Sunday Q&A

Recent Posts

Linda McMahon in Washington, re-imagining the SBA

WASHINGTON – Linda McMahon, the highest-ranking member of the Trump administration from Connecticut, has had a trial-by-fire first year as head of the Small Business Administration. In this Sunday Conversation, she spoke with The Connecticut Mirror about her year as part of the Trump cabinet. Continue Reading →

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The Working Families, pushing Democrats to the left

“I think Democrats have been just afraid of their shadows for a very long time and we’ve seen that in resistance to things like minimum wage increases and paid family leave and fair immigration policies.” But Lindsay Farrell of the Working Families Party says things might be changing. Our Sunday Conversation. Continue Reading →

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If this social worker had a magic wand…

Cynthia Caro is a social worker in a city where children are severely affected by drug abuse and poverty. Twenty years on the job, she hopes to someday find a magic wand that will enable her to give her kids in foster care all the support she thinks they need and deserve. Now, under a new court order, the Department of Children and Families is moving to hire an additional 120 social workers by the end of May. Ahead of this influx, Caro sat down at her office in New Britain for a Sunday Conversation about what it’s been like being a social worker in Connecticut. Continue Reading →

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The JI’s Chris Powell on civic engagement: ‘It’s collapsing’

Chris Powell, the managing editor of The Journal Inquirer in Manchester, has been a fixture in the Connecticut media for decades. Set to retire at the end of the month, he spoke with The Mirror about his career, his brief venture into Connecticut politics, and changing trends in the Connecticut news media and state and local government. Continue Reading →

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West Hartford teenager hopes to bring dental exams to schools

One teenager from West Hartford hopes to help more school-aged kids receive dental exams during these uncertain times. Months ago, Marwa Abdinoor, 17, decided to study the relationship between socioeconomic status and oral health for her senior research project. As part of her project, Abdinoor plans to offer free dental exams at at least two public schools in Hartford. Continue Reading →

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Months after Maria, relief center helps more than 1,000 arrivals

More than three months after Hurricane Maria left widespread devastation and wiped out power across Puerto Rico, Connecticut is still seeing displaced evacuees arriving from the island in search of aid and stability. MaryAnne Pascone is managing director and the director of community education at Capitol Region Education Councils Relief Center. In this Sunday Conversation she spoke about the challenges and conditions facing the islanders seeking the center’s help. Continue Reading →

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A win — and better housing — for voucher recipients

Last month, a U.S. District Court judge ruled that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development must enforce a rule developed during the Obama administration to increase the rent caps for housing voucher recipients in nearly two dozen metro areas around the country, including Hartford. After the ruling, the Connecticut Mirror caught up with Erin Boggs of Open Communities Alliance and attorney Sasha Samberg-Champion who spoke about their lawsuit last December. Here is their take on the decision. Continue Reading →

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His Connecticut education improvement plan: ‘Look to Massachusetts’

Mark McQuillan says he knows what Connecticut needs to change if it is to improve the education provided to students from impoverished homes: Look to Massachusetts. The former state commissioner of education worked in Massachusetts before coming here, and during this Sunday conversation with The Mirror, he explains why he was unsuccessful in putting Connecticut on the same path that led to Massachusetts’ success. Continue Reading →

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An unusual collaboration fighting the scourge of Hepatitis-C

While there is wide debate about the effects of the opioid epidemic and other health challenges, the silent scourge of Hepatitis-C is roiling Connecticut’s low-income communities. Hartford official Cecil “Ngoni” Tengatenga is attempting to change that narrative, and he has formed an unusual partnership with the leaders of Baka Fana, a rock band with a political tilt. In this Sunday Conversation they talk about their unusual effort to reach a population that doesn’t read very well. Continue Reading →

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As Congress readies tax overhaul, an accountant explains its impact on Connecticut taxpayers

As a historic overhaul of the nation’s tax code nears the finish line, Connecticut taxpayers have deluged their accountants with questions over its impact on their households or businesses. In this Sunday conversation, Andrew Lattimer, a certified public accountant and tax specialist at the West Hartford office of BlumShapiro, explains how the new tax plan would affect Connecticut taxpayers. Continue Reading →

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Fair housing advocates: HUD’s rule suspension hurting Connecticut families

Erin Boggs, executive director of Open Communities Alliance, and Sasha Samberg-Champion, a lawyer with a Washington, D.C., law firm are representing two clients in Connecticut in an attempt to force HUD to implement the Small Area Fair Market Rent regulation. In this Sunday conversation, Boggs and Samberg-Champion explain the rule and its potential effects on low-income families around the state. Continue Reading →

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From foster care, to prison, to college graduation, to …

Elizabeth Behlman, who expects to be released from prison next year after serving 11 years for arson, hopes the associate’s degree she will earn in the coming months will set her up for success on the outside. The Mirror sat down with the 34-year-old at York Correctional Institution to hear about her path to prison – and listen to her plans for when she is released. Continue Reading →

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Economist Gioia: ‘Historic’ state budget will boost business confidence

A vice president and economist with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, Peter Gioia has spent the past 18 years with the state’s chief business lobby, managing its research department and tracking Connecticut’s economy through a quarterly survey. In this week’s Sunday Conversation he talks about the recently approved, bipartisan state budget; the long struggle to adopt it, and its impact on Connecticut’s business community. Continue Reading →

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Ortiz: Puerto Rico facing long, challenging recovery — bravely

Jason Ortiz, president of the Connecticut Puerto Rican Agenda, knows how badly Puerto Rico was damaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and how important the territory has been to the rest of the United States. He has strong feelings about what it will take to rebuild the island; and in this Sunday Conversation told us how the crisis has brought Puerto Ricans here and on the island together as a people. Continue Reading →

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