Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin recently said that Hartford is “in a state of fiscal emergency,” with projected budget deficits of 30 percent this year and into the future. Why is this happening? The short answer is that the City of Hartford can’t raise enough revenue to cover its costs. But this can’t be explained as solely a short-run or managerial problem.
I have lived in Hartford for all my 38 years. I am proud to be raising my four kids here. But I’m getting angry — angry that the city’s new Dunkin Donuts stadium won’t agree to be covered by the city’s Living Wage.
A few weeks ago, a burglar stole my beloved special edition Vespa from my condominium in the Farmington Avenue area of Hartford — the second one that gets stolen from me. The policeman who took the report told me “just file an insurance claim. We will never find it.” The Vespa I may be able to replace if I were to move into the suburbs. But sadly, what I cannot replace is my trust in City Hall, because this crime is not an outlier. We have had more than 22 burglaries in the neighborhood.
Before students of all colors can succeed equally in Connecticut’s public schools, we must be bluntly honest about why disparities exist. An achievement gap would exist if we gave every student equal opportunities and some children still failed to achieve. In a myriad ways, we do not give all our children the same opportunities. Nowhere is this more apparent than in school discipline policies that exclude children from the classroom.
Groups of Hartford area people focused on improving the lives of the less fortunate have been advocating for collaboration. As they have in a Hartford housing project, they want to show what can happen when advocacy leads to actual action.
Students in the Cities, Suburbs & Schools seminar at Trinity College and I had the privilege of designing online data visualizations with CT Mirror journalists Jacqueline Rabe Thomas and Alvin Chang, which they recently published in their January 15, 2014 story, “By the numbers: Integrating schools in CT.”