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Champions of Reform & Advocates of the People

Dobbs: A Deadly Attack on Women and Much, Much More

The real victors in the battle over abortion rights are the wealthy few who benefit from every division and every form of oppression that exists in the working class.

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Peter Goselin Columnist

No College? No Problem

“Skills-based hiring” is catching on as fewer employers require college diplomas, a major step toward shrinking the racial wealth gap.

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MaryLou Costa Guest Columnist

PTSD and Social Unrest

A global pandemic and social unrest have provided a collective experience of traumatic events and the need to elevate mental health as a priority for the people of Hartford. Particularly pressing is the need to help individuals identify the distinction between common daily ups and downs – and what could be signs of a more serious mental health condition.

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Brayden Ransom Guest Columnist

Other Voices Matter More

My last column on gun control has me thinking, “What is my responsibility as a writer to respect the people affected by the topics I write about?”

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Jamil Ragland Columnist

Food Deserts Are Deliberate, But Black Farmers Are Fighting Back

Fresh, affordable food produced on local, Black-owned farms is one solution to the health inequities caused by segregation and racist grocery practices.

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Alexa Spencer Guest Columnist

Public Control of Utilities Provides More Democracy, Better Environment

Public control of utilities can be part of a new, direct democracy that gives communities more power over systems that affect our everyday lives and more of a say over systems that determine the future of our planet.

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Peter Goselin Columnist

Standing Against Despair: UConn Researchers Take On Gun Violence

With gun violence again dominating the national discussion, UConn faculty members are at the forefront of doing the research and gathering the data needed to approach the issue differently, and to craft real solutions to the problem.

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Tom Breen Guest Columnist

Dunkin’ Donuts Park Trial Demands Accountability of Elected Officials

For years, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin has been steadfast that the city was not at fault for construction delays and contract disputes…with a new court trial though, the City of Hartford could be responsible for tens of millions of dollars in damages.

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Jonathan L. Wharton, Ph.D. Columnist

Don’t Look Away

The atrocity of May 24th has shocked me out of that complacency. At the time of writing this, 21 people were slaughtered in a school, including 19 children. I found out through text — I knew it had to be something uniquely awful to get a text instead of stumbling across it on Twitter. I felt the same pit of my stomach as with Sandy Hook.

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Jamil Ragland Columnist

Leadership by Lawsuit and “Students First”

Given all we know about the structure of the system office, Connecticut’s deeply entrenched system of political ties, friendships, and cronyism, is this how we want to safeguard one of our state’s most important public institutions — our community colleges?

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Patrick Sullivan Guest Columnist

The Baby Formula Crisis: When Necessities Become Commodities

Maybe it shouldn’t trouble us if a company that makes television sets or shoes or dish detergent is under a legal duty to put its profits ahead of everything else. But here, when it comes to baby formula, we are seeing what happens when a human necessity becomes a commodity.

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Peter Goselin Columnist

Connecticut Begins to Take Climate Change Seriously

Connecticut is not a place where we have to convince people that climate change is real, but there is still work to be done to show how serious the situation is. Decreasing carbon emissions and making a more serious effort to shift to renewable energy sources are now a matter of our survival.

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Jamil Ragland Columnist

eSports Is the Future and Hartford Students Need a Level Playing Field

The NFL and NBA didn’t start off as the professional sports behemoths they are now and someday we’ll look back on this era as the moment when eSports began its ascendancy to similar heights of popularity. Hartford’s students need to be a part of building the future of the next great competitive sport.

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Jamil Ragland Columnist

Connecticut Deserves a Pro-People Judiciary

Unless we start to balance the courts away from its current corporate and prosecutorial bias, we will never have a judiciary that truly works for the people.

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Steve Kennedy Columnist

Understanding Cultural Norms Through Restroom Laws

Conversations about cultural norms are important and we should continue to have them, but let’s also remember to celebrate our diversity, to value each other’s perspectives, and to stand up to those who seek to control us.

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David A. Grant Columnist

Civic Engagement is More Than Voting

We are the threads in this larger fabric of society, each of us providing our own measure of strength, commitment, and values that weave together a beautiful tapestry of democracy and civic responsibility.

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Melvette Hill Columnist

Stop Making Students Take Impossible Tests

Our students do not have a hard time reading and writing. They have a hard time reading and writing in a stilted, academic format, under pressure, for two hours at a time. Failing these tests does not mean they’re unprepared for a world that will never ask them to write that way again.

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Jamil Ragland Columnist

It’s Time to End Special Parole

“Special Parole” is overused against people of color in Connecticut, specifically against Black people who are sent back to prison over special parole violations at disproportionate rates. As reported by the ACLU in 2019, from 2008 to 2018, while the number of people sentenced in Connecticut overall declined by 34%, the number of people on special parole increased by 142%.

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Haddiyyah Ali Columnist

Celebration, Changemaking, and Queer Unity

The LGBTQ+ Nutmeggers recognized this year provide a symbol of queer visibility, determination, and courage from every corner of the state. Despite immense hardship, the 19th Annual Dorothy Awards showcased the unfailing pluck and creativity of the queer community, an enduring beacon of hope during troubled times.

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William Ollayos Columnist

Infrastructure Bill Could Transform Hartford

Hartford residents deserve to drive on safe, well-maintained roads that don’t sap money from their pockets in the form of car repairs. City dwellers and those in surrounding towns shouldn’t have to deal with sewage spilling into the streets as the inevitable results of climate change douse the city with bigger, more intense storms.

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Jamil Ragland Columnist

Recognizing Historic Hartford’s Overlooked Landmarks  

It’s no secret that Black American churches have been the heart of countless neighborhoods for generations. They were often the only civic space where local politics thrived in Black communities since electoral politics were near impossible in political machine cities. Black pastors were and remain significant leaders especially in urban America.

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Jonathan Wharton Columnist

Candidates for Governor Need to Speak About Racial Inequities

The reality of negative outcomes for Black residents is often papered over because Connecticut is a “blue” state, and Democrats are given more credit for being progressive on matters of race. However, when you dig into the actual outcomes Black residents face here, it becomes clear that the Democrat’s reputation has not been earned.

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Jamil Ragland Columnist

Connecticut’s LGBTQ+ Network Assesses Needs and Makes Plans

The existence of the Network serves as a groundbreaking step forward for a historically underserved community (in Connecticut and beyond). Importantly, LGBTQ+ individuals can no longer be forgotten by lawmakers both as a population with unique needs as well as a resource for the state itself. Money allocated to the Network will allow the skills and talents of the LGBTQ+ community to flourish, subsequently giving back to Connecticut at both the state and local levels.

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William Ollayos Columnist

PROTECT ACT, S.B. 1059 must be signed into law in the 2022 legislative session

Solitary confinement is torture, and it is torture that the State of Connecticut engages in regularly. In 2019, Connecticut was ranked worst in the nation for disproportionately assigning Black men to solitary.

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Haddiyyah Ali Columnist

Hartford’s Sheff Case Requires Action From Lawmakers

Connecticut has a nasty habit of overlooking how wealthy and overwhelmingly White our suburbs are, while we have so many poorer and majority minority cities. Our school districts reflect our divided communities and the Sheff case was attempting to address this social and economic phenomenon.

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Jonathan Wharton Columnist

Police Reform Still Necessary

Whatever limited political will there was for true police reform after Floyd’s shocking murder has dissipated. We’re left with the pre-2020 status quo of constantly expanding police budgets and tough-on-crime sloganeering during election years.

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Jamil Ragland Columnist

Innovation in Inclusive Public Policy

COVID-19 has provided us an opportunity to consider the issues that may have been not as visible before the pandemic. One of the largest issues that we have learned is the divisiveness in our communities, which like all other issues, is further exasperated by technology.

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Alan Tan Columnist

How to Make Our Streets Safer

In 2008, Angel Arce Torres was struck by a car on Park Street as he was crossing the road. The accident, and alleged indifference of those who witnessed it, made national headlines. He died a year later.

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Jamil Ragland Columnist

Parent Leadership for a Healthy Democracy

Civically engaged parents leading for and on behalf of their children bring about the change — the much-needed change in Connecticut and through every neighborhood in the Capitol region.

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Melvette Hill Columnist

Climate Resilience Requires Equal Access to Education and Fiscal Supports

While our state laws clearly state that the transition to a clean energy future should be inclusive, the continued lack of representation of black and brown leaders in our state’s energy and infrastructure planning has led to lack of information and lack of equally distributed fiscal support for efficiency, clean energy, and resilience in our communities.

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Leticia Colon de Mejias Columnist

Harnessing Technology For Exploration

The current system bleakly promises “make an investment and personal sacrifice now and maybe you will be rewarded later”, the new trend in technology reinforces the intrinsic value of each youth’s time and through this iterative personalization-at-scale, greatly increases the likelihood of future success across various sectors.

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Chiziterem Uwaga Columnist

Which Will Be Connecticut’s Comeback City: Bridgeport or Hartford?

Hartford has some political promise because there’s more competition within its Democratic Town Committee and there’s a viable Working Families Party getting candidates elected to the city council. Party competition could lead to more candidates for public office and more political reform initiatives.

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Jonathan Wharton Columnist

Connecticut’s Incarcerated Population Needs a Comprehensive COVID-19 Response

If we have learned anything in the past two years, it should be that radical community care is the only thing that can help us in the fight against COVID-19.

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Haddiyyah Ali Columnist

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