Felipe and state Sen. Marilyn Moore, D-Bridgeport, sit on the 21-member board of legislators and other state officials set up to help distribute the CIF fund. That pot of money — $875 million total, spread out through 2030 — was established by Connecticut lawmakers in 2021 to funnel aid to projects/initiatives that will benefit underserved and marginalized communities; people who live in rural areas; and people otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality. The biggest of the Ganim administration’s three requests — funding for the theaters — was considered a long shot. Felipe and some City Council members in August expressed skepticism over it being made a priority and that the $100 million ask would be taken seriously by the CIF board. City Hall has since switched tactics, claiming public dollars must first be invested in restoring the Majestic and Poli Palace, which Bridgeport has owned for over three decades, in order to attract private interest.