Connecticut's Most Visible Latino "Champion of Change" – Pedro Segarra


As we at look ahead to 2013, we would like to recognize the good and inspiring deeds of so many in our state that have taken place daily this past year, impacting us all in a positive way.
To recognize these deeds within the Latino community, our series this week called “Champions of Change” has highlighted some of the people and organizations that have worked tirelessly in 2012 to affect change for Latinos and non-Latinos in Connecticut.
Today, we conclude our series with our Top Most Visible Latino “Champion of Change”: Pedro Segarra.
Armed with his tireless drive and warm smile, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra is easily Connecticut’s Top Most Visible Latino.
Holding degrees in political science, social work and law, coupled with a personal history of community involvement, he is well prepared to lead the residents of the Capital City and has demonstrated repeatedly and so well how to be a “Champion of Change.”
His signature program “Opportunities Hartford” focuses on improvement in three pillars: income, education and employment. During his tenure, Mayor Segarra has stabilized the mill rate, maintained the city’s bond rate, and increased the Rainy Day Fund to the highest among Connecticut’s major cities.
Having lost his father at a young age to gun violence, Mayor Segarra has earned a reputation for being unwavering in his determination to reduce violent crimes. As NBCLatino reported this week, Segarra is part of the organization Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which advocates to “keep lethal, military-style weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines off our streets,” and fights to keep illegal weapons and the traffic of illegal weapons off the streets. The group also calls for more registration, issuance and weapons transportation requirements.
As Connecticut’s first openly gay mayor – and the nation’s first legally married gay mayor – he has earned the respect of residents, city and state officials. Balancing the needs of his diverse constituents with the budget constraints of both a cash-strapped city and state presents a daunting situation for some, but Mayor Segarra walks that tightrope every day with dedication and finesse.
A product of public schools, he understands the importance of a high quality education and equal opportunities for all Hartford students. A believer in the benefits of early childhood learning, the mayor has been one of the city’s strongest advocates for education reform that was launched in 2007. Under his leadership, more than $250 million has been invested to build and renovate Hartford public schools. A committed supporter of the Hartford Public Library, in 2012 he pushed the first funding increase in recent memory and secured the bonding resulting in the opening of two new branches.
A practicing attorney for more than 27 years, Segarra was the youngest person to serve as Hartford’s Corporation Counsel when he was appointed in 1991 and is a founding partner of the Hispanic Health Council and CLARO. He was elected City Council President in January of 2010 and became mayor in June 2010 after former Mayor Eddie Perez was forced to resign. As a new mayor, Segarra immediately brought a sincere, honest and caring approach to impact change in Hartford.
Pedro Segarra has been an ongoing visible presence in Hartford, the state and on the national level as well, which makes him Connecticut’s Most Visible Latino “Champion of Change” who embraces and works for change for everyone.