Is Mayor Boughton a rat? This police department certainly thinks he is
Wednesday, October 05, 2005 Time: 3:39 PM
It's had to be tough for Mayor Boughton to go to work this morning when there's a 10 foot Inflatable rat with Boughton's name staring him in the face across the street from City Hall. From the look of things, the future isn't going to get any easier for Boughton as the police department's anger grows over their contract dispute.
Police kicked off a week of protests against Mayor Mark Boughton on Tuesday by erecting a 10-foot tall inflatable rat across from City Hall.
The rat, usually erected by unions upset when companies hire non-union employees, was part of a protest that drew some 40 Danbury police officers, who are upset at contract negotiations with city officials.
The rat had a "Boughton" sign affixed to its chest. Officers paced the sidewalk at the corner the intersection of Deer Hill Avenue, West Street and New Street with signs reading "Crime doesn't pay. Neither does the city of Danbury."
Police have been working without a contract since July 2003 and haven't received a raise in more than three years. Most Danbury police officers make between $42,000 and $53,000 a year.
Twice this year and most recently last month, the union overwhelmingly rejected offers from the city, even though the proposals would have increased their pay by 12 percent over four years.
It also would have resolved a longstanding pension discrepancy between older police officers and those who joined the department after 1983.
Neither vote was even close. In May, the vote was 135 to 0. On Sept. 9, a modified offer was defeated 117 to 9.
After the September rejection, the contract went to binding arbitration. One arbitration session has been held, and two more are set for later this month.
The remaining hang-up, union officials said, is the city's insistence that police accept a medical insurance plan that would increase their out-of-pocket expenses while providing less coverage.
Detective Jim Hicks, a member of the police union's executive board, was part of Tuesday's City Hall protest. He said the union doesn't want Boughton driven from office, even though the union is stepping up protests with a Nov. 8 mayoral election looming.
"We just want to see him do right by the Danbury Police Department," Hicks said. "We want to get our message to the public about our issues with the city."
New Haven mayor address illegal immigration with common sense
Tuesday, October 04, 2005 Time: 11:00 AM
Cheers to New Haven John DeStefano on addressing the illegal immigration situation with a proposal makes sense. The mayor's city ID program for illegal immigrants will help address a number of problems undocumented people face in New Haven.
Mayor John DeStefano Jr. wants to give illegal immigrants a legitimate form of ID so they can open bank accounts, prove their identity to police and access social services.
"Let’s be real about why this is happening first of all," said the mayor, who is also a gubernatorial candidate, during a bilingual press conference in City Hall. "The failure of the federal government to recognize and embrace thousands and thousands of hard-working residents, is subjecting those people and their families to abuse and exploitation," he said.
New Haven is home to some 25,000 Latinos, almost half of which are undocumented immigrants from Central and South America.
"All of these people are hard-working, decent members of our society on which we depend everyday," DeStefano said. "We can do better by them and we have to make up some of it as we go along."
Of course the Connecticut Citizens for Immigration Control aren't too happy about DeStefano's proposal.
"Does anybody in New Haven understand that they are breaking the immigration law?" said Elise Marciano, Danbury chapter president of the Connecticut Citizens for Immigration Control (CTCIC).
"You are not supposed to aid and abet illegal aliens," Marciano added. "They have no documents. They could give you any name. They could go and get 15 different ID cards with different names. How would you know?"
DeStefano has dismissed calls by anti-immigrant groups to crack down on illegals living in New Haven, and on Monday, Ortiz reiterated the administration’s position.
"We are going to lead the discussion and policy-making on how police will enforce immigration, I promise you that," Ortiz said.
Ignoring the talking points of hate groups like the CTCIC and using common sense to address the issue is a step in the right direction. This is the type of leadership that is lacking in Danbury when it comes to the issue of illegal immigration.
Accusation claiming terrorisists live among Equadorians insulting
Monday, October 03, 2005 Time: 6:07 PM
This is juat another example of why the Connecticut Citizens for Immigration Control are nothing but a bunch of idiots and why people should not pay any attention to their rhetoric.
Seems like the Danbury News-Times bought into the CTCIC's talking points and wrote an article on the so called Terrorist-Ecuaordian problem in Danbury. Needless to say, the article didn't go over to well with some members of the communtiy.
The following commentary is from Elizabeth Bacelar, editor of Tribuna Connecticut, a bi-weekly Portuguese newspaper based in Danbury
Are there terrorists hiding among Danbury’s Brazilian and Ecuadorian communities? That question was raised in a News-Times article last month. I can report that to the immigrant community, it was one of the most upsetting accusations we have heard in many years.
The article raised the question of whether terrorists are hiding among undocumented immigrants who flow across America’s borders.
It began by reporting a “growing consensus among experts that as millions of undocumented people flow into the United States, potential terrorists could be mixed in.”
“We Brazilians are a hard-working community. We’ve opened many businesses, paid our taxes, and volunteered in many organizations,” said one caller to my office, a woman who works at a Brazilian church in Danbury. “Some people who now read this story will simply forget all that.”
“Terrorism in unheard of in Brazil. These fears are just unfounded speculation,” said another, a young man who volunteers at a local non-for profit. “Brazilian government officials did not confirm these allegations. Iraq does not have weapons of mass destruction, the same way Brazil does not have terrorists.”
I also want to point out that the overwhelming majority of Danbury’s Brazilians did not come from Mexico. They came legally, through the doors of the JFK International Airport. Though they may overstay their visas, thus becoming “illegal,” that does not prevent the American government from knowing who they are and that they have not yet left the country.
This article — which I’m sure meant no harm — could result in potential discrimination against our hard-working immigrants in the Danbury region.
We have seen similar discrimination in other parts of the world: Jean Charles de Menezes was a young Brazilian electrician who was shot eight times by police in a London subway station because he “looked” like a terrorist. Afterward, British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said he was “desperately sorry” an innocent man was killed.
De Menezes’ death shocked Brazil. At his hometown in Minas Gerais state, more than 5,000 people paid tribute to the young man with banners such as “You can’t fight terrorism with terror.”
Maybe this is a lesson that we in Danbury also need to remember as we work to protect our country.
Shame on the News-Times for buying into this rhetoric. The article is insulting, demeaning, and a waste of column inches. As the only daily newspaper in the area, you would think they would stop picking up on the CTCIC's talking points and do some serious research on the topic before publishing such trash.
Esposito questions the need for tax breaks for housing developers
Time: 3:17 PM
A major complaint I hear from people around town is the growing concerns with the overdevelopment of the city, primarily the high amount of condominiums built over the last few years. The increase in the condominiums has lead to an increase in traffic buildup, added wear and tear on the city's roads, an increase in school population as well as a host of other issues which are draining the city resources faster than the illegal immigration.
Democratic Maoyral candidate Dean Esposito takes issue with Mayor Mark Boughton's tax breaks to housing developers and addresses the negative effects of overdelevopment in yesterday's Danbury News Times.
The city didn't need to give BRT General Corp. a tax break to build 114 apartments and 500 condominiums downtown.
At least that's what Dean Esposito, Democratic candidate for mayor, argued Wednesday in another salvo from his campaign against the pro-corporate policies of Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton.
"We're saturated with condominiums and multi-family housing in the city. Our traffic is a mess. Our high school is one of the largest in the state, and we're expanding our middle schools," Esposito said. "It all comes from over-development."
Esposito said developers don't need tax breaks to build housing in Danbury. They never did.
"It is absolutely clear that the mayor has ignored the interests of middle-class Danbury so that a few connected contractors can reap a windfall," Esposito said. "How are these condominiums and apartments going to impact our schools? How are they going to effect traffic?"
"What is the impact of this tax break on the taxpayer of Danbury?" Esposito asked. "I can see giving incentives to corporations like Boehringer Ingelheim or Cendant, to bring jobs to town. That's economic development. Housing never needed a hand getting built in Danbury."
The tax break on what the city calls "market-rate" condominiums and apartments was intended to encourage developers to take a chance on a downtown site.
The former director of Economic Development, James Bellano said the BRT tax break is a measured attempt to encourage pedestrian traffic downtown.
"They buy a condo, they walk on the street and shop in the shops," Bellano said. He explained state law would let the city offer this break city-wide. He said Danbury didn't do that. It's goal is to encourage the rebirth of downtown.
The problem with this logic of creating condos to encourage downtown development is that it didn't happen. The condos that popped up over the years are not in a area where people would walk downtown. One look at the location of recent condos would tell you that their location has only added to the increase of traffic onthe main roads and highway. If there is anything that has contributed to the development of the once abondoned downtown area (Main Street, White Street) its the increase of immigrants over the recent years as most immigrants walk and don't have automobiles.
04.25.22 (RADIO): WSHU Latino group call on Connecticut lawmakers to open a Danbury charter school
06.03.22 (OP-ED): KUSHNER: "Career Academy ‘a great deal for Danbury"
On September 26, 2007, ten plaintiffs filed suit in response to an arrest of aday laborers at a public park in Danbury, Connecticut. Plaintiffs amended their complaint on November 26, 2007.
The amended complaint states that plaintiffs sought to remedy the continued discriminatory and unauthorized enforcement of federal immigration laws against the Latino residents of the City of Danbury by Danbury's mayor and its police department.
Plaintiffs allege that the arrests violated their Fourth Amendment rights and the Connecticut Constitution because defendants conducted the arrests without valid warrants, in the absence of exigent circumstances, and without probable cause to believe that plaintiffs were engaged in unlawful activity. In addition, plaintiffs allege that defendants improperly stopped, detained, investigated, searched and arrested plaintiffs. Plaintiffs also allege that defendants violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights when they intentionally targeted plaintiffs, and arrested and detained them on the basis of their race, ethnicity and perceived national origin. Plaintiffs raise First Amendment, Due Process and tort claims.
Plaintiffs request declaratory relief, damages and attorneys fees.