Hello Hartford! We hope you all are staying warm and enjoying all of the great activity happening around our city at this time of the year. Here’s an update on what we have been up to, as well as some more events and opportunities we hope you will help us share!
Since she officially joined Hartford City Council in January, Councilwoman Tiana Hercules has been working hard to respond to the needs of Hartford residents. During her first season in office, Tiana has focused on building the connections necessary to achieve her goals and advocate for change. To learn more about Tiana, follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Let’s take a deeper look at the initiatives and updates that affect YOU.
The December Sixth Project
Thanks to former Councilwoman Wildaliz Burmúdez, we held an essay/arts contest for high school students to reflect on the 13th Amendment and its legacy. The winners of the contest were celebrated with an event in the Hartford Public Library this February. From the visual arts contestants, 10th grader Apollo Coston won first place and 11th grader Paeyton Hammond earned second place. From the written arts contestants, 10th grader Gabrielle Powell received first place with 10th grader Bryana Wilson in second place. Congratulations to all four winners for their powerful submissions!
We would also like to thank Jennifer Perez Caraballo as well as all of the judges and speakers who participated in this year’s December Sixth Project!
Speaking Up at the State Level
Recently, we joined CT Working Families and countless other labor advocates testifying in support of the Fair Workweek Bill, H.B. 5353. Every worker in Connecticut deserves to have a stable job that treats them with respect and dignity. This bill aims to ensure that tens of thousands of workers in Connecticut have a job that they can rely on and the opportunity to prosper. The Fair Workweek Bill can accomplish this goal through guaranteeing predictable schedules and reliable paychecks for more than 140,000 retail, food service, and hotel workers. The bill will also give part-time employees the opportunity to work more hours with the requirement that employers offer extra shifts to current workers before hiring additional staff. Workers will experience more stability through schedules that are set in advance, minimum rest periods between shifts, and compensation for last minute changes or cancellations. Check out these videos to hear excerpts from Tiana’s and Josh’s testimony.
Another issue on our minds is that thousands of immigrant children and families in Connecticut are blocked from getting healthcare coverage and cannot receive proper medical care and treatment. Everyday, but especially during a pandemic, this is a massive public health concern. We are committed to changing this. State Senate bill, S.B. 284, which would expand Connecticut’s HUSKY Health Program to all minors under 18 years of age regardless of immigration status, did not pass committee this year, but our team was proud to stand in support of our immigrant families and the hundreds of organizers and activists that spoke out in support of this bill – and we will absolutely be back next year.
Early treatment provided by this bill would effectively reduce the amount an individual would pay for healthcare in the long term by preventing health issues from developing further and worsening. Uncompensated care costs, which are incurred when uninsured residents seek medical help, are shared across both public and private payers, including the state and local governments. This means that the state of Connecticut is already paying for uninsured undocumented individuals, yet these residents do not have access to HUSKY programs such as Medicaid and CHIP which are funded through the taxes they pay. Check out testimony from Josh, as he literally drove his own son to the doctor’s office, for healthcare as a human right through support for S.B. 284, Husky for Immigrants.
Another bill we will also be supporting this year is the PROTECT Act to stop Solitary Confinement in our state. To learn more and get involved, check out www.StopSolitaryCT.org.
The Connecticut Coalition for Immigrant Freedom (CCIF)
Earlier this month, we announced that the City of Hartford, in collaboration with the Connecticut Coalition for Immigrant Freedom (CCIF), has launched a Universal Representation program to ensure legal representation for Hartford residents in emergency deportation proceedings.
Following advocacy from then-Councilwoman Wildaliz Bermúdez and Councilman Michtom during budget deliberations for fiscal year 2021, as well as support from the City’s Chief Operating Officer, Thea Montanez, CCIF will receive City of Hartford funds to provide legal representation and social services to Hartford residents in emergency deportation proceedings, including those detained by ICE. The program is live now, with specific eligibility criteria due to limited funding:
Immigrant families who fit the program criteria can call (203) 388-1719 or e-mail CCIF@nhlegal.org to apply for free legal representation during their emergency deportation cases.
In the Community
Councilwoman Hercules has been working hard to engage with as many Hartford residents as possible and introduce herself as a resource for her community. Below you can find pictures of her attending Parkville’s Neighborhood Revitalization Zone meeting and visiting Charter Oak Boxing Academy.
Our city is currently facing a major eviction crisis and families throughout our community are being affected. If you or anyone you know is facing eviction and lives in one of these zip codes: (06105 / 06106 / 06112 / 06114 / 06120) then you may qualify for free legal assistance through https://www.evictionhelpct.org/. If you don’t qualify, there are still resources available to you! Visit https://www.ctfairhousing.org/ to learn more or get in contact with our team to find help.
Community Events & More
The community survey for the Arrowhead Gateway Small Area Plan and Corridor Study is now live! If you have uses, services, or improvements that you would like to see at the Main/High/Albany intersection, now is the time to share your thoughts. Check out the project website to take the survey: https://www.arrowheadgateway.com/.
Join the Community Renewal Team and Liberty Bank on March 30th at 6pm to learn how you can start building your legacy and increasing your generational wealth. The Women’s Home Buying Seminar stresses economic empowerment and discusses the benefits of owning your own home as a means of increasing your wealth. To register, please click https://bit.ly/WomensHomebuyingSeminar.
United Way, the Ministerial Health Fellowship, and Tovio invite you to join the community conversation and support circles focused on the experience of living through the Covid-19 pandemic. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Youth Activities & Opportunities
Introducing the Bridge to Morehouse Program (BTM)! Capital Community College and Morehouse College have established an articulation agreement that will allow students attending Capital who complete an associate’s degree with a minimum GPA of 2.7 to transfer seamlessly to Morehouse College with junior status. This is currently the only agreement of its kind between Morehouse College and a community college in New England- a phenomenal opportunity for Black male scholars in the Greater Hartford Region. Interested students can learn more about this opportunity here and follow the steps under “How do I enroll in the Bridge to Morehouse Program”.
BiCi Co.’s Youth/Teen BikeLife program registration just opened (ages 7 to 19): https://bicico.org/bike-life/
- Youth that register and take one of the bicycle safety courses during the week qualify for an upcycled bike, lock, lights and helmet at the Saturday BikeLife Festival on April 16th.
- There are five different bicycle safety course locations scheduled across the city, including one at the Free Center in your neighborhood.
- Space is limited to the first 80 registered. Parents/Guardians are encouraged to attend the bike safety course with the youth if possible, but are not required to do so.
- The registration fee is very affordable at $20 per participant.
YEP (spring) and SYELP (summer) PAID internship programs for teens are hiring:
- Apply at https://cwp.webauthor.com (select Center for Latino Progress as your provider)
- The internships are in a wide variety of employers, non-profit partners, and programs across the city. BiCi Co. is just one of the internship opportunities of many.
The Summer Youth Employment and Learning Program (SYELP) is a youth employment program, connecting Connecticut youth living in the North Central Region between the ages of 14 and 24 with career exploration opportunities and paid work experience each summer.
Participants have the opportunity to explore their interests and career pathways, develop workplace skills and engage in learning experiences that help in developing their social, civic and leadership skills.
By participating in structured projects and work-based opportunities, Connecticut youth are better prepared for careers of the future. Learn more about SYELP here.
The City currently has dozens of job openings and we want these good Hartford jobs to go to Hartford residents- take a look for yourself or share with someone you know through this link!
YWCA Hartford Region is looking to hire a Community Organizing and Advocacy Coach! This position will assist with efforts to equip and educate community members and key stakeholders on advocacy and organizing. The position is part time, offering 26 hours per week at $18 per hour. Learn more about the position and access an application here.
Trinfo and the Office of Community Relations at Trinity College are hiring! Join the team as program manager at Trinfo.Café and the Office of Community Relations. Those with a commitment to and experience in community service who are fluent in Spanish are encouraged to apply. Check out the job posting!
In the News
Check out this coverage of our team’s advocacy for immigrant families from the Northend Agent’s website:
Unfortunately, 2022 began with a tragedy for our City as we lost a student to a drug overdose at Sports & Medical Sciences Academy. As parents with high schoolers, this incident weighed heavy on our hearts and minds, and we are committed to supporting any effort aimed at making sure this never happens again. Therefore, we immediately called for life-saving Naloxone to be available all at Hartford schools along with trained staff able to administer it. Since then, this idea has been accepted by the city. The following two links detail more about the devastating event and how we intend to address the issue of drug overdose for Hartford youth.
1/17 Hartford Courant – Fatal Fentanyl Overdose of Hartford 13-Year-Old Brings Calls for Naloxone in Schools – Daniela Altimari
1/17 Daily Mail – Teenage boy, 13, dies after overdosing on fentanyl at Connecticut high school where 40 bags of the drug were found stashed in two classrooms: Officials call for nurses’ offices to be stocked with life-saving naloxone – Andrea Cavallier
The call for divestment from Russian assets from the public has been heard loud and clear. Our team is therefore supporting a resolution for the City to divest our pension fund from any Russian-owned assets until the crisis in Ukraine comes to an end. Read more about this issue with the link below.
3/8 Hartford Courant – Hartford treasurer exploring divestment of Russian assets from pension fund; council weighs resolution – Seamus McAvoy –
Connect With Us Online!
To learn more about our team’s work in the Hartford community, follow Josh and Tiana on social media. Thank you and hope to hear from you soon!
Instagram & Twitter: