(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 Yet, our outdated immigration system is undermining our economy, stretching law enforcement resources, and tearing families apart.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
(January 16, 2014) Today, the City Council Committee of Inquiry, formed by Mayor Pedro E. Segarra and City Council President Shawn Wooden, released the findings of its investigation into Election Day irregularities. The Committee determined that several polling places did not open for voting at 6 a.m., as required by law, and found several other irregularities by the Head Moderator and the Hartford Registrars. As a result, the final vote for the November 4, 2014 Election Day remains unclear.
The report concludes that the Registrar of Voters:
· Failed to provide the Secretary of State with information about the polling place moderators;
· Failed to timely prepare and deliver the final registry books by 8 p.m. on November 3, 2014;
· Failed to develop or implement a plan for delivering the books to the polling places before the polls opened at 6 a.m. on November 4, 2014;
· Failed to adequately prepare and open several polling places and to identify and correct discrepancies in the vote tallies reported by the Head Moderator.
The Committee’s findings attribute many of the problems on Election Day to errors or omissions by certain Hartford election officials, a dysfunctional working relationship among all election officials, a lack of leadership and accountability and the absence of a clear, legally prescribed chain of command.
“This investigation shows that the Registrar of Voters were completely unprepared for Election Day, that no effort was made to correct issues they were aware of ahead of time, and that their lack of ability to communicate resulted in failure to perform their primary responsibilities and duties,” said Mayor Segarra. “It is ridiculous and inexcusable. This is not the first time this office has demonstrated incompetence and dysfunction. It is unacceptable that our citizens’ right to vote was compromised in any way. I want to thank the Committee of Inquiry for taking the time to examine these very troubling issues. I will continue to work with City Council, our Hartford Delegation and the Secretary of the State to ensure that we do not go through another election cycle with a Registrars’ office that cannot perform its basic function. The voters of Hartford deserve better. ”
"Clearly this is unacceptable," said Council President Shawn Wooden. “The total inadequacy of the preparation going into the election, the level of dysfunction, the inability of those involved in administering the election to work in a professional and competent manner, the seeming indifference to getting it right, it’s outrageous. We need to be able to do better in terms of running elections in the city. In terms of what happens next, I think there will be universal support for fixing the problem, fixing the system. Maybe that relates to individuals, maybe that relates to the structure of the Officer of the Registrar of Voters.”
As part of the investigation, the Committee reviewed more than 10,000 documents and conducted numerous interviews. The Committee then took formal testimony during two days of public hearings on December 22 and 23, 2014.
Contact: Hilda Muñoz