Hartford Urges Residents To Embrace Quality Of Life Initiative
By JENNA CARLESSO
July 09, 2013
HARTFORD —— It's been two years since city officials revived a special shooting task force to address gun violence and a year since police Chief James Rovella released a plan to tackle quality-of-life issues citywide.
Now, they want the community to get involved.
Mayor Pedro Segarra, along with officials from the business community, neighborhood groups, the public library and city council, launched an initiative Tuesday that calls on city residents to take action against litter, graffiti, noise and blight.
The initiative centers on community discussions and adherence to "neighborhood standards," which include ensuring that residents pick up after their pets; mow their lawns and clear snow from sidewalks; and do not park vehicles on lawns; litter or write graffiti; dump trash outside of trash cans; drag race on city streets; or blast music. Residents should also make sure their children attend school.
To engage the community in larger discussions about the issues, officials have organized three public meetings in different areas of the city. On Aug. 10, a meeting will be held in the city's "north district," which includes the Northeast, North Meadows, Blue Hills, Upper Albany and Clay Arsenal neighborhoods. On Aug. 24, officials will host a meeting in the city's "central district," including the West End, Asylum Hill and downtown areas, and on Sept. 7, they will hold a meeting in Hartford's "south district," which includes the Behind the Rocks, South End, South Meadows, Frog Hollow, Parkville, Barry Square and Southwest neighborhoods, among others.
Times and locations for the meetings have not yet been determined.
The idea is to "inspire" and "recruit" residents to take a more proactive approach to community upkeep, Segarra said Tuesday, ultimately creating a place where more people want to live.
"This is an issue that takes people coming together," he said.
People want to live in areas with strong social offerings, welcoming environments and beautiful, green spaces, said Matthew Poland, chief executive officer of the Hartford Public Library. The goal is enhance the features that make Hartford an attractive place to live, he said.
Rovella reiterated Tuesday that addressing the smaller quality-of-life concerns can help stop the issues from snowballing in the future.
"If you fix the little things in life," he said, "it really prevents the bigger things."
Meeting times and locations will be posted to Hartford.gov in the coming weeks, officials said. To get involved in the initiative or learn more, call Ted Steege at 860-882-7714 or Richard Frieder at 860-695-6385.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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