Weekly Update - May 12

May 12, 2023

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Dear Neighbor,
I want to share some highlights including state and local updates.
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

Today In History

Connecticut’s New State House
Sends a Message to the Nation

In the early years of the American Republic, Connecticut held itself up to the nation as a model for creating the kind of stable, citizen-selected-and-run government that was central to the success of the American project.  Thanks to the Royal Charter of 1662, which had given Connecticut virtual independence 114 years before the Declaration of Independence, Connecticut had demonstrated its ability to choose its own leaders and self-govern with stability for well over a century.  A host of writers and political leaders including Noah Webster, Timothy Dwight, Roger Sherman, David Humphreys and Oliver Ellsworth all presented Connecticut as the model for the new nation and states to look to when developing their own frameworks of self-government.  To underscore their assertions of Connecticut’s political pre-eminence, the state authorized the construction of a governmental center that would stand as a visual icon of the state’s stable, successful approach to self-rule.  That edifice, which still stands at the historic center of Hartford, is the Old State House, a beautiful federal-era building that opened for business today in 1796, as the state legislature met inside its spacious chambers for the first time. Designed by pioneering American architect Charles Bulfinch, the State House served as Connecticut’s capitol for 83 years and ushered the state through the transformation from agrarian republic to industrial colossus.

Built with brownstone quarried from Portland, Connecticut, the State House was designed to impress, sitting on an elevated location overlooking the bustling ports on the Connecticut River below. In the 1790s, Hartford was a vibrant and rapidly expanding city, and the State House building reflected the latest trends in neoclassical architecture, with symmetrical porticoes, arches, and Greek columns throughout.

“Hartford: A View of the State House from the Connecticut River” by John Stobart, 1876.


For most of the 19th century, Connecticut actually had two capital cities; Hartford and New Haven took turns hosting the state government on alternating years until 1875, when Hartford became Connecticut’s sole capital. From 1796 to 1878, the State House in Hartford served as the official place of business for all three branches of state government — executive, legislative, and judicial — whenever it convened in Hartford. The State House played host to a number of historically significant events, including the Hartford Convention of 1814 and the Amistad trial of 1841.

In 1878, the state government moved into the Gothic-style state capitol building located on Hartford’s Capitol Avenue, where it continues to meet to this day. After decades of neglect, the Old State House underwent a series of extensive renovations in the late 20th century and reopened as a museum in 1996, its 200th anniversary year. Inside, various offices, meeting halls, and chambers have been restored to reflect Federal, Victorian, and Colonial Revival styles of architecture. One of the museum’s most famous features is a recreation of Joseph Steward’s “Hartford Museum” cabinet of curiosities, which operated within the State House from 1797 to 1808 — just one year after the Old State House first opened its doors, today in 1796.

Further Reading

Old State House Architecture,” Connecticut’s Old State House website

Connecticut’s Cultural Treasures: The Old State House,” Connecticut Public Television

From 1647 to 1697, several individuals in Connecticut, primarily women, were hanged for suspicions of witchcraft. Similar to the Salem trials, the accusations against the victims were often unfounded and based in misogyny.   With House Joint Resolution 34, we recognize the trauma caused by the witchcraft trials in the CT colonial courts and absolve those accused and convicted of "witchcraft" and "familiarities with the devil."
Putting elections in the hands of the Constitutional office that manages elections makes sense. This bill designates the Secretary of the State as the state official responsible for certifying presidential electors.
A small but mighty change for taxpayers to allow charge card, debit card or electronic payment of municipal taxes or penalties.
CT's restrictive voting system is codified in the state constitution. Today's vote is to get a resolution to amend the constitution to allow no-excuse absentee ballots on the ballot in 2024.
Endometriosis is an under-studied disease impacting 1-in-10 women in CT.  The House passed HB6672 to create the Endometriosis Data and Biorepository Program and associated endometriosis research lab.
HB6590 makes it easier for families to get access to the childcare they need.
Unregulated high-THC products have been legally sold in CT outside of our strict cannabis marketplace. This practice will end under new legislation approved by the House.
The House approved pro-consumer legislation in HB 6614…Gas stations that offer cash discounts should offer the same discount if you pay with a debit card.
HB6877 strengthens the process and execution of risk protection orders (RPOs) to keep weapons out of the hands of those at imminent risk of injuring themselves or someone else.
In HB6638, we modernize and improve consistency in CT's discrimination statutes.
The House approved HB 6642 because schools need help keeping kids safe and navigating federal Title IX.
Constituent Survey Results
Direct input from the community is indispensable for me to do the best job of representing and focusing on what matters most. To that end, earlier in the session a survey was sent out to constituents with questions that allowed for sharing ideas and prioritizing the most important issues. Below are the results of the survey - I encourage you to keep in touch and keep the important window of communication open!
Summer is fast approaching, and the East Hartford Parks and Recreation department will be offering summer camp programs for the 2023 summer season.

East Hartford Parks and Recreation Summer Camps will open Monday, June 19th, 2023, and will run 7 consecutive weeks, ending on Friday, August 4th. Camps are open to East Hartford residents only and serve children and teens entering grades 1 – 9 and participants with special needs ages 6 -21.   Enrichment programming continues to be a stimulating part of the programming thanks to our collaboration with East Hartford Public Library and East Hartford Youth Services.

Camps will be held at the same park locations. However, the inclement weather locations are not on site this summer due to school construction. Inclement weather days will be determined the day prior and camps will be held at the offsite designated location.  Parents and caregivers will be notified directly.
Click here for more information

The Department of Leisure, Family, and Recreation Summer Program and Event Guide is here! Resident registration begins May 3. Non-resident registration begins on May 5.
Event Guide
In honor of the town of Manchester’s Bicentennial year, there will be an open-air trolley circling the Downtown area! The trolley will visit the Manchester Historical Society, Lutz Children’s Museum, and WORK_SPACE as part of the 3-way art venue honoring 300 years of the town’s history (the Past, Present, and Future).  For more information click here.

Please arrive early to be in line for 9am as the truck leaves promptly at 9:30am. 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)

•    Tuesday, May 23, 2023 | 09:00 AM - 09:30 AM
•    Tuesday, June 06, 2023 | 09:00 AM - 09:30 AM
•    Tuesday, June 20, 2023 | 09:00 AM - 09:30 AM
•    Tuesday, July 18, 2023 | 09:00 AM - 09:30 AM

Manchester Mobile Foodshare
East Hartford
The Connecticut Foodshare truck will be in the parking lot to distribute the food. Please bring your own bags and be prepared to possibly wait in line.
Mayberry Village –St. Isaac Jogues Church Parking Lot (41 Home Terrace East Hartford).
  • Monday May 15th   | 12:30 pm-1:15 pm
  • Monday June 12th   | 12:30 pm-1:15 pm
  • Monday June 26th   | 12:30 pm-1:15 pm
East Hartford Mobile Foodshare

Youth Fishing Derby

The Manchester Lions Club and Manchester Land Trust are proudly sponsoring the Manchester Youth Fishing Derby!

Date: Sat. May 13th, 7am - 10am.

All Manchester anglers, age 14 and under, are invited to this free event - just bring your fishing gear! Trophies will be awarded for largest fish caught, by age group.

Location: Salters Pond, Manchester, CT

This service project has been a Manchester Lions Club tradition since 1977.

Thank you to: the Manchester Recreation Department, Highland Park Market, and SBM Charitable Foundation for generously funding this service project.


Cheney Homestead Open House

Sunday, May 14, 2023 | 01:00 PM - 04:00 PM
Experience Early American lifestyle -- the 1785 homestead with period furnishings as the people experienced life at the time. The house is staged, on the first floor, in 1818. The second floor reflects 1840, with two new exhibit rooms: • "Women of the Cheney Family," and • "Ingenuity and Industry" of the Cheney family, including a re-creation of Timothy Cheney’s 17th-century wooden clock-making workbench. A $5 donation is appreciated for upkeep of the 1785 Homestead and 1751 Keeney Schoolhouse museums. The Homestead is located at 106 Hartford Road. Come for 10 minutes or stay for hours.
Manchester Historical Society

NAMI Support Groups

NAMI Events
Town of Manchester Water and
Sewer Department Spring Water Main Cleaning

To see the complete list of streets click here.

Manchester Public Schools - One Manchester
Manchester Matters
Town of East Hartford FREE Shred Day
Sponsored by EnviroShred

The Town of East Hartford has partnered with EnviroShred to host a paper-shredding event on Saturday, May 20 from 8 AM to noon at 22 Prestige Park Circle.

This resource gives residents an opportunity to bring any documentation to be shredded for free, including but not limited to medical and financial records, credit card statements, canceled checks, tax returns and all other personal documents. Limit of three boxes/bags per person.

EnviroShred will also accept toner and ink cartridges for recycling.

EnviroShred is a social enterprise of Easter Seals Capital Region & Eastern Connecticut. Visit this page for details.


Join East Hartford Police Officers for "Coffee with a Cop"

The East Hartford Police Department invites all for a "Coffee with a Cop" event! 

The event is on Tuesday, May 16 from 8 AM to 9 AM at Dunkin (639 Main Street). All are welcome!

Since 2016, the East Hartford Police Department has hosted a regular program designed to bring police officers and the community members they serve together – over coffee – to discuss issues and learn more about each other.  No agenda, no speeches.  Talk with police about your neighborhood, ask questions, share concerns, or stop by just to chat.

Brewer Street Closure Effective May 1, 2023


Effective Monday, May 1, a portion of Brewer Street in East Hartford will be closed through November 2023. The closure is necessary to replace the bridge over Pewterpot Brook.The road will reopen prior to Thanksgiving.
The closure is limited to the section of Brewer Street between Mill Road and Glenn Road/Contractors Road, but motorists should seek alternate routes if using Brewer Street as a through road. 

All motorists are encouraged to avoid the construction area and seek alternate routes to their intended destinations through November 2023, when the construction is expected to be complete.
For more information click here


East Hartford Senior Center Memorial Day Picnic

WHO: Anyone who is 55 or older and resides in the Town of East Hartford
WHAT: Memorial Day Picnic
WHEN: Wednesday May 24th at 12:00 Noon
WHERE: 15 Milbrook Drive, East Hartford

The picnic will take place Wednesday May 24th at Noon at the East Hartford Senior Center, located at 15 Milbrook Drive. 
The menu will include choice of a hotdog or a hamburger macaroni salad, baked beans and watermelon for dessert.  Those who wish to attend the picnic must purchase tickets in advance and in person.  Seating is limited.  There will be no opportunity to purchase tickets at the door.
After lunch, musical entertainment will be provided by John Paoillo.  John will be performing popular hits from the 1940’s to the 1970’s as well as some patriotic favorites.
Tickets will go on sale from Monday April 24thTickets can be purchased at the East Hartford Senior Center Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday 8:30 am to 7:30 pm and Saturdays 9- noon. Tickets are $5. When purchasing your ticket, please indicate if you want a hotdog or a hamburger.

East Hartford Mayor Mike Walsh along with the East Hartford Veterans Commission are excited to announce that the second annual East Hartford’s Memorial Day parade and series of events will take place Monday, May 29, 2023 at 10 AM.  Parking at Goodwin University, 211 Riverside Drive.


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.

“Following a several-year hiatus, we brought back the Memorial Day Parade last year to make it an annual tradition again,” said Mayor Mike Walsh. “We are proud to keep our promise and invite the community to honor, commemorate and remember the brave men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our nation on May 29, 2023.”

Community Newsletters
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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