I’m writing to explain why I am running for Mayor of the City of Hartford, and to ask for your support.
Our city stands at a moment of opportunity and promise. We have a culturally diverse, creative, and committed citizenry. Our Governor cares about Hartford, and the State has already invested in making Front Street a reality, bringing UCONN to downtown, and financing new residential housing. And across the country, people are looking to move back to urban centers like Hartford.
But we also face tremendous challenges, and we’ve let too many opportunities slip away. For example:
- City government has ignored the main avenues that have rich histories as centers of commerce and community, from Albany to Park, Franklin to Farmington, and North Main to Maple. Those corridors connect us to the region, and investing in them is key to growing jobs for Hartford’s residents.
- Taxes have climbed to unsustainable levels, and City Hall has closed budget deficits by selling off City assets.
- We’re lucky to have some of America’s best and biggest companies headquartered here, but we don’t do enough to engage them or their employees in city life.
- Magnet schools have created important new opportunities for thousands of kids, but our neighborhood schools have been left behind. This year, the City allocated zero dollars to repairs in Hartford’s public schools.
- Far too many of our neighbors aren’t sharing in the promise of a revitalized Hartford, because they can’t find a job that pays a living wage.
- So many of Hartford’s challenges require action at the State level — whether it’s pushing for property tax reform, fighting for criminal justice reforms that give our young men a second chance, seeking regional solutions to the challenge of educating our kids, or planning for a new XL Center or upgrades to I-84. Yet today, City Hall has not made its voice heard on those critical issues.
Over the next few years, we can tackle those problems head-on and work to achieve a true renaissance that’s broadly shared. Or we can leave our neighborhoods behind, see our financial problems worsen, and lose the best opportunity Hartford has had in decades. The next mayor of Hartford can make the difference.
What we need is a mayor who gets down into the messy details of governing day after day, who constantly demands the best from the team at City Hall, and who holds people accountable. We don’t need more blue ribbon task forces or government by press release. We need leadership, accountability, and action.
I’ve had the opportunity to serve at the highest levels of government, both in Washington, D.C., and here in Connecticut. During President Obama’s first term, I was part of the team that crafted the Dodd-Frank Act, which created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Later, I was appointed to lead a federal office charged with choking off the flow of money to terrorist groups, rogue regimes, and organized crime.
As General Counsel to Governor Malloy, I was involved in nearly every aspect of state government and learned first hand what strong leadership looks like. I was deeply involved in developing policies to combat veterans’ homelessness, expand economic opportunities, reform our criminal justice system, and protect our environment. I also helped identify some of the most diverse and talented groups of judges ever appointed to the Connecticut bench, as well as appointees to boards like the Board of Pardons and Parole.
I have worked in the private sector, including at one of Hartford’s insurance companies, which employs thousands of people in the heart of our great city. And I’ve had the honor of serving our country in uniform in Afghanistan, where I was part of the military’s anti-corruption task force.
I know how hard it can be to bring about change. But I also know that it can be done with strong leadership.
Over the next ten months, I’m going to talk with as many fellow Hartford residents as possible – knocking on doors, meeting with groups at people’s homes or in community centers, and making phone calls. In the meantime, if you haven’t heard from me yet, please feel free to reach out to me. Few candidates give out their personal cell phone number. But here’s mine: 860-929-1185.
I hope to talk with you soon — and will work hard to earn your support.