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MAYOR SEGARRA SELECTED TO CO-CHAIR NATIONAL LEAGUE OF CITIES 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION TASK FORCE

(March 19, 2015) Today, Mayor Pedro E. Segarra announced that he will co-chair the National League of Cities (NLC) 2016 Presidential Election Task Force, charged with raising the visibility of issues that are important to cities during the presidential election cycle. The bipartisan task force will educate candidates and campaign staff on what cities expect from a new administration, highlight the types of federal partnerships that will help cities thrive and position the NLC as the go-to resource on city issues. Mayor Segarra joins 16 other city officials and state municipal league executive directors on the task force.  The selection was announced earlier this month at the 50th Annual Congressional City Conference, where 2,000 city officials and delegates convened to advocate for city priorities in Congress and the administration.

“Cities drive the majority of economic activity in our country. Ensuring the financial health and stability of Hartford, along with the education and success of our young people, helps advance the city and the surrounding region. Shining a light on the needs of Hartford and other urban areas during the upcoming presidential election and seeing that those needs are met will propel the country forward,” said Mayor Segarra. “It’s an honor to have been chosen to be a part of this important call to action.”

Ralph Becker, President of the National League of Cities and mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah, said more than 80 percent of Americans live in urban areas.

“It is imperative that the issues cities face be at the forefront in the 2016 presidential election. Our goal is to ensure that future Administrations understand the needs of America’s cities and support the policies and partnerships that enable cities, and the nation, to grow and prosper,” Becker said.

The 2016 Presidential Election Task Force will lead NLC’s participation at national political conventions and in the transition to the next administration.  For a full list of task force members visit: http://bit.ly/1CvV77T

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CITY OF HARTFORD IS AMONG 12 FINALISTS IN BLOOMBERG PHILANTHROPIES $1 MILLION PUBLIC ART CHALLENGE

(March 13, 2015) – Mayor Pedro E. Segarra today announced that Hartford’s “Subject Matter,” a temporary public art project proposal by artist Nari Ward, is among 12 finalists chosen by Bloomberg Philanthropies out of a pool of 237 to compete for up to $1 million as part of its new Public Art Challenge program. Bloomberg Philanthropies invited mayors of U.S. cities with 30,000 residents or more to submit proposals for innovative temporary public art projects that address a civic issue, and demonstrate close collaboration between artists or arts organizations and city government. 

“Hartford’s project Subject Matter will be a series of community portraits and neighborhood processions that will honor the City’s past and future,” said Mayor Segarra.  “I’m proud that Hartford was selected out of so many other cities to compete for this award.  I also want to acknowledge the collaboration of our project team, Real Art Ways, Community Solutions, and the Marketing, Events and Cultural Affairs (MECA) Division, which made this achievement possible.  It shows the kind of vision, talent and inspiration we have here.” 

As part of the project, an original 1920’s-30’s Hartford goldsmith’s workbench acquired by Mr. Ward from the Capitol Salvage Company will be completely gilded in gold.  The workbench, symbolizing achievement, value, history and labor, all culturally shared traits inherent today and in the 19th century when M. Swift & Sons Companys gold leaf manufacturing was founded in Hartford, will anchor a series of neighborhood processionals at 77 locations throughout the city that will include community portraits aimed at generating conversations about local issues and honoring citizen participation.

“The bench procession will offer residents an opportunity to share their feelings about the bench and its meaning, sparking a series of art-centered community conversations.  The community portraits will be distributed via social media, newspapers and magazines, and exhibited on billboards and buses,” said This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." style="color: purple; text-decoration: underline;">MECA Director Kristina Newman-Scott.   

The Bloomberg Public Art Challenge is intended to provide catalytic funds as part of a strong, committed consortium of supporters.  At least three winning cities will be selected in May to execute their projects over a maximum of 24 months. More information about the Public Art Challenge, including links to images and maps can be found here.

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MAYOR SEGARRA WELCOMES 2015 AAC MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP TEAMS AND FANS

(March 12, 2015) Mayor Pedro E. Segarra welcomes fans, visitors and teams to the City of Hartford for the 2015 American Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament, which kicks off today at the XL Center and ends Sunday, March 15, 2015. Eleven restaurants in Downtown Hartford will serve as the home base for all teams competing in the tournament and several others are offering discounts for ticket holders. Community and business volunteers will join Hartford Business Improvement District Ambassadors to greet visitors and answer questions throughout the area.

“We’re proud to welcome all the fans and athletes to Hartford for the tournament. Our downtown restaurants are ready for you and I encourage everyone to explore our Capital City, and, above all, to have fun. Although we’ll be rooting for our UConn Huskies, we wish all the teams the best of luck.”

“A lot of work went into planning by our partners including Global Spectrum, Hartford Parking Authority, XL Center, the BID, CRDA, CT Convention & Sports Bureau, ConnDOT, Hartford Police, MetroHartford Alliance, Hartford Hospitality Task Force, CTTransit, LAZ Parking and our Marketing & Events staff. I especially want to thank our Public Works staff, the AAC and UConn. We look forward to hosting the tournament for many years to come,” said Mayor Segarra.

For a list of restaurants participating in AAC promotions go here: http://bit.ly/1wZF4gv. For information about the tournament go to: www.hartford.com

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NEW DIGITAL EDUCATION SERIES UMIGO LAUNCHES IN THE CITY OF HARTFORD

(March 12, 2015) Mayor Pedro E. Segarra today announced that through a partnership with the National League of Cities, a new digital educational series, UMIGO, has launched in Hartford at two public libraries. Created in 2014 and funded through the U.S Department of Education’s “Ready To Learn” grant, UMIGO features animated storytelling, music, games, and apps that students can access through an interactive kiosk, online, or from any mobile device. Aligned with Common Core standards, the series was developed to teach first and second graders math and problem-solving skills and includes free take-home materials for parents. Initially the kiosks will be located at Dwight Hartford Public Library on New Park Avenue and SAND/Ropkins on Main Street but will then expand to locations throughout the City, including additional library branches, family resource centers and recreation sites. 

“When children see how useful math can be to them, and how they can apply specific math skills to real-life situations, they will perform better," said Mayor Segarra.  “Mastery of math skills impacts not only future math achievement; it also impacts reading achievement. I’m grateful to UMIGO, the U.S. Department of Education and the National League of Cities for bringing this opportunity to students in Hartford.”

“The National League of Cities is excited to partner with the City of Hartford,” said Clifford M. Johnson, executive director of the National League of Cities’ Institute for Youth, Education, and Families. “Mayor Segarra and leaders from Hartford Public Schools and the Hartford Public Library are true champions of early education, and NLC applauds their commitment to ensuring that young children become active learners and critical thinkers through the use of innovative educational approaches and tools.”

"The Hartford Public Schools is excited to broaden its partnerships with Hartford Public Library, the City of Hartford and the National League of Cities in bringing UMIGO to our first and second grade learners and their families.  UMIGO’s unique program affords our learners the opportunity for ‘any time learning’ at a variety of partner sites in Hartford as they access highly engaging materials to improve mathematics understanding,” said Superintendent of Schools Beth Schiavino-Narvaez.

“Hartford Public Library continues to play a major role in developing literacy in our City, particularly among segments of the population that need special assistance in developing literacy skills, such as infants, toddlers, preschool and elementary school children,” said Matthew K. Poland, chief executive officer of the Library. “UMIGO, fully aligned with the State’s Common Core Standards, allows young students to hone their academic skills out of school at the public library. Can it get any better than this?”

Parke Richeson, Senior Vice President of WTTW11 in Chicago and recipient of the ‘Ready to Learn’ grant responsible for the creation of UMIGO, said it was designed for out-of-school learning environments like the libraries, community-based organizations in Hartford, and online.

“Moreover, as a partner in National Summer Learning Day, we plan to have UMIGO help the children of Hartford avoid the ‘summer slump’ and continue to learn even when school is out,” Richeson said.

To view the series go to: https://www.youtube.com/user/yoUMakeItGO

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