Steve Stafstrom represents the Bridgeport neighborhoods of Black Rock, Brooklawn and the West End in the Connecticut General Assembly. He was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2015 during a special election. He currently serves as House Chair of the Judiciary Committee and serves on the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee.
Stafstrom has used his platform as a public official to advocate for property tax reform, expanding access to high-quality education for all students, standing up for criminal justice reform initiatives, strengthening Connecticut’s gun laws, and encouraging economic development in the state's urban centers. He has worked to pass key legislation that helped steady Connecticut’s and Bridgeport’s financial footing and attract new residents and businesses to the region. Stafstrom has worked to improve the city’s business climate and quality of life.
He secured funding to help rebuild Central High School, Black Rock School and Claytor Magnet Academy, and $90.8 million in state bonding money for Bridgeport’s new Bassick High School, which will include a unique Advanced Manufacturing program. Stafstrom has also delivered tens of millions of dollars for economic development projects, public infrastructure, improved parks and children’s recreational programs in Black Rock and Brooklawn.
As Co-Chair of the Judiciary Committee, he has focused on strengthening Connecticut's gun regulations, protecting minority communities, increasing fairness and transparency in the justice system, and making statutes and courts more user friendly.
Stafstrom has led passage of most of Connecticut’s gun safety legislation, including laws that ban bump stocks, outlaw ghost guns, bar open carry of firearms, limit the number of guns someone can purchase in a month, expand Connecticut’s assault weapon ban and impose some of the strictest safe storage requirements in the country. He also authored and passed Connecticut's nation-leading "red flag law." Stafstrom championed the passage of the Clean Slate Act. This ground-breaking criminal justice reform legislation will help thousands of formerly incarcerated citizens in Connecticut by erasing some offenses from their criminal records after a certain period. This bill paves the way for re-entry to society, ensuring better access to good paying jobs, education, and quality housing.
In the wake of the killing of George Floyd, Stafstrom led the way in passing comprehensive legislation that is bringing much-needed, common-sense transparency and accountability to Connecticut’s police departments. This police accountability legislation banned consent searches of vehicles unless there is probable cause, increased penalties for those who make false police reports, required that the disciplinary records of officers be subject to Freedom of Information Act requests, increased training requirements for police officers and updated the state's "use of force" definition.
Stafstrom has also authored or led passage of legislation to legalize recreational cannabis, protect immigrants from deportation, increase transparency in prosecutors’ decision-making, prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, crack down on human trafficking, streamline the process for bringing a legal claim, modernize Connecticut’s business incorporation statutes. and protect assets of individuals investing in Connecticut businesses.
Stafstrom is a trustee of St. Ann’s Parish and on the board of the Black Rock Neighborhood Revitalization Zone and the Bridgeport Regional Business Council’s leadership program. He formerly served on the Bridgeport City Council, as president of the City Lights Art Gallery, and as vice chairman of the Alpha Community Services YMCA.
Having attended public schools in Orange, Stafstrom completed his undergraduate degree in politics and philosophy at Fairfield University, and later went on to obtain his juris doctorate from the Saint Louis University School of Law. He currently is a member of the Bridgeport-based law firm of Pullman & Comley, LLC, practicing in the areas of commercial, real estate, and environmental litigation. He lives in Black Rock with his wife and two daughters. He is an avid runner and aspiring sailor.