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HARTFORD, CONN (July 17, 2018) –Yesterday Cities of Service announced Hartford as a winner of its Cities of Service City Hall AmeriCorps VISTA Love Your Block competition.  Love Your Block enables local governments to engage residents in neighborhood revitalization efforts benefiting low-income communities.  Hartford will receive $25,000 to be used for mini-grants and resources to support the efforts of citizen groups and local nonprofits to prevent or eliminate property blight through home repairs, lot transformations, and community clean-ups in the Frog Hollow neighborhood.  In addition, two AmeriCorps VISTA members will be working with the city’s Blight Remediation Team to support Love Your Block projects in Frog Hollow.

This year’s Love Your Block competition was targeted specifically to “legacy cities” — older, industrial cities that have faced substantial population loss.  The winning cities were selected based on potential for impact and clarity of vision for their proposed projects.

“Arecent studyfrom the Urban Institute has shown us that the impact of Love Your Block goes beyond cleaning up neighborhoods and creating more park space,” said Cities of Service Executive Director Myung J. Lee.  “It is also bringing neighbors together and strengthening communities. We are excited to help Hartford revitalize neighborhoods and build trust between city hall and residents as part of these efforts.”

The Urban Institute study found that the connection that Love Your Block forges between city leaders and citizens at the neighborhood level can be an essential catalyst for collective action by neighborhood residents.  This connection between city officials and citizens boosts the social capital exercised by citizens who plan and implement Love Your Block projects and strengthens social cohesion.  Love Your Block volunteers believe their efforts also positively influence public safety and community ownership of public spaces.

“Over the last year and a half, we’ve taken a systematic approach to fighting blight around Hartford, and this grant will help us accelerate that work in the Frog Hollow neighborhood,” said Mayor Luke Bronin.  “We’re grateful to Cities of Service for their support and for choosing Hartford for the Love Your Block program.”

Since 2009, Cities of Service has helped dozens of cities implement Love Your Block.  More than 10,000 volunteers have been engaged to remove over 480,000 pounds of trash, clean up nearly 600 lots, and create more than 180 art displays, in addition to numerous other community projects.

Using the Cities of Service Love Your Block blueprint, city leaders will engage citizen volunteers and local nonprofits in co-creating solutions to urban blight.  Cities of Service will provide expert technical assistance to winning cities for two years.  Cities of Service City Hall AmeriCorps VISTA Love Your Block is made possible with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).

The other winning cities are: Buffalo, New York; Gary, Indiana; Hamilton, Ohio; Huntington, West Virginia; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Newark, New Jersey; Richmond, Virginia; and South Bend, Indiana.

About Cities of Service

Cities of Service is an independent nonprofit organization that helps mayors and city leaders tap the knowledge, creativity, and service of citizens to solve public problems and create vibrant cities.  We work with cities to build city-led, citizen-powered initiatives that target specific needs, achieve long-term and measurable outcomes, improve the quality of life for residents, and build stronger cities.  Founded in 2009 by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Cities of Service supports a coalition of more than 250 cities, representing more than 73 million people across the Americas and Europe.  Visit us atcitiesofservice.orgor follow us on Twitter @citiesofservice.

Media Contact

Cities of Service, Karen Dahl, (646) 324-8390,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.









HARTFORD, CONN (July 9, 2018)– Today Mayor Luke Bronin, Alan D.Schnitzer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Travelers, Christopher J. Swift, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Hartford Financial Service Group, and Mark T.Bertolini, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Aetna, announced that Hartford's three major insurers have made a combined payment of $10 million toward the City of Hartford’s 2018-2019 Fiscal Year budget.

This funding was built into the budget already adopted by the city. In March of 2017, the three companies pledged $10 million a year for five years to support the Hartford Public Library, city law enforcement, and recreation. The initial $10 million recently provided by the three companies covers the first year of the commitment, with support in subsequentyearscontingent on continued fiscal discipline and progress consistent with the plan for fiscal sustainability.

"Last year, Travelers, The Hartford, and Aetna and made a strong and generous commitment to the future of our Capital City, pledging $10 million per year for five years as part of a comprehensive response to Hartford's fiscal crisis,” said Mayor Bronin. “Along with deep cuts to municipal spending, big contributions by our labor unions, and a new partnership with the State of Connecticut, the commitment of these three companies allows us to project fiscal stability for the next five years.  We nowhave touse that period of stability to focus on growth and true long-term sustainability for our Capital City.  Travelers, The Hartford, and Aetna contribute a great deal to Hartford already, and I am deeply grateful to the leadership of each company for their generosity – and even more importantly, for their belief in Hartford's future."

"Travelers has been proud to call Hartford home for more than 160 years," said AlanSchnitzer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Travelers. "We are committed to doing our part to support the community that does so much to support our company and employees. We applaud the efforts made by Mayor Bronin and state leaders to stabilize Hartford's finances for the time being, and we'll continue to work with them towards a long-term, comprehensive, and sustainable financial solution to the city's economic challenges."

"We are committed to being part of a comprehensive and sustainable plan to address the city's financial challenges and believe that supporting the city and MayorBronin'sstrategy is the right thing for The Hartford to do," said The Hartford's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Christopher Swift. "The Mayor has achieved very positive progress through a broad and balanced set of actions. We recognize that completing a comprehensive and sustainable plan to ensure the city's fiscal health will take additional time and work. We are confident in the city's ability to find a long-term solution, and we will remain in close contact with the Mayor and will continue to monitor and evaluate progress on the long-term solution."

"Aetna has been committed to the City of Hartford for 165 years," said MarkBertolini, Aetna Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We are continuing this commitment and making good on our promise to support the city, providing the first year of the five-year funding commitment. We hope that this support will help make Hartford a more vibrant community forall ofits residents, including our employees. We appreciate the efforts made by Mayor Bronin, in cooperation with the state government, to stabilize Hartford's finances. We will monitor and evaluate the progress being made toward a comprehensive and sustainable financial solution on an annual basis, and will continue to work with the mayor to support these efforts."





HARTFORD, CONN (July 4, 2018) – Today Mayor Luke Bronin, Police Chief David Rosado, and Kim Oliver, Director of the Department of Families, Children, Youth, and Recreation (DFCYR), discussed the circumstances of the tragic death of a juvenile in Keney Park pool overnight. 

“The overnight drowning of a young man in Keney Park pool is a tragedy for our community, and our hearts and our prayers are with his family and his friends today,” said Mayor Bronin.  “While an investigation is ongoing, we are providing the public with everything we know at this point.  We are working together as a city to identify anything and everything we can do to try to prevent tragedies like this in the future, and we also ask that kids and parents please, please do not try to use city pools after hours.” 

“On behalf of the Hartford Police Department, I want to extend our condolences to this young man’s friends and family,” said Chief Rosado.  “Last year, we installed a camera system at each outdoor pool as an added measure to prevent use of the pools after hours, but in this case the modem associated with the camera at Keney Park’s pool was not working due to extreme heat conditions.  Yesterday, we had diagnostic work done on that camera, but it was not operational until earlier today.  As of this afternoon, the camera system is back up at Keney Park pool and the cameras at other outdoor city pools continue to work.”

“As a Department, our first mission is to do everything we can to keep our young people safe, and we are heartbroken by the death of this young man,” said Kim Oliver.  “Every night, including last night, our staff closes our pool complexes and locks them.  Keney Park’s pool complex is surrounded by a ten-foot fence.  I urge everyone in the community to remember that it’s unsafe to be in any of our pools after hours, and to especially remind our children of how dangerous it is to swim after hours.”

The Keney Park pool complex will be closed until at least Friday.  The indoor pool at Parker Memorial Community Center will be open tomorrow, Thursday, July 5th, from noon until 7 PM.

Background information on last night’s incident:

  • At approximately 12:44 AM today, dispatch received a call about a person who had been missing since approximately 1:30 PM in the afternoon on Tuesday, July 3rd.  Officers were sent to 1450 Main Street, which is in the Clay Arsenal neighborhood, where the caller said they were.  A patrol responded to the area but was not able to make contact with the individual who made the call.

  • At approximately 2:02 AM this morning, dispatch received a second call from the original caller about what they thought was a body in Keney Park pool.  Officers responded to Keney Park pool where they met a group of young people.  The Hartford Fire Department and American Medical Response were called to the scene.

  • Once inside the pool area, a body was observed in the deep end of one of Keney Park’s pools.  Hartford Fire Department personnel retrieved the victim and began CPR.  The victim was transported to St. Francis Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.  

  • In interviews with police officers, the victim’s friends said they had been swimming in the pool after it had closed when one member of the group said they believed police were coming.  The group then fled the pool and Keney Park.  Officers were not on their way to the pool at that time.  After leaving Keney Park, friends said they realized the victim was missing, and began searching for him.  The initial location at 1450 Main Street was the home of the victim. 

  • Keney Park’s pool hours are between noon and 7 PM, and it is staffed by lifeguards.  After 7 PM, the entrance to the pool complex is locked.  The complex is surrounded by a ten-foot fence. 

  • Last year as an added precaution, the City installed cameras at its outdoor public pools, including technology to alert dispatchers when the perimeter of the pool complexes are breached after hours.  The camera was not working at Keney Park pool last night; Keney Park pool opened this past Monday, July 2nd.  Yesterday, the City had a vendor perform off-site diagnostic work to try and fix that camera and a handful of others that were not operating properly in the city.  They were able to fix some cameras, but not the camera at Keney Park pool.

  • This morning there was work done on site at Keney Park pool, and it was determined that the camera failed because its modem was in a room that was extremely hot, causing it to malfunction.  The camera system at Keney Park pool is now operational.  The cameras at the other outdoor pools are also operational. 





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