Young Professionals. Traditional. The American Dream. Bridging the gap. National Voice. Challenges. Collaborative Solutions.
All of these were the key words and phrases brought up as part of the conversation between YP Nation
and HYPE at the 2nd “From Ballots to Barstools” open panel discussion series held at The Lyceum on Thursday
August 9, 2012. Moderating the panel was Michael Eisenstadt, President and CEO of YP Nation, a national organization dedicated to providing a national voice for Young Professionals. Hartford was the second city in their national tour this summer and along with Michael the panel consisted of Pedro Segarra- Mayor of Hartford
, Julie Daly - Executive Director of HYPE
, TY Clynch - President of Civic Mind
and owner of Downtown Yoga Studio
and Thea Montañez- President of the Hartford Public Library
Board of Directors.
Each of the panelists were enthusiastic about participating in the discussion and many of their opinions on the challenges facing young professionals today mirrored each other. They also shared a mutual wish to tap into the resources that YP’s possess in order to get the public policy process more accessible to them and allow YP’s as a group to get more involved in the process. Among the obstacles present in today’s depressed economy and stilted job growth is a
widespread political apathy and resentment at an “entrenched” system that currently offers a great deal of pushback to those wishing to make a change; It was agreed that many YP’s need to gain the trust and credibility of the “stakeholders” in order to make real differences and those persons must be committed to getting their hands dirty, a characteristic many younger members of the Young Professional Nation are not necessarily known for but it is something that can be easily overcome through mentoring relationships and continuing to provide opportunities for professionals of all ages to get involved.
The conversation then turned towards Hartford-specific topics from the point of view of the City Government (Mayor Segarra), Young Professionals (Julie Daly), Small Business Owners (TJ Clynch) and Community Leaders (Thea Montanez.) The panel solicited questions from the audience and the topics ranged from parking and public transportation in the City to discussing
ways that engaged and enthusiastic fans of the “HartBeat
” can promote a better public relations image of the various cultural and politically-aware events that take place in Hartford throughout the year. Many of the city’s residents present were also open and honest about their struggles as downtown dwellers and shared those experiences the panel including fights with property management groups and attracting a variety of talent to the city outside of restaurants or bars. This led to some very lively discussions throughout the whole group but overall a majority of the audience members were extremely vocal and passionate in professing their love for Hartford and all she has to offer.
The evening ended with encouraging both the panel participants and the audience members to continue getting involved and soliciting other young professionals to join them and the audience was also invited to share their thoughts and opinions on video testimonials that will be available for viewing on YP Nation’s website It was encouraging and inspirational to see how many members of Hartford’s own “YPNation” felt so strongly about the topics at hand and we would like to thank Mayor Segarra, Michael Eisenstadt, Julie Daly, TJ Clynch and Thea Montanez for being part of that conversation.
HYPE would like to thank member Rachael Succo for taking the time to write this excellent blog!