As leaders in the city of New Haven, we are writing to ask you to vote yes on Senate Bill 414 for our community. Our city is the proud home of Yale University. Like other universities, Yale’s academic properties are tax-exempt. That part of the law is clear and simple. And SB 414 does not change that. But the law governing the tax status of Yale’s commercial properties is not clear. And this ambiguity in the law makes our city’s ability to provide basic services dependent upon voluntary payments made by Yale that are subject to change at any time.
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.
In Hamden, west of Farm Brook Reservoir, is a meadow. Once the meadow belonged to dairy farmer Harold Hansen but the State of Connecticut, having engineered the reservoir as a watershed more than 40 years ago, came to oversee and maintain the property. Butting the northern section of West Rock Ridge, encompassed by hiking and walking trails, the meadow has been a refuge for many over the years. In one respect, the meadow is anathema to its place: a hilly pasture in a densely populated suburb of a densely populated city. Traverse the meadow in any season, though, and you feel as though you traverse as well our agrarian past. Haying grass still grows, stonewalls rib the woodland. There is silent, open space. And, at the heart of the meadow, high on the second of three slopes that fall gently east, as if placed just so by the hand of God, a bitternut.
As discussions and negotiations begin around the FY 2016-2017 midterm budget adjustments this legislative session, it is critical that the state continue its deep-seated commitment to Connecticut’s Community Action Agency (CAA) Network and antipoverty efforts. For more than 50 years, Connecticut’s CAAs, the state and federal designated antipoverty agencies, have provided basic human needs services such as food, shelter, heating assistance, and childcare to limited income individuals and families in all 169 cities and towns.
Just last November, hundreds of our esteemed compatriots including Gov.Dannel Malloy, U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, and Mayor Kevin Scarpati of Meriden visited our Baitul Aman “House of Peace” Mosque in Meriden. Together we demonstrated how through solidarity and by supporting peace-loving communities and their rightful freedoms we can build bridges and establish fruitful connections. You are invited to do the same.
I am a 19-year-old resident of Willington, a town in the Quiet Corner of Connecticut that my family has lived in since 1914. This town of about 6,000 people is living with the fear that their home is on the brink of transformation into something unrecognizable. The state police wish to turn 326 acres of pristine woodland in the heart of our town into a massive training facility and gun range complex.
Over the Labor Day weekend, a group of religious leaders, representatives of non-profit organizations, and regular concerned citizens gathered at a town hall meeting in Berlin, CT, to discuss the refugee crisis in Europe and to ask what we can do as a Connecticut community to help those refugees who are fleeing wars. Here’s what we came up with.
Coined in 2009 by United Way of America, the term ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) describes those Americans who live above the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) yet still find it difficult to make ends meet. New research in Connecticut and other states reveals the hardships faced by millions of these Americans and suggests that in order to address economic instability in our communities, we must focus on the needs of ALICE.
My nephew thinks we should all skedaddle right out of Connecticut as fast as our Prii can take us – last one to cross the border, turn off the lights. Party over. He emails me articles to bolster his case, and there is no question that our state is facing serious challenges. The cost of living and taxes are high and rising here, some businesses are grumpy and threatening to move to Florida and beyond, and our economy is growing slower than most other states. While still ranked near the top for our median household income, our personal revenue actually has declined since 2000; and Connecticut recently has become a leader for economic inequality among its citizens, a dubious honor that used to go to places like Mississippi.