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RUDder News

RUDder News

RUDder news …”out of the darkness and into the light” by Ald. Sharon Beloin Saavedra Since our election in November of 2023, the RUD caucus has been working on quality of life issues that impact the health of our city. From various housing developments to business ventures to recreational opportunities through our expansive park system to supporting the overall reimagining of what New Britain can be. We have supported zone changes to assist in the mount pleasant redevelopment project as well as property acquisition . We have acquired property to continue the work on the Beeline trail. We are supporting the current Holmes school renovation project through a city bond. Under this administration Gaffney, Smalley and Chamberlain schools have been reimagined ! Arch street is in the early stages of a makeover - Barrio Latino is hopeful to become a destination place similar to Little Poland. Look around New Britain for wonderful social opportunities while supporting small businesses. The Assembly Room, the Speak Easy, Five Churches, Alvarium, the Back 9 offer a relaxive environment to share with friends. Take a walk on one of our park trails , jump into a paddle boat or visit our driving range at the golf course for fun in the fresh air. A new pavilion is coming soon to Stanley Golf Course. Offering more opportunities to enjoy the outdoors in the coming seasons. The RUD caucus has been busy at work learning about important safety initiatives in our community. Did you know we have an emergency response team called the Navigators? This three person team is comprised of two highly trained officers and a social worker - who proactively work with vulnerable populations to try to get them into a system of care. EMS also has a Navigators program that works to prevent opioid overdoses and reduce overdose deaths within our community . Through this program and our Community Services office at city hall , narcan has become readily available for medical first responders and members in the community. Running a city is much more than making speeches and poking holes in the tapestry of life in an urban city. Stay proud New Britain - we know who we are.

New Britain Democrats Face Unprecedented Internal Strife, Exposing Party Vulnerabilities

New Britain Democrats Face Unprecedented Internal Strife, Exposing Party Vulnerabilities

New Britain, CT – The Democratic Town Committee (DTC) of New Britain is currently embroiled in a saga of internal conflicts and strategic missteps, as highlighted in a candid Facebook post by Nate Simpson, a local member of the Democratic Party . This expose not only sheds light on the disarray within the Democratic ranks but also underscores the opportunities for Republicans to capitalize on their opponent's vulnerabilities in the upcoming local elections. Simpson's revelations paint a picture of a party at war with itself, plagued by factionalism and a departure from democratic principles. The Democrats' inability to present a united front has led to a series of electoral setbacks, including a significant reduction in party membership and a dismal record in mayoral races, with Democrats securing the mayor's seat in only two of the last twenty years. This turmoil has culminated in the disturbing trend of Democrats defecting to run on the Republican ticket, an indictment of the party's failing leadership and ideological coherence. More concerning are the allegations of punitive actions against party members who have sought to broaden democratic participation within the party, especially for marginalized communities. These actions, purportedly aimed at stifling dissent and centralizing control, signal a deep-seated fear of genuine democracy within the party's leadership. Simpson's critique, "Instead of 'building a higher wall,' Democrats should 'build a longer table,'" starkly highlights the party's shift away from inclusivity and towards authoritarianism. The Democratic infighting has not gone unnoticed by the electorate, with Unaffiliated voters now surpassing Democrats in New Britain. This shift reflects a growing disillusionment with the Democratic Party, not just locally but potentially as a harbinger for national trends. The internal discord within the Democratic ranks provides a stark contrast to the Republican commitment to unity, principle, and effective governance. Simpson's rallying cry for "Row C Democrats" to focus on community issues like housing, education, public safety, health, and fiscal accountability, while noble, underscores a reactive stance rather than proactive leadership. The Democratic Party's preoccupation with internal strife has sidelined its ability to govern effectively or address the pressing needs of New Britain's residents. For Republicans, this moment presents a unique opportunity to engage with disaffected Democrats and Unaffiliated voters disillusioned by their party's chaos. It underscores the importance of presenting a coherent, principled alternative that prioritizes effective governance, unity, and the democratic process. The upcoming March 5th New Britain Democratic Primary for Wards One and Three will be a litmus test for the Democrats' ability to resolve their internal conflicts and appeal to voters. However, the ongoing saga within the Democratic ranks highlights the strength and stability of Republican leadership, emphasizing our role as the party of governance, integrity, and unity. The situation in New Britain is a microcosm of the broader challenges facing the Democratic Party, reflecting a crisis of identity and leadership that extends beyond local politics. It reaffirms the Republican Party's position as the clear choice for voters seeking stability, accountability, and a commitment to democratic principles. As we look ahead to the upcoming elections, the disarray within the Democratic Party not only serves as a cautionary tale but also as a call to action for Republicans to continue championing the values and policies that resonate with the American people.

Tax Overhaul in Connecticut: A Potential Springboard for Republican Victory?

Tax Overhaul in Connecticut: A Potential Springboard for Republican Victory?

In the political landscape of Connecticut, the introduction of "An Act Restructuring Certain Taxes" by State Senator Rick Lopes and State Representatives Rick Sanchez, Emmanuel "Manny" Sanchez, and Gary Turco has ignited a debate that extends far beyond the specifics of tax policy. While the bill aims to adjust the tax structure, ostensibly targeting the wealthy through measures such as increased taxes on capital gains, investment management services, and digital advertising, its broader implications could inadvertently set the stage for a significant political shift. The legislation's potential to unfavorably impact low-income residents, despite its intention to target the affluent, may not only exacerbate economic disparities but also fuel political repercussions. By inadvertently placing a greater burden on the state's most vulnerable populations through indirect effects such as reduced job opportunities, increased consumer prices, and insufficiently mitigated economic pressures, the bill could alienate a key segment of the electorate. This scenario presents an opportunity for the Republican Party to capitalize on the growing discontent. Traditionally viewed as more tax-averse, Republicans could leverage the widespread concern over the tax bill to galvanize support, positioning themselves as champions of the financially burdened and critics of overreach by the state's Democratic lawmakers. The narrative of Democrats imposing tax policies that inadvertently harm those they purport to help could become a potent tool in the Republicans' electoral arsenal. As Connecticut faces the dual challenge of ensuring fiscal health and promoting social equity, the political dimensions of the tax restructuring debate take on heightened significance. The potential for the bill to be perceived as out of touch with the economic realities of ordinary citizens could serve as a rallying point for Republican candidates. By advocating for tax policies that promise to protect the economic interests of all residents, particularly the disadvantaged, Republicans could make significant inroads into traditionally Democratic strongholds. With the next election cycle on the horizon, the political fallout from the tax restructuring bill could be a watershed moment for Connecticut's political landscape. If the state's electorate perceives the Democratic-led tax reform as detrimental to their economic well-being, it could indeed pave the way for a Republican resurgence. In this context, the tax bill transcends its legislative intent, becoming a focal point in the broader battle for political ascendancy in Connecticut.

Unveiling the Shadows: The Allen Street Sewer Upgrade and the Transparency Gap in Representative Peter Tercyak's FOI Responses

Unveiling the Shadows: The Allen Street Sewer Upgrade and the Transparency Gap in Representative Peter Tercyak's FOI Responses

In a revealing analysis of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests directed at State Representative Peter Tercyak's office, a disturbing discrepancy has come to light, raising significant questions about the transparency of legislative communications. This discrepancy is particularly pronounced in the case of key information found in similar FOI requests made to State Senator Rick Lopes’ office, where group emails, inclusive of both legislators, were shared. These group emails, crucial in outlining legislative priorities for New Britain, including important projects and funding details, were conspicuously absent in the documents released from Rep. Tercyak’s office. Notably, an email dated December 13, 2022, from Mayor Erin Stewart, addressed to a group of legislators including Sen. Lopes, Rep. Sanchez, Rep. Turco, Rep. Manny Sanchez, and Rep. Tercyak, detailed a range of significant financial undertakings. This included pending grants such as the Hazardous Mitigation Grants, updates on grants awaiting state reimbursement for projects like the Gaffney Elementary School, and new funding requests, including the NB FLUSH project and the PAL Building Renovation. However, the issue that demands particular public attention is the Allen Street Sewer upgrade, a project of substantial community impact, hinted at in these communications but not fully disclosed in the responses from Rep. Tercyak’s office. The Allen Street Sewer project, critical for the infrastructure and health of the community, is a matter where transparency is not just beneficial but essential. The public's right to know about such pivotal community projects cannot be overstated. The lack of full disclosure is not a trivial concern. It strikes at the very core of democratic governance, where transparency is not merely a bureaucratic ideal but a foundational necessity. The withholding of information, particularly on community-impacting projects like the Allen Street Sewer upgrade, can lead to a breakdown in trust between the public and their elected representatives. This impedes informed public discourse and civic engagement, both vital elements of a functioning democracy. This situation calls for a robust examination of the methods employed by elected officials in disseminating information. It underscores the need for a commitment to transparency that goes beyond the routine release of documents. In a society where public scrutiny is a cornerstone of governance, ensuring that constituents have complete access to information, especially on issues as critical as the Allen Street Sewer upgrade, is not just a responsibility but a prerequisite for maintaining public trust and effective governance. State Representative Peter Tercyak's Response: State Senator Rick Lopes' Response:

New Britain Journal Raises Concerns Over Delayed FOI Response from Senator Lopes' Office

New Britain Journal Raises Concerns Over Delayed FOI Response from Senator Lopes' Office

The New Britain Journal has expressed growing concern over the delayed response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request submitted on October 26, 2023. The request, focused on State Senator Lopes’ Office and the Allen Street Sewer Issue, has yet to receive a comprehensive reply, causing alarm among journalists and advocates of governmental transparency. Joe Quinn, of the Legal Department for the Senate Democrats , acknowledged receipt of the request on October 31, 2023. However, since then, the New Britain Journal has repeatedly sought updates, with the latest follow-up sent on January 8, 2024, emphasizing the lack of any substantial response. The delay is particularly troubling given the public interest surrounding the Allen Street Sewer Issue and its implications for local governance. The New Britain Journal relies on swift and transparent communication to inform the public effectively. This lapse not only affects the Journal's work but also raises questions about the commitment of Senator Lopes' office to transparency and public accountability. Journalists at the New Britain Journal are calling for immediate action, stressing the urgency and importance of this matter. They expect, at the very least, a formal notification if no disclosable materials are found, along with a clear explanation. Understanding the reasoning behind any non-disclosure is crucial for the Journal, as it directly influences their reporting direction. This situation underscores a broader concern about the efficacy of FOI requests and the potential barriers journalists face in accessing information crucial for public discourse. The New Britain Journal continues to await a prompt and thorough response, hoping for a resolution that upholds the principles of transparency and accountability in public office.

Public Concern Mounts Over State Delegation's Inaction on Critical Allen Street Sewer Project

Public Concern Mounts Over State Delegation's Inaction on Critical Allen Street Sewer Project

The City of New Britain's persistent efforts to secure state funding for the crucial Phase 2 of the Allen Street sewer upgrades and roadway reconstruction have been met with continuous inaction by the Connecticut State Delegation. This ongoing delay has raised significant public concern, as the project is vital for addressing long-standing infrastructure deficiencies in one of the city's busiest thoroughfares.   Initiated in 2013, the project appeared on New Britain's top ten bonding priorities, signaling its importance for the city's infrastructure health​​. Despite its inclusion, progress has been sluggish, with the state delegation yet to commit the necessary funds. The Allen Street project, estimated to cost $6 million for completion, is essential for resolving issues like chronic flooding, sanitary sewer backups, and general disrepair of the road surface and sidewalks​​​​.   By 2019, the urgency for this upgrade was evident, with the city highlighting it as a pressing need, especially in light of federal and state environmental compliance requirements​​. The completion of Phase 1 in 2015, stretching from Farmington Avenue to Oak Street, demonstrated the city's commitment, yet the lack of state support for Phase 2 has left a critical gap in the city's infrastructure​​.   In 2021, Mayor Stewart's office again emphasized the project's necessity, pointing out that the unresolved infrastructure issues are not just a local inconvenience but a matter of public safety and environmental concern​​.   The state delegation's inaction on this matter has become a growing public concern. Residents are increasingly frustrated with the slow pace of developments, fearing that further delays could exacerbate the existing problems and lead to more severe consequences. The Allen Street project's stagnation is a stark reminder of the need for proactive state involvement in local infrastructure projects, particularly those with significant environmental and public health implications.   As the City of New Britain continues to push for the completion of this vital project, the spotlight is now on the State Delegation's response, with the public eagerly awaiting their action to address this critical concern. Update: We have added the communications to the State Delegation.

Letter to the Editor - The Need for Balanced Discussion

Letter to the Editor - The Need for Balanced Discussion

Dear Editor, I write today in response to a recent Facebook post by Alicia Hernandez Strong regarding the unfortunate and tragic passing of Katherine Colon. Firstly, I extend my deepest condolences to Katherine's family and friends. Every life lost is a profound tragedy, and the community rightfully seeks answers. However, it is crucial to address some of the concerns raised by Ms. Strong in a balanced manner. Mayor Stewart and her team have consistently worked for the betterment of our community, and it is essential that we do not rush to judgment based on selective recollections of past events. To insinuate that Mayor Stewart is indifferent based on her social media activity is a misrepresentation. The Mayor's Office, like many other official institutions, has procedures and protocols in place when it comes to public communications, especially during ongoing investigations. One major point that needs clarification is the assertion that New Britain lacks a civilian review board. In fact, the City of New Britain already possesses such a board – it's called the Police Commission. This commission plays a vital role in holding the NBPD accountable and ensuring that the police department functions with integrity and responsibility. Alicia Strong's criticism also subtly alludes to the broader Defund the Police Movement. While everyone is entitled to their opinion, it's essential to note that several communities that experimented with this policy witnessed a rise in crime rates and juvenile delinquency. While the intent might be noble, the results have shown that it is not always the most effective solution. Moreover, the suggestion that the NBPD is an "unaccountable force" is quite a stretch, especially given the existence of the Police Commission. Police departments across the country, including ours, are held to high standards of conduct, and our officers work diligently to ensure the safety and security of our community. I understand and respect the calls for transparency and accountability, especially in tragic circumstances. However, painting an entire administration and police department with a broad brush based on individual incidents or decisions isn't constructive. Our community needs unity, support, and understanding, especially during such challenging times. Finally, I urge everyone to remember that discussions on public safety and policing should be grounded in facts and comprehensive analyses rather than emotional narratives. We owe it to our community to approach these matters with care, understanding, and a genuine desire for betterment. Sincerely, A Voice for Balanced Dialogue

Connecticut's Proposed Tax Bill Raises Concerns for Economically Disadvantaged Residents

Connecticut's Proposed Tax Bill Raises Concerns for Economically Disadvantaged Residents

HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut's proposed Senate Bill No. 351 (S.B. No. 351), currently under consideration in the General Assembly, is drawing scrutiny from economic analysts and advocacy groups who argue that its provisions may inadvertently harm the state's poorest residents. Sponsored by Rep. Peter Tercyak among others, the bill aims to provide tax relief for middle-income taxpayers and seniors. However, critics argue that a closer examination reveals potential adverse effects on economically disadvantaged communities. One of the contentious provisions includes a 5% surcharge on the net gain from the sale or exchange of capital assets. Economists worry that this surcharge could deter capital investments, leading to fewer job opportunities and reduced economic growth, essential factors for improving the financial circumstances of lower-income individuals. Moreover, S.B. No. 351 proposes the hiring of additional auditors and wage enforcement agents, which critics argue would increase the state's operational costs. They express concerns that the ensuing rise in expenditures could divert critical funding from essential social services and programs aimed at assisting the economically disadvantaged. The bill's emphasis on heightened tax collections and regulatory measures could potentially drive businesses and high-earning individuals out of Connecticut. Critics argue that an erosion of the state’s tax base could lead to reduced revenue for public services crucial for low-income individuals and families. Furthermore, the proposed regulatory framework may create a climate of distrust between the business community and the state government. A cumbersome regulatory environment could deter business operations, leading to job losses and reduced economic activities, which would invariably affect the state's poorest residents. Advocacy groups are urging policymakers, including Rep. Tercyak, to reconsider the broader economic implications of S.B. No. 351. They emphasize the need for a balanced and thoughtful approach to tax reform that takes into consideration the interests of all residents, particularly the most vulnerable. As discussions around S.B. No. 351 continue, stakeholders are calling for a more nuanced discussion and a holistic approach to tax reform to prevent unintended consequences that could further marginalize Connecticut’s economically disadvantaged residents. The debate on S.B. No. 351 underscores the complex challenges lawmakers face as they navigate the intricacies of tax reform while attempting to address the needs of a diverse population. Critics argue that a more thorough analysis and an inclusive dialogue are crucial to ensure that the proposed tax reforms do not inadvertently exacerbate the financial struggles of the state's poorest residents.

New Affordable Apartment Units Flourish in New Britain Under Mayor Erin Stewart's Leadership

New Affordable Apartment Units Flourish in New Britain Under Mayor Erin Stewart's Leadership

September 20, 2023 Reporter: Shawn Bright NEW BRITAIN - Thanks to the impressive negotiation abilities of Mayor Erin Stewart, New Britain is witnessing a housing renaissance with the construction of numerous affordable apartment units. These new developments are not only boosting the city's skyline but also offering residents the opportunity to find homes tailored to their financial needs. Prominent among these are: 321 Ellis Street: A modern building boasting 158 units. 102 W Main: A rejuvenated structure providing space for over 100 families. Mount Pleasant: An expansive project with over 300 units, designed keeping the community in mind. The Strand: A strategic location with over 100 units. Columbus Commons: With its second phase of construction in progress, this complex will soon add more than 75 units to its already robust community. The Brit and High Railer: A dual project that together promises to offer over 200 units to residents. What sets these projects apart is not just their scale, but also their commitment to providing affordable, income-scaled apartments. This has been made possible due to an agreement facilitated by Mayor Stewart, wherein funds are allocated to ensure that these constructions not only cater to the higher-income renters but also those in need of affordable housing solutions. Mayor Erin Stewart remarked, "Our aim has always been to make New Britain a city for all." The surge in affordable housing construction is not just a testament to Mayor Stewart's dedication to the city but also underscores the potential of New Britain as a thriving urban center. With these new developments, the city is set to become a hub for families and individuals seeking quality housing without the strain of exorbitant rents. The local community has responded with enthusiasm, with many praising the initiatives and looking forward to moving into their new homes. Angela Ramirez, a prospective tenant attempting to relocate to New Britain, expressed, "It's heartening to see our leadership prioritize affordable living. Thanks to Mayor Stewart, many of us can now dream of having a beautiful space to call our own in New Britain." As the city skyline continues to transform, it's clear that New Britain, under the guidance of Mayor Erin Stewart, is not just growing in height but also in heart. With a clear vision for a diverse and inclusive community, the future looks bright for all residents of New Britain.

Reviving Echoes: The Strand's New Dawn in New Britain

Reviving Echoes: The Strand's New Dawn in New Britain

September 20, 2023 Reporter: Shawn Bright Downtown New Britain is undergoing a significant transformation. Avner Krohn, the driving force behind Jasko Development, has been pivotal in reshaping the city's center, unveiling plans for another major apartment complex, The Strand. This new six-story development will rise on the former location of the historic Strand Theatre, which was a hallmark of the city until the early 1970s. Once completed, this $27 million project will provide an additional 100 apartments. The Strand, during its prime in the 1920s, boasted intricate designs, over 2,000 seats, and a grand architectural presence. Krohn aims to recapture some of its past elegance, including designing a large entry marquee and a plush theater for the building's residents. New Britain's Mayor, Erin Stewart, emphasizes the city's rich history and the importance of The Strand. She recalls a time when the city center was thriving and vibrant. But as urbanization increased, businesses shut down, and residents moved out, the heart of New Britain grew desolate. Now, with projects like Krohn's, there's a renewed sense of vitality in the city. Among the modern revitalizations, Jasko Development's contributions stand out. The Brit, another one of Krohn's ventures, features state-of-the-art amenities and contemporary designs. Alongside The Brit, The Highrailer is in the works, promising even more commercial space and residential units. And soon, work will commence on The Strand. This rapid urban development isn't universally acclaimed. Concerns arise over rising rental prices potentially sidelining lower-income residents. Chris Anderson, the mayor's political rival, even criticized the tax breaks granted to developers. Still, Krohn advocates for collaborations between developers and communities to achieve top-tier developments. For him, New Britain holds personal significance – it's where he started his career and built his company's base. He's enthusiastic about the city's future and eagerly anticipates a bustling downtown filled with residents and businesses.

No Response from Representative Peter Tercyak on Allen Street Sewer Replacement Funding

No Response from Representative Peter Tercyak on Allen Street Sewer Replacement Funding

SEPTEMBER 18, 2023 By Shawn NEW BRITAIN — The New Britain Journal reached out to Connecticut State Representative Peter Tercyak seeking clarification and comment on the Allen Street Sewer Replacement issue, especially in the aftermath of the recent devastating floods. As of this writing, the representative's office has not provided a response. The replacement of the Allen Street Sewer is a topic that has become pressing for many residents of New Britain, given the current state of the infrastructure and its direct implication in the recent flooding events. Several efforts by local officials and concerned citizens have been made to address this concern. Yet, the significant issue remains the gap in obtaining state funding for the essential infrastructure project. In an effort to keep our readers informed and offer a balanced perspective, this newspaper aimed to provide Representative Tercyak an opportunity to shed light on the reasons state funding hasn't been granted for the sewer replacement, despite the clear need and repeated requests from local stakeholders. Representative Tercyak, who serves the constituency impacted by this issue, was requested to provide a statement or insight by September 18, 2023. We believe that such insights would be valuable for the community, helping residents understand the challenges and intricacies surrounding the delay in funds. It is worth noting that it's not uncommon for officials to have hectic schedules and at times, some inquiries may not receive immediate attention. Nevertheless, with the urgency and significance of this issue to New Britain's residents, a timely response would have been beneficial. The New Britain Journal remains committed to bringing clarity on this issue and will continue to investigate and inform our readers about the Allen Street Sewer Replacement and any further developments. Residents are encouraged to stay connected, be informed, and voice their concerns to ensure that vital community issues receive the attention they deserve. Those with further information or insights on this matter are encouraged to reach out to us at newbritainjournal@gmail.com.

State Rep. Peter Tercyak Votes Against Law Ensuring Freedom of Expression on College Campuses

State Rep. Peter Tercyak Votes Against Law Ensuring Freedom of Expression on College Campuses

New Britain, July 2nd 2023 - In a recent session of the state legislature, State Representative Peter Tercyak voted against H.B. No. 6567, a bill aimed at establishing a policy regarding freedom of expression on Connecticut's public institutions of higher education. The bill, which received bipartisan support and ultimately passed, has raised concerns about Tercyak's stance on protecting free speech rights. The legislation, effective from July 1, 2023, mandates that the Board of Trustees of The University of Connecticut and the Board of Regents for Higher Education develop and adopt a comprehensive policy on freedom of expression. This policy would encompass various aspects such as prioritizing freedom of expression, protecting expression on campus (even when it is disagreeable or offensive), setting reasonable limitations on expression, allowing for protests or demonstrations, designating public areas as open forums, and ensuring resources for the safety and freedom of expression of invited speakers. By voting against this bill, Rep. Tercyak has sparked a debate over the importance of safeguarding free speech rights within the academic environment. Advocates argue that freedom of expression is a fundamental pillar of higher education, fostering an environment of critical thinking, debate, and the exchange of diverse ideas. They contend that students, faculty, and guest speakers should be able to express their thoughts and opinions without fear of censorship or retaliation. Opponents of the bill, including Tercyak, express concerns about the potential misuse of free speech protections. They argue that offensive or controversial speech may create a hostile or discriminatory environment for marginalized communities. However, the bill itself contains provisions allowing for reasonable limitations on time, place, and manner of expression, ensuring that speech does not substantially interfere with the institution's function or the ability of others to engage in or listen to expressive activities. Tercyak's decision not to support the bill has disappointed many constituents who expected their representative to stand up for the principles of free expression. Supporters of the legislation point out that Tercyak's vote runs counter to the bipartisan consensus achieved in passing the bill, indicating a disconnect between the representative and the values of the community he serves. Critics argue that Tercyak's vote undermines the principles of academic freedom and the marketplace of ideas, which are central to the educational experience. They contend that protecting freedom of expression should be a bipartisan objective, transcending political ideologies and ensuring a robust exchange of ideas on college campuses. With the passage of H.B. No. 6567, Connecticut's public institutions of higher education will now be required to implement policies that prioritize and safeguard freedom of expression. As the legislation moves forward, it remains to be seen how Rep. Tercyak's vote will impact his relationship with his constituents and their perception of his commitment to protecting essential constitutional rights.

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