HQ Kick Off and Meeting Thursday
The Democratic Town Committee will meet on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Democratic headquarters on 19 Bassett Street. All Democrats are welcome to attend. The meeting will be preceded by the Headquarters kick-off with an opportunity to meet Mayoral Nominee Tim O’Brien and the members of the Democratic slate.
Tim O’Brien On Downtown Revitalization and Creating Jobs
By Rep. Tim O’Brien, Democratic Nominee for Mayor
My wife and I are homeowners and taxpayers in our city’s Downtown – we pay extra property taxes, on top of our regular city property taxes, to support the work of the Downtown District. We believe in New Britain’s future and we were proud, ourselves, to invest in and be a part of the future of Downtown New Britain.
Regional transit. The coming bus rapid transit system will provide great opportunities for jobs and economic growth in our city by linking New Britain with the economy of our larger metropolitan region. Even before breaking ground, it is already attracting business investment in our Downtown. Once complete, it will make it easy for commuters to shop and eat in New Britain’s Downtown, and it will make our Downtown an attractive location to set-up offices.
Other state investment. CCSU is already a vital part of our city, and our downtown. We need to continue to build this relationship, because building up CCSU facilities and programs in Downtown New Britain would add vitality to our Downtown and provide more customers for Downtown businesses.
The Arts. Ever since I was a member of the City Council, and through my time as a state legislator, I have been a supporter of our city’s arts community. Arts venues and events provide people a reason to come to our Downtown which, in turn, create potential customers for Downtown restaurants and stores. So, supporting our theaters, museums and other venues and organizations, as well as a vibrant community of resident artists, is important.
Growing new businesses. We need a strong plan to grow businesses in our city, including our Downtown. Our city has been held back by an economic plan that relies too much on hoping that good things will come our way, rather than actively building the bright future we want for our city. Just as with our city as a whole, City Hall needs to develop a plan for what specific types of businesses we would like to have in particular developable locations. We then need to actively seek out either existing businesses or help people who live in our city to build new home-grown businesses for those locations. We should welcome unexpected economic development opportunities that would be good for our city, but we need a real plan for success whether this happens or not.
Facade design. To grow successfully, our city’s Downtown needs to have a look and feel that is attractive and inviting to be in. A set of Downtown facade design standards and assistance for businesses in the improvement of the facades and look of their locations will help their businesses to be more successful individually, as well as facilitating an overall attractive look for Downtown New Britain.
Advertising. New Britain’s downtown is competing against malls and other business centers that advertise as package destinations. To be successful, New Britain’s Downtown needs to be advertised as a complete destination. If people do not know what our Downtown has to offer, they will never know what they are missing.
Recreation. One of the biggest things that people lament having lost in our Downtown are the movie theaters. And one of the most common things I hear, as I visit people door-to-door in our city, is that we need to have movies and other forms of recreation in our city again.
With our home in Downtown New Britain, my family is personally committed to the future of our city and our Downtown. We believe that our city’s people deserve a bright future, and I look forward to building a vibrant, bustling Downtown we all can be proud of.
The above article originally appeared in the New Britain City Journal which has afforded mayoral candidates the opportunity to share their views on key issues.