Christine Stuart photo

Hartford City Council candidates from the Working Families Party rallied at Aqui Me Quedo in the city’s northend Saturday before they headed out to knock on hundreds of doors to tell voters who they are and why they’re running.

Luis Cotto, co-owner of the popular La Paloma Sabanera coffeehouse on Capitol Ave., said he fought hard to get his party to kick-off the campaign in the neighborhood where he grew up. He said traditional politicians don’t come to this neighborhood off Albany Avenue because there’s the perception that people here don’t vote. He speculated that it may only be a perception, but voters probably don’t vote because they’re disenfranchised by local politicians.

Cotto said the Working Families Party candidates are running to bring those types of voters back to the polls by giving them a voice on the city council. He said the Working Families Party candidates, which includes Urania Petit and Dr. Larry Deutsch, will offer voters that independent voice.

Petit said Saturday that her candidacy is personal and political. She said her sister who lives in St. Lucia called recently and asked her why she’s running for office in Hartford when she’s a native of St. Lucia. “Hartford is where I live. I have to make it a better, safe place to live,” she said. She said it’s personal because she wants to make the city a better place to live for her family and it’s political because she wants to make it a better place for all Hartford’s residents.

“We deserve the same freedoms other towns feel. We need to let people know when you come to Hartford you can feel safe,” Petit said.

Deutsch, a teacher and pediatrician, said at the local level Hartford can put itself on the map by eliminating homelessness and helping improve access to health care. He said the city can play a key role in ensuring greater access to health care by getting city health care clinics, like Community Health Services on Albany Avenue, to extend their hours for families that often have to balance work and childcare obligations.

Getting Elected

The field of candidates running for Hartford City Council swells to more than 20 for the November election, but the state’s minority representation laws guarantee that at least three of the nine council seats will go to those not in the Democratic party.

Voters will get to vote for six of the nine council candidates. Cotto said he’s asking voters to use three of their six votes for the Working Families Party candidates.

To find out more about the Working Family Party’s Hartford City Council candidates visit their web site:Working Families For Hartford