The Mayor’s Column is back here in the New Britain Herald! I took a little break, but I am excited to use this space once again to bring you, the wonderful residents of New Britain, the latest and greatest news directly from City Hall.
In honor of Black History Month, we are celebrating the African American residents of our city, both past and present, which have made significant contributions to our community.
We are so fortunate to have benefited from several notable African American individuals who have made significant contributions to our city. Former Fire Chief Mike Carr and former Police Chief Clifford J. Willis Sr. broke the racial barriers of their time as they became the first men of color to serve as chiefs of their department. Connie Wilson Collins served as the first African American publicly elected official in New Britain and paved the way for civil servants of all ethnicities to contribute to the progress of our great community in the decades after her. Professional athletes like George Springer and Byron Jones serve as role models for our young athletes who also hope to be among the best of the best one day.
While I have only named a few, I am forever grateful for the contributions our African American residents have and continue to make to the city of New Britain.
We have multiple events planned to honor Black History Month. I will be joined by current community leaders for a virtual walkthrough via Facebook Live February 11, showing the exhibit in City Hall highlighting African American residents from throughout history who made important contributions to society.
The New Britain Police, Fire and EMS departments will be hosting a Public Safety Recruitment Drive February 15 aimed at providing all current residents of the city, as well as minority individuals from within or outside the community, who are interested in joining any of our public safety departments with the tools and resources they need to successfully navigate the recruitment process.
New Britain’s Human Rights Officer Jerrell Hargraves will join me Feb. 17 for a Facebook Live presentation of the city’s Affirmative Action Plan and an expression of continued commitment to ensuring those from all ethnicities have equal opportunity within the city of New Britain. Anyone interested in additional information about these events can reach out to my office at 860-826-3300.
I plan to continue having the conversations needed in order to heal wounds, reduce division and move this community forward together. Not many know there is a gilded angel named Winged Victory who sits atop the Civil War monument in Central Park right in the heart of downtown. Winged Victory faces south, signifying the South will never rise again while she drives racism out of our city and out of the nation. I encourage us all to keep the spirit of Winged Victory with us as we work together to continue ensuring New Britain remains a place where anyone can thrive.
Erin Stewart is the mayor of New Britain