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TODAY: MAYOR BRONIN, TREASURER CLOUD, AND COUNCIL PRESIDENT CLARKE HOLD PRESS AVAILABILITY ON HARTFORD’S PATH FORWARD

TODAY: MAYOR BRONIN, TREASURER CLOUD, AND COUNCIL PRESIDENT CLARKE HOLD PRESS AVAILABILITY ON HARTFORD’S PATH FORWARD

HARTFORD, CONN (September 7, 2017) –  This afternoon, Mayor Luke Bronin, Treasurer Adam Cloud, and City Council President Thomas “TJ” Clarke II will hold a press availability at City Hall.  Earlier today the Mayor, Treasurer Cloud, and Council President Clarke sent a letter to State leaders laying out a far-sighted, collaborative approach to help put Hartford on a path to sustainability and strength.  That letter is available here.

WHO: Mayor Luke Bronin, Treasurer Adam Cloud, City Council President Thomas “TJ” Clarke II

WHAT: Press availability

WHEN: Today, Thursday, September 7, 2017, @ 1 p.m.

WHERE: Hartford City Hall, Function Room, 550 Main St., Hartford, Conn.

MAYOR BRONIN HOSTED STATE AND LOCAL LEADERS TO CALL ON TRUMP ADMINISTRATION TO REVERSE $213 MILLION IN CUTS TO TEEN PREGNANCY PREVENTION PROGRAMS

MAYOR BRONIN HOSTED STATE AND LOCAL LEADERS TO CALL ON TRUMP ADMINISTRATION TO REVERSE $213 MILLION IN CUTS TO TEEN PREGNANCY PREVENTION PROGRAMS

 

HARTFORD, CONN (August 24, 2017) – Today, Mayor Luke Bronin hosted Senator Richard Blumenthal, Congressman John Larson, Connecticut Department of Public Health Commissioner Raul Pino, State Representative Angel Arce, State Representative Brandon McGee, City Council President Thomas “TJ” Clarke II, City Councilman Larry Deutsch, City of Hartford staff,  Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, and the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund to call on the Trump administration to reverse its decision to discontinue a teen pregnancy prevention grant, effectively cutting $213 million in funding nationwide, including $1 million annually to Hartford.  That money represents the only current funding for teen pregnancy prevention in Hartford.  The City has filed an administrative appeal of the Trump administration’s decision, arguing that it is illegal.

 

“Hartford’s teen pregnancy prevention initiatives have been incredibly successful, reducing teen birth rates by more than fifty percent compared to their high point more than two decades ago,” said Mayor Bronin.  “Reducing the teen pregnancy rate increases the chances that young people finish school, pursue higher education, and find stable employment – in fact, less than two percent of teen mothers finish college by age 30.  The Trump administration’s decision to discontinue this incredibly effective approach is breathtakingly irresponsible and contradicts both common-sense and the evidence about how to reduce teen pregnancy.”

 

"The City of Hartford has been on the forefront of preventing teen pregnancy,” said U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal.  “It is an absolute travesty to eliminate funds for the Hartford Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative – a program that has produced extraordinary results – in order to appeal to the far right of the Republican Party.  I call on the Trump administration to stop playing politics with the lives of women and children."

 

“I’d like to thank Mayor Bronin, the City of Hartford, and our dedicated community partners for standing up for this essential program that educates our young people and helps them take charge of their own reproductive health and futures,” said U.S. Rep. John Larson.  “It is outrageous that the administration has bypassed the congressional budget process and without cause slashed funding for grants already awarded.  As someone who has pushed for better family and youth services my entire career, including as president of the State Senate, I will work bipartisanly in Congress to preserve this essential funding in the upcoming budget.”

 

"We are committed to providing a high-quality education to all of our students.  We recognize that in order to put our children on a path to success we must meet their social and emotional needs as well,” said Superintendent of Hartford Public Schools, Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez.  “Ensuring that our students get responsible, evidence-based health education is an important part of our mission, and we’ve established a strong partnership with the City and community groups to help us do that.  These cuts to teen pregnancy prevention funding are an unnecessary setback that will leave young people less prepared to make decisions that are right for them at a critical time in their lives.”

 

“We are honored to be a partner in the Hartford Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative, which has worked tirelessly to reduce teen births and unplanned pregnancies in our communities,” said Kafi Rouse, Vice President of Public Relations and Marketing with Planned Parenthood of Southern New England.  “All young people have the right to comprehensive sex education that gives them the information and skills they need to stay safe and healthy.  Planned Parenthood is proud to provide comprehensive sex education and health care services that help teens plan their future and prevent unintended pregnancies and STIs.  Regardless of what happens in Washington, we remain committed to continuing this vital work in Hartford.”

 

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Program, a five-year grant to organizations around the country, including the City of Hartford, to reduce teen pregnancy.  The City and its community partners, including those at the press conference today, launched the Hartford Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative.  Hartford aimed to reduce the teen birth rate by 10% by the end of the grant.  One year before the grant ended, Hartford had exceeded that goal, cutting the teen birth rate by more than 40% compared to the rate prior to the grant.

 

In 2015, HHS announced the second round of the TPP Program, and Hartford was once again a recipient.  Hartford aimed to cut the teen birth rate by another 10% by 2020.  But this July, HHS announced the 2015 grant would end two years early, effectively cutting $213 million from teen pregnancy programs across America.  This decision comes after decades of progress nationwide in reducing teen birth rates.  Since 1991, the teen birth rate in the United States has declined by nearly 60%.  

 

Losing this grant funding means Hartford teens will not receive valuable health education and City staff and community partners will lose out on training about best practices in health education.

 

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HARTFORD TO BENEFIT FROM $1.1 MILLION IN GRANT FUNDING FOR JUSTICE-INVOLVED YOUTH IN PROMISE ZONE

HARTFORD TO BENEFIT FROM $1.1 MILLION IN GRANT FUNDING FOR JUSTICE-INVOLVED YOUTH IN PROMISE ZONE

 

HARTFORD, CONN (July 25, 2017) – Today, Mayor Luke Bronin announced that Our Piece of the Pie (OPP) will receive $1.1 million from a U.S. Department of Labor Reentry Project grant to help justice-involved youth in the North Hartford Promise Zone successfully re-enter their communities.  National non-profit FHI-360 received the grant from the Department of Labor and chose OPP as an implementing partner.  The total grant is for $4.5 million and it will also fund similar endeavors in Los Angeles and St. Louis.

 

“Young people in Hartford face systemic challenges to successful re-entry, and this grant funding will help 160 of them get the support they need to find work or enroll in school,” said Mayor Bronin.  “We have seen all too clearly in recent weeks that young people who have been through the justice system need the kind of support this grant will provide, because without that support, they are more likely to end up back involved in crime and violence.  Our community is committed to working with these young people, and we need to provide even more resources like this.  Our Piece of the Pie’s deep involvement in youth engagement work and their experience working with justice-involved youth makes them particularly well-suited for this grant.”

 

“This program will provide formerly incarcerated young people with the opportunities to develop themselves so they can live productive lives outside of prison,” said Hector Rivera, Chief Operating Officer of OPP.  “We look forward to working with these young people and to providing them everything we have to offer as they reintegrate into society.”

 

“I am pleased to hear that our North Hartford Promise Zone youth population will be afforded the opportunity to receive services that will aide them in being reintegrated in the workforce environment,” said City Council President Thomas “TJ” Clarke II.  “I applaud the administration for collaborating with OPP to submit a competitive application in the attempt to continue to build up our Promise Zone.”

 

“It’s not enough that we as legislators and elected officials pass state laws and city ordinances supporting Second Chance Society legislation,” said City Councilman James Sanchez.  “We must provide the funding and tools necessary for youth to make the transition away from lives filled with crime and violence.  We must help them change by providing the necessary support for them to change.  This grant does just that.  I look forward to seeing OPP’s success.”

 

In Hartford, OPP will recruit approximately 160 young people ages 18-24 from the Promise Zone to work with.  They will receive legal services, work readiness training, professional development and job placement support, as well as educational services, to help them become self-sufficient.

 

With this grant, FHI-360 is launching the Compass Rose Collaborative, which will include OPP as well as corresponding organizations in Los Angeles and St. Louis.  Through the Collaborative, FHI-360 will provide management, coordination, and technical assistance to help develop and share new and existing tools and approaches between the various implementing partners. 

 

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HARTFORD’S MY BROTHER’S KEEPER ALLIANCE LAUNCHES “100 MENTORS 100 DAYS” CAMPAIGN

HARTFORD’S MY BROTHER’S KEEPER ALLIANCE LAUNCHES “100 MENTORS 100 DAYS” CAMPAIGN

 

HARTFORD, CONN (July 11, 2017) –  Today, Mayor Luke Bronin, Council President TJ Clarke II and members of the Hartford My Brother’s Keeper Alliance launched the “100 Mentors 100 Days” campaign to recruit 100 new mentors for young men and boys of color in Hartford over 100 days.  The campaign will direct anyone interested in becoming a mentor to existing programs run by a number of groups, including but not limited to the Urban League of Greater Hartford, the YMCA of Greater Hartford and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hartford.

 

Hartford’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance is chaired by Hector Rivera, Chief Operating Officer of Our Piece of the Pie and Sam Gray, President and CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hartford.  It was re-convened this past April to serve as an organizational hub for ongoing efforts by various community groups to engage and serve young men of color in Hartford.

 

“Hartford’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance re-focused this year, with a strong emphasis on mentorship,” said Mayor Bronin.  “The MBK Alliance is committed to carrying on President Obama’s initiative to engage and support young men of color, and the ‘100 Mentors 100 Days’ campaign is the first step in bringing organizations throughout our community together in a unified effort.  If you’re looking for an important, rewarding way to carry on President Obama’s legacy and strengthen your community right here in Hartford, I encourage you to sign up.”

 

“Mentorship is a great compliment to my work in the legislature,” said State Representative Brandon McGee.  “As a State Representative, I try to expand the opportunities available to the next generation through legislation.  However, it’s not enough for opportunity to simply exist – young people need mentors to awaken them to their own potential.  Mentoring young people is an incredibly rewarding experience.”

 

“I am excited about the MBKA announcement and I'm thankful for the commitments from the Mayor, our co-chairs Sam and Hector, and Rep. McGee to see this campaign to fruition,” said City Council President Thomas “TJ” Clarke II. 

 

“It is imperative that we find ways to bridge the experiences between those adult men of color that are willing to mentor a young person and have a stake in the Hartford community and young men that need someone for advice, guidance, positive role modeling and someone to confide in,” said Hector Rivera. “Young men in our communities are very keen to know who has their best interests in mind! Therefore, we have to show these young men that they are not alone in their journey into adulthood.”

 

Anyone interested in becoming a mentor can sign up here: http://bit.ly/2tH4PTb.  The various programs accepting mentors through this campaign have different eligibility requirements, so interested individuals will be appropriately directed after they have signed up.

 

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