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[CT INSIDER ] Following homicide surge, Hartford mayoral candidates pitch plans to curb trend

Updated: Sep 14

By Emily DiSalvo

Aug. 18, 2023

"It is the number one thing on people's minds," said mayoral candidate Nick Lebron. "It is absolutely the number one thing on people's minds. If there's one silver lining, it's that even the downtown business owners, the small business owners — it's number one on their minds, too."

This batch of candidates would not be the first to make pledges about curbing violence in Hartford. Current Mayor Luke Bronin came into office with a similar goal. Bronin attributed growing homicide rates across the country to why Hartford's numbers have also increased but Lebron was unsympathetic to that argument.

"Saying things like, 'Oh, it's a nationwide trend,' is almost as if waving a white flag," Lebron said. "We need someone in the position who is not going to tell us a story. We can no longer believe in hope. We need action."

Nick Lebron: Increase community connections

Lebron, a city councilman, announced a four-pronged violence prevention plan Tuesday. The steps are unifying the community, pledging violence prevention, hiring a violence prevention administrator and helping families and communities heal from loss.

He said the lack of "community connectedness" is the leading cause of the gun violence rather than poverty.

"Young people are growing up with this disdain for what their current circumstances are," Lebron said.

The role of the violence prevention administrator would be based at city hall.

"What this person would have is a purview of access to all of the departments because it's going to take all of us to be able to tackle this," Lebron said.

Healing and supporting families affected by violence is a priority for Lebron who said he has seen parents continue working and functioning with visible signs of the violence on their clothes and possessions. He said the city needs to offer more trauma-informed services.

Want to learn more about this and Nick’s vision for Hartford? Check out our Campaign Calendar and join us at an event.

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