Declaring “The health and sustainability of our central cities and their surrounding suburbs are linked” Connecticut’s leading municipal lobbying arm has issued a sobering election-year report. “We cannot allow Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, and Waterbury to founder. Strong cities will yield statewide benefits for years to come.”
From the report:
Connecticut’s large cities are among the poorest in the nation. They face enormous challenges in social services, education, and public safety.
➣ The poverty rates in Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, and Waterbury are at least twice as high as the rate for the state as a whole.
➣ They account for more than half of Connecticut’s homeless.
➣ These cities experience much higher unemployment rates (Hartford – 11%, Waterbury – 8.9%, Bridgeport – 8.4%, New Haven – 7.7%) than the state average (5.9%).
➣ While 30.3 percent of Connecticut’s K-12 students are eligible for free/reduced-price meals, over 90 percent are eligible in both Bridgeport and Hartford. In New Haven, 73.4 percent of students are eligible, and in Waterbury, 74.7 are eligible.
➣ In Connecticut, 5.7 percent of students learn English as a second language. Those numbers are significantly higher in the state’s poorer cities. Almost three times as many students in Hartford speak English as a second language compared to the State average. In Bridgeport and New Haven, the number is double with 12.9 and 12.8 respectively. In Waterbury, 11.3 percent of students speak English as a second language.
➣ These four cities maintain higher equalized mil rates than the state average (Connecticut mil rate – 18.81, Hartford – 39.42, Waterbury – 39.17, Bridgeport – 35.48, and New Haven – 26.32).
➣ The crime rate for the state as a whole is 2,167 per 100,000 residents. That figure is double in Hartford, New Haven, and Waterbury (5,194, 5,026, and 4,418 respectively). Bridgeport’s crime rate is nearly twice as high as the state’s at 3,821.
These cities are also the hubs of major population areas. They provide everything from employment to health care to arts and culture for the surrounding communities.
➣ Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, and Waterbury contain over 14 percent of the state’s population.
➣ Over 75,000 people commute into these cities for employment.
➣ Bridgeport and Hartford account for over 40 percent of their respective county’s hospital beds. New Haven and Waterbury together account for 76 percent of the hospital beds in New Haven County.
The health and sustainability of our central cities and their surrounding suburbs are linked. We cannot allow Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, and Waterbury to founder. Strong cities will yield statewide benefits for years to come.
Read full report here.
I have been saying this for the longest time. The ills of the urban areas can largely be answered by the General Assembly/State Legislature of the State of Connecticut. However, the GA is controlled by the suburban legislators (BOTH Democrat and Republican, party makes no difference). However, the residents of the urban areas need to step up, organize and they themselves can make a huge difference. The lack of resident participation, the low voter turnout in the urban areas needs to be turned around.
Frank, that’s right, and these suburbanites think like Republicans even though they are Democrats.
“The health and sustainability of our central cities and their surrounding suburbs are linked.” Connecticut’s leading municipal lobbying arm has issued a sobering election-year report. “We cannot allow Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, and Waterbury to founder. Strong cities will yield statewide benefits for years to come.”
Now this is some really revolutionary thinking! Who would have thought the festering cities and the dregs of society that live there could be of any importance to the suburbs?! The CCM is really on top of things! (Maybe they can get word about this great, ground-breaking discovery to Hillary and Donald before November 8.) Now, I always thought the great elite of the suburbs were the sustaining factor supporting the survival of the cities. I would have thought building up the suburbs would have increased the prosperity of the cities. OOPS! I guess regional planners aren’t infallible after all. But then, maybe the great regional planners at the CCM should review their research and take on another 60-year study to validate their findings. (Really, I think another interstate and a few more connectors between the interstates, Route 8, and the Merritt Parkway would bring population and commerce back to Bridgeport. More roads, and infrastructure sharing with Bridgeport to make the suburbs strong, and a second train station with no link to anything of significance in Bridgeport. That’s how to bring Bridgeport back!)
This ‘sobering’ report has been issued every year for decades. The urban centers of Connecticut, as in most states, now appear to exist to house and provide services to a large and growing dependent population that progressive Democrats pander to. Many of the ‘sobering’ statistics serve as motivation for surrounding towns to distance themselves from urban centers in order to provide a better quality of life for their residents.
I am pleased to see this. It is consistent with what I have been saying for several years. I met with Mayor Boughton last month about these issues and provided him some financial analysis relating to these four cities and several others in Connecticut. He is Chairman of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities. Mayor Boughton clearly understands the challenge and wants to do something about it.
Plain English. What is your plan? Voluntary bankruptcy? Force the cities to sell off valuable assets? Force unions to renegotiate current contracts? Force the unions to renegotiate previously approved pension plans?
Come on, Dave. Fifty words or less. Go!
Hey Troll? Do you suffer a bout of PTSD (Perfect Troll Stress Disorder) every time Dave Walker writes? What’s your personal big idea? Why ask someone you do not respect when you have not, do not, and likely did not have the capacity in the past?
Do you care, anyway, other than “cheap shotsville?” Fifty words or less? Take a look at the City monthly financial report for August and see how Ken Flatto’s doing. What did he say in a narrative (or with the change of numbers, once corrected) the City Council needs to attend to? Were you a Council member to remember? What would you have done with the numbers? Rescue the kids in Kindergarten. What right and/or responsibility does each Council member have to pay attention to the budget?
At least one of them thinks taxes went down, not realizing it was house and condo VALUES that went down (which brought down the taxable Grand List), and when the budget went up (courtesy of the agreeable Council), taxes for many went up absolutely, but for most went up relative to the tax dollars paid per devalued property!!!
Stick your nose in the budget. Plenty to sniff out and complain about. Will you please use more than 50 words? The subject calls for it. Time will tell.
Republican Mayor Boughton, the Chairman of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, the anti-union organization.
CCM, the powerful lobbying arm for the state’s municipalities just figured this out?
Maybe that’s why we are in trouble.
Wasn’t Finch the former Chairman of this group?
Maybe that’s why we are in trouble.
Why don’t we start with 100% reimbursements for all PILOT properties or at least for all PILOT properties located in distressed municipalities?
Reclaim our schools.org
www .reclaimourschools.org/sites/default/files/2016-2017-AROS-platform.pdf is just one way to begin Bridgeport’s road to recovery.
Bob, c’mon man; that’s way too deep for OIB, they are not ready.