As the summer heat fades and the fall season draws near, we would like to highlight some of the many contributions made by Councilwoman Hercules and Councilman Michtom to the Hartford community over the summer as well as spotlight the many happenings in our always busy city.
Josh and Tiana Explain Hartford’s Boards & Commissions
The City of Hartford has plenty of ways for residents to raise their voice and engage in the way our local government operates, and one great way to get involved is by joining a City Board or Commission! Josh & Tiana feel that everyone in Hartford has something to contribute, so they made the below video to break down what our Boards & Commissions do while also encouraging people to get involved. Please be sure to help us spread the word!
Highlighting Small Business
Located on Wethersfield Ave, Soul Bowls is a relatively new black-owned business that Josh and Tiana love. If you have a favorite small business in the city, be sure to let us know! J&T would love to keep shining a light on all that Hartford has to offer.
“Black Girls Achieve” Mural
Tiana had the pleasure of being invited to the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Broad St. mural sponsored and developed by Black Girls Achieve, an enrichment program for Black girls in Hartford. She presented the girls with citations from the city recognizing their hard work and investment in their own personal growth.
Housing in Hartford
One of the biggest priorities for Josh and Tiana in this year’s City Council budget votes was to increase the amount of housing inspectors that the city employs. During community meetings on housing held in May, Josh and Tiana heard from countless Hartford residents about unacceptable living conditions in rental units, and about the slow response from the city when called upon for inspection. Thanks to dozens of Hartford residents who raised their voice to the rest of Council about the urgent need for more inspectors, Josh and Tiana were able to secure additional inspectors this year: but the work is not done. Josh and Tiana continue to advocate for more resources for tenants in Hartford, and if you would like to add your voice to the fight, make sure to check out our connecting with council page to learn about how to get your opinions on record.
Special thank you to the CT Tenants Union, the Connecticut Fair Housing Center, Central CT DSA, and Make the Road for organizing community meetings and promoting civic engagement.
Zion St. Mural Update
As you may know, our Council team has been working closely with organizations and leaders in the Frog Hollow neighborhood to develop a mural at the intersection of Zion and Summit street. Be sure check out the mural on Sunday, October 2nd, as Josh and Tiana host a block party in celebration of the murals continued progress.
As mandated by the State General Assembly, the City of Hartford’s Department of Developmental Services has produced an Affordable Housing Plan draft. The document lays out the cities efforts thus far related to housing affordability, assesses the cities housing needs. and sets out some goals to be achieved within five years.
Among the goals in the plan is to increase homeownership by 50% by having more owner-occupied units, encouraging surrounding suburban towns to invest outside of their own communities, increasing housing production, and increasing residential density.
To read the plan in full, and to learn about how to give your feedback, see the following link: Affordability Housing Plan Draft
Community Events & More
The Community Alliance for Research and Engagement (CARE) is offering a paid leadership program for Hartford residents. Up to 20 people from across Hartford will be selected and will be tasked with attempting to find solutions to the city’s most pressing social and health issues. Check out the link to apply: Hartford Health Leader Application
Volunteers are needed for the second annual “Love Hartford Week.” The week (Oct 18 to Oct 22) is dedicated to civil service and giving back to the community. For more information, and to sign up, please see the following link: Love Hartford Week Volunteer Sign Up
In the News
Police Accountability: Josh and Tiana have proposed a resolution calling for more transparency concerning the Hartford Police Union contract. Read here: Resolution Calling on Corporate Counsel to Answer Questions Regarding The Hartford Police Union Contract
Real Change in Hartford’s Budget: The Hartford City Council passed by a 8-1 margin a proposal put forth by Councilmembers Hercules and Mitchom that shifts $300,000 from the cities $50 million police budget to the cities fire department for fire prevention and inspections. This measure is in keeping with Councilman Michtom’s push for a broader view of public safety in the city of Hartford; one which does not exclude funding for crucial public safety needs beyond police. ”“Public safety is more than funding the police every time,” Michtom told the Courant, “It’s making sure that we don’t have fires; It’s making sure that our housing is safe; It’s really taking care of all of the things that make lives work here and let people thrive in our city.” Read more: The Hartford city budget moves $300K from police to the Fire Department. Here’s why
Josh Writes about Public Safety: Councilman Michtom writes for the CT Mirror that while much attention has been given to debating what “defund the police” means as a slogan; other aspects of public safety: absentee landlords who won’t do basic maintenance; broken playground equipment that could injure kids; streets where drivers go too fast and make it hard for people to cross, and high rates of asthma, are often overlooked.
Fighting for Free Bus Fares: Since April 1st, Connecticut residents have been able to ride buses across the state free of charge. However, the state legislature agreed to suspend fares only temporarily. In Hartford, Councilmembers Hercules and Michtom have led the charge in support of a permanent suspension of bus fares in the city. “We want everyone to be able to get to work and boost the economy,” Councilman Michtom told Ayah Galal on Channel 3 news; “they did this in Kansas City, It increased jobs and increased economic output, so the cost is very minimal, and in the long run, the payback is there.” Read More here: Hartford City Council Pushes to Permanently Eliminate Bus Fares
Charter Revision – This year the City of Hartford had an opportunity to improve much of it’s government structure through revision of the City Charter. Many ideas were brought up by the Charter Review Commission, included expanding City Council with neighborhood representation, more elected seats on the board of education, and having elected positions to oversee the police department. Writing in support of Hartford resident Alyssa Peterson — an advocate of an expanded council — Josh states “ Alyssa Peterson is right: a larger, district-based city council would be better suited to rein in our too-powerful mayor.” Read more: Hartford residents ask for expanded city council with representation from all of the city’s neighborhoods
Have a great Fall, and don’t forget to connect with us online!
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