(January 22, 2015) During an award presentation at the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Mayor Pedro E. Segarra today accepted a $50,000 grant from the Miracle-Gro Garden and Green Spaces Program. The funds will be used to advance The Hartford Grown Project, a collaboration between KNOX, the City and Hartford Blooms to create a 38,000 square foot beginner farm on Laurel Street for Hartford's community gardeners. The farm will be called the Hartford Grown Headquarters. Additionally, the funding will launch a clean up and beautification project in the spring and construct raised floral beds along the 30 block on Franklin Avenue which will be featured on the 2015 Hartford Blooms Tour scheduled for June.
The goal of The Hartford Grown Project is to increase diverse representation in the urban agriculture movement, and provide means to financial empowerment for Hartford residents. The farm will also provide teaching space for KNOX to grow its educational programming, Urban Roots, educating residents about local horticulture, sustainability and agriculture. These funds will match a $50,000 investment in the Hartford Grown Headquarters made by Aetna last week.
“This grant will further our on-going efforts to create a livable, walkable capital city with as many green areas as possible, said Mayor Segarra. “I also look forward to seeing more produce from Hartford residents at our local farmers markets. I applaud the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Miracle-Gro for championing locally grown and environmental movements and for continuing to invest in the sustainability of urban areas.”
"KNOX is honored to see so many come together for this dream project. We thank Mayor Segarra for finding the support to make this project a reality,” said Camielle Griffiths, Board President, KNOX "This investment shows that there is national recognition for Hartford's leadership in green community building. Sometimes, it's more about creativity and follow-through than a huge sum of money. This is a project that does more than feed the community, it empowers Hartford residents, especially immigrants, to take their knowledge of gardening and farming and earn for themselves. I look forward to buying the first tomatillo."
(January 22, 2015) Today, Mayor Pedro E. Segarra was selected by the President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Kevin Johnson, to co-chair the Immigration Reform Task Force and lead the national discussion on the implementation of President Obama’s Executive Action on immigration reform, which would provide deportation relief and work authorization to millions of undocumented immigrants across the country. As co-chair of the Immigration Reform Task Force, Mayor Segarra and fellow Co-Chair, Mayor Tom Tait of Anaheim, CA, will help the U.S. Conference of Mayors develop a strategic agenda for implementation and convene a coalition of stakeholders who will advocate for permanent federal action on immigration issues. Several initiatives are being developed this year.
Mayor Segarra is also encouraging other mayors to sign an amicus brief drafted by the Office of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and the National Immigration Law Center in support of the President’s action. The brief that has already been signed by 12 states and 27 Police Chiefs, argues against a federal lawsuit seeking to block or delay the President’s action.
“I congratulate Mayor Segarra on his selection as co-chair of the USCM Immigration Task Force,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “As an exemplary leader on immigration reform, and a partner in the mayoral coalition we launched at Gracie Mansion in December, he has shown singular vision and resolve for integrating our country’s immigrants into our communities.”
“Most immigrants live in America’s cities which drive economic growth in our country. To oppose this executive order is to oppose growing our economy, enriching our national culture and keeping families together,” Mayor Segarra said.
“We applaud Mayor Pedro Segarra for providing leadership during this critical time in our history as a country of immigrants,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. “As the mayor of Hartford, he knows firsthand how our cities prosper because of hardworking immigrants. Yet, our outdated immigration system is undermining our economy, stretching law enforcement resources, and tearing families apart. We look forward to Mayor Segarra's efforts to turn this executive action into a better reality for immigrants in his city and cities across America. And we stand with USCOC as they urge Congress to enact comprehensive reform so immigrants gain the opportunities, skills and status to reach their fullest potential.”
As of 2014, 23 percent of Hartford residents were foreign-born and 48 percent ages 5 and older spoke a language other than English. Citing an estimate by the Council of Economic Advisors, Mayor Segarra said that the executive action would increase greater Hartford’s gross domestic product by more than $1 billion over the next 10 years, which would translate to additional revenue for municipalities in the area.
“As the mayor of a diverse city, I have witnessed the benefits of integrating immigrants into the community. They bring businesses to our city streets; they bring a hard work ethic, culture and vitality. I support the President’s action because it would bring undocumented immigrants out of the shadows and into the mainstream where they can reach their potential and participate more fully in our communities. This kind of reform will boost local economies, increase wages, keep families together and improve relationships between immigrant communities and law enforcement. This can only make Hartford and other cities around the country stronger,” Mayor Segarra said.
(January 21, 2014) In anticipation of the upcoming budget season, Mayor Pedro E. Segarra today announced the launch of “Open Budget,” an interactive website that allows users to examine the City’s operating budget, spending data, capital improvement projects and Board of Education funds. The new web-based app presents the city’s operating and capital improvements budget using simple bar graphs, charts and maps. Detailed breakdowns of expenses become available as users click on different City departments or capital improvement projects. The tool is designed to further increase transparency and engage more residents in the budget process.
“Developing the City’s budget is a complex intense process for city staff and the volume of information can be overwhelming to the general public,” said Mayor Segarra. “It’s been an on-going process to try and make city information as accessible and easy to understand as possible. The benefits of Open Budget are twofold. The site provides updated information in a simple format so residents and anyone interested in the budget are better informed about what investments the city is making in its future. It also helps the city internally by expediting the sharing of budget information between departments.”
As of now, Open Budget offers data going back from FY 2012 to the current fiscal year. The site will be updated with the FY 2016 budget once it is adopted. The homepage also features a map of most capital improvement projects from FY 2014 through FY2015. Projects that do not have a specific location, such as streetscapes, are mapped at 550 Main Street.
Per city charter, Mayor Segarra will deliver his recommended budget for FY 2016 to the City Council in April. The City Council then issues its own recommendations and a new budget will be adopted by May 31. The Mayor will host several community dialogues around the development of his FY 2016 recommended budget. A schedule will be announced in the coming weeks.
Open Budget: http://budget.hartford.gov/#/
(January 20, 2015) This week, Mayor Pedro E. Segarra will join government leaders and mayors from across the country in Washington, D.C. for the U.S. Conference of Mayors 83rd Winter Meeting where they will discuss a variety of issues, including community policing, immigration reform, education, employment and tourism. As a member of the Executive Committee, Mayor Segarra will discuss Hartford’s housing and community development priorities with U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, attend meetings at the White House on immigration reform and workforce development and participate in a press conference promoting the positive economic impact of funding for urban parks. Mayor Segarra is also scheduled to meet one-on-one with cabinet secretaries for the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Contact: Hilda Muñoz