Cities, Cities, Cities Tonight

It’s all about the cities, baby! At least as far the Democratic gubernatorial candidates are concerned. The candidate who emerges as the standard bearer of the party will need a juicy turnout in November to defeat the Republican candidate. (And let’s not forget about the potential August primary.)

Tonight at 7:00pm (if the technology works, yikes!), OIB will participate in a live streaming of the Dem guber debate in New Haven. The subject is cities. As the candidates pontificate I’ll be pontificating, as will my web friends with live comments from our respective sites.

As my friend Paul Bass reports at The New Haven Independent:

Urban issues will take center stage at a gubernatorial debate in New Haven Thursday night—and you’re invited to join the statewide conversation.

The “virtual house party” begins at 7 p.m. It takes place in two locations: Wilbur Cross High School, and on your computer. It’s BYOP&TC: Bring Your Own Popcorn & Two Cents.

Six Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls—Ned Lamont, Dan Malloy, Juan Figueroa, Mary Glassman, Rudy Marconi, and Mike Jarjura—are scheduled to participate in the debate at the school. New Haven’s Democratic Town Committee, which has the largest bloc of convention delegates (81) up for grabs in the race, is hosting the events; journalists will pose the questions to the candidates. The evening has a single topic that often receives short shrift in suburban-dominated Connecticut’s statewide election campaigns: cities.

Meanwhile, you can watch the event live, at home, and comment on it as it happens in a conversation led by statewide urban online news reporters and editors.

Five separate news websites will broadcast the debate live (courtesy of West Hartford’s Local Online News): The New Haven Independent, CT News Junkie, The Valley Independent Sentinel, Only in Bridgeport, and Local Online News. Once the debate starts, click on the live-stream box below to watch it.

And a live chat will take place for reporters and viewers/readers to discuss what’s happening. CT News Junkie Editor Christine Stuart, the Independent’s state Capitol bureau chief, will host the conversation. Only In Bridgeport’s Lennie Grimaldi and the Advocate/Weekly’s Joshua Mamis (based in Hartford, New Haven, and Bridgeport), and CT Capitol Report’s Tom Dudchik will serve as fellow pundits. You can add your own comments and follow the rest of the conversation, moderated by the Independent’s Thomas MacMillan, by clicking on the “Cover It Live” box below.

As Paul noted above, you can watch the event right here on OIB.

To see the live comments (and comment yourself, don’t be shy), click one of these two links. These links will bring up a separate window.

Democratic Gubernatorial Debate
(in a larger format for your PC)

Democratic Gubernatorial Debate
(in a smaller format for your mobile device)

The video will play below:

Maybe I’ll send over a few Bridgeport politicians to New Haven tonight just to start a good fight.



  1. Ask good questions, Lennie. The person who understands cities is critical. Really understand is the key. No learning curves allowed. Represent Bridgeport well, please.

  2. Well we will hear the usual bullshit tonight from these candidates. The cities need help, we need to improve education in the cities, yada, yada, yada.
    These guys are not going to do squat. Malloy helped derail the casino in Bridgeport. LaMont did a stint as a teacher in Harding High School that helps.
    Let’s face it the cities are the dumping ground for all states. Send the cities your sick, your elderly, your drug-addicted kids. Send them your sewage and make sure to build all your less-than-desirable taxable property on their borders.
    When it comes time to pay for these items the towns in the legislature say to hell with that. Past governors give us lip service and we keep struggling along with token money from the state.
    Here are 2 examples. The state’s largest city 1 railroad station its rich neighbor to the south Fairfield will have 2. Here is another example how many tax breaks and how much state money has been used in Stamford to attract corporations? Millions and Millions. How much in Bridgeport or to be fair how much was allocated to Bridgeport for the same thing or to at least try and get corporations here? ZERO. Lennie you listen I have heard it all before.

  3. Let’s see, if I were running for Governor, what would be on my mind? MONEY … the State Government has budget problems … so do the City Governments … Neither level has the power to print money like the Feds do, but CT, perceived as a wealthy above-average-income state is not a net receiver of Federal funds but rather a net payer.
    OMG, does that indicate meaningful reform of government and finances is necessary at all levels? Perhaps it is time to tell the story so that responsible citizens believe it!!! (David Walker’s latest book tells the story nationally, COMEBACK AMERICA.)
    The candidate who tells the truth in a real story combining budget cutbacks in areas where the broad public is getting little or no bang for their buck and increases taxes on users and higher incomes (whatever that means) may not get elected on this round but they may gain ground for the next one. Voting benefits and deferring costs, placing their ultimate cost (off budget) where they are practically ignored, using one-time gimmicks or assumptions that don’t work are some of the things that have gotten us where we are now. Except there are many more in cities and towns who are without income-producing work at this moment, thinking, concerned and upset. Who gets what from the politicians is a chump’s game when the dissatisfaction is increasingly broad based. Seeking truthful stories, sharing the pain, and advocating pay as you go is a start. And while representing the executive branch in a relatively well-to-do State, it will also be necessary to point out to those who elected government service of all kinds that their hours, compensation, and benefit structures must become more like the private economy in the real world. It means some changes. Comfort zones are not forever. And schools, especially, are a special target for improvement. Where is the “new contract between community, parents and kids” that promises the financial support for public education if the youth attends and participates, if the home environment supports the school program and if the educational team are found to be fairly accountable for time and funds expended? We may have parts of that in operation today but not enough to overcome the issues of the past for many urban educational institutions. Democrat, Republican, or infamous Mugwumps … educate thyself and then your public!!! Grasp the microphone, stand up at the lectern, get your stump speech out, look the public in the eye and tell them no lies. We are waiting for a different story from a leader who can continue to learn on the job heading a new team with talent and purpose. More of the old stuff … will not survive ultimately! Kicked off for all of the experts … SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!

  4. For those who still think a casino for Bridgeport was a smart idea, please move on. The casino had lots and lots of opponents, rightfully so. Malloy–14 years running a city; prosecutor in Brooklyn. Lots of urban perspective. Lamont–teaching part time at Harding … rich, rich, rich … apples and silver spoons.

    1. I’m so sick of hearing about Malloy and what he did for Stamford. Malloy’s version of “urban perspective” is like New Canaan’s definition of affordable housing. Freimuth and Hadley couldn’t get squat done in Bridgeport. They were in Stamford and hit the powerball. It’s easy to hit the ball out of the park when they are lobbing the deals at you. Stamford has the location from the collapse of NYC in the mid-late ’70s. I worked in downtown Stamford in the Columbus Park area in the early ’80s and it was hooker haven and needle park. Please move on about Malloy and Stamford. I’m getting ready to move out. After the latest Steal Point debacle, there is NO HOPE for Bridgeport.

      Hate to burst everyone’s bubble, but the Republicans with Tom Foley and his money are going to win the gubernatorial race in November.

    2. countdown The opponents to the casino were from the downstate cities and towns. The people that live in Bridgeport overwhelmingly voted in favor of the casino and the jobs it would bring. BTW how is the job market downtown and at steel point?
      The downstate cities and towns were against the casino for one reason and one reason only, they did not want to lose the cheap labor force they had coming out of the Bridgeport area. Sure the casino is water under the bridge but what have we in its place? Zip and the downstate towns and cities still have their cheap labor force. Both Malloy and Lamont could give a shit less about Bpt.

  5. *** Same old political lies & B/S when it comes to urban cities is what I heard. The State’s stepchild cities who always get “left over” bailouts for education, urban programs, public funding & public securities, etc. in which a % of the money ends up being mismanaged! Which then has neg affects on those in the State Capital & leaves them wanting to do less & less for cities, due to waste & lack of trust. There are a lot more (active citizens) small towns & Legislative Reps. with their own suburb type problems than urban cities with few active citizens & do-nothing legislative Reps. Urban cities in general have to squeak louder & work harder to get the oil they need, not sit back & make excuses! *** Ned Lamont has had a silver spoon-type life, he’s not going to be pro-city anything & can walk away from the Governor’s job without any political money worries. Unlike Malloy who knows the urban plight & setbacks and needs & wants to go further if possible. Remember, money follows money & is no friend of the needy; politics or not! ***

    1. The only thing Malloy knows about cities is there’s no neighborhood so appealing that it couldn’t be improved by flattening it and putting up luxury high-rise condos in its place.

      That the state has subsidized the corporate tenants of a city with an average income of $100k and growing to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of tax credits is impressive, but unfortunately it’s not a hustle you can run when you’re operating an entire state.


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