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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

Umigo

CITY OF HARTFORD AND HARTFORD 2000 HOST THE PEOPLE’S BUDGET

(March 10, 2015) The City of Hartford and Hartford 2000 will partner once again to host The People’s Budget, a two-part workshop designed to engage residents in the budget process. The People’s Budget solicits input from participants about priorities for funding, and includes detailed presentations by City staff, and an opportunity to balance the City’s budget. Participants develop recommendations which are presented to the Mayor and City Council as they prepare their proposed budgets for FY 2015-2016. The People's Budget kicks off Thursday, March 12 at the Downtown Hartford Public Library with refreshments at 5:30 p.m., followed by an information session at 6:00 p.m. Department heads will be on site to answer questions. 

“The People’s Budget is part of an ongoing effort to make the City’s budget process open to the public and easy to understand. Feedback from our residents and business owners is valuable and I look forward to hearing their thoughts,” said Mayor Pedro E. Segarra.


Attending the first session is not mandatory for participation in the second session, but it is highly suggested. The second session takes place Saturday, March 21 from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. at the Downtown Hartford Public Library. Participants will gather in teams of up to eight people. Teams will be assigned to a computer where they will create a balanced budget using a web-based application called Balancing Act.  This application has been developed and provided free of charge to Hartford 2000 by Engaged Public, a public policy strategy firm based in Colorado. City staff will be available to answer questions.  At the end of the session, each team will present its budget recommendations to the Mayor and members of the City Council. Lunch will be provided. Richard Frieder, director of Community Engagement at Hartford Public Library, and Ted Carroll, president of Leadership Greater Hartford, will moderate.

Hartford 2000 is a coalition of Hartford's 14 Neighborhood Revitalization Zones and the City of Hartford. Hartford 2000 first produced the People's Budget in 2003 and is now partnering with the City of Hartford, Metro Hartford Alliance, Leadership Greater Hartford and the Hartford Public Library to offer a more technologically sophisticated version of the workshop. 

Those planning to attend the second session of the People's Budget are asked to contact Hartford 2000 atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." style="color: purple; text-decoration: underline;">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at (860)509-3778. 

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WHO: City of Hartford and Hartford 2000

WHAT: The People’s Budget

WHEN: Thursday, March 12, 2015; 5:30 p.m.

WHERE: Downtown Hartford Public Library; 500 Main Street, Hartford

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WHO: City of Hartford and Hartford 2000

WHAT: The People’s Budget

WHEN: Saturday, March 21, 2015; 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

WHERE: Downtown Hartford Public Library; 500 Main Street, Hartford

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MAYOR SEGARRA TESTIFIES IN SUPPORT OF HOUSE BILL TO DECREASE AUTO INSURANCE RATES

(March 5, 2015) Today, at a public hearing before the Connecticut General Assembly’s Insurance and Real Estate Committee, Mayor Pedro E. Segarra testified in support of House Bill 6866, a bill introduced by State Representative Matthew Ritter that seeks to reduce auto insurance premiums.  Currently, auto insurance rates are largely based on geographic location, credit record, age, gender, marital status, income and education but not necessarily driving history. House Bill 6866 would limit the number of factors to three categories; driving history, length of driving experience and average annual amount of miles driven. Connecticut has some of the highest rates in the country, and urban centers like Hartford, Bridgeport and New Haven have the highest premiums in the State. Similar legislation adopted in California in 1988 resulted in substantial financial savings for drivers. Adopting House Bill 6866 could achieve comparable results. 

“Some of our hardworking families in Hartford are unfairly burdened with expensive car insurance payments. It’s time for this to change,” said Mayor Segarra. “Passing this bill would make car insurance more affordable and would bring some financial relief to Hartford residents.”

“I introduced this legislation because it is increasingly unfair and a financial burden for Hartford residents to pay such high premiums on their car insurance policies, for no other reason than they live in Hartford.  I appreciate the Insurance Committee looking into this on behalf of the dozens of residents I have heard from on this issue,” said Rep. Ritter.

Hartford City Councilwoman Cynthia R. Jennings added, “Clearly, households living in poverty must have transportation to take their children to day care, school and to get to work on a daily basis.  Many of the poor would be forced to drive without automobile insurance because they would have to choose between food, clothing, rent or utilities and car insurance. We as elected officials must do whatever we can to make automobile insurance affordable and accessible to every Connecticut resident.”

Members of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters also support House Bill 6866.

“The issue of transportation is a primary obstacle for a huge percentage of inner city applicants in the construction trade. It is often an insurmountable roadblock for a job opportunity that holds the promise of a clear path to economic independence. Any help we can give this population to get into a job is a great thing for the state economy and taxpayers,” said Timothy J. Sullivan, an organizer with the New England Regional Council of Carpenters.

Below is an excerpt from Mayor Segarra’s testimony:

“Higher insurance premiums in Connecticut contribute to the nearly 10% of drivers currently uninsured in the state and increases economic hardship for all residents with a particularly heavy burden being placed on some of the state’s poorest households. Adoption of this bill would also decrease the number of uninsured drivers currently utilizing our roadways, creating a better transportation environment for us all.”

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HARTFORD CITY HALL ADDRESS: 550 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103 PHONE: (860)757-9311 HOURS: 8AM - 5PM