Now that the initial sting of Fox-CT’s obscene coverage of Women’s Day has subsided, we can all agree that some reflection is in order. After all, the event did mark the 40-year-battle for gender equality in Connecticut.
The obvious takeaways: yes, the progressives’ disdain towards Fox News has been validated. And yes, the footage highlighted that even in a 21st century, blue state like Connecticut, the effects of misogyny and gender discrimination persist at best. Even though Fox was publicly shamed, I can’t help but wonder if they won this round at the end of the day.
Think about it. For those who weren’t able to attend the event, the only newsworthy piece of information revolved around the news outlet’s unfortunate—but unsurprising—distraction from the depth of the issues and their solutions. In Connecticut, full-time working women earn 78% of their male counterparts. The wage gap is even more drastic for African American women and Hispanic women, who earn 59% and 48% of what men earn, respectively (The Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, Policy Agenda 2013). Violence against women, whether it’s domestic violence or sexual assault, abounds and causes costly long-term health problems for women everywhere.
But what does this mean for Hartford, where poverty and crime are concentrated more than anywhere else in the state? Continue reading 'Focus on Women, Not Fox News'»
Candidates for state office discussed a range of pressing issues facing the city of Hartford this past Monday at a forum held at the Hartford Public Library. Some of the candidates were long-time veterans of political campaigning and public policy, while others were running for the first time. Generally, the issues remained consistent; however, more than once, the conversation turned to the topic of Connecticut’s tax structure and its disparate effect on cities like Hartford.
The forum, moderated by the Hartford Courant’s Tom Condon, highlighted that Hartford is over-reliant on property tax for revenue. Several factors play into this. As the Capitol city, Hartford has several public buildings that are exempt from paying the tax. As a result, the burden falls on businesses and homeowners. Furthermore, as an urban area, the city must provide for more publically funded services for residents on a greater scale than its non-metropolitan counterparts.
Every candidate present agreed that over-dependence on property tax amplified several of the city’s struggles, such as financing education, closing the achievement gap, and improving the climate of the city in terms of attracting businesses and jobs. While there was consensus that property taxes are an underlying structural problem, each candidate had a somewhat different solution. Continue reading 'Hartford’s Property Taxes in the 2012 Election'»
written with help from Shelby Mertes, Partnership for Strong Communities
A new state-wide initiative called “Young Energetic Solutions,” or YES, met for the second time to brainstorm strategies to recruit additional young talent for their cause and build a structured state-wide presence that will attract more people in their 20s and 30s to Connecticut. Started by the Partnership for Strong Communities, a statewide housing advocacy organization, the group is still very early in its planning stages and left the meeting resolving to cultivate local hubs of engaged and energetic young people in four of the state’s communities: Hartford, Middletown, Windham, and New Haven. Longer-term next steps include establishing a Steering Committee comprised of young professionals and an Advisory Committee of individuals more seasoned in policy, business and other sectors.
YES is building off of the recommendations made in A New American Dream: Change is Not So Bad, which lists several factors influencing a young person’s decision of where to live. Continue reading '“YES” to a New American Dream'»
Say: God sufficeth all things above all things. and nothing in the heavens or in the earth but God sufficeth. Verily, he is in Himself the Knower, the Sustainer, the Omnipotent.
- The Báb
On July 9 around noon, a friend and I were searching for the entrance to Elizabeth Park on Fern Street. “It’s like the entrance to Narnia,” she said. And like magic, it appeared.
I had been invited to join her family for a public observance of one of the the Bahá’í holy days, the commemoration of the Martydom of the Báb. The Báb, an honorific which means “the Gate” in Arabic, was the prophet-herald of the Bahá’í Faith. On May 23, 1844, in Shiraz, Persia, He announced the imminent arrival of Bahá’u'lláh, the prophet-founder of the faith. On July 9, 1850, the Báb was executed for His message, which had threatened the ruling theocracy.
Bahá’ís don’t have local houses of worship, and therefore meet in their homes or in other accessible spaces. The Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Hartford has been holding its annual observance commemorating the Martydom of the Báb in Elizabeth Park for several years.
I was a little nervous. Continue reading 'Hartford Pew Review: A Bahá’í Holy Day Observance'»