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HARTFORD, CONN (October 8, 2019) – Today Mayor Luke Bronin urged the United States Supreme Court to uphold civil rights protections for the LGBTQ+ community.  The Supreme Court is hearing three cases of LGBTQ+ employment discrimination, and its decisions will determine whether the LGBTQ+ community is protected under federal civil rights laws.  Mayor Bronin signed an amicus brief in support of the employees in all three cases along with more than 90 mayors who are part of Mayors Against LGBTQ Discrimination, a bipartisan coalition of municipal leaders.  According to CNN, the federal government will argue that “the law does not bar discrimination based on transgender status or sexual orientation.”


“The Supreme Court has a chance to say loudly and clearly that in America, who you love or how you identify should not affect your livelihood,” said Mayor Bronin.  “No one should be fearful of losing a job or be denied a promotion because of who they are.  As the Trump administration is shamefully arguing that civil rights do not apply to the LGTBQ+ community, I was proud to stand with more than ninety mayors to affirm that our nation’s civil rights laws apply to everybody.”







Inspired by Providence Talks, the first-ever Grand Prize Winner of the Mayors Challenge, Hartford will Expand Robust Programming for Children that Increases their Exposure to Words and Conversation, a Crucial Intervention for Vocabulary Building, Brain Development, and School Readiness

Hartford joins Birmingham, AL; Detroit, MI; Louisville, KY; and Virginia Beach, VA

HARTFORD, CONN (September 24, 2019) –The City of Hartford was selected as one of five American cities that will replicate Providence Talks, an early childhood education program that empowers parents and caregivers with tools to support language development at a critical age and help children enter kindergarten classroom ready. Combined with local investments, the support provided across five cities totals nearly $12 million over three years.

Supported byBloombergPhilanthropies, through its What Works Cities initiative, Hartfordis launching Hartford Talks, an expansion of The Village for Families & Children’s Words Count program, to serve Hartford children, parents and caregivers.

The other four cities that are replicating Providence Talks are: Birmingham, AL; Detroit, MI; Louisville, KY; and Virginia Beach, VA.

Research shows that in the child’s first three years, talking is one of the most critical factors driving brain growth and kindergarten readiness. With funding fromBloombergPhilanthropies, Hartford will implement Hartford Talks, replicating the successful Providence Talks initiative that improves the “talk environment” for low-income families.  The Village for Families and Children, the City’s major partner in this initiative, piloted their own Words Count home-visiting model in 2017 with positive results. The City of Hartford’s early childhood infrastructure will support the implementation and scaling of Providence’s professional development model.

“Making sure our youngest minds are prepared for kindergarten can have a powerful impact on their long-term development and success, and we are thrilled to bring this proven model to Hartford,” said Mayor Luke Bronin.  “I want to thankBloombergPhilanthropies for their generous support to bring this innovative program to Hartford, and I want to thank The Village for Families and Children for partnering with us to make Hartford Talks a reality.

“We know that the early years of a child’s life are critical to setting the stage for academic success,” said Galo Rodriguez, president and CEO of The Village. “We’re excited to partner with the City of Hartford andBloombergPhilanthropies on this initiative to help our city’s children thrive.”

The Hartford initiative was inspired by Providence Talks,the first-ever Grand Prize Winner of theBloombergPhilanthropies Mayors Challenge, an innovation competition for cities. The winners of the challenge are cities with bold, inventive ideas that address urgent challenges and have the most potential for impact and the ability to spread to other cities.

“Providence Talks shows just why we launched the Mayors Challenge: to help cities take on big challenges, test innovative ideas, and then spread what works best,” said Michael R.Bloomberg, founder ofBloombergLP andBloombergPhilanthropies and the 108th Mayor of New York City. “Providence Talks has had promising results, helping thousands of young children increase their language development. Today, we’re glad to help five new cities adapt the program and work to achieve similar progress."

The programprovides families with a small recordingdeviceknown as a “word pedometer” thatcounts adult words spoken in a child’s presence, as well as the number of conversational interactions a child engages in during the day. Research shows that robust exposure to words and conversation—from birth to agefouris crucial for children’s vocabulary building and brain development.

A Brown University study of Providence Talks found:

  • Children who participated in the program made significant gains in the number of words they heard and turns they took in conversations and in language development.
    • In the Home Visitation model, 56% of all children showed growth in the number of adult words they heard and 42% increased their number of turns taken in conversations.
    • In the Playgroup model, 73% of all the children showed growth in the number of adult words they hear daily and 56% increased their number of turns taken in conversations. 
  • The largest gains were seen in children who started the furthest behind. These children, on average, showed a 51% growth in the number of adult words they hear daily, going from an average of 8,000 to over 12,100 words per day. This jump from the 11th to the 42nd percentile in eight months is substantial, moving from the lowest quartile of words heard to about the average level.
  • By the end of the program, children in the program showed, on average, a 15-percentile point increase in the Developmental Snapshot score, a tool used to measure a child’s development progress (or language skills).

BloombergPhilanthropies will support this programming with grants in each city. Cities will also receive the technology and software, including talk pedometer devices, software, and other tools required to replicate the approach. These critical technological resources are provided byLENA, a national nonprofit organization that develops technology to measure talk.

For more information on the Providence Talks replication program, please





HARTFORD, CONN (September 17, 2019) – Today the City of Hartford announced that it will distribute 16 grants of $7,500 to small businesses across Hartford using funds from the Community Development Block Grant, an annual allocation from the federal government. Recipients will use the funding for expenses including façade improvements, marketing and technical assistance, equipment, and more.  The City anticipates announcing another application window for small business grants in the near future.

“Small businesses are crucial for the success of our neighborhoods, and we are excited to be able to support sixteen small businesses across our city,” said Mayor Luke Bronin.  “These grants will help our small businesses reach more customers, operate more efficiently, and serve our community more effectively.  I want to thank our team at Development Services for facilitating this grant program, and we look forward to opening another application window soon.”

“We are grateful to the City of Hartford for extending Aqui Me Quedo the opportunity to improve our restaurant,” said Joel Rohena, owner of Aqui Me Quedo, one of the grant recipients. “We are a longtime small business, we employ Hartford residents, and this grant will help us attract and maintain customers.  We plan on using the grant to add new outdoor lighting and furniture for inside the restaurant, enhancing the experience of customers new and old.”

Grant applicants had to adhere to a variety of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development guidelines.  Recipients must have been appropriately registered, up to date on taxes or on an approved payment plan, and they had to specify the use of funds.

The grant recipients are: Blue Earth Compost, 3580 Main Street; Park Hardware, 415 Park Street; Capital Thirty Three, 248-250 Sisson Ave; The Place 2 Be, 615 Franklin Ave; Living Word Imprints, 450 Homestead Ave; CTown, 165 Wethersfield Ave; Salvin's Shoes, 1307 Main Street; Aqui Mi Quedo, 150 Albany Ave; Sunberry's Restaurant, 65 Pratt Street; Dysontime Enterprises, 24 Eastford Street; Best Practices Home Care, 1409 Albany Ave; Idlewilde Printing Company, 1477 Park Street; Do It All Clothing, 3281 Main Street; Carlton Barber Shop, 3155 Main Street; Story & Soil, 387 Capitol Ave; Lawson Power Source, 786 Tower Ave.





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