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Sunday, June 12, 2011

MY CAMPAIGN FOR HARTFORD CITY COUNCIL

I have been going back and forth on whether I should set up a separate website to post information regarding my campaign for Hartford City Council. The one thing I did decide though was that I was not going to make it part of the regular posting on the main page of the blog.

I think many of my readers are interested in the future of Hartford and the direction it is going, but I don't think everyone wants to read about me and why I'm running. If you are a regular reader you already know my position on a lot of things affecting Hartford.

I am going to try, at least to start, to just have a second page here on the blog than can be accessed by the tab in the upper right hand corner here on the blog.

Let me know what you think.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kevin,
I do not know you personally but read your blog often. I believe that it is easy to write/post these blogs and let people respond to their frustration with city affairs. While I applaud you on keeping us informed, the work is for people like you to get involved in city politics. Instead for spending time on telling us what you did to fight THE MAN or all the wrong there is, get elected to a position and work with US, help us become better people, use your character to win an election and change Hartford forever. I would be more than happy to help your caimpaign if what you say is true about what you believe in. Bring people together as I am a Hispanic and would vote for you. Stop the talk and start kicking ass by working for the common good.

peter brush said...

If you are a regular reader you already know my position on a lot of things affecting Hartford.
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But, I wouldn't mind a brief re-summary.
Let me re-summarize my position. There's not really a lot the municipal government can do. Everybody knows, for example, that violent crime is a problem here, but what can a councilman do about it? Pass a new ordinance? Hire a few hundred more cops? I'd be appreciative of a councilman who a.)recognizes that the govt. we now pay for is larded with dumb social programs, and, b.)is able, while seeking to reduce its scale, to oversee the existing bureaucracy efficiently and honestly.
It would seem to me that your work on this blog goes to the second point.

Anonymous said...

Peter - I am not sure I understand why you think hiring more police would not help with the crime problem. While I am no fan of Giuliani, the fact is putting cops on corners all over Manhattan and arresting people for pretty much everything did go a long way toward making Manhattan a safer place to visit. If there's a cop on a corner, there won't be a drug deal going on on that corner, or two people shooting each other on that block.

Anonymous said...

Mayor Giuliani was a genius.. But he had the courts support. If you got caught with a dime bag of marijuana, you were going to spend some time in Rikers Island. The Hartford Courts wouldn't send a murderer to jail. Do the math. You can lock these guys up all day and before the paper work is completed the criminal is already back on the corner. What a joke!

peter brush said...

Peter - I am not sure I understand why you think hiring more police would not help with the crime problem.
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Not precisely my thought. More cops better than fewer, at least up to a point. But, the reason we have so much crime here is not too few cops, but too many criminals. Similarly with the public school district; problem not too few teachers, but too many academically-challenged students. Our local tax/spend Dem pols like to suggest, and have so suggested for decades now, that if we only were to have more programs, better designed programs, more expensive programs with more social workers to administer them we could be on the path to urban revival, etc. Not sure they are totally deluded, or to what extent they cynically game the system to take a poverty pimp cut of the action, new bathroom, no-show bureaucratic job for buddies.

Bill Cantore said...

Peter Brush said:
Not precisely my thought. More cops better than fewer, at least up to a point. But, the reason we have so much crime here is not too few cops, but too many criminals

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Peter, I would have to disagree with you there. There are in fact far too few sworn officers at HPD. If there were to be another 100 sworn in, which is where HPD should be at this point, it would give the department many more options that have already been mentioned, more walk beats in the Upper Albany/Clay Arsenal area, etc. There is simply no denying HPD is way under-staffed and has been for some time. The extreme violence in the city is a direct product of the lack of officers/funds

Anonymous said...

Everyone
Government officials can do a lot. First they can help all of us by monitoring how money is spent and using our money on things that matter. Kevin can run for the good of the people not for the benefit of himself. This is a start. I want more police officers that set high expectations for all including themselves. I also want the citizen to have high expectations for all government workers. Kevin would make that happen and keep everyone on their toes. This is exactly what we need. We are all tired of waste: waste of money, waste of corruption:waste of life. This Blog is popular because Kevin has created an outlet for the disgruntled. It is now time to move away from the talk and let action follow Kevin to victory. I am not interested in continuing talking about all that is wrong but how we can change the way our public officials and how we can vote Kevin in. Kevin: make a move and walk the walk as A lot of people will follow you.

peter brush said...

The extreme violence in the city is a direct product of the lack of officers/funds
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OK. I'm not necessarily opposed to more cops. But, the idea that the problem we have is a cop shortage simply mistaken. I don't suppose you'd be suggesting that crime levels in West Hartford or Wethersfeild are low because of the excellent police work those folks do.

Anonymous said...

So what is your solution, Peter? If there's "not really a lot municipal government can do," then who has to do it? Saying there are "too many criminals" seems kind of flippant and doesn't really suggest you have a better solution. What do you think should be done?

Bill Cantore said...

Peter Brush said: I don't suppose you'd be suggesting that crime levels in West Hartford or Wethersfeild are low because of the excellent police work those folks do.
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No, I don't suggest that. They aren't comparable. West Hartford and Wethersfeild don't have The Los Solidos or Crips. I do suggest a city such as NYC, that's the same sh*t but a different a**hole, is a perfect example of why more policing simply works. You just can't argue with that.
There are too many criminals because people aren't afraid of being criminals in Hartford. Imagine how ecstatic the bangers in the North End are with the sub-station, the image and presence of law enforcement, being boarded up. It's a game of chess between the gangs and police, and it's as if their pawn took our knight on that move.
I'll reiterate what a previous Anon poster said and maybe this time it will sink in; If there's a cop on a corner, there won't be a drive by, or a drug deal.
Perhaps Peter you could spend a night, or even an afternoon, on Garden St. and then tell me you're fine with the amount of Police presence.
Peter you just don't have a clue, there are too many criminals because there are too few cops.

peter brush said...

There are too many criminals because people aren't afraid of being criminals in Hartford.
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And, lung cancer causes smoking.
There are too many criminals because the cities are where the State parks its socially-challenged. First, and most obviously, when the State releases convicts who've served the time they are delivered, by and large, to the cities. Secondly, the cities are where the money-challenged folks live because zoning in non-urban areas is designed to exclude them.
Again, I'm not opposed to more cops, but to really change the place we need to change the people. So, how about the State stop sending us its ex-cons? How about the State prohibit single-family zoning with lot/floorspace minimums? How about the City get entirely out of the housing subsidization racket? If housing subsidization were good for the municipality you'd expect others to follow suit, but what you are far more likely to see is a suburban town regulating against affordable housing, let alone subsidizing it. How about the State fund non-district schooling (full-blown voucher deal) for Hartford residents. To the extent that normal civilized folks can avoid putting their kids in the State's Hartford district schools they would be more willing to live in town.

Anonymous said...

Peter - So your recommendation is that it be made impossible for ex-cons to live anywhere? Great. Then they can be roving gangs of bandits, like in the Middle Ages. That will make us all safer. Or perhaps they should just be summarily executed upon release?
Where do you think convicts released from Riker's go? Do they get shipped to the New York suburbs, or to the city? And yet people don't talk about NYC as a sinkhole of crime anymore. Sorry, but I don't think "give them no place to live and make them even more dangerous and desperate" works as a crime-control policy.

peter brush said...

Peter - So your recommendation is that it be made impossible for ex-cons to live anywhere?
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I don't know if it's my recommendation, and don't know how it'd be implemented if it were. My point is that dumping ex-cons here is not beneficial to the town. I think they've changed the sex offender registry so that you can't search by zip code, but last time I did we had approximately 200 in my zip code. If we were to have a similar registry for violent criminals I suspect it would show more than that. I had a neighbor who was on the sex offender registry. A couple of winters ago he finished his time on parole, and was allowed to leave Ct. However, when the folks up in New Hampshire found out who he was, they ran him out of town. Note; his sex crime was registered, but the fact that he murdered his victim before sexually abusing her was not. Why if he is not wanted in New Hampshire or in his home state of Michigan would we want him here. But, as we know, the criminal/American community will continue to be overwhelmingly located in our towns. Which is to say, with respect to crime in town there's not much the municipal government can do.
But, I do think Kevin's candidacy is worthy of consideration by those who can vote in the Dem primary. He appears to me to have a keen interest in running the municipal government in an honest, open, and efficient manner.

Anonymous said...

Some time in the near future the Department of Corrections will release nearly 2,000 inmates as a cost saving strategy. Most of these individuals will come to Hartford or New Haven. Some provisions must be made to reintegrate these individuals. More cops is not what reduces crime; there is an abundance of police research on this. What does work is smart police strategies as part of a total institutional focus on public safety, reintegration and accountability. This is costly and requires innovative thinking -- something in short supply in the city and the state.

KEVIN BROOKMAN said...

Anonymous @9:09 said:
"More cops is not what reduces crime."

I agree, but in the short term it can't hurt. In reality the answer to crime is not more cops, it is more jobs. Hartford overall has not been business friendly, we have driven more jobs out of Hartford than we have attracted. Until we start attracting more business and encouraging economic development through smart strategies, nothing will change and will most likely get worse. With our current tax rates, it is almost impossible to compete with our suburban neighbors, and even with Connecticuts other urban areas.

We also need to hold agencies such as the MDC accountable. With a $2 billion dollar project underway, very few jobs have gone to Hartford residents or hartford contractors. In fact the "neighborhood liason" recently hired (to replace the previous liason who was arrested for soliciting prostitutes while he was working) isn't even a Hartford resident. Wouldn't it have made more sense to actually hire someone that is a Hartford resident and lives in the impacted area to work with their neighbors? Have you heard a word from the Council on MDC jobs?

What about an apprentice program for prisoners being released? We certainly have enough blighted and abandoned properties to begin training a fair share of apprentice plumbers, electricians, drywallers, framers, carpenters , teach them a usable trade while at the same time rehabbing many of our eyesores throughout the City. Then maybe sell those rehabbed properties to city employees with incentives to actually get them to live in Hartford

I know it sounds crazy, but I don't think most people committing crime want that life style, but they are somewhat forced into it to survive. We need to break the cycle, and hiring more cops isn't necessarily the long term solution

Anonymous said...

How about we give five dollars to kevins caimpagn every time we make a comment or post?

Bill Cantore said...

In this article a FSU Law Professor says increased Police presence reduces crime, and not by just a little.

Bill Cantore said...

Peter Brush,

I just want to confirm that you read the above article. I haven't heard a peep from you since.

Bill Cantore said...

What I think I haven't gotten through is the fact that HPD is understaffed based on the national average of police officers per capita, that is the number one reason to have more sworn officers. I think HPD needs to be a little over the national average,  possibly only temporarily until the ridiculous crime stats are under control. More bike patrol, more walk-beats, more concentrated vice/narcotic surveillance and stings. I think the City's bait-car isn't as utilized as much as it could be either.  All of these can be supplemented with more funds and officers. I know the City is crying poor but, just as Kevin has mentioned, there are plenty of 6 figure+ positions that the City shells-out for that are needless at this point in Hartford's financial situation.

peter brush said...

Bill C.:
I can only repeat, I'm not opposed to more cops doing more stuff, and do believe it likely that more law enforcement reduces crime up to a point. The reason we are considering the matter is that Hartford is a high crime area. But, areas don't commit crimes, people do. There are structural forces in play that cause Hartford to be a high criminal area. Those forces are almost completely beyond the control, or even the influence of the municipal government. So, by all means, reduce the crime rate as much as we can, but don't expect that Hartford will cease, at the end of the day, being high crime.

peter brush said...

Bill:
About the cited study, what was found was a 15% cut in crime around the mall in D.C. with an increase in police presence. Would seem a significant decline, even discounted by the fact that crime was down in the city as a whole 6%. Two things: There is no suggestion that there is a level of police presence that would reduce crime by 100%, and the article explicitly disclaims any connection between more cops and a reduction in violent crime rate.

Bill Cantore said...

I agree that crime is deeper rooted than not enough police presence alone.
You can't make people be model citizens, but you can scare them into not committing as many crimes with the loss of their freedom.
The article states that at the very least to Increase police presence by 25%, possibly 50% before you start to see deminishing returns.
I don't think anyone ever mentioned decreasing crime by 100%, it's impossible.
The article doesn't disclaim the connection between more cops and a reduction in crime. It says that previous studies show that there is more crime where there are more police, that doesn't mean that by removing police from those high crime areas that it would reduce crime. The article states just the opposite of what you got from it.
What is your magic answer for this if an increase of police presence by a quarter just won't do? even though it's proven that at the very least it could cut Hartford's GTAs by 70 a year, or burglary by 70, or larceny by 210.

peter brush said...

Bill:
My point all along has been that there is no "magic answer." All things being equal I'd have more cops doing more police work. I'm in favor of a more modest local government, with fewer programs/employees, lower taxes, and a reasonably honest administration. More modest because most of what it's purportedly doing is, to use your word, "impossible." Hartford is what it is. I think, and hope, that it has bottomed out.