By Nan Price, Content Manager, MetroHartford Alliance
Next up in our series, meet Jacqueline Kozin.
JACQUELINE KOZIN: I’ve been working in Hartford since 2007 when I went to work for the Connecticut General Assembly. I grew up in New Haven and returned there after living in New York City for a few years. The commute between New Haven and Hartford got exhausting, so, I decided to move closer and found a nice spot in the West End. I loved the community feel of the neighborhood and the happening vibe in the city.
How have you become a part of Hartford?
JACQUELINE: Hartford has become home for me and, other than grocery shopping, I do all my living in Hartford and support local business as much as possible. I feel a Hartford pride and bring people from around the state to experience all that Hartford offers—walking at the River Walk, theater, concerts, sporting events, and restaurants. Hartford is multicultural. The people are dynamic. The energy in Hartford is palpable—and needs to be experienced by people outside the city.
How has Hartford become a part of who you are?
JACQUELINE: Experiencing the pandemic while living here has affected my perspective of this city more than I thought. It’s become a friend—trying to support local restaurants to keep the city’s energy, taking walks throughout the city to try to stay sane but also appreciate its characteristics. Living here during this challenging time has deepened my connection with the city and changed my perspective about it even more.
What makes Hartford unique?
JACQUELINE: The skyline, the artwork around the city, the grittiness, the people who live here, being the center of political activity, being the center of where you can work for justice. There is hope here.
How do you “tell the story” of Hartford?
JACQUELINE: As a native New Havener, people often wonder why I live in Hartford. I tell them that I actually think there’s more going on here than there is in New Haven. For a long time, Hartford was just the place I worked but living here has enabled me to appreciate how multifaceted the city is.
To me, the story of Hartford is about a thriving arts scene; a diverse, engaged community that truly cares for those in it; pretty parks that show off the city’s history; restaurants that invest in their neighbors and provide a rich cultural experience; and some of the most beautiful sunsets I get to see.
Where do you see Hartford in the next five to 10 years?
JACQUELINE: I see Hartford growing into a popular place to live. With the pandemic moving people to working remotely, I think people are going to want to be in a place where they can walk to carry out day-to-day living and be an integrated part of their community. With the development going on, no one will ask me why I’ve decided to live in Hartford.
Jacqueline Kozin is the Executive Director of the Connecticut Democratic Party.