Weekly Update - February 2

February 2, 2024

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Dear Neighbor,

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

Legislative Updates
The resources below will help you stay updated on crucial developments, events, proposed policies, and key discussions as they happen in Hartford. I urge you to please follow along and get involved.

Here's how you can stay connected and actively participate:  

  • The non-partisan Office of Legislative Research (OLR) recently released the 2024 Major Issues Report. This comprehensive document highlights and summarizes key issues the legislature could take up during the upcoming session. 
  • You can view the Connecticut General Assembly's upcoming events by checking out its schedule on the CGA official website
  • Follow CT-N for live coverage of committee meetings as well as House and Senate floor debates. 
  • You can register to monitor any bill's journey as it goes through the legislative process. By signing up, you can enter the bill number and receive real-time updates. Stay informed with email notifications whenever there's a change in the bill's progress. 
  • Visit this website for information on how to testify on a bill at a public hearing.

Together, we can make a positive impact and ensure that our community's needs are represented. 

Black History Month
February is Black History Month, a time when we celebrate the many achievements and contributions of individuals from the Black diaspora as well as reckon with the systemic racism from our past that is still prevalent today. The theme for this year's month-long celebration is “African Americans and the Arts,” which spotlights Black Americans who excelled in various fields of creative expression and the influence they have on our country's culture.

Connecticut was home to several notable moments in Black history. The Canterbury Female Boarding School, the first boarding school for young Black girls in the country, was in Canterbury. Abolitionist John Brown was born in Torrington. The 29th Colored Regiment, an all-Black regiment based out of Fair Haven during the Civil War, was one of the first units to enter Richmond, Virginia after it was abandoned by the Confederate Army. Click here to read more about Black history in our state.

Thanks to the tireless work of the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus and other colleagues in the General Assembly in 2019, Connecticut became the first state to require public schools to include Black and Latino history in their curriculums. Black history is American history, and this law ensures that the stories and triumphs of Black Americans will be taught throughout the school year. 

I encourage you to take some time to celebrate and learn more about Black history, locally and throughout America. Connecticut is home to several organizations that honor and celebrate the Black experience, such as the Amistad Center for Art & Culture in Hartford and the Ruby and Calvin Fletcher African American Museum in Stratford.
Click here to find more places that honor and support Black history and culture in our state.

2024 Legislative Survey
As the 2024 legislative session begins, I would like to hear from you! Connecticut faces many challenges, including the economy, inflation, rising cost of living and access to quality healthcare. I’d like to know your views on all the various issues facing our state. I would like to hear your opinion on a variety of topics so I can better represent you and our community in Hartford. I hope you will take a few minutes to complete this survey.
2024 Legislative Survey
Legislative Town Halls
Thank you to everyone who joined us.
Today In CT History

Abel Buell was a man able to do just about anything, just not very well.

At various times a convicted counterfeiter, goldsmith, engraver, armsmaker, inventor, textile manufacturer, packet boat proprietor, auctioneer, privateer, mint master, mapmaker, and husband to four wives, Buel spent most of his 81 years pursuing a seemingly limitless array of schemes he thought would bring fame and fortune. One of them – his 1784 “A new and correct map of the United States of North America. . . ,” the first map of the newly independent United States produced and published by an American – would succeed in doing just that, but only centuries after Buell had died a pauper in the New Haven almshouse.



Connecticut authorized Buell to mint coins in 1785

Buell was born today in 1742 in Killingworth and initially trained as a goldsmith. Like fellow metalworker Paul Revere, he was restlessly creative and used his skills in a wide range of artistic and mechanical endeavors, including becoming a talented copperplate engraver. After a brief detour in 1764 into less-than-reputable work creating counterfeit currency– a transgression for which he was branded (yes, like cattle) with the letter “C” on his forehead, had part of his ear cut off and served a half year in jail – Buell successfully petitioned for a pardon, returned to Killingworth, and eventually joined the Sons of Liberty. (Some scholars suggest he may have been part of the Boston Tea party, and used some of the metal from New York’s toppled statue of King George to make printer’s type).

Though New Haven was the town where he lived the longest and returned to most often, Buell jumped from venture to venture and place to place, including Hartford, New York, Pensacola, Florida, Britain, and Stockbridge, Massachusetts . His pursuits ranged from privateering (government-sanctioned piracy with a literal license to steal), designing and producing the first printer’s type manufactured in America, inventing agricultural tools, running a line of packet boats from New Haven to New London, auctioneering, metalwork, minting coins, silversmithing, gun-smithing and cotton manufacturing. But despite all his efforts to make his inventiveness pay off, Buell sooner or later ended up in debt, and indeed, died destitute. Still, he is remembered today for the one idea that did pay off, though far too late – the map he produced in our nation’s infancy.


Buell’s “New and correct map of the United States of North America . . .” was researched, drafted and produced in a small shop Buell kept in New Haven. Produced only months after the signing of the Treaty of Paris ending the American Revolution in September 1783, and released two months before that Treaty took effect in May 1784, the first map of the new United States captured a national vision that was both expansive and uncertain. Buell thought to reflect both the territorial claims of the individual former colonies, and the national boundaries agreed to in the treaty. As a result, several states – and Connecticut alone among the New England states – look like broad horizontal stripes on Buell’s map, extending from the east coast to the Mississippi River. The map underscored Connecticut’s claim to lands it would fight to retain as a member of the new nation.



The map cartouche included both the Stars and Stripes
and the seal of Connecticut. (Library of Congress)

Buell was said to have drawn on the work of cartographers who had come before him, though the emphasis on the treaty’s boundaries and the cartouche with distinctly American and Connecticut symbolism was distinctly his own. The map was remarkable, but unfortunately for Buell, not a commercial success – at least not at the time.

In December 2010, however, 226 years after it was first offered for sale, one of the surviving copies of Buell’s “A new and correct map of the United States of North America” set the world record for a map at auction when it sold for 1.8 million dollars at Christie’s in New York.

Of the seven copies of Buell’s map known to remain, two are in collections n Buell’s home state, at Yale and the Connecticut Historical Society.

Further Reading

Mapping a New Nation: Abel Buell’s Map of the United States ,“Library of Congress

Record for Map as Buell’s America Takes 1.8m,Antiques Trade Gazette

Lawrence C. Wroth, Abel Buell of Connecticut (1926) Connecticut State Library

Town Of East Hartford
 Town Meetings
Regular Town Council Meeting
February 6th, 2024, at 7:30 PM
Community Cultural Center Auditorium (50 Chapman Place)
+1929-235-8441; ID: 565393232#    
Board of Education Meeting
February 12th , 2024 7pm
857 Forbes Street

Town Resources
Town Newsletters
Pulse of East Hartford     
East Hartford Public Schools
East Hartford Works

Town Of Manchester
Town Meetings
Regular Board of Directors Meeting
February 6th, 2024, 7:00 PM
Lincoln Center Hearing Room (494 Main Street)
Board of Directors

Regular Meeting
February 12th, 2024, 7:00 pm
 Lincoln Center Hearing Room (494 Main Street)


Open to the public--bring a sturdy grocery bag! This program is made possible by Foodshare and Winn Residential - Resident Service Program. For more information call 860-646-1280.
Squire Village, 48 Spencer Street, 06040 (1st parking lot off Imperial Drive #78) 

  • February 13th 9am-9:30am
  • February 27th 9am-9:30am

 Faith Tabernacle – Manchester 110 Utopia Rd, Manchester, CT 06042

  • February 15th, 1:00pm – 1:30pm (Cancelled)
  • February 29th, 1:00pm – 1:30pm 

New River Community Church -314 Woodbridge St, Manchester, CT 06042

  • February 7th 12pm-12:30pm
  • February 21st  12pm-12:30pm

Get mobile pantry updates in your area by texting the word Foodshare to 85511.

Manchester Mobile Foodshare
East Hartford
The Connecticut Foodshare truck will be in the parking lot to distribute the food. Please bring your bags and be prepared to possibly wait in line.
Hockanum Park- 75 Hamilton Park
  • February 5th 9am-9:30am
  • February 19th, 9:00am – 9:30am (Cancelled)  

Mayberry Village –St. Isaac Jogues Church Parking Lot (41 Home Terrace East Hartford)

  • February 5th - 12: 30pm – 1:15 pm
  • February 19th - 12: 30pm – 1:15 pm

Summerfield Townhouse (66 Plain Drive East Hartford, CT)

  • February 14th, 1:15pm – 2:00pm
  • February 28th, 1:30pm – 2:00pm

Veterans Terrace -102 Columbus St, East Hartford, CT 06108

  • February 12th, 1:30pm – 2:00pm (Cancelled)
  • February 26th, 1:30pm – 2:00pm

Get mobile pantry updates in your area by texting the word Foodshare to 85511.

East Hartford Mobile Foodshare

Downtown Streetscape Details

The Town of Manchester is excited to have received a $7.5 million Community Investment Fund grant to fund long-sought safety and streetscape improvements to Downtown. The project is intended to do what the Manchester community has asked us to do for many years: Invest in Downtown to make it an even better destination for everyone:  residents; business and property owners, customers, employees and visitors.

Please visit the project web page and be on the lookout for a series of open houses. Discussion in the community has already begun, which is great! 

Here are some details for those who care about Downtown and are interested in the project:   
•    Downtown currently rates as a high crash area with numerous accidents and sadly, fatalities. 
•    Complete Streets projects typically result in increased business activity and private investment.
•    A “Road diet” is designed to make vehicular traffic through Downtown: Slower, Smoother and Safer to benefit ALL.
•    Conceptual plans show NO NET DECREASE in the number of on-street parking spaces and ADDITIONAL off-street public parking spaces.
•    The Town is actively working with representatives of the Manchester Road Race to ensure these improvements will enhance and not negatively impact, the race and other important Downtown events.
•    A mix of diagonal, parallel and off-street public spaces will remain.

Gary Anderson, Director of Manchester Planning & Economic Development
ganderson@manchesterct.gov | 860- 647-3044

The Afro-Semitic Experience will perform at Unitarian Universalist Society East, 153 Vernon St. West, Manchester CT, in celebration of Black History Month at 2 pm Feb. 11. Suggested donation is $15.
For details, email info@uuse.org or call 860-646-5151.

FY25 Budget Workshops & Meetings

The following is the schedule of FY25 Budget Workshops. Meetings will be conducted in person with remote access optional via Zoom.

View the Full Schedule of FY25 Budget Workshops & Meetings by

 clicking here(DOC, 32KB) . 
Please note that workshops will be held in the Lincoln Center Hearing Room at 5:30 p.m.

NOTEWorkshop #2 on March 12 is scheduled for 5:00 instead of 5:30 and is followed by the Public Hearing at 7pm, same location.

The Budget Adoption is scheduled for Tuesday, April 9, 2024 at 7pm in the Lincoln Center Hearing Room.



  • Tuesday, March 05, 2024 | 07:30 AM - 08:30 AM
  • Wednesday, March 06, 2024 | 05:30 PM - 06:30 PM
  • Tuesday, March 12, 2024 | 05:00 PM - 06:00 PM
  • Thursday, March 14, 2024 | 05:30 PM - 06:30 PM
  • Tuesday, March 19, 2024 | 05:30 PM - 06:30 PM
  • Wednesday, March 20, 2024 | 05:30 PM - 6:30 PM
  • Thursday, March 21, 2024 | 5:30 PM - 6:30PM
  • Thursday, April 4, 2024 | 5:30PM - 6:30PM

Blood Drive Manchester

For more info and to schedule your appointment, call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit us online to find drives in nearby towns on Red Cross website.

Location: North United Methodist Church, 300 Parker Street, Manchester


The Department of Leisure, Family, and Recreation Winter/Spring Program and Event Guide is here!

Event Guide
Town Of Manchester
Town Resources
Manchester Public Schools - One Manchester
Manchester Matters

Join the Local Prevention Council- Youth Advisory Board

Youth & Social Services is recruiting East Hartford residents to serve as members on the Local Prevention Council (LPC). The East Hartford LPC works together to plan and implement substance use and misuse prevention programs for East Hartford youth. We are looking for members of all backgrounds, including parents, youth, educators, youth serving organizations, substance misuse organizations, local government, law enforcement, health care, media, business, faith-based organizations, civic and volunteer groups, and persons with lived experience.
Free-Play Basketball and Adult Open Gym

East Hartford Parks and Recreation is offering two fun programs: Open Gym for East Hartford residents in Grades 7 through 12 and Adult Drop-In Basketball.


For Middle and High School students in grades 7 – 12

East Hartford residents or students attending East Hartford Middle or High School can participate in Basketball Open Gym on Mondays and Fridays. The program starts runs through Friday, March 8th from 6:30 – 8:45pm at East Hartford Middle School.  Grade 7 and 8 will be in the Lower Gym and Grades 9 – 12 will be in the Upper Gym.  The program is FREE, but all participants must be registered at www.ehparks.org and have a Town ID or EHHS/EHMS ID at the program. There will be no program if there is no school or school is let out early due to inclement weather.


For adults ages 18 & up

East Hartford Parks and Recreation is offering Adult Open Basketball at Goodwin Elementary School. All participants must complete a registration form the first evening they attend or register at www.ehparks.org for a season membership. The program is Monday and Thursday nights and will run through Thursday, March 7th. Residents can purchase a season pass for $20 or $2 an evening.  Non-residents can purchase a Season Pass for $40 or $4 an evening.  The program time is 6:30 to 9:30pm.  Basketball sneakers are mandatory.  There will be no program if there is no school or school is let out early due to inclement weather.

For more information, please call the Parks and Recreation office at 860-291-7160.


East Hartford Public Library

The East Hartford Public Library will be hosting a Black History Month film series begins on Thursday, February 1, at 6:00 PM with TILL (2022). In this emotional true story, Mamie Till-Mobley relentlessly pursues justice for her 14-year-old son who, in 1955, was lynched while in Mississippi.

Register for a reminder:


For more upcoming programs, visit our website: http://www.easthartfordct.gov/library

Town Of East Hartford
Town Resources
Pulse of East Hartford Newsletter
East Hartford Public School News
East Hartford Works
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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