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Activist Hosts Panel Looking At City-Suburb Drug Trade

September 17, 2005
By KATIE MELONE, Courant Staff Writer

SIMSBURY -- For several years, Cornell Lewis has gone to wealthy neighborhoods, armed with a bullhorn, lists of suburban drug suspects and a mission to link middle-class drug buyers with the drug violence in Hartford.

In West Hartford, Newington, Glastonbury and other towns, Lewis broadcast the same message: Between 20 percent and 30 percent of the people who buy drugs in Hartford come from the affluent communities that ring the city. They buy drugs, then hop in their cars and return to their suburban havens, leaving violence and blight behind them.

On Tuesday, Lewis, a Hartford resident and preacher, will continue his march across the region on a quieter note.

He will host a free, public discussion about the drug trade and its effects on his home city. The discussion, an "Urban Suburban Dialogue," will be held at Boy Scout Hall at Hopmeadow and West streets at 7 p.m.

"I think it's a great thing," said First Selectman Tom Vincent. "I look forward to having them come out here. I look forward to having a productive dialogue."

Residents are encouraged to attend and express their opinions after a panel presentation.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
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