since the summer of 2000.