Steve Stafstrom represents the Bridgeport neighborhoods of Black Rock, Brooklawn and the West End. He was first elected to the General Assembly 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 and encouraging economic development in Connecticut’s urban centers. Stafstrom has worked to pass key legislation that helps steady Connecticut’s and Bridgeport’s financial footing and attract new businesses to the region. He has worked to improve the city’s business climate and quality of life.
Having previously secured funding to help rebuild Central High School, Black Rock School and Claytor Magnet Academy, since 2019 he has worked to secure $90.8 million in state bonding money for Bridgeport’s new Bassick High School, which will include a unique Advanced Manufacturing program. This will open career paths for students, and train them in a rapidly growing and high-paying industry. This program will provide Bridgeport students with the training necessary to help fill the 15,000 advanced manufacturing jobs in the state that remain vacant.
As Chair of the State's 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 business friendly.
In the 2019 Session, he led passage of new laws that expand safe firearm storage requirements, protect immigrants from deportation, increase transparency in prosecutors’ decision-making, prevent sexual harassment in the workplace and protect assets of individuals investing in Connecticut businesses. He has previously written legislation to ban bump stocks, crack down on human trafficking, streamline the process for bringing a legal claim and modernize Connecticut’s business incorporation statutes.
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.
In the 2021 Session, 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 of time. This bill would pave the way for re-entry to society, ensuring better access to good paying jobs, education, and quality housing. Additionally, he introduced and passed legislation to bolster Connecticut's "red flag law". This legislation will create a provision to bar an individual from acquiring a firearm when they are otherwise lawfully allowed to do so. The bill also establishes a process for family or household members, as well as certain medical professionals to apply for a Risk Warrant. The bill will ensure individuals whose firearms are removed cannot acquire additional firearms or ammunition and requires individuals to apply to have the order revoked.
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 area of commercial litigation. He lives in Black Rock with his wife and two daughters.