Pro Education Rally Precedes City Council Meeting Today, 5/22
Proponents of more local and state investment in public education will rally at 6 p.m. today (May 22) before the regularly scheduled Common Council meeting at New Britain City Hall.
The New Britain Common Council is moving toward adoption of a municipal budget in early June for the next fiscal year that begins on July 1st.
Mayor O’Brien is proposing an infusion of new funding this year to address more than a decade of minimum or flat funding by increasing the $118 million schools’ budget to closer to $141 million by using increases in local and state funds and bonding.
“Investments in our schools infrastructure have been largely ignored in an effort to keep teachers in the classroom and preserve basic programs,” O’Brien said. “Investing in our children is investing in our future. Quality education is the path to a strong economy and vibrant neighborhoods. For our property tax base and housing stock, it means the difference between having a community where families from diverse economic and cultural backgrounds wish to invest in, and raise their children in, versus a community where basic services and needs are not obtainable.”
Remembering Connie: City To Unveil Portrait In Council Chambers
Connie Wilson Collins, who died last January, will get official city recognition Wednesday, May 22nd, when a portrait of the former city alderwoman and Democratic Town Committee leader will be unveiled in the Common Council chambers at New Britain City Hall. Collins was the first African-American elected to public office in the city.
At an Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) awards reception last week Collins was remembered by political and labor friends and associates including former State Senator Joe Harper, former Mayor William McNamara and her longtime friend Emma Pierce, who received the community service award named for Collins. Alderman David DeFronzo and DAS Commissioner Don DeFronzo emceed the event held at the OIC on North Street.
Collins served for three terms on the Common Council during the (William) McNamara administration where she led a drive to re-name Hartford Avenue to Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive. Along with Emma Pierce, she co-founded the OIC and rose to lead the national OIC organization.
Connie’s longtime service to her city began in organized labor. She became the first union president (United Electrical Workers of America Local 207) at Landers, Frary and Clark, later known as General Electric in New Britain. She went on to work at the United Labor Agency and serve on numerous boards and organizations, in addition to building the OIC into an effective employment and youth development agency.
On the Town Committee and throughout her life Collins won praise and respect for her skills and efforts as a coalition builder, negotiator and advocate for social justice. The unveiling of Collins’ portrait at the Council Chambers will be a poignant moment for city Democrats, including Connie’s daughter, Tonilynn Collins, who represents Ward 2 on the Common Council.
The Town Committee will endorse candidates for city offices on July 18th including Mayor, Town and City Clerk, Tax Collector, Treasurer, Common Council (5 at large and 10 by districts), Board of Education (3), Board of Assessment Appeal (2) and Constable (4) Candidate information forms are available at
On The DTC Meeting Calendar………All Are Welcome
Thursday, May 30th, May Democratic Town Committee Meeting, 7 pm
SATURDAY June 1st: Saturday Headquarters Coffee, 8:30 to 10 am at Democratic Headquarters, 19 Bassett Street. To RSVP or for more information call 860-505-8901; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, June 20th June DTC Meeting & Meet The Candidates Reception, 7 pm
Thursday, July 18th July DTC Meeting & Municipal Endorsements, 7 pm
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