Traction For Action Forum

December 30, 2019

I hope you all had a happy, safe and wonderful holiday.

Happy, safe, and wonderful. Those three words come to mind often when I think of the town of Bloomfield, where I live and work like many of you. So, like you I was very upset when I learned about the day-time shooting at the Stop and Shop on Cottage Grove Road Sunday.

As your State Representative and frankly as a resident I was so disturbed, that I went over to see for myself. There was still a police presence there but this incident involving people shooting at each other in a public place happened in broad daylight, around 3:30 p.m. Very disturbing.

At the Traction for Action forum against violence I attended a few weeks ago, I spoke about how urban violence affects suburban communities. We often hear of shootings in Hartford, and believe the suburbs are not affected. However suburban communities like Bloomfield and Windsor could be called "North Hartford". Many suburban residents lived in Hartford, before moving to the suburbs. Many suburban residents have family and friends in Hartford, and either work or do business in the city. I actually have many students who have family and friends who have been affected by urban violence.

Fortunately, no one was hurt in this instance.‚Äč

Interestingly enough, this incident comes on the heels of a "Traction for Action" forum I attended a couple of weeks ago in the North End of Hartford. I was captivated by the opening line of the flyer "A small fraternity of committed violence interrupters has been confronting gun violence in Hartford for over 50 years."

Let me ask you: do you think we need such a group in Bloomfield or something similar?

I was particularly pleased to learn the North End will be get some backing for its efforts now.

Through congressional and state legislative support the city received funds, for the first time, from the federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA). Much more is needed to combat gun violence. Every little bit helps. Gun violence is an all-hands-on-deck situation.