MAYOR BRONIN AND CITY EDUCATION LEADERS WELCOME NEW MAGNET SEATS FOR HARTFORD STUDENTS
HARTFORD, CONN (April 21, 2017) – Last week the Connecticut State Department of Education announced that the Greater Hartford Regional School Choice Office lottery will take place, even without a new stipulated agreement between Sheff plaintiffs and the State as of yet. As a result, more black and Hispanic Hartford students will be able to fill open seats in the City’s magnet schools. Mayor Luke Bronin, Hartford Public Schools Superintendent Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, and Board of Education Chairman Craig Stallings praised the announcement.
“Last week’s announcement by the State represents a positive step toward ensuring that every Hartford student has access to high-quality education,” said Mayor Bronin. “One of the most inexcusable unintended consequences of Sheff is the fact that seats are sitting empty in magnet schools, while Hartford students stay on a waiting list. In negotiations with the Sheff plaintiffs over the past year, one of our top priorities has been to open more of those seats to Hartford students. The announcement that the State will work with us to make more spots available to Hartford kids is very significant, and I want to commend Governor Malloy and the State Department of Education for their partnership. I look forward to working with Superintendent Torres-Rodriguez, the Board of Education, and the State, to take full advantage of this opportunity for Hartford’s kids."
Superintendent Torres-Rodriguez said, “Our focus at Hartford Public Schools is to create and ensure conditions are in place to improve student outcomes. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate in finding solutions to increase access to additional seats for our students. All students have a right to a high-quality education and opening additional seats is a positive step for our students.”
“Giving children access to a quality education is our responsibility, and filling these open seats with Hartford children is the right thing to do,” added Chairman Stallings. “While there are still issues to address, such as the growing needs of our English learners and SPED population, this is a step in the right direction.”
MAYOR BRONIN RELEASES ESSENTIAL SERVICES BUDGET, CALLS FOR NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH STATE
HARTFORD, CONN (April 17, 2017) – This afternoon Mayor Bronin released a Recommended Budget for Fiscal Year 2018 (FY2018 budget), his second proposed budget since assuming office.
The proposal is an essential services budget that preserves public safety and keeps education spending flat while retaining the $18.6 million in reductions made in last year’s Fiscal Year 2017 Adopted Budget. The City faces significant cost increases in fixed costs such as debt service, pension and health care, and the budget includes further service reductions as well as a continued need for labor concessions. Even with those reductions and labor concessions, the recommended budget relies on a new partnership between the State and the City's largest employers to fill a gap of $49.6 million.
“This budget delivers basic, essential services only," said Mayor Bronin. “Last year, we made huge cuts to the City workforce and to services, and while this proposed budget includes more tough reductions, we're reaching the limit of what we can responsibly cut without defaulting on our basic obligations to our residents. With half of the City's property tax-exempt, and with less taxable property than West Hartford, the City of Hartford cannot close a fifty-million-dollar gap without a new partnership with the State of Connecticut."
With a 74.29 mill rate, Hartford already has the highest property taxes in the State, and Mayor Bronin has repeatedly said that an across-the-board, general property tax increase would drive jobs and businesses out of the City, damaging the City's future fiscal health and growth.
Mayor Bronin continued, saying, “In today's economy, strong urban centers are vital to economic growth, and Connecticut needs a strong, vibrant Capital City. There will be huge consequences for the region and for the State of Connecticut if we cannot work in partnership to get the City of Hartford on a stable, sustainable fiscal path. We are doing everything we can at the local level to put our house in order, but this is a crisis that can't be solved at the local level alone."
MAYOR BRONIN ANNOUNCES RESIDENTIAL SOLAR PROGRAM KICK-OFF WORKSHOP ANNOUNCED FOR APRIL 27TH
HARTFORD, CONN (April 5, 2017) — The City of Hartford has been selected to participate in an award-winning residential solar program that makes going solar easier and more affordable. Solarize Hartford is part of Solarize Connecticut -- the residential solar program managed by the non-profit organization, SmartPower. Solarize Connecticut has helped thousands of Connecticut residents save money on energy bills by going solar.
Solarize Hartford is a coordinated effort across the community, supported by the City of Hartford. Through a competitive selection process a local company, C-TEC Solar, has been selected by Hartford as the solar installer for participating households. C-TEC Solar will provide the solar installations in Hartford at special discount pricing in exchange for outreach and education from the City. Solarize Hartford also offers residents access to financing options that make going solar more affordable, with no upfront costs.
The Solarize Hartford program will kick off with a workshop on Thursday, April 27th from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm at Hartford High School, 55 Forest Street, Hartford, CT. Residents can learn about the program, be introduced to their solar installer, hear about financing options, and have a chance to learn if their house is a good fit for solar.
Homeowners who want to find out if their home is good for solar can go directly to SolarizeCT.com/Hartford.
“I am excited that the City of Hartford has partnered with Solarize Connecticut and Connecticut Green Bank to bring renewable energy to Hartford,” said Mayor Bronin. “I encourage our residents and business owners to take advantage of this program, which can help them save money while helping us make the City a more sustainable, environmentally-friendly community.”
Hartford’s participation in the Solarize program is part of a citywide Climate Stewardship Initiative, a community-driven effort to protect the environment while enhancing environmental justice, public health, and economic development, housed in the Office of the Mayor. More information on this initiative can be found at www.hartford.gov/climate.
“Connecticut is truly becoming a national leader in solar through the Solarize Connecticut program,” stated Brian F. Keane, President of SmartPower. “Working in partnership with Connecticut communities, Solarize Connecticut has helped residential solar grow from less than 900 installations in 2012 to over 22,000 today. And now we know that solar increases the property value of our homes-so it’s a win-win-win! For the homeowner, the community and the entire state of Connecticut.
MAYOR BRONIN ANNOUNCES $50K GRANT ALLOWING FOR PLANNING OF REENTRY SYSTEM FOR RETURNING CITIZENS
HARTFORD, CONN (March 28, 2017) – Today, Mayor Bronin announced that Community Partners in Action has received a $50,000 Innovation Planning Grant from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving in order to create a roadmap for the establishment of a Reentry Center in Hartford. The City of Hartford was named a partner in the grant.
“When members of our community return from prison, they often face enormous obstacles – and too often, those obstacles prove insurmountable. It’s in everyone’s interest to give Returning Citizens the resources and support they need to reintegrate successfully, so they can get on a path to employment and stable housing. I’m grateful to the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving for supporting this effort to help Returning Citizens live productive lives, and I look forward to working closely with Community Partners in Action,” said Mayor Bronin.
The Reentry Center will coordinate with governmental agencies, community groups, faith-based agencies, and existing reentry efforts to maximize the chance for a successful reentry by every Returning Citizen. The Center will do this by: (a) designing a process for day of release for willing participants, including the creation of a centralized drop off facility in Hartford (b) providing connections to housing, relevant health services, employment opportunities, transportation, and basic needs like food and clothing. The Center will also serve as an information hub, collecting data on what factors lead to successful and unsuccessful reentries, to inform public policy decisions.
Community Partners in Action’s Executive Director, Maureen Price-Boreland expressed gratitude for the grant, saying, “As an organization that has been providing necessary reentry services to Hartford’s Returning Citizens for over 140 years, Community Partners in Action is pleased and feels privileged to have this opportunity to lead this much needed effort in partnership with the City of Hartford.”