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Hartford Announces Community Bill of Rights

by Christine Stuart | Jan 20, 2014 4:32pm
(2) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Equality, Hartford

Christine Stuart photo

Hartford residents on the steps of John Clark Elementary School

A group of Hartford residents gathered Monday on the steps of John Clark School to celebrate Martin Luther King Day and announce their efforts to keep his dream alive by developing a “Community Bill of Rights.”

The social compact will seek to address the city’s 13.1 percent unemployment rate, income inequality, and lack of a quality public education for all of its students.

Rev. AJ Johnson, of Urban Hope Refuge Church, which has been hosting the gatherings where the “Community Bill of Rights” is being developed, said Monday’s group believes in equality and in jobs. They also believe that when people get out of prison they should have some place to go and something to do.

“Hartford Rising, is a coalition, that believes in serving the needs of the community. We believe it’s one thing to be elected, but it’s another thing to do the work,” Johnson said.

He said the group wants to push elected officials and community leaders into serving the “basic needs and necessities of our community.”

Almost 50 years after King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and President Lyndon Johnson’s declaration of a “War on Poverty,” a lot of what’s been discussed has not been realized, Kennard Ray, political director for the Working Families Party, said.

“This community wants to come together to make sure those rights are outlined and enforced,” Ray said.

Monday was the first time the “Community Bill of Rights” working group was announced, so it was hard to say exactly what will be included, but Ray said that after it’s completed it will be submitted to the Hartford City Council for approval.

Ray invited all Hartford residents to participate in the process of developing the “Community Bill of Rights.”

More information about how to connect to the group will be available through hartfordrising.org in the near future.

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(2) Comments

posted by: ASTANVET | January 20, 2014  5:34pm

Has anyone run an article as to why the ‘war on poverty’ has failed?  with several trillion dollars spent since 1965, do we not deserve an accounting for why at great expense people still live in poverty?

If the Hartford Rising coalition wants to break the cycle, they will (as a community and at their own expense) band together to re-take their schools, invest in technical and trades schooling that teach skills - elected officials will only meet the ‘basic needs’ of the community when they can raise the taxes and prioritize the expenditures… something tells me that this is again somehow Simsbury’s fault, or Avon’s fault, Glastonbury’s fault - meaning these are the towns that are going to be looked to to pay for the ‘basic needs’.  I’m all for people lifting themselves up, but they have to do the lifting, otherwise it is meaningless.

posted by: Janster57 | January 21, 2014  12:18pm

Amazing that the most expensive school system in the state has people in the streets protesting for a quality education. Connecticut government once again defines the bottom.