Weekly Update - Sept. 10

September 10, 2021

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Dear Neighbor, 

Tomorrow commemorates the 20th Anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Nearly 3,000 innocent people lost their lives on the morning of September 11, 2001 and many more, including first responders, have died from health complications in the years following the attacks. September 11th remains one of the darkest and deadliest days in U.S. history.

I hope you have an opportunity to pause and reflect on this tragic event. Please remember the victims and the many first responders who bravely set aside their personal safety to save lives on that horrible day 20 years ago.
In this email you'll find updates on district resources and news. Please click the links below to read the section that corresponds with the highlighted headline.

A NOTE: If you're having trouble clicking through the following links, open this email in a browser, use a computer or scroll through this email to the relevant section. 

The topics covered are as follows:

On Legislative Business

On Community Resources 

Redistricting Committee Holds First Public Hearings
The Connecticut Reapportionment Committee is busy reviewing the latest census data and working to craft new Congressional and State Legislative districts based on the state's population. As required by the state's constitution, lawmakers must meet following the results of the U.S. Census survey to ensure that each district is equally represented.

You can get involved. On Wednesday, the Connecticut Reapportionment Committee held it's first public hearing to seek input and suggestions on how district lines should be redrawn. You can try your hand at drawing maps too! Dave's Redistricting and Districtr.org allow anyone to review the census results and design new legislative districts.
The third public hearing event will be held at Shelton City Hall on Monday, September 13 at 1PM, and virtual hearing will be held on Tuesday, September 14 at 7PM. All public hearings will be streamed live on CT-N. You can also submit testimony by email to reapportionment@cga.ct.gov. To learn more about the Reapportionment Committee and the work that they do, click here.

I would like to know, what do you think of this issue?

The CT Mirror: Delayed by COVID, Connecticut’s redistricting ramps up
CT Post: Redistricting committee sets public hearings for redrawing CT political maps
The Washington Post: How congressional redistricting works in your state
DEEP Report: Connecticut is not on Track to Meet Greenhouse Gas Emissions Target
According to a report released by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), the state is not on track to meet targets set by the General Assembly for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. To meet the reduction targets, DEEP has stated that the state must decrease emissions in its transportation and building sectors by about 30 percent between now and 2030.
The report, which reviewed Connecticut's greenhouse gas emissions inventory in 2018 (the most recent year with available data), found that the state had emitted 42.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent – a 2.7 percent increase from the 2017 inventory. Increasing trends in travel by a vehicle are certainly to blame, but DEEP also found increases associated with heating and cooling buildings due to the ever-changing weather conditions.
Advocates have proposed that Connecticut join a regional plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and invest in cleaner transportation known as the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) that would cap carbon dioxide pollution from gasoline and on-road diesel. Opponents argue this would lead to increases in gas prices.
I would like to know, what do you think of this issue?
Press Release: CT Not on Track to Meet Statutory Emissions Targets, New Greenhouse Gas Inventory Finds
Hartford Courant: Connecticut not on track to meet greenhouse gas emissions targets, says new report, as more driving leads to increase
The CT Mirror: Report: CT not meeting emissions goals; Transportation to blame
House Speaker Pelosi Visits East Hartford to Discuss Child Tax Credit
On Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stopped by Goodwin University to highlight the expanded child tax credit included in the American Rescue Plan. The credit, which goes as high as $3,600 per year per child or $300 per month for children under the age of 6, is designed to cut child poverty in half. According the Hartford Courant, 115,800 children or 77 percent of all children in the First Congressional District (which includes East Hartford and Manchester) have benefited from the credit. For our communities' struggling families – this is truly a game changer.
Championed by U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro, there is a push in congress to make the tax credit permeant – in addition to making more significant investments in our children. This week, Congress introduced a $450 billion childcare proposal to expand access to childcare and post-natal care, as well as establish universal pre-kindergarten.
I would like to know, what do you think of this issue?
CT Insider: Pelosi comes to CT to hype expanded child tax credit
Hartford Courant: On Connecticut visit, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says federal child tax credit aimed at lifting families out of poverty should be permanent
Reuters: U.S. House panel to vote on pre-school, child care and tuition-free community college
Today in CT History: Madison Square Garden Gets a Two-Minute “Pep Talk” from a Boxer Heading for Greatness
Today in 1942, Connecticut boxer Willie Pep began his meteoric rise to stardom when he knocked out featherweight Frankie Franceroni of New Jersey just two minutes into the first round, shocking a crowd of thousands at Madison Square Garden. Just two months and five more wins later, the twenty-year-old Pep became the World Featherweight Champion, having boxed 52 straight rounds without suffering a single defeat.
Born in Middletown in 1922 as Guglielmo Papaleo and raised in the “Little Italy” neighborhood of Hartford’s East Side, Willie began fighting as an amateur in his teens to make some extra money for his family during the Great Depression. He fought his first match as a professional in 1940 at the age of 18, and became a household name — and a hero to Italian-Americans across the country — after winning his first world championship in 1942, with many of his bouts aired live over the radio. Willie Pep was one of the most prolific boxers of his time, fighting nearly 2,000 rounds in his 26-year career, and winning 229 out of a total 241 fights (65 of them by knockout).
Learn more about Willie Pep and other interesting CT history facts by clicking here.
New CT Housing and Healthcare Initiative for Homeless Community
This week saw another step forward in assuring everyone has access to quality healthcare. The State has received federal approval to provide healthcare to our homeless community. This approval will significantly bolster our state efforts to uplift homeless individuals across Connecticut. 
The state’s housing programs will partner with state agencies and local nonprofits to provide Medicaid and HUSKY Health coverage. This program will be known as the Connecticut Housing Engagement and Support Services Initiative (CHESS).
Apply Here
This coordinated housing and health assistance effort will guarantee that individuals have access to all basic human rights- housing, meals, and healthcare. This health coverage will also ensure that everyone has the access to mental health and substance abuse support that they may need.
This program will create lasting change for the homeless community in our state as housing instability and serious health concerns often go hand in hand. CHESS will help promote community engagement and improve overall quality of life.
For more information or to apply, please call 2-1-1 or visit www.ctchessdss.com.
Reminder: Democratic Primaries in East Hartford on September 14
Tuesday, September 14 is primary day in East Hartford! Polls will be open from 6AM-8PM for a Democratic Party primary, and the location of the polls will be as follows:
  • District One: Anna Norris School, All Purpose Room (40 Remington Road)
  • District Two: Langford School, Gymnasium (61 Alps Drive)
  • District Three: Mayberry School, All Purpose Room (101 Great Hill Road)
  • District Four: Silver Lane School, Gymnasium (15 Mercer Avenue)
  • District Five: Hockanum School, Gymnasium (191 Main Street)
  • District Six: Goodwin School, Gymnasium (1235 Forbes Street)
  • District Seven: St. Christopher Church Hall (544 Brewer Street)

Absentee ballots are available as provided by law in the Office of the Town Clerk. And don't forget to mark your calendars – the general Town Election will be held on Tuesday, November 2.
For more information and a sample ballot, click here.

Manchester Seeking Community Input on the Next General Manager
The Town of Manchester wants to hear from you! The Board of Directors has appointed a Search Committee and hired GovHRUSA to conduct the recruitment for Manchester's next General Manager – but to begin a successful search they believe it's important to solicit feedback from the community and local organizations.
To respond to the survey and share your thoughts, click here. Please provide responses by Friday, September 24. All responses will remain confidential.
For questions or additional information, contact Michael Jaillet, Vice President, GovHRUSA at (781) 760-3658 or by email at Mjaillet@govhrusa.com.
Fall Indoor Pool Schedules Available Now!
The weather is changing and it's time to take the aquatic activities inside to our communities' heated pools! Fall indoor pool schedules and lessons are now available for both East Hartford and Manchester.
East Hartford is limiting the capacity of the pool  to 12 swimmers at a time, reservations are highly recommended. Reservations are available for each week beginning Mondays at 9AM, by calling the Parks and Recreation office at (860) 291-7160. 

Now through Thursday, September 30, the weekly pool schedule is as follows:
Open Swim:

  • Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday: 5:30PM-8:30PM
  • Wednesday (*Sept. 1-29 only*) and Friday: 6:30PM-8:30PM

Senior Swim:

  • Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday: 4:30PM-5:30PM

Adult Lap Swim:

  • Monday-Friday: 8:30PM-9:15PM

For more information on the pool schedule, rules, or fall swim lessons, click here.

Manchester High School's indoor pool will be open to the public beginning Monday, October 4 – membership is required. Parking and entrance to the pool is located on Brookfield Street, and locker rooms are available. Once open to the public, the hours for open swim will be as follows:
Open Swim Main Pool:
  • Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: 7:30PM-8:30PM
  • Saturday: 12PM-1PM 

Open Swim IOH Pool:  

  • Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: 7:30PM-8:30PM
  • Saturday: 12PM-1PM

The pool will be closed: October 11, November 11, November 24, and December 23. Swimming lessons for all ages and all levels will begin in October, for more information on lessons click here.

East Hartford MLK39: Racial Equity Mural on Main Street Unveiled
Last Friday, I joined the Rise Up Group, the East Hartford Black Caucus, and town officials for the unveiling of the East Hartford MLK39: Racial Equity Mural on Main Street. The mural, painted by Michael Rice and East Hartford artists, Joshua Morgan and Tiyah Thompson in collaboration with our community, celebrates the lives and legacies of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King.
Be sure to check it out! The mural can be found right across from East Hartford Town Hall.
Lane Closure Alert: Route 5/15 Northbound Approaching the Charter Oak Bridge
The Connecticut Department of Transportation has announced that there will be a scheduled closure of one lane on Route 5/15 northbound approaching the Charter Oak Bridge which began yesterday, September 9. The scheduled lane closure is necessary to facilitate ongoing construction activities as part of the I-91 Charter Oak Bridge Project. The left-lane closure will begin after the Route 5/15 northbound Exit 89 ramp and is anticipated to be in place through January 1, 2022.
Motorists are advised that that this is still a very active construction zone with reduced lane widths, reduced speed limits, no shoulders, and temporary barriers. Motorists should remain alert, drive cautiously, and obey posted speed limits.
For more information, including weekly project updates, click here.
Manchester Fall Program Registration Begins September 15
Registration for the Manchester Department of Leisure, Family, and Recreation's fall programs opens on Wednesday, September 15 for Manchester residents, and Friday, September 17 for non-residents. From aquatics to early childhood to youth and senior program or adult "learnshops" – there is so much to do (and many are available for no fee)!
Registration is available three ways:
  • Online Registration – available 24/7, click here to register online. Don't remember your username or password? Call (860) 647-3084 for assistance!
  • Over the Phone – call (860) 647-3084 and have your payment information ready (Visa or MasterCard accepted).
  • In-Person – visit the Manchester Community Y (78 North Main Street) to sign-up!

For more information on the programs available this fall, click here.

Youth Car Theft in CT: Trends and Steps to Improve Public Safety Panel Happening on Sept. 23
The UConn Department of Public Policy with Connecticut Town and City Management Association (CTCMA), Capitol Region Council of Governments (CRCOG), American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), and the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy (IMRP) will host a virtual panel on Thursday, September 23 at 12PM with legislative leaders, law enforcement officers, and other experts to discuss the recent trends in youth car thefts.
This webinar is directed at establishing the facts of the situation and possible next steps to address the issue. To register for the webinar, click here – the webinar link will be sent upon registration.
Welcoming Four New Officers to the East Hartford Police Department
This week, East Hartford Police Department welcomed four new officers to the Patrol Division – Officers Robert Gompper, Scott Cowan, Rocco Sansone III, and Shane Toland were administered the Oath of Office by East Hartford Town Clerk Robert Pasek. Thank you for your dedication to keeping our community safe!
And – a special congratulations to K-9 Officer Todd Mona and his partner Casus on their performance at this year's Dream Ride 2021 K-9 Challenge. They faced 30 teams from across the Country and took home first place!
COVID-19 Updates & Upcoming Vaccine Clinics
The start of school and fall sports is here! Make in-person learning a priority this school year by ensuring that children aged 12 and over follow CDC recommendations, and get the vaccine! To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment for your child, call the East Hartford Health Department at (860) 291-7324, and for Manchester, call (860) 647-5235.
The Manchester Health Department will be hosting a free mobile vaccine clinic at Charter Oak Park on Saturday, September 25, 10AM-2PM. No appointment or insurance required.

For more information on receiving the COVID-19 vaccine or to locate an appointment near you, click here or locate a DPH Mobile COVID-19 Vaccination clinic by clicking here. Those without access to the internet can call the Connecticut’s Vaccine Appointment Assist Line, available seven days a week from 8 AM to 8 PM, at (877) 918-2224.
For East Hartford-based COVID-19 updates and resources, click here. And, for Manchester-based COVID-19 updates and resources, click here.

To finally turn the corner, it's so important that we continue the precautions that have worked: wear a face mask, observe social distancing, wash your hands thoroughly and regularly, get tested if you were in contact with anyone who's tested positive, etc. But, most importantly – please consider getting vaccinated if you haven't already.
Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS) will be at Whiton Memorial Library on Monday, September 13 at 7PM for a detailed presentation about the legal paths of refugees, asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants. The presentation will provide information on each based-on law, facts, and numbers. No registration required for this free in person event. For more information, click here.
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at Charter Oak Park on Friday, September 9 at 8PM for a movie night! All our welcome – Selena will be played to honor the month.
WORK_SPACE is inviting members and potential members to share ideas, resources, and visions for the future of the creative community in and around Manchester on Saturday, September 11, 1PM-2PM. This program will take place during WORK_SPACE's 2nd Saturday Open House. All are welcome, no RSVP required.
East Hartford Parks and Recreation's Fall Youth Tennis Program is back! Available to children in grades K-8, the program begins Monday, September 13 outdoors at East High School Tennis Courts. The NET GENERATION format is an exciting new instruction and play format for learning tennis. Participants may bring their own racquets, but we will have racquets available on site.
The fall program will be held every Monday from September 13 through October 25 (no class on October 11). The times for each age group are as follows:
  • Grades K-2: 5PM-5:45PM
  • Grades 3-5: 6PM-6:45PM
  • Grades 6-8: 7PM-7:45PM

This program is available to East Hartford residents only – the program fee is $18, and each age group will have a maximum of 12 participants. Pre-registration is required for this program – click here to register now or call the Parks and Recreation office at (860) 291-7160 to get more information.

The ceremonial ribbon cutting of the highly anticipated, all-new East Hartford Senior Center (15 Milbrook Drive) will take place on Wednesday, September 15 at 11AM. The $9.9 million project, designed by Christopher Williams of New Haven and constructed by Newfield Construction of Hartford, is complete with beautifully furnished rooms including an art room, game room, covered patio, relaxing lounge areas, group fitness room, weight and cardio machines, a large all-purpose room for games and movies, demonstration kitchen and commercial kitchen, and so much more!
And, keep the celebration going with the official grand opening of the Senior Center on Wednesday, September 22 at 10:30AM – followed by the 34th Annual Senior Picnic. Get more information by clicking here.
East Hartford Public Library is hosting Makerspace for a virtual demonstration of OBS Studio (used to create your own movies or stream games on the internet) and learn about other green screen software. You'll pick up your own "green screen" at the library, then join the virtual demonstration on Thursday, September 16 at 6PM. This program is open to all ages – to register, click here.
My office is always open if you or your family are in need of assistance. Please do not hesitate to contact me by email at Jason.Rojas@cga.ct.gov or by phone at 860-240-8541.


Jason Rojas


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