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HARTFORD, CONN (June 19, 2018) –  Today, Mayor Luke Bronin announced that this upcoming weekend, the City will host a free community hackathon at Upward Hartford to gather ideas for its Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Challenge application.  Residents can register at, and also see videos promoting the hackathon from community stakeholders.  The Mayors Challenge asks cities around the country to come up with innovative solutions to their most pressing challenges, and in February, Hartford was selected as one of 35 finalist Champion Cities.  Hartford’s proposal is Alleviating Child Trauma in Our Neighborhoods (ACTION).  ACTION uses the City’s ShotSpotter technology to ensure that early childhood professionals and youth support organizations are able to recognize and respond in real time when a child has been exposed to the trauma of gun violence.  Hartford is now competing for an implementation award from Bloomberg Philanthropies and will submit a final application in August. 

“We’re going after a large grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies focused on alleviating childhood trauma, and we’re committed to engaging our community in the process – not just so that we have a better chance of winning, but so that our proposal has a better chance of working to help kids in our city,” said Mayor Bronin.  “Since we were selected as a Champion City we have hosted a number of listening sessions, and this weekend’s community hackathon is another opportunity to hear directly from residents.  We don’t have all the answers, so I encourage the community to bring their ideas, comments, and criticisms to the hackathon.  I want to thank Upward Hartford for partnering with us to host the hackathon.”

No background in coding is required, and anyone in the community interested in reducing the trauma from gun violence is encouraged to participate.  Throughout the weekend, people will work in teams and with mentors to think of ways to improve the City’s proposal.  On Sunday, a team of judges will award cash prizes for the best ideas to come out of the hackathon.  As a Champion City, Hartford was awarded a $100,000 grant to refine and test its idea.  The hackathon is supported by that grant funding and it will start at 5:30 PM on Friday, June 22nd, at Upward Hartford.

“Hartford is harnessing the energy of its emerging tech community to make a difference in the lives of children traumatized by gun violence,” said U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal. “The scourge of gun violence shatters neighborhoods, destroys families and ruins communities. I applaud Hartford and all of the creative and skilled individuals coming together on June 22 to dedicate their time and talents to making a positive impact.”

“Hartford is on the leading edge of finding innovative solutions to tough problems, like gun violence,” said U.S. Senator Chris Murphy.  “Violent neighborhoods wreak havoc on kids’ developing minds. Hartford’s idea to use the ShotSpotter gunshot detection technology to identify children at risk of trauma from gun violence will make a huge difference.  I’m proud of the investment earned by the city through the Bloomberg Mayors Challenge, and I’m looking forward to seeing the new, innovative ideas at the upcoming hackathon.”

“I want to congratulate Mayor Luke Bronin and the city of Hartford for being finalists in Bloomberg’s Mayors Challenge, this is an outstanding achievement by the city of Hartford, Mayor Bronin and his team,” said Congressman John Larson.  “Their proposal, Alleviating Child Trauma in Our Neighborhoods, is vitally important for victims in Hartford, and across this nation. I hope that everyone can come to the hackathon and share their ideas on how to refine this proposal.”

“I applaud the city for thinking outside the box and providing community members the opportunity to collaborate and bring forth solutions to further refine the city’s proposal,” said City Council President Glendowlyn L.H. Thames.  “The Hartford community has the capacity to solve problems that directly impact them like gun violence and this is a great way to engage them in the process.”




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