Category: activism

Alienated Public Demands a Voice in City Hall

from 21 July 2014 march

From the moment Mayor Segarra stood in front of City Hall to announce his plan to relocate the New Britain Rock Cats to Hartford on the public dime, there have been unanswered questions:

How exactly would this (fully or partially) publicly-funded private business provide true economic development for the city?  How many full time, living wage jobs would this create for residents of Hartford? Why were Hartford voters and residents excluded from the conversation until this was declared a “done deal” by the mayor? Why build in this location instead of at the existing Dillon Stadium near Colt Park? Why were key stakeholders in this area omitted from the secret dealings, finding out only after word of the deal reached the media? Why was a stadium not included in the Downtown North Plan and why is this able to displace the types of developments, like mixed-use residential, that had been discussed with residents for months? What kind of environmental studies have been done and how would the expected increase in traffic of this area impact Hartford’s already high asthma rates? Why did the mayor in his press release announcing that he wanted the stadium relocation agreement item withdrawn from the City Council agenda, fail to indicate that he would be making no effort to withdraw the related resolution for City purchase of 271 and 273 Windsor Street, a 2.08 acre vacant parcel considered necessary for the stadium development, a parcel that would cost the City of Hartford $1.7M? 

Mary Sanders of Hartford

The meetings of people in opposition to the so-called “done deal” began back in June, with various groups gathering across Hartford. These smaller discussions merged after the first round of meetings happening over one weekend. Residents went from private living rooms to a centrally-located cultural space. Meetings went on during World Cup games, during the Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz, during a time of year when many are away on vacation. Those who are baseball fans have said they do not appreciate games being played when it comes to politics and tax dollars. Continue reading 'Alienated Public Demands a Voice in City Hall'»

Opposition to Publicly-Funded Stadium Marches Down Main Street

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By , July 21, 2014 10:46 pm

Justin Eichenlaub and Kate Bergren of Hartford

Over fifty residents walked from 1212 Main Street to City Hall on Monday during rush hour to tell representatives that they oppose the use of public money for building the proposed Rock Cats stadium.

Wildaliz Bermudez of Hartford

Various media outlets have misreported Continue reading 'Opposition to Publicly-Funded Stadium Marches Down Main Street'»

Money Raised for Students in Ghana

The United Ewe Association of Connecticut performing their traditional Agbadza dance

Marla Ludwig has been going to Ghana since 2005. She established Bright Star Vision and has partnered with Youth Creating Change of Ghana to establish a library in the village of Dalive. The organization has also constructed bio-sand water filters and a kindergarten schoolhouse. It has sent school supplies, bicycles, and wheelchairs.

This year, Bright Star Vision focused its fundraising efforts on sponsorships for students so that more young people in this village have the opportunity to receive an education. Sully’s hosted the annual fundraiser on Saturday.

United Ewe Association of CT brings its dancing off the stage at Sully’s

 

Only One of Two Stadium Resolutions Withdrawn: March Still On

If City Hall was worried about misinformation about the stadium before, nothing in recent days has added clarity, including Mayor Segarra’s announcement that the stadium proposal was kinda-sorta withdrawn.

On Monday, as planned, one of two resolutions related to the stadium was withdrawn, as explained by Hartford 2000:

In short, there is still a stadium resolution up for discussion at the July 21st public hearing: whether or not the City should move forward with purchasing the 271 and 273 Windsor Street parcel that has been described as necessary for this larger plan.

It can be seen on the July 21 agenda here:

The original language of both items — withdrawn and current — can be seen here (#8 and #10):

A letter from Mayor Segarra to City Council published by CT News Junkie last week is explicit in which of the two resolutions were to be withdrawn. This announcement was made on Friday. Continue reading 'Only One of Two Stadium Resolutions Withdrawn: March Still On'»

Forum Discusses Models for Non-Violence

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By , June 26, 2014 3:41 pm

Nelba Márquez-Greene speaking at forum hosted by Trinity College on Thursday

“Tell the truth, shame the devil.”

Nelba Márquez-Greene explained that a woman from Glory Chapel — a church she used to attend — would say this during services.

Márquez-Greene said she was going to be doing much of that during her presentation A Professional and Personal Perspective on Trauma and Recovery at the Building a More Peaceful Connecticut: Tools, Models and Initiatives that Promote Non-Violence forum hosted by Trinity College on Thursday.

Márquez-Greene, founder of the Ana Grace Project of Klingberg Family Centers, is a clinical fellow of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. She alternated between speaking as a professional, and speaking from personal experience. Her daughter, Ana Grace, was one of the Sandy Hook shooting victims in 2012.

The Ana Grace Project’s purpose is to promote love, community, and connection for every child and family, Márquez-Greene said. Part of that is addressing trauma, which does not only appear following natural disasters or shootings, she said, but also when one experiences poverty, racism, and insecure housing. Continue reading 'Forum Discusses Models for Non-Violence'»

City Hall Dominated by Voices Against Stadium

If members of City Council have been checking their email and reading social media since the rumors of the stadium began last week, the major opposition to the project vocalized during Monday’s public hearing should have come as no surprise to elected officials.

Seventeen people spoke strongly against the stadium. There were three — two of whom are politicians — on the fence, and one business owner who seemed generally cautious. There were a total of five in favor, two of whom are politicians. Of those supporters, only three were what could be called strong supporters.

Although Segarra talked a good game at last week’s rushed press conference, we have learned that most members of the City Council only found out about this “done deal” at the same time or after the general public did last Monday.

Councilwoman Jennings said something needed to happen for Hartford’s economy to improve, but she had many questions that she wanted answers for. Monday, she asked to have her name removed from the list of those sponsoring the land transfer item.

In another interesting turn, Shawn Wooden, who spoke in favor of the stadium in the capacity as Council President at that press conference on Wednesday has revealed that his firm (Day Pitney) represents the seller of that land: Rensselaer. Monday night, he recused himself from voting on the land transfer item. Continue reading 'City Hall Dominated by Voices Against Stadium'»

Vegan Dinner, Bicycles Everywhere, and Community

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By , June 8, 2014 10:43 pm

Joe Biel and Elly Blue

The Vulnerable User Bill finally got approved. There are bike racks throughout downtown and four bike lockers at Union Station. Transport Hartford — a city-specific alternate transportation group — has launched. There are multiple large organized bike rides and many informal ones.

You’d have to be sleeping to think there’s nothing happening here.

This weekend offered more evidence that there is enthusiasm for cycling, both as recreation and as transportation. Continue reading 'Vegan Dinner, Bicycles Everywhere, and Community'»

Discussion on History and Art at Twain House

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By , June 6, 2014 9:17 am

Jeff Zinn,, Nicolas Lampert, Marc Favreau, and Will K. Wilkins

This week the Mark Twain House and Museum hosted a symposium on Howard Zinn’s  A People’s History of the United States, first published in 1980. Jeff Zinn, the author’s son, spoke about how conventional many parts of the household was growing up, with father as breadwinner and mother as “housewife.” Continue reading 'Discussion on History and Art at Twain House'»

Your Chance to Speak for the Trees

The City Forester will be holding a public hearing on June 16 at 6pm in Conference Room A at DPW headquarters, 50 Jennings Road.

If you feel one way or another about the plan to remove over a dozen shade trees from Bushnell Park, show up to speak.

Proposed Crosswalks, Sharrows, and Bike Lanes That May Happen During Your Lifetime

The area of State House Square that had been proposed to change into a lane for buses.

With so little useful information traveling between City Hall and the general public, it is easy to get the impression that projects have stalled when that’s hardly the case. Continue reading 'Proposed Crosswalks, Sharrows, and Bike Lanes That May Happen During Your Lifetime'»


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