(May 20, 2015) As part of the Hartford City Council’s response to Mayor Pedro E. Segarra’s recommended budget, Council President Shawn T. Wooden proposed the creation of a citywide youth sports program to be administered jointly by the City and Hartford Public Schools. This program would be managed by a newly-created Athletic Director position. On Wednesday, the City Council unanimously voted to allocate $90,000 for program management and requested that Hartford Public Schools cooperate in creating the program. If implemented, this would be the first comprehensive citywide youth sports program in the capital city.
Additionally, the City Council has requested the formation of a working group, led by Mayor Segarra and the Superintendent of Schools, to develop a plan of implementation and operation for the program by August 5, 2015. The proposal recommends leveraging publicly-owned athletic facilities and nonprofits and community groups providing recreational services.
“I am excited about creating opportunities for our city youth to participate in organized sports programs,” said Council President Wooden. “For too long, the City has not properly utilized or coordinated its physical assets to maximize such opportunities for all city youth. Implementing this proposal will dramatically expand the safe and healthy opportunities for the City to nurture well-rounded students. Study after study show that students who participate in sports do better academically than students not participating. I’d like to thank Hartford native and Classical Magnet High School teacher Brian Gallagher for the considerable work he put in to initiate this proposal. I look forward to the Board of Education’s cooperation in making this a reality.”
(May 19, 2015) The Obama Administration has named Hartford as one of 10 cities that have made “real progress” in community policing since the December 2014 launch of the 21st Century Policing Task Force, charged with examining how to foster strong relationships between local law enforcement and the communities they serve. The White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (IGA), acknowledged the City of Hartford’s newly announced Public Safety Initiative, a collaborative effort to recruit young Hartford residents into public safety careers. The City of Hartford’s Public Safety Initiative directly addresses several recommendations outlined in a final report by the task force, including to:
The initiative is one component of Hartford’s community policing efforts including Project Longevity, Community Conversations, the Police Athletic League and several faith-based initiatives.
“We consider the Public Safety Initiative to be a long-term solution, one that also addresses the challenge of unemployment by preparing our young students for careers in public safety. We also need to continue policing ourselves, and create as many opportunities for positive interactions with our law enforcement as possible. The more we work together the safer our City will be,” said Mayor Pedro E. Segarra.
“The City of Hartford isn’t just creating a program; it is establishing legislation to ensure future administrations guide young residents toward careers in public safety for years to come. This is a model that deserves national attention,” Councilman Kenneth H. Kennedy, Jr., said.
“Community policing is something we have been working on for years. The more people involved in our efforts, the stronger our police department will be and the better our City will be,” said Police Chief James C. Rovella.
“Our initiative is an innovative approach to community policing. We’re helping Hartford residents find employment while simultaneously helping our police and fire departments reflect the communities they serve,” said Council President Shawn T. Wooden.
The City’s Public Safety Initiative has four components; outreach and recruitment, a five-week summer program for a minimum of 45 students, an extended year program and a post-secondary program. An ordinance establishing the initiative was referred to the Quality of Life and Public Safety Committee by the City Council.
For more information on the “10 Cities Making Real Progress Since the Launch of the 21st Century Policing Task Force,” click here.
(May 13, 2015) The City of Hartford today announced that Park Street is being repaved between Main Street and Park Terrace starting May 17 through May 27. Segments of the street will be closed to motorists and to parking from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. during construction, although sidewalks will be accessible. The areas under construction will be made clear through signage and barriers and police officers will direct traffic.
The Department of Public Works is collaborating with the Spanish American Merchants Association (SAMA) to inform Park Street businesses and landlords of the construction schedule. Depending on the schedule, deliveries to certain businesses will have to be arranged during daytime hours and Park Street residents must plan for off-street overnight parking since there will be no access to any vehicles during the 12-hour construction periods.
“We’re working with SAMA in order to communicate how this project will proceed in order to prepare businesses, visitors and residents on the street to reduce the inconvenience to them, that’s really critical,” said Jeff Coughlin, Project Manager, Department of Public Works.
Anyone with questions can call SAMA at 860-278-5825 or City of Hartford at 311 or (860)757-9311.
(May 13, 2015) Today, Mayor Pedro E. Segarra joined New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Mayor Mick Cornett of Oklahoma City, in a bipartisan effort of the U.S. Conference of Mayors urging Congress to renew long term federal funding for transportation infrastructure. The current federal transportation authorization bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), is set to expire on May 31st. Mayor Segarra and a coalition of more than 80 mayors from across the country joined the national Infrastructure Week effort, which highlights the critical importance of investing in and modernizing America’s infrastructure systems. Specifically, the mayors are pressing for increased, long-term resources with more locally directed funding to address the growing needs in cities where populations are steadily rising.
“Investing in our highways, roads, bridges, railways and other infrastructure systems is crucial for the safety of commuters who depend daily on these networks and it’s crucial to our ability to continue to grow economically competitive economies,” said Mayor Segarra.
In addition to mayors, a broad coalition of transportation providers, businesses, labor organizations, transportation system users, state partners and others are calling on Congress to pass a long-term transportation bill that increases investments in our transportation infrastructure. On the national level, a new analysis from American Public Transportation Association shows that more than $227 billion in economic productivity is at risk over the next six years without long-term federal investment in transit.
The nation faces a $160 billion backlog just to bring public transit and road systems into a state of good repair. The lack of a long-term federal funding bill creates local funding uncertainty, which jeopardizes infrastructure project planning and discourages private sector investment. The lack of a commitment on the federal level stifles local business investment and job creation in our city and nationwide.
Federal investment has not kept pace with demand, resulting in an outdated, overburdened surface transportation system that is ill-equipped to handle current, let alone future, needs. Across the United States, our public transit maintenance needs exceed $77 billion, and the nation’s bridge backlog alone is an estimated $121 billion. The Highway Trust Fund, which funds most highway and transit spending, is almost depleted and the federal government is struggling to maintain the status quo, much less make new investments.
To learn more about Infrastructure Week, please visit: infrastructureweek.org