Sunday Q&A

Recent Posts

Project Youth Court, giving young offenders an alternate route

There are more than 1,000 youth courts across the country, but in Connecticut, there’s only one. As its director Jean Michaud, explains in this Sunday Conversation, Project Youth Court in New Haven uses trained teenage volunteers to run hearings for young, non-violent misdemeanor offenders. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , ,

Union president: Workers have postponed strike — for now

David Pickus, president of SEIU 1199 New England, appreciates the value of the care provided to the disabled by thousands of Connecticut  workers. But he’s not sure state legislators do. He’ll be finding out in a few days, he says, when he meets with state officials to determine whether they can come to wage and program funding terms that will avert a strike tentatively scheduled for next month. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

A half century after Fair Housing Act: ‘We are segregated’

President Lyndon Johnson signed the federal Fair Housing Act on April 11, 1968. Fifty years later, discriminatory lending and rental practices persist, as the Connecticut Fair Housing Center discovered sending fair-housing testers out to pose as renters or homebuyers over three years ending in 2015. Our Sunday conversation is with Erin Kemple, an attorney who lives in an integrated Hartford neighborhood and is executive director of the center. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

How one school district tackled assaults on teachers

Statewide, there has been little progress in stemming aggressive student behavior as student suspension and expulsion rates steadily decline. For this Sunday Conversation, we sat down with Tod Couture, a special education teacher from Enfield, to talk about school safety in a district that is focusing its resources on another safety issue: student assaults on teachers. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , ,

Economic commission co-chairs: ‘It’s about what’s good for Connecticut’

Webster Bank Chairman Jim Smith and Robert Patricelli, founder of several healthcare companies, are the co-chairmen of the state Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth. In this Sunday Conversation they talk about the need for more civic engagement and their expectations about how Connecticut’s government will respond to their sweeping recommendations on restructuring taxes and encouraging economic development. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,

James Forman Jr., tackling criminal justice from multiple angles

James Forman Jr. is a professor at Yale Law School, where he teaches courses including constitutional law, “Race, Class and Punishment” and a seminar where he brings law students into a Connecticut prison to take a class alongside people who are incarcerated. In this Sunday conversation, The Mirror sat down with Forman at his office in New Haven to hear about his career, the classes he’s teaching at Yale, and his 2017 book called “Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America.” Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

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 →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

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 →

Filed under: , , , ,

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 →

Filed under: ,

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 →

Filed under: , ,

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 →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

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 →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

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 →

Filed under: ,