Urbanites hoped that because he had been mayor of what is arguably the state's most successful large city, Gov.
How has he done?
He didn't start well in 2011, from Hartford's perspective, when he chose to expand the
But he was new to the job and UConn, which usually gets what it wants, wanted the expansion in Farmington.
Since then, however, Mr. Malloy has quietly engaged the cities, in a different way than his immediate predecessors did. Gov.
Mr. Malloy, on the other hand, has focused on making the cities better place in which to live.
"He's been good for cities," said
Mr. Malloy is putting a major and perhaps unprecedented effort into improving the state's low-performing school districts, most of which are in urban areas. The education reform bill that passed this spring calls for state intervention in 25 of the lowest-performing schools over the next three years. The first candidates for the program are schools in Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport and
Mr. Malloy also is attempting to make the big cities safer, last month announcing a new strategy of "focused deterrence" aimed at reducing gun violence in Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport, where 94 of the state's 129 homicides in 2011 took place. The idea is to make a major push on the relative handful of people — almost all young men — who are doing the shooting. This is important on both the human and economic levels; few will invest in cities that are thought to be dangerous.
Mr. Malloy has also shown willingness to invest in economic development opportunities in cities, most recently the expansion of CareCentrix from
Mr. Malloy understands that good transit helped Stamford take advantage of its proximity to New York, and has supported transit improvements such as expansion of Shore Line East, New Haven-Hartford-Springfield commuter rail and, against intense opposition, the
As former Indianapolis Mayor William Hudnut said; "You can't be a suburb of no place." Regions need strong central cities. Mr. Malloy is off to a good start in his first year and a half, but the story is still being written.