htfd pressLeft to right: Rep. Ken Green, Councilwoman RJo Winch, Sen. Eric Coleman, and Rep. Doug McCrory. Christine Stuart photo
The gathering of community leaders in Hartford’s Northend Monday wasn’t in reaction to the recent spat of violence including 18 shootings, state Rep. Kenneth Green said. It wasn’t a political stunt either, he said.Instead Monday’s gathering at the corner of Vine Street and Albany Avenue was about working with the community to find solutions.

“We don’t have the answers,” state Rep. Douglas McCrory said. “If we had the answers we wouldn’t be here.” The young people and the community have the solutions to this problem, he said.  Green said “somewhere along the way we have lost our village and when we did we began to lose our children.” “Your commitment or lack of commitment means the success or failure of our village,” Green said. “Those of you who can sit on your front porches and say good morning as our children walk to school: Make your presence known,” Green said.  Toward the end of the gathering Monday, Green asked members of the crowd to repeat the phrase “I am part of a village that will help raise our children. Are you?” crowd shotDoug Hardy photo
He said we’re not going to have someone from outside the community come in and tell us what to do anymore. Hartford City Council Majority Leader RJo Winch echoed Green’s comments when she asked the crowd to “stop supporting people who don’t support us.” “Our parents have got to get involved in our children’s lives,” Winch said. “A lot of this is about disrespect.” Henrietta Beckman, who lost her son Randy to the violence four years ago, told the crowd that “If you don’t snitch, you’re going to find yourself six-feet under.” “Those bullets don’t have any names on them,” Beckman said. But the message Monday wasn’t just for the youth. “This ain’t about blamin’ the youth, because they are only doing what they see us doing sometimes,” Green said. Click here to read the Hartford Courant story.greenChristine Stuart photo