“We preserve the integrity of our ancestors, and we do what others think is impossible when we lead with courage and advocate for change.” – Tiana Hercules
February marks the celebration of Black History Month nationwide, but has a special place here in Hartford. To honor all the historical figures who came from Hartford, our team, with the help of many organizations, created a Trail spanning across Main Street to honor Hartford’s own Black Heroes. The Trail reaches from the Hartford Public Library up through St. Monica’s Episcopal Church, showcasing 19 displays of prominent Black figures such as former mayor Carrie Saxon Perry and professional basketball player Marcus Camby.
Check out our interactive map featuring all of the displays, or take a walk along Main Street to learn more about Hartford’s Black Heroes!
Visit the “In the News” section to read more about coverage surrounding the trail.
Zion St. Mural
Check out these videos courtesy of photographer Joel Cintron recapping the work we did with our mural!
Betty Knox Foundation Grants for Small Non Profits
The Betty Knox Foundation gives out up to $2500 grants for small non-profits doing things that benefit Hartford residents. It is a rolling application process, but there are different waves of deadlines, which can be found here.
Josh and Tiana have been working hard this fall for the people of Hartford. From fighting for safe & sanitary housing to addressing food insecurity, they have a lot to share about their work as well as some of the ongoings of our city.
“The biggest event in city politics that you never heard of”: Why Josh Voted no on Revisions to the Hartford Charter on Election Day.
“On Nov. 8 Hartford voters will be asked whether to approve revisions to the city’s charter. I voted no when the matter was before City Council, and I will vote no when it’s on the ballot” Josh said in an op-edfor the Hartford Courant.
Josh explained that the Charter Revision Commission, made up of nominees from every member of the city council, rejected the advice of nationally recognized experts on a variety of important topics; such as city election reform that would hand residents in city neighborhoods more say; creating an election for police commissioner which would give citizens more accountability over the police department; and allowing citizens to elect a majority of members on the Board of Education.
Additionally, the commission’s leadership called votes and debates on many issues when some members were not available. This led to all of the commission’s Black members, and two others, to boycott the rest of the commissions meetings.
All of this, according to Josh, results in a charter that “is an uninspired reinforcement of the status quo that will stifle the people’s voices for years to come, and teach another generation of voters that its destiny is to be governed by a handful of insiders who set policy goals with as little public input as possible.”
Field Trip: “The December 6th Project”
“I had an amazing time on the trip, I enjoyed going to Georgetown college and visiting the national monuments. I also loved being able to hanging out with everyone who went. Overall, I had a 10:10 experience!” – Paeyton H.
With support from the BSL Educational Foundation & Congressman John Larson’s office, our team sought to support creativity among city youth and “exercise their original creative process on the subject of the 13th Amendment abolition of slavery and its effect on their community” through a written & visual arts contest.
Youths interested had to write a one page essay, poster, painting, photo, video, or poem elaborating on the question “What does the passage of the 13th Amendment on December Sixth (the abolition of slavery) mean to you?”
Winners of the essay contest received a fully paid trip to Washington D.C. to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
“The trip was great. I loved being with the rest of the contest winners. Everything was planned perfectly, and it was a great weekend. My favorite parts were the college tours to American University and Georgetown University. It was a wonderful way to spend the long weekend!” – Bryana W.
Josh and Tiana Celebrate a New Community Mural With Hartford Residents!
In October, Josh and Tiana celebrated the completion of a community mural located at the corner of Zion and Summit street.
Both the mural and the party were sponsored by our offices, Mutual Housing, Trinity College, and the Hartford “Love Your Block” Program.
Attendees of the event were treated to free music and food as they helped mural artist Taris “Poptart” Clemons paint the mural.
The mural was inspired by the phrase “after the clouds comes the sun,” a city motto.
Community Events & More
For those operating a small business and are looking to increase business activity, retain jobs, and make ones neighborhood more attractive for future investments; make sure to apply to the Small Business Façade program run by the Department of Developmental Services Small Business Division.
If you are interested, fill out the Façade Program Participation Questionnairehere.
Promoting Healthy, Affordable Food in Hartford: Josh and Tiana proposed a resolution to study the feasibility of a publicly-funded grocery store in Hartford’s North End, which is classified as a food desert.
“The average life expectancy in the north end, depending on what zip code you pick is 15 or 20 years less than West Hartford, a few miles away.” Josh told Ayah Galal of WFSB news. “ There’s a lot of research that says [the problem is] access to good affordable nutrition.” Josh said. Read more:Hartford residents urge city to bring more options for fresh food
At a City Council meeting on Tuesday November 7, Josh and Tiana spoke in favor of their resolutioncalling for a grocery store feasibility study in the North End, further adding that the city must not be focused merely on making a profit. but on making real and impactful change in the North End.
Improving Hartford Housing Conditions: Hartford renters expressed frustration at the unsanitary and unsafe conditions at several apartment buildings across the city. This frustration was exacerbated due to the overwhelmed Hartford City Housing inspection corp, which only had seven housing inspectors in total.
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 anAffordable 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.
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
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!
Hello Hartford! It’s budget season for Hartford City Council, meaning it’s time for us to work on one of Council’s most important responsibilities: reviewing and revising the Mayor’s recommended budget for the city. We want to give some updates of what our priorities will be this cycle and how you can raise your voice!
We have been hearing issues concerning evictions, rent prices, and living conditions for tenants in Hartford and we are collaborating with Connecticut Tenant Union, Connecticut Fair Housing Center, Make the Road CT and Central Connecticut DSA to come together and discuss some ideas for the budget and beyond.
Please join us at one of our 2 upcoming community meetings to hear what we have in mind for the future and share your thoughts & experiences!
Parks and Recreation
As you may know, WFP’s City Council team organized a survey last year to collect data on what residents would like to see from city programming and local parks. Over the next month, we will be posting the results and how they will inform our proposed revisions to the Mayor’s recommended budget. If you missed the survey – no problem! We will also post how you can still chime in. Follow Tiana and Josh on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates:
For the last 3 years, Hartford’s Working Families Party Council team has been fighting to reimagine the way we see public safety and reallocate resources from our inflated Police Department budget towards city services we feel will actually reduce crime, such as housing, education, recreation & family services, and public health.
This year is no different, the Mayor’s proposed budget for next year gives yet another increase to the City’s already-bloated Police Department. Even if the Council majority is not yet ready to listen to the people calling for real safety and accountability instead of a militarized presence in our neighborhoods, we will continue to raise the conversation until real change is felt.
If you would like to add your voice to this discussion, you can find contact information for your City Councilmembers here.
Continuing to Protect Immigrant Families
As we have in previous years, our Council team will also advocate to continue City funding for Hartford families facing deportation, through support for the Connecticut Coalition for Immigrant Freedom. To learn more about this program, visit our explanatory page.
Finally, we will be pushing to expand language access resources for City Departments, Hartford Public Schools, Hartford Public Library, and City Council, so that we can continue to move closer towards true language accessibility for all Hartford residents.
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 email@example.com 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”.
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.
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.
Thank you Wildaliz & welcome Tiana, the work continues!
This month our Council team would like to reflect on Councilwoman Wildaliz Bermúdez and all that she has done for our city and our community. We would also like to introduce Tiana Hercules, Wildaliz’s personal recommendation, endorsed by WFP, to replace her on Hartford City Council.
If you haven’t already heard, Councilwoman Bermúdez announced this month that come January, she will be stepping down from her position on City Council for personal and family reasons. Her statement can be found here.
Words cannot begin to describe just how much Wildaliz has meant to our city, our community, and our WFP City Council team. Since being sworn in for her first term in 2016, Wildaliz has consistently brought a sense of energy, integrity, and transparency that Hartford residents had been longing for from their politicians. If we could redefine politics and politicians in Hartford, Wildaliz would be the standard. On behalf of our City Council WFP team, and the Hartford community, thank you, Wildaliz.
Whenever possible, Wildaliz raised up others who shared her values and encouraged them to lead and fight for marginalized members of our community: leaders such as Claudine Fox, Joshua Michtom, and now Tiana Hercules.
If you have not yet had a chance to learn about Tiana, make sure to check out her introduction page and check Wildaliz’s social media posts introducing her on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. You can also follow Tiana on Instagram or Twitter to keep up with her advocacy! Once Tiana is sworn in, keep an eye out for a new website name from us!
Now on to what else we’ve been up to this Fall and Winter!
In The Community
As the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to pose a new threat to public health, we will transition back to prioritizing community events held virtually. It is of the utmost importance for us to keep our community and our families safe, and we will continue to work hard for you whether in-person, by phone, or by email. Please continue to reach out to us about any of your city needs! That said, we were grateful to have been able to participate in a few events over the past few months, both in-person and on zoom!
Indigenous Peoples’ Day
It is our absolute pleasure to announce that Columbus Day will never be celebrated in Hartford again. In September, City Council unanimously voted in favor of our resolution to officially recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Our resolution was first introduced last year, but some of our Council Colleagues requested a task force to receive community input about how Hartford residents think the holiday should be recognized. We were happy to see that most Hartford residents agreed with us, and we thank Councilman Nick Lebron and Councilwoman Marilyn Rossetti for their hard work engaging the community on this issue.
The December Sixth Project
Councilwoman Bermudez, along with a committee comprising Hartford educators, students, and alumni, created the December Sixth Essay contest for Hartford students to reflect on the 13th amendment and its legacy in our society. With the deadline having just passed, our judges are now working hard to review the many entries in both written and visual art categories, so keep an eye out for updates after the new year!
The December Sixth Project is currently fundraising to send the winning students to Washington D.C. If you would like to contribute, you can venmo @DecemberSixthProject or write a check out to: BSL Educational Fund Inc. with the subject line “December Sixth Essay Contest” and mail it to PO BOX 891, Hartford, CT, 06143-0891
As you may have heard, the State of CT has a program in place called UniteCT to help tenants who are facing eviction due to unpaid rent. This past fall, advocates from the CT Fair Housing Center approached our Councilmembers to let them know that there had been recurring problems with landlords who tried to evict tenants with unpaid rent before first applying to the program, which they are legally required to do. With help from the CT Fair Housing Center and other Hartford residents who spoke up about the issue, our team put together and passed a resolution calling for all Hartford-based landlords to respect the law and accept UniteCT funds. You can find the resolution below.
Our team has been working closely with community leaders in Frog Hollow and Behind The Rocks to develop an idea for a mural on the retaining wall at the corner of Zion and Summit Streets, under Zion Hill Cemetery. Our team is currently working hard to collect input from the community through canvassing (pictured below) and a digital survey – so if you live in the area make sure to fill it out here!
One of the most exciting things we did this summer was create a civic engagement video to help you, our constituents, better understand how Hartford City Council works and how to stay in touch with us. Thank you to FINAL FOCUS FILMS for making our vision a reality! Check out the video below and share!
CITY OF HARTFORD ARTS & RECREATION SURVEY
The City of Hartford wants to hear from you. Please help us establish our priorities for the future improvement of arts and recreation facilities & programs in our community. Click here to complete the survey inEnglish.
La ciudad de Hartford quiere saber de usted. Ayúdenos a establecer nuestras prioridades para la mejora futura de las instalaciones y programas de arte y recreación en nuestra comunidad. Haga clic aquí para completar la encuesta enespañol.
BUDGET SEASON – MAY
As many of our readers know, our team is constantly pushing for equitable changes to our city budget to ensure that the needs of our residents are taken care of. Similarly to last year, our big push was to redistribute a portion of the Police Department budget to other city departments that needed it more.
Unfortunately, the Mayor and Council Majority Democrats decided to raise the Hartford Police Department budget by 4 million dollars while Education and other crucial departments either stayed the same or got a nominal increase.
Our community’s biggest lesson from this should be: if we really want to see change in how the city’s budget is distributed, then we have to actively pay attention and voice our needs as a community. The energy from 2020’s Police Accountability and Racial Justice movement must continue, our fight is far from over.
HOMELESSNESS IN PARKVILLE- JUNE
Homelessness has long been a problem in Hartford. However, this summer, we wanted to make it a priority to actively find ways to do something about it. Our team, along with several homelessness and harm reduction organizations, have been doing a lot of work on this front. If you are particularly interested in this work and would like to learn how you could help, reach out to us.
Last month, the majority on Hartford City Council voted on a new ordinance for food trucks. This ordinance, to put it simply, states that all food trucks operating in Hartford are no longer allowed to operate after 9pm. There are a select few locations in the city where trucks are allowed to operate only until midnight. In addition, the ordinance significantly reduced the total amount of streets in Hartford in which food trucks could legally operate at any hour. Although both WFP Councilmembers voted against the ordinance, we have actively worked to make the new changes easier to understand for our food truck operators, and to get their feedback communicated to the entire council.
To view the streets that are food truck accessible both until 9pm and midnight click here.
If you are a food truck owner who operates in Hartford, email your concerns to us and the rest of council. For how to give testimony on ordinances click here.
RESOLUTION FOR IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY – July
In July, Councilwoman Wildaliz Bermudez and Councilman Josh Michtom submitted a resolution calling for the City of Hartford to designate an employee to operate as a liaison for organizations and groups that both represent and serve the immigrant communities in Hartford.
This resolution was successfully passed by all of council! Click below to see the full resolution (Item #9).
Councilwoman Wildaliz Bermudez introduced a resolution back in 2019 proposing that the “U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant” assist in funding the training and services necessary for the Neighborhood Ambassadors Program. This program would allow for formerly incarcerated individuals to gain work experience to aid in their re-entry process.
“Bermudez said the neighborhood ambassador program was ‘certainly a long time coming’ and that she was grateful the city would ‘be able to provide this to the people who are definitely one of the most in need in our community and definitely the most vulnerable.’” – To read the entire article click here.
Hartford Public Library is currently looking to hire a Community Safety Manager and Security Guards! You can click on the documents below to read more about these positions, how to submit your résumé and more!
Budget season has begun! The mayor has released a city budget for the upcoming fiscal year. This is known as “The Mayor’s Proposed Budget”, in this version of the city budget it shows the priorities the mayor has, and the mayor’s ideas for how the money for this upcoming fiscal year should be dispersed. From there, it is up to City Council to review the proposed budget and decide what to keep the same and what to change. To see when these budget hearings will be for May click here.
What does this mean for Hartford residents? As residents of Hartford this is a big chance, similar to charter revision, for you to make your voice heard loud and clear! Just like last year we protested and demanded that our budget be dispersed equitably throughout the city. Unfortunately, many of those demands were not met to the extent that we all hoped.
So we’re asking that this year, we all come with the same energy as last summer and fight for what we know is fair and just! This pandemic has done a lot to our city and all we want is a fair chance to restore a better and more equitable Hartford. We, as members of Hartford City Council cannot do this without your input. Soon we will be reaching out requesting your input on what changes you’d like to see to the proposed budget, so be on the lookout to see how you can have your voice heard!
With that said, our team is putting together a livestream on Police Accountability that will be taking place Thursday, May 6th in collaboration with NAACP, YWCA, the CT Police Reform Project, the Greater Hartford African American Alliance, and One Community One Voice Coalition.
You can register here to participate. We want to get as much community input as possible! Hope to see you all there!
VACCINE UPDATES! More information on vaccine locations for next week will be coming soon! As of right now, there will be vaccinations available at the Xfinity theater this coming Monday at 9am for all Hartford residents 18 and up. To register for Monday or any future vaccination appointments by going to HartfordHealthCare.org/vaccine
This year was a lot. From the COVID-19 Pandemic, protests during budget season, to one of the most important elections of the century, yup, this year has been crazy.
We know it hasn’t been easy, but we want to end on a high note. Here’s a recap of the amazing accomplishments and beautiful moments our offices, Hartford City Councilors Wildaliz “Wiz” and Josh (and team), are happy to have shared with you, our community!
After a lot of back and forth on the Civilian Police Review Board (CPRB) Ordinance, we were able to work across the aisle with the support of Council majority and the administration. Now, there are excellent additions to the CPRB Amended Ordinance. We feel strongly about implementing many of your recommendations to the CPRB. To view these changes, go to our “Your Input Needed” page to see a shorthand explanation. You can also watch the video below.
Still want to provide testimony on the CPRB Ordinance? Tune in and participate in the upcoming Public Hearing:
Monday, November 16th @ 7:00pm.
To be added to the list of speakers email: David.Grant@hartford.gov
CPRB PROCESS WITH J. STAN MCCAULEY
Earlier this month, Councilman Michtom discussed the background work being done on the CPRB process on the Morning Talk Show with J. Stan McCauley.
Councilman Michtom is introduced at 12:33
NOVEMBER 3RD: ELECTION DAY
This is possibly one of the most important elections of our time. We’ve lost a lot, but have also, hopefully, gained a lot of insight and wisdom this year as well. Now is the time to be present and take our rights as citizens of this country and let our voices be heard on a national scale.
Election day is November 3rd! Cast your ballot in person or absentee, nonetheless, BE SURE TO VOTE! If you plan on voting in person and are unsure of where you need to go, you can find out by clicking the link below: