In addition to making sure the District is funded at half the City budget, Mr. Clarke said in a recent interview, his priority will be to call for a consolidation plan to be put in place.  “We can weigh in on school consolidation,” he said.  “Everybody knows about the issue and won’t deal with it.”

Given the growing recognition that not enough attention has been focused on neighborhood schools, it is time for the City to leverage resources to improve schools – especially in North Hartford, he maintained.

“I’m about leveraging resources so all of our neighborhoods receive the resources they need to make them more livable and sustainable,” he added, citing the need to couple educational improvements with increased home ownership and neighborhood quality of life.

While City Council certainly will leave educational matters to the Board of Education, he said, it does offer a pulpit for leadership on finances and unified support for children.

As well intentioned as they are, he reflected, community organizations and factions in the city “could be perceived sometimes as crabs in a barrel,” competing on adult issues.  “Instead, we have to think about what’s best for the children,” he said, emphasizing that operating in silos is a mistake – and collaborating more efficiently is a game changer.

Here is the MetroHartford Alliance Hartford Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs (HYPE) profile of Mr. Clarke.

Note: Education Matters will feature additional voices from our City leaders in the future.