In 1969, after the resignation of four members of the city council and summers of rioting made the city seem unmanageable, the Democratic Party leadership appointed young activist Nicholas Carbone to the city council where he quickly asserted leadership. As majority leader for the next decade, Carbone presided over a series of development agreements that reserved developer profits for city residents, supported the nationally recognized Hartford Food System, and created a number of city practices that favored poor residents.

Carbone lost electorally in 1979, to be followed by a varied sequence of leaders and movements. Hartford elected its first black mayor in 1982; a community coalition mobilized support for a "linkage" measure similar to those implemented in Boston and elsewhere, and when it failed, there was enough support in 1987 to elect Mayor Carrie Saxon Perry and a minority slate put forth by a new third party, People for Change. Eventually PFC gained an additional seat and joined with insurgent democrats and Perry in a majority progressive coalition during 1991-93 before fading from control.

Recent Submissions

  • The Battle for City Hall: What Do We Fight Over? 

    Simmons, Louise (1996-09)
    Simmons was part of People for Change, a combination third party and community coalition that won control of the Hartford City Council in 1991 under then-mayor Carrie Saxon Perry. Nicholas Carbone's period of poverty-fighting ...
  • The City as a Real Estate Investor 

    Carbone, Nicholas (1981-05-07)
    Carbone had been deputy mayor and city council leader for a decade (1969-1979) when he was defeated in a bid for an expanded mandate and the mayoralty. While in office he led the city in a series of policies to counter ...


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