Why one Connecticut town has a Paul Manafort Drive — and why people want the name changed

In New Britain, Connecticut, Paul Manafort Drive has been the site of at least one protest. It’s occasionally used as a backdrop for semi-ironic selfies. And a petition to rename the street after New Britain native and 2017 World Series MVP George Springer has just short of 1,700 signatures.

But not everyone agrees that the name should be changed.

That’s because Paul Manafort Drive, which runs alongside the campus of Central Connecticut State University for about half a mile, is named for Paul Manafort Sr., the late father of the embattled former Trump campaign manager. The elder Manafort served as mayor of New Britain from 1965 to 1971, when Paul Manafort Jr. was in high school.

“The street is named after the father,” New Britain’s mayor, Erin Stewart, a Republican, told the Hartford Courant on Wednesday. “Mr. Manafort served the city for a long time, he was a war veteran. You can’t control what your kids do and what they don’t – that doesn’t take away from the service that the father gave to the city.”

The New Britain city council has yet to entertain a formal proposal to rename the road. But the council’s majority leader, Carlo Carlozzi, Jr., a Democrat, told The Washington Post that he would be open to the idea.

“It’s something where it’s totally an embarrassment – New Britain being in the news because of this particular situation,” he said.

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Carlozzi used to live half a mile away from the senior Manafort, who died in 2013, and often crossed paths with him due to his involvement in the local Italian-American community. “He was a good man,” he said. “His political record – we were on opposite sides on pretty much every issue. But he did love his community.”

Still, a name that has some connection to Central Connecticut State University might be more appropriate, he said, given that the road passes through their campus.

“I would support looking at it, considering other names, seeing what support in the community there is,” Carlozzi said. “If there’s no support in the community, then obviously we’re not going to go forward with that.”

New Britain is a city of some 72,000 people located 12 miles from the state capitol in Hartford. Once known as “Hardware City,” it used to be home to factories that manufactured belt buckles, coffee percolators, measuring tapes, door locks, hinges, and bolts. Aside from Stanley, Black & Decker – which originated in New Britain as Stanley Works and later merged with Baltimore-based Black & Decker – most have shut down or moved their jobs overseas. These days, it’s better known as “Hard Hittin’ New Britain.”

But during the early 1900s, when factory jobs were still easy to come by, recent immigrants from Italy, Poland, Ireland, and Ukraine flocked to New …read more

Source:: Nationalpost – News


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