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Alderwoman Castro:  “Thank you for helping me on trying to get this town hall meeting with the communities that we serve.  Just to give you a little statistic, here in Connecticut 21% of adults receive Social Security benefits, including 23% of women and 19% of men.  Meaning that about 313,000 women, 227,000 men and 31,000 children rely on Social Security.  In Connecticut, 176,000 beneficiaries of Social Security, mostly women and children, are receiving survivor or disability benefits; 75% of older African-Americans and Latino households and 62% of all households rely on Social Security for half or more of their incomes.  Less than a one-third of older African-Americans and Latino households have any income from savings.  In 2002, $6.2 billion flowed into the Connecticut economy through Social Security benefits, which could be cut by nearly 50% under proposed changes.

By having this town hall meeting, we can discuss the way it’s going to impact New Haven.  I urge that everybody could also be participants especially when we are going to be contributing to the presentation. Thank you.”

REFERRED TO COMMITTEE

The following were read for the first time, ordered printed in the Journal, and referred to the Committee as indicated for public hearing and report:

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT:

From the Mayor submitting a resolution approving five-year lease and license agreements for community gardens and community green spaces.

(REFERRED CONCURRENTLY TO CITY PLAN COMMISSION)

February 7, 2005

Alderman Jorge Perez, President

New Haven Board of Aldermen

165 Church Street

New Haven, CT  06510

Dear President Perez:

It is with great pleasure that I submit to the Board of Aldermen the attached resolution requesting approvals of five (5) year license and lease agreements in support of community gardening and community green space projects throughout the City.  As you know, since 1995 the City has been working collaboratively with the Urban Resources Initiative, New Haven Land Trust and Community Foundation of Greater New Haven to encourage New Haven residents to develop community gardens and green spaces.  These grass roots efforts focus on improvements to vacant city owned land as well as tree belts, front yards, schools, Housing Authority developments and senior housing facilities.  The gardens not only provide attractive gathering spots for neighbors but also provide healthful produce, opportunities to educate our kids about agriculture and the environment and green open space in some of our more densely developed neighborhoods.  In 2004 there were 106 projects undertaken citywide.

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