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HARTFORD RECEIVES HIGHEST SUSTAINABILITY RATING AMONG CT CITIES

HARTFORD RECEIVES HIGHEST SUSTAINABILITY RATING AMONG CT CITIES

HARTFORD, CONN (October 30, 2018) – Today Mayor Luke Bronin announced that Sustainable CT has given Hartford its highest rating for sustainability: Silver Certification.  The City accepted this award at the Annual Convention of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.  Hartford joins just four other Connecticut communities – Fairfield, Glastonbury, Greenwich, and Stamford – in attaining this certification.

“We’re working on many fronts to build a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable city, and this recognition from Sustainable CT is an important affirmation of the work we’ve done thus far,” said Mayor Bronin.  “The Certification recognizes the hard work of our Climate Stewardship Council, our Office of Sustainability, City departments like Public Works and Development Services, City boards and commissions, non-profits, and grassroots advocates.  As the federal government abandons its environmental responsibilities, we’re determined to do everything we can to be a leader in local sustainability and environmental stewardship.”

In recent years, the City of Hartford has prioritized environmental sustainability.  In 2016, a community-led Climate Stewardship Initiative drafted a Climate Action Plan, which was adopted by the City Council earlier this year. In 2017, the Mayor’s Office launched a grant-funded Sustainability Office, which works with community stakeholders to integrate sustainability into all City decision-making.  Sustainable CT, a statewide initiative that supports and recognizes sustainability action by Connecticut communities, was launched last year.

In its application for the Sustainable CT Certification, the City demonstrated significant achievements in nine areas, including clean transportation, resilient planning, diverse housing, and vibrant and creative cultural ecosystems. Among other initiatives, the City’s has implemented Complete Streets, encouraged healthy food networks, promoted environmentally-friendly development through its zoning code, and prioritized equitable outcomes though extensive community outreach.

“Congratulations to our 2018 certified Sustainable CT communities,” said Lynn Stoddard, Executive Director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University, which administers the program. “We are inspired by your leadership and eager to share your accomplishments in building efficient, thriving, and resilient communities.”

About Sustainable CT: With input from municipal leaders across the state, including several from Hartford, Sustainable CT was developed under the auspices of the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University. The program is independently funded, with significant support from three Connecticut philanthropic foundations. The founding funders include the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, the Hampshire Foundation, and the Common Sense Fund.

For more information, visit www.sustainablect.org or www.hartford.gov/climate, or follow @hartfordclimate on Twitter.

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CITY OF HARTFORD ISSUES RULES REGULATING CRISIS PREGNANCY CENTERS

CITY OF HARTFORD ISSUES RULES REGULATING CRISIS PREGNANCY CENTERS

HARTFORD, CONN (September 19, 2018) – Today Mayor Luke Bronin and City Council Minority Leader Wildaliz Bermudez announced final rules enforcing the City of Hartford’s ordinance regulating crisis pregnancy centers. In December, the city enacted the ordinance introduced by Mayor Bronin to prohibit false, misleading, or deceptive advertising practices aimed at women seeing to obtain reproductive healthcare services.  The rules announced today specify that crisis pregnancy centers without a licensed medical provider must display signs informing clients of that fact in English and Spanish, must put the same notice on their website, and must tell clients who inquire about prenatal care, emergency contraception, or abortion by phone or in person that the facility does not have a licensed medical provider on site to provide or supervise all services. These rules are effective on October 1st, 2018.

“Our ordinance is based on the simple principle that women should be told the truth when they’re making decisions about their bodies, their health, and their lives,” said Mayor Bronin.  “We have seen young women, often young women with few resources who don’t have access to regular medical care, deceived and ‘lured’ away from women’s health centers that offer the full range of reproductive healthcare.  We should all agree that’s wrong, no matter how you feel about abortion.  These common-sense rules say that if you don’t have a licensed medical provider on site, you should disclose that fact.  I’m proud that as a city we’re taking this step, within the bounds of the law, to protect young women from deceptive practices.  I want to thank the City Council and Minority Leader Bermudez for their support and work on this issue, and I hope that the state will pursue similar legislation because we know that these deceptive practices aren’t just limited to our city.”

In March, Mayor Bronin testified in favor of House Bill 5416, “An Act Concerning Deceptive Advertising Practices of Limited Services Pregnancy Centers.”  The bill was similar to the ordinance enacted in Hartford.

“It is vital that crisis pregnancy centers have disclosures for women seeking reproductive healthcare services,” said Minority Leader Bermudez.  “There's no reason why women seeking such services shouldn't know whether a facility has a licensed medical provider on site. This regulation calls for appropriate transparency.”

“NARAL is proud to support these common-sense rules to protect women from the false and deceptive practices that we see at fake women’s health centers around the state,” said Sarah Croucher, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut.  “It is unimaginable that a woman seeking an abortion will be lied to, shamed, and given medically incorrect information when she thinks she is in a real medical office. Yet that is happening on a regular basis right here in Hartford, and we are proud to have worked with Mayor Bronin in crafting this reasonable solution to protect women’s health. As fundamental reproductive rights are under threat at the national level, this is an important step at the local level that underscores Hartford’s commitment to reproductive freedom for all women.  We hope the state will follow suit and protect women around Connecticut from these deceptive practices.”

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CITY OF HARTFORD OPENS REENTRY WELCOME CENTER

CITY OF HARTFORD OPENS REENTRY WELCOME CENTER

HARTFORD, CONN (September 12, 2018) – Today Mayor Luke Bronin, the Hartford Court of Common Council, State legislators, Connecticut First Lady Cathy Malloy, State Department of Correction Commissioner Scott Semple, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving President Jay Williams, and Community Partners in Action Chief Operating Officer Elizabeth Hines cut the ribbon on the City of Hartford’s new Reentry Welcome Center.  The Reentry Welcome Center will provide a one-stop-shop where formerly incarcerated individuals can get connected to services and supports as they work to successfully reintegrate into their communities.  The Reentry Welcome Center will be run by Community Partners in Action with support from dozens of community-based organizations.  The Reentry Welcome Center is funded by a three-year, $450,000 Innovation Grant from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

“Opening a Reentry Welcome Center was has been a goal of ours from the very start of my administration, and I’m proud of the tremendous partnerships that have made it possible,” said Mayor Bronin.  “With this welcome center, we are opening our doors to people who are trying to rebuild their lives, connecting them to basic necessities as well as healthcare, educational opportunities, job training and many other services and supports.  This Reentry Welcome Center is about making our city safer and our community stronger, and it’s about helping those who are serious about making the most of a second chance.  Helping returning citizens rebuild their lives in our community doesn’t just help those individuals – it helps their families, their neighborhoods, and our city as a whole.  I am deeply grateful to the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving for their generous support, to Community Partners in Action for their leadership, and to the dozens of community organizations who are partnering with us to provide every type of support for people trying to rebuild their lives in our city.”

The Center is located on the ground floor of City Hall, with direct access from Prospect Street. It will be open Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM beginning Monday, September 17th.  The Center will be one of the first in Connecticut to receive individuals from the State Department of Correction directly upon their release.  The Center will focus on serving individuals who have been released within the last 90 days and are not on parole or probation, who often receive the least support following their release.

“I am thrilled that as a city we are opening our doors and working directly with people who deserve a second chance,” said City Council President Glendowlyn L.H. Thames.  “This has been a priority for Mayor Bronin and many of my Council colleagues since we took office and I want to thank the Hartford Foundation for their generous support and Community Partners in Action for all the work they are doing to support people trying to rebuild their lives.”

Before his inauguration, Mayor Bronin formed a reentry working groupmade up of faith, community, and non-profit leaders, academics, and corrections professionals.  They came up with a set of recommendations to help individuals reintegrate in their neighborhoods related to data collection, resource identification, job training and other support, as well as partnership opportunities.  The Reentry Welcome Center will carry out many of those recommendations, and provide opportunities for individuals to get support they need to rebuild their lives, reunify with their families, and become productive members of the community. 

“The Hartford Foundation is grateful to be a part of what is an example of a true public and private partnership designed to change the course of the lives of men and women returning home from prison,” said Hartford Foundation President Jay Williams. “Integral to this effort has been tapping into the expertise of returning citizens who know best what they need, what has worked and what has not. This Center will ensure that men and women in prison getting ready to return home will have immediate access to services to address their needs for housing, health, employment, or family challenges they often face.”

The Reentry Welcome Center will provide case management services to 150 people each year for three years, however, anyone who comes to the Center will be offered information on community programs and resources.  Individuals will be able to access support and services offered by a variety of community organizations related to: basic needs like food and clothing; housing; substance abuse treatment; mental health treatment; medical care; job training and education; employment opportunities and more. The Center will also serve as a data collection hub and track referral outcomes across partners.  

“The Reentry Welcome Center represents a coming together of community partners to help a population often forgotten,” said Elizabeth Hines, Chief Operating Officer of Community Partners in Action.  “The Center is here to welcome people home and assist with their successful transition.”

“The Hartford Reentry Welcome Center will be an intricate component of criminal justice reform in the capital city,” said City Councilman Thomas “TJ” Clarke II, Co-Chair of the Council's Quality of Life and Public Safety Committee.  “People will now have a designated office where they can go to receive case management services and information on important essential services that are available to them.  I look forward to working with the newly created Commission on Criminal Justice Reform and the director of the center to help improve the quality of life for formerly incarcerated Hartford residents.”

“I’m excited that we have the Reentry Welcome Center,” said City Councilman James Sanchez, Co-Chair of the Council’s Quality of Life and Public Safety Committee.  “It is important that we have the support system in place for our citizens who are coming back into our community.  This Welcome Center will provide the necessary help to find housing, education and work and becoming self-sustainable and productive citizens.  They served their time and it’s time we help them achieve a better future.”

Key partners include: CT Department of Correction; CT Office of Policy Management, Criminal Justice Planning Division; CT Judicial Department, Court Support Services Division; Greater Hartford Reentry Council; Journey Home; CT Commission on Equity and Opportunity; Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy; Greater Hartford Harm Reduction Coalition; and Capital Workforce Partners in addition to approximately forty state and local non-profit service providers.

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HARTFORD CITY HALL ADDRESS: 550 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103 PHONE: (860)757-9311 HOURS: 8AM - 5PM