This is the first of two short posts that I'll write about yesterday's discussion with Mayor DeStefano.
DeStefano on the fabric of Cities and Small Towns
When asked if CT's state government had written off it's cities the Mayor responded with his own experience about what makes a city work. His three tier plan for cities emphasizes safety, good schools, and economic opportunity. DeStefano then gave several examples from his own experiences as the Mayor of New Haven. In response to another question DeStefano talked about marketing New Haven to the next generation. He offered the school system including it's large magnet program, clubs, and the summer concerts on the Green as evidence that "the next generation will love New Haven."
The Mayor also compared and contrasted the differences between what makes a good city versus what makes a good small town. According to DeStefano: "Cities want density, small towns want open spaces." Connecticut needs both to function and he doesn't see their needs as being in opposition of one another. It's in everyone's interest to preserve what's great about both. He said that both towns and cities were to dependent on the current property tax system which forced them to make poor long term decisions about what was best for their communities in order to increase revenues.
A few weeks ago many on this site gave JDS a fair amount of flack for his comments about Rell's plans to deal with urban violence. He stands by that statement, but what's significant is how his solutions compare with those of Jodi Rell. Agree or disagree with the details but you can't deny that DeStefano's policy is about finding a long term workable plan rather than a quick fix.
While looking over my notes from meeting both DeStefano and Malloy something struck me. Malloy spent a lot of time telling us how he was a progressive while DeStefano was actually discussing progressive policy. I have no opinion as to who would make the best Governor, but there's no doubt in my mind that John DeStefano would be the more progressive one.