Weekly Update - March 8, 2024

March 8, 2024

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Dear Neighbor,

Our legislative session is in its fourth week and I wanted to share this update on what we have been working on.

As always, please feel free to contact my office if you have any questions or concerns.

The topics covered are as follows:

  • Legislative Updates
  • Today in CT History
  • Community Resources
  • CT Foodshare
  • Manchester Community Events 
  • East Hartford Community Events
Legislative Updates
March is Women’s History Month, a time dedicated to honoring the vital role women have played in American history. It’s also a time to celebrate their achievements and learn more about their contributions.

This year’s theme is “Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion,” which recognizes women throughout the country who believe a positive future can only be achieved by eliminating bias and discrimination from our society.

Connecticut has a long history of female pioneers who brought progress to our state and the rest of the country. Women in our state have consistently risen to positions of leadership within the political landscape, showcasing their outstanding abilities and commitment to public service.

  • We are home to the first boarding school for women of color, which opened in 1831 in Canterbury.
  • Helen Keller was one of Connecticut’s most influential women for her fierce support and advocacy of women’s suffrage, legalization of birth control, and benefits for people with disabilities.
  • Ella T. Grasso was the first woman elected Floor Leader in the Connecticut General Assembly, first woman to chair the Democratic State Platform Committee, and the first woman in the U.S. to be elected governor. 
  • Antonia “Ann” Uccello was the first woman in Connecticut to be elected mayor of a municipality, and she was the only woman to head a major U.S. city during the Civil Rights era.
  • Today, U.S. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro continues to break barriers.
Click Here To Read More About Women’s History in Connecticut
In our quest to honor and protect women in our state, I would like to highlight some of the work we have done and continue to champion in the legislature. 
Our tireless advocacy is far from complete. We have several priorities in the 2024 legislative session that directly impact women on a daily basis.
Let's celebrate Women's History and the remarkable women in our own lives each and every day!
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.
2024 Legislative Survey
As the 2024 legislative session begins, I would like to hear from you! Connecticut faces many challenges, including access to affordable housing, childcare, and 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
Today In CT History

Today in 1845, 24-year-old Lemuel Ray died in Jewett City, a borough in the rural Eastern Connecticut town of Griswold. The young man, one of several children born to the Ray family, had died from tuberculosis, a disease then commonly known as “consumption” because of the way its victims would lose weight and become paler and weaker over time. Over the next six years, the family patriarch and another son also wasted away and then died from the disease. When a third son, Henry Nelson Ray, started wasting away from the disease in 1854, the Ray family became convinced that their deceased relatives had become vampires, and had returned from the dead to slowly drain the life from their living brethren.

Before the discovery of germ theory in the last decades of the 19th century, people in modernizing societies came up with a variety of explanations for the spread of disease that ranged from practical to supernatural. In the former Puritan stronghold of New England, the latter sort of explanation often won out, especially among rural populations with limited access to contemporary education and healthcare. The concept of vampire attacks was not as bizarre to them as it might sound to modern ears;. Unlike the quasi-romantic “fantasy” vampires of 20th century fiction, their “folkloric” vampires were believed to be a supernatural phenomenon, as real to some New Englanders as angels and demons. The symptoms of tuberculosis in particular — with consumption sufferers slowly becoming more weak and pale — seemed to lend credence to this belief of revenants “feasting” on the living.


In the 19th century, “superstitious” rural New Englanders’ beliefs in vampires were commonly mocked by city newspapers like this one.

Because consumption was so prevalent in their region, The Ray family, as well as many of their Jewett City neighbors, considered the possibility of vampires too serious to ignore. Fearful, they took drastic measures to put an end to this community threat. In May of 1854, they exhumed the bodies of the recently-deceased Ray family members and burned them before returning the charred corpses to their graves in hopes of preventing any further vampiric visits.

In the 1990s, Connecticut State Archaeologist Nicolas Bellantoni studied a set of accidentally-uncovered 19th century remains in a Jewett City family graveyard that also showed signs of being tampered with out of fears of vampirism: Inside the grave site, the bones had been drastically rearranged, with the head removed from the body and the femur bones crossed in the shape of an “X.”

For the Jewett City community, the danger of vampirism had passed — at least, for the time being. A widespread disease, a supernatural panic, and then order restored — today in Connecticut history.

Further Reading

Erik Ofgang, “Belief in Connecticut Vampires Motivated by ‘Fear and Love,’” Connecticut Magazine

Abigail Tucker, “The Great New England Vampire Panic,” Smithsonian Magazine

Town Of East Hartford
 Town Meetings
Regular Town Council Meeting
March 19th, 2024, at 7:30 PM
Community Cultural Center Auditorium (50 Chapman Place)
+1929-235-8441; ID: 565393232#    
Board of Education Meeting
March 11th, 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
April 2nd , 2024, 7:00 PM
Lincoln Center Hearing Room (494 Main Street)
Board of Directors

Regular Meeting
March 11th, 2024, 7:00 pm
 Lincoln Center Hearing Room (494 Main Street)

Below is the list of locations in Manchester that are 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.
Get mobile pantry updates in your area by texting the word Foodshare to 85511. 
 Link to the statewide map


  • Squire Village, 48 Spencer Street, 06040 (1st parking lot off Imperial Drive #78)
  • Faith Tabernacle – Manchester 110 Utopia Rd, Manchester, CT 06042
  • New River Community Church -314 Woodbridge St, Manchester, CT 06042

East Hartford

Below is the list of locations in East Hartford that are 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) 291-7295
or (860) 291-7248

  • Hockanum Park- 75 Hamilton Park
  • Mayberry Village –St. Isaac Jogues Church Parking Lot (41 Home Terrace East Hartford)
  • Summerfield Townhouse (66 Plain Drive East Hartford, CT)
  • Veterans Terrace -102 Columbus St, East Hartford, CT 06108

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

Rebuilding Together of Manchester
We are accepting volunteers for Rebuilding Day 2024! Apply early as an individual or with a group!

Apply Here:

Deadline to sign up: April 1st 
Manchester Parks & Recreation
The Town of Manchester's Recreation Division is hiring for part-time summer staff! Check out our Join Our Team packet and read about our open positions, meet the Recreation hiring team & more!
Manchester students - be sure to catch us during your lunch waves to meet the hiring team! Date: Manchester Community College (Monday, March 4).
Downtown Manchester Improvements
You're invited to attend the Public Open House for the Downtown Manchester Improvements Project! This event will showcase the exciting concept plans aimed at transforming Main Street into a vibrant "Complete Street," featuring enhancements in traffic and pedestrian safety, new public spaces, and an improved streetscape.
Open House Details:

When: Tuesday, March 12th (2 pm - 7 pm)
Where: Main Gallery @ WORK_SPACE, 903 Main Street

Our project team will be available to answer your questions, provide clarity, and address any misconceptions. Additionally, personalized consultations will be offered with Town staff to gather detailed feedback. Whether you're a resident, a downtown visitor, or representing a group, your input is invaluable!
Feel free to reserve an appointment using the provided link or simply drop by during the designated open house hours. Your insights will significantly contribute to the success of this project. 
Reserve Today
For more information, please visit below.
Project Page
Should you have any inquiries or require further assistance, please don't hesitate to contact Emma Petersen at epetersen@manchesterct.gov or call 860-647-3044.

We're looking forward to welcoming you at an upcoming open house event!

Free Manchester Tax Preparation Sites

There are several options available to file your simple income tax returns free of charge.

View the flyers for full details below.

English(PDF, 200KB)
Spanish(PDF, 76KB)


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

East Hartford FY2024-25 Budget Workshop Schedule

The East Hartford Town Council will be holding Budget Workshops for the FY2024-25 Town Budget. If you would like to attend the meeting, click on the link below to attend in person or virtually. 
Budget Workshops
East Hartford Parks and Recreation continues to offer opportunities for residents to swim and now we are excited to announce another session of swim lessons beginning in mid-March. 

Group Swim Lessons
The spring session of Group Swim Lessons will be held on Wednesday evenings beginning March 13th, or on Saturday mornings beginning March 16th.  Lessons are offered as an 8-week session and the fee for the session is $40 for residents or $50 for non-residents.  Registration is required online at www.ehparks.org.  Registration will begin Wednesday, February 14th at 9am for residents and Wednesday, February 21st at 9am for non-residents. 
East Hartford Middle School is located at 777 Burnside Avenue, but the pool is only accessible from the school entrance on Scotland Road. 

For more information on our swim lessons, or to review the current pool rules, please visit www.easthartfordct.gov/parks-recreation or call our office at 860-291-7160. 

The Town of East Hartford in collaboration with the East Hartford Veterans Commission are excited to announce that the third annual East Hartford’s Memorial Day parade and series of events will take place Monday, May 27, 2024 at 10 AM.

The event will consist of three parts, including a parade, program at the Fallen Star Memorial and celebration of East Hartford. The parade will begin promptly at 10 AM, proceeding from 9 Riverside Drive to the Fallen Star Memorial located at Goodwin University.

“It was the Town's priority to bring back the Memorial Day parade 3 years ago and it has now become a tradition that the community looks forward to every year," said Mayor Connor Martin. "I have a lot of respect for our Veterans and the Memorial Day Parade is a small gesture in which we honor their service and sacrifice." 




  • To make the event possible, the town would like to extend sponsorship opportunities to local businesses and organizations. Those who wish to sponsor the event or offer in-kind services, please fill out the electronic form below by Wednesday, May 1, 2024.
  • *2024 East Hartford Memorial Day Sponsorship Registration*


  • East Hartford is also accepting applications from vendors who wish to participate in the Memorial Day event. Vendors will have to set up and disassemble their own tables, tents and chairs. Vendors who wish to participate are asked to register Wednesday, May 1, 2024.
  • *2024 East Hartford Memorial Day Vendor Registration*

The parade will be followed by a program at the Fallen Star Memorial and a family-friendly celebration of East Hartford with food trucks, music and activities.

To receive the latest updates on the Town’s news and events, visit www.easthartfordct.gov and subscribe at www.easthartfordct.gov/subscribe.

Summer Youth Employment Program
is Accepting Applications

East Hartford Works invites youth to participate in the Summer Youth Employment and Learning Program (SYELP) and gain valuable experience.


The SYELP is a youth employment program, connecting Connecticut youth living in the North Central Region between the ages of 14 and 24 with career exploration opportunities and paid work experience each summer. Participants must qualify by income and other designated categories. Deadline to apply is May 10, 2024.

Participants have the opportunity to explore their interests and career pathways, develop workplace skills, and engage in learning experiences that help in developing their social, civic, and leadership skills. By participating in structured project- and work-based opportunities, Connecticut youth are better prepared for careers of the future.

The program runs in July and August. Participants are eligible for up to 120 hours of paid work across a variety of fields.

For more information or to apply online, visit this page SYELP | Capital Workforce Partners.

Parks and Recreation Department Accepting
Applications for Seasonal Employment

The East Hartford Parks and Recreation is now accepting applications for Summer 2024 employment opportunities.  Available positions include seasonal lifeguards and camp counselors.  The Parks and Recreation Department estimates a need to hire 20-30 new employees this year to work at various camp sites, pools, parks and facilities throughout town. 

Lifeguards must be at least 15 years old and have current certification in American Red Cross Lifeguarding OR be able to successfully complete a course prior to the start of the summer season.  Lifeguards are assigned to one of the town’s outdoor or indoor pools, and typically work a varied schedule including nights and weekends.  The Parks and Recreation Department will be offering American Red Cross Lifeguarding certification courses this spring, and course dates will be announced when they are finalized. 

Camp Counselors must be at least 16 years old and are responsible for planning and leading activities and experiences for children in a group setting, as well as overseeing the general safety and development of the children under their supervision.  Camp counselors should have leadership skills and be available to work the entire summer season, Monday through Friday, from mid-June to mid-August.  Prior experience working with children is highly preferred, and CPR and/or First Aid certification is recommended, but not required.

Working for East Hartford Parks and Recreation is a fun, rewarding experience!  Those interested in applying for seasonal positions are encouraged to do so as early as possible and employment applications are available on our website at:


For more information on our employment opportunities, please contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 860-291-7160. 

East Hartford Parks and Recreation Spring Events
Hop into spring with the Town of East Hartford and the East Hartford Parks and Recreation Department!

East Hartford Parks and Recreation Department’s will be holding a Splashing for Eggs Event at the Middle School Pool, 777 Burnside Avenue, pool entrance located on Scotland Road on Friday, March 22nd from 5:30-8:00 p.m.  Participants will be assigned a time slot to ‘hop’ into the pool to collect some floating eggs.  Children will then turn in their eggs for a goody bag.  We will also have music, floats and snacks. U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets must be worn in the water for those who do not know how to swim, and children ages 6 and under must have a parent/guardian in the water with them at all times.  This event is $3 per child participant with an additional $1.50 credit card processing fee and registration is required at ehparks.org due to limited space. You may also stop by the East Hartford Parks and Recreation office during business hours and pay by cash or check.  Parents/guardians do not need to register!  Registration will open on Wednesday, February 28, 2024 at 9am.  

Parks and Recreation will also be offering their Annual Egg Hunt at McAuliffe Park, 30 Remington Road on Saturday, March 23rd starting at 11:00am. There will be thousands of pieces of candy, treats and stuffed plastic eggs. This event is for children ages 10 and younger (and their accompanying parent/guardian.) Participants will be grouped by age and there will be staggered start times:

  • Ages 3 and under 11:00 – 11:20am (parent/guardian can accompany child on the field)
  • Ages 4-5 11:30 – 11:50am
  • Ages 6-10 12:00 – 12:20pm

Each child should bring their own bag or basket to collect eggs and candy.  Please note that the parents/guardians of children ages 4 - 10 are not allowed on the field during the egg hunt.  Please dress appropriately for the weather.   In case of inclement weather or poor field conditions, updates will be posted on our website and Facebook page www.facebook.com/ehparks.

The event is FREE for East Hartford Residents. For more information, please call East Hartford Parks and Recreation Department at 860-291-7160. 
For more information on any of these events, please call East Hartford Parks and Recreation Department at 860-291-7160.

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.

Join us at our first meeting of the year on Thursday, January 25th from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Youth Services Conference Room at the Community Cultural Center (50 Chapman Place) to learn more! For questions, contact Youth & Social Services at 860-291-7248.

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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