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CCSU Black Lives Matter group rallies at Capitol

Leaders of Labor Committee, Black and Puerto Rican, Progressive caucuses are also meeting with workers

HARTFORD, Conn. — CCSU students organized a #Black Lives Matter protest at the Capitol Thursday. 

At the same time, leaders of legislative committees and caucuses are meeting with frontline workers Thursday.

Labor Committee Co-chair Robyn Porter (D-New Haven and Hamden), Chair of the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus Brandon McGee (D-Hartford and Windsor), Co-chair of the Progressive Caucus Anne Hughes (D-Easton, Redding and Weston) are hoping to hear from essential workers to highlight stories of frontline service during the pandemic. 

"I stand with these workers in recognition of their humanity and to raise my voice in support of the resources and the dignity they unequivocally deserve," said Labor Committee Co-chair Robyn Porter (D-New Haven and Hamden). "We need a workers' compensation presumption and we need to guarantee hazard pay because referring to those on the front lines as ‘essential’ does not mean they are sacrificial. I commit myself to fighting on their behalf because these people, our neighbors, deserve these reforms and so much more."

“When we get past the heart-shaped signs and start talking about who essential workers are, we see a diverse group of residents, disproportionately Black and Brown, who’s labor has long been exploited by those in charge,” said Co-chair of the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus Brandon McGee (D-Hartford and Windsor). “What these workers are asking for is recognition and a helping hand at a time when we have asked them to carry our state through a public health emergency unlike one we’ve seen in a century. For too long their voices have fallen on deaf ears and now is the time we must act.”

On a related topic, some immigrant families in Connecticut without legal status will receive a share of $3.5 million in public and private funds for COVID-19 relief. Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont announced Wednesday $2.5 million in state-funded grants to landlords on behalf of rentals not eligible for similar federal aid and $1 million in one-time debit cards funding from the philanthropic organization organization 4-CT. 

Meanwhile, the Connecticut Restaurant Association sent a letter urging Lamont to allow indoor dining on June 10 instead of June 20. Lamont said he'll consider it but wants to be cautious to avoid further spread of COVID-19.

The state capitol has been the site of several protests over the past week in response to the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. 

Hundreds of cars traveled from Windsor to Hartford on Wednesday in a procession led by a hearse with an empty casket —- one of several demonstrations around Connecticut to honor Floyd and protest racial injustice. 

The procession in Floyd’s honor ended with a rally at the state Capitol, where speakers eulogized victims of police brutality and called for a sustained effort to address issues of poverty and discrimination. In Danbury, protesters walked onto Interstate 84, briefly shutting down traffic on the highway.    

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