NAACP demands aid to Hartford North End Communities

The Greater Hartford NAACP has called for action to solve flooding issues in Hartford’s North End communities.  This call came as the federal EPA  said it is investigating the causes of sewage overflows and whether the agencies responsible for the City’s stormwater infrastructure have fulfilled their obligations. The EPA and NAACP statements are a follow-up to the continuous efforts by community leaders and residents to secure action from local, state, and federal officials and agencies.

Corrie Betts, Greater Hartford NAACP President, commented that her branch of the NAACP is committed to collaborating with her NAACP partners in the fight for environmental justice and the accountability of the leadership to address the harmful impacts on Black communities. Betts said that the flooding in Hartford’s North End illustrates the long-standing pattern of neglect and mistreatment of Black communities and he was recently contacted by the national board of the NAACP regarding the situation. He added that the neglect is risking the lives of men, women, and children and is negatively impacting the economic well-being of these communities.

The disinvestment, redlining, and inadequate infrastructure have been exacerbated by climate change and extreme weather events thereby compounding the harm of chronic flooding and pollution on the communities in Hartford’s North End.  He continued that it is time for the city, the MDC, the state DEEP, the Department of Public Health, and the EPA to take action and collectively resolve the issues.

Betts said the NAACP is calling on organizations and agencies to take action by:

    • investing in critical infrastructure improvements in predominantly Black communities throughout the City of Hartford with improvements to water services and flood management systems;
    • addressing root causes of the issues such as a lack of investment in the communities;
    • working with key leaders and organizations to develop solutions that are responsive to the needs of the communities.

He said, “We must act now to ensure that all members of our community have access to safe, reliable, and equitable services.” Read the full article in the Hartford Courant.

Source: Deidre Montague, Hartford Courant, March 1, 2023.