Apr 10, 2014
12:54 PMThe Connecticut Story
Demonstrators Fight Against Income Inequality in Connecticut Cities
Ryan Flynn/Register Citizen
Keri Hoehne, right, led a rally and conversation on income equality at Coe Memorial Park Tuesday night.
Demonstrators took to the streets Tuesday in a massive and coordinated effort to bring attention to Connecticut’s growing income inequality.
In Hartford, Stamford, Middletown, Torrington, West Haven and about 20 additional municipalities across the state, demonstrators rallied outside fast-food restaurants and major retailers to demand that lawmakers and corporations close the growing gap between the rich and poor.
In Torrington, the protest was held in Coe Memorial Park, where locals gathered around the fountain with signs and candles in hand. State Rep. Michelle Cook, D-Torrington, and Democratic Town Committee Chair Glen McLeod were among the 30-odd locals striving for change.
Keri Hoehne, who organized the event, was the first of several speakers spurring on the conversation at a local level.
“Torrington is one of 36 towns in Connecticut where poverty has actually increased since 2000,” Ms. Hoehne said. “So, today is a statewide day of action to highlight the growing inequality and we’re coming together in cities and towns all over to demand action to create an economy that works for everyone, not just the rich.”
In New Haven and West Haven it was more of the same.
Like all 24 cities targeted in Tuesday’s protest, West Haven has seen a growing level of poverty in the last decade. The number of West Haven residents living in poverty rose 11 percent between 2009 and 2012, according to the American Community Survey.
Tuesday’s demonstrations were led by a patchwork of progressive activists including the Connecticut Working Families Party, which is supporting three pieces of legislation its members say would go far to reduce the gap between the state’s rich and poor.