NB Politicus

In Seeking Support For Senate Murphy Shares a New Britain Story

Posted in Chris Murphy, U.S. Senate by nbpoliticus on November 26, 2011

U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy, in a holiday weekend message seeking support for his Senate bid,  shares the story of his mother’s upbringing in hardscrabble New Britain.

The appeal for support draws a sharp contrast with Republican frontrunner Linda McMahon and the untold millions the former WWE CEO will spend in 2012.

“Yesterday, like many of you, I spent Thanksgiving with my mother. I saw the proud look on her face as she sat on the couch surrounded by children and grandchildren who are all healthy, happy, and secure. 

Her pride runs so deep because she knows – and we all know – how hard she struggled to get to this point in her life. My mother grew up in the Mount Pleasant housing projects in New Britain, and though her family lurched in and out of poverty, she was determined to defy the odds and succeed. She did – she went to college, became a teacher, and raised me to believe I could do anything I wanted to in life if I just set my mind to it.  

But my mother didn’t do it alone. She lived in public housing, her father got a job making things for the federal government, and she went to college with the help of federal aid.  

She succeeded because her community helped her succeed. And to put it simply, I’m running for the Senate to restore that magical partnership between individual will and community investment.” 

24th House District Special Election: Sharon, Rick and Mike Vie For the 24th

Posted in Legislature, state government by nbpoliticus on November 25, 2011
24th State Rep Nominating Convention Tuesday, 11/29 In Newington
The convention to nominate a Democratic candidate for the 24th House District seat vacated by Mayor O’Brien will be held Tuesday, November 29th at 7 p.m. at Newington Town Hall Council Chambers, 131 Cedar Street.
Three candidates with considerable public service and legislative experience have emerged to replace O’Brien: BOE President Sharon Beloin-Saavedra, Former Ward 1 Alderman Rick Lopes and Common Council President Mike Trueworthy.  They are seeking support from 13 delegates chosen last year for Rep. O’Brien’s re-nomination.  The 24th District lies in New Britain and Newington — a multi-town district that requires a delegate convention instead of a nomination through the Town Committee.  In New Britain the district comprises the Vance, NB High School, Roosevelt and Gaffney school polling places.
At a New Britain Democratic Town Committee meeting November 17th involving New Britain and Newington DTC members and delegates, Beloin-Saavedra, Lopes and Trueworthy all pledged to abide by the result of the convention and unify for a special election that is expected to be held January 10th.
The candidate elected in January will served in the short session of the Legislature that begins in February and will almost immediately roll into the endorsement for a new term with Town Committees’ selection of delegates in March.  New political boundary lines will also be established by then as the result of the 2010 Census and the work of the Redistricting Commission that has not completed its work. All of the announced candidates are expected to remain in the 24th District after the district lines are re-drawn.
from New Britain Democrats.  11/25/11 post  http://t.co/PFLkH1XM

Reflecting On the Inauguration: Tim O’Brien Wants To Be The "Education" Mayor

Posted in city politics and government, public education by nbpoliticus on November 15, 2011

Today’s swearing in of the new Mayor, Tim O’Brien, and other municipal officials elected last Tuesday was most significant for where it was held as much as what was said at the ceremony.

 The New Britain High Band played the music and the Madrigal Singers sang the National Anthem as classes at the high school, the state’s largest, were in full session.

As a legislator O’Brien has been nothing less than passionate about public education and how it can be improved in a city where pressures on keeping the property tax down are paramount. O’Brien has balanced the need for aid to education with solid plans to reduce the reliance on property taxes to pay for quality education.  O’Brien should fervently hope that Governor Malloy, formerly an urban Mayor, will address the school funding issues if he can get out from under the state’s recession over the next two years. Among other things O’Brien has called for use of magnet school funding  to give New Britain parents a choice and to develop Sheff-O’Neill regional schools within the city which hosts one of the major teacher colleges in the state in CCSU.  Upwards of 600 New Britain students now journey to Hartford every day to attend the Classical Magnet or the college-oriented Capital Prep.

In the last two City Hall administrations (Pawlak’s  and Stewart’s 16 years)  the local allocation to the schools has been contentious and successive administrations have skirted or scuttled the requirement for a minimum level of support to education. Less than two years ago the Democratic Council restored more than $1 million  to avoid larger classroom sizes only to have it scuttled by the Mayor.

Unquestionably, Tim O’Brien faces enormous fiscal issues as he takes office amid the deep recession and less in the way of help from Hartford or D.C.  But based on his call at today’s inaugural for cooperation and a clear statement that education IS a priority in his administration the terms of the debate have significantly changed.  Education will be a priority and O’Brien intends to be the “Education Mayor”.  As the more perceptive politicians in our town have pointed out that is the only and best  strategy to retain and attract middle-class families to stay here and move in from anywhere else.