Connecticut Urban Mayors Caucus Forms

Posted on Wednesday, January 30 2008 by Heather Brandon

Mayors of five six Connecticut cities planned to gather in Bridgeport this morning to announce the formation of a Connecticut Urban Mayors Caucus.

At an event set to begin today at 9:30, the mayors of Hartford, New Haven, Stamford, Norwalk and Bridgeport (all pictured, left to right), plus New London, were planning to meet to address several key issues of concern to the state’s urban areas.

Connecticut Urban Mayors Caucus

Such issues, according to a release from Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez’s office, include taxes, education, mortgages and housing. Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch’s office also put out a release calling the caucus an entity that will “advocate for policies and programs to meet the needs of Connecticut’s largest cities and their citizens.”

According to 2000 Census statistics, Bridgeport, with a population of around 140,000 people, is the largest city among the five represented in the new caucus. The next largest are likely New Haven and Hartford, each with populations just under 125,000 living within city limits. In 2000, Stamford’s population was a little less than 120,000, and Norwalk’s was a bit over 80,000. Because of heavily-populated regions surrounding the central cities, however, the role these urban centers play (in a state which, to some, might appear to be made up of primarily suburbs) is highly significant, especially when it comes to the economy, culture, housing, transportation infrastructure and the education of large numbers of people.

One Response to “Connecticut Urban Mayors Caucus Forms”

  1. Heather Brandon

    An article in today’s Bridgeport Connecticut Post reports that a sixth city, New London, was represented in yesterday’s caucus, by Mayor Kevin Cavanagh. From the piece:

    “There are a number of issues that we can work together on,” said [Stamford Mayor Dannel] Malloy. “All too frequently, the state seeks to balance the budget on the backs of the cities.”

    Malloy added that Gov. M. Jodi Rell and the General Assembly have “done things to cities that are inconsistent with their words,” such as cutting funds for English as a second language programs and for public housing.

    Finch said an intrinsic problem faced by cities is the state’s over-reliance on property taxes to raise money, as most cities are relatively small in geographical area. “What do you have—five square miles?” he asked New London’s [Cavanagh]. “We can’t do it alone,” [Cavanagh] said. “In New London, we feel like we’re the farthest city from Hartford.”

    “This is not a war on the suburbs,” Finch said. “I think people are finally getting the idea that we need the cities — they are the centers of our culture.”

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