Here are 10 things The Courant's editorial board would like in 2018, for the good of all Connecticut residents:
Amazon. The oversized effects of being home to the retail cyber-giant could remake Connecticut's economic, political and social landscape. It's a perfect location for Amazon's second headquarters — right on the Acela rail corridor, able to draw talent from Connecticut, Boston and New York — and given the size of the state, the company would have outsized political influence. The influx of 50,000 jobs and associated infrastructure investments would change the state for decades to come. It would serve as a magnet to other tech companies. It's the lightning strike that Connecticut needs.
Peace on Capitol Avenue. If legislators would simply drop their antagonism, rethink their belief that their colleagues across the aisle are from hell and work together to solve the state's problems, the problems might get solved. Unnecessary bickering led to the longest and costliest budget impasse in state history. Get it together, legislators — we need partners, not pugilists. (Amazon would appreciate it, too.)
Tolls. The state's roads and bridges are a mess. There's one good place to get the money to fix them: from the people who use the roads. Connecticut is one of the few states on the East Coast that doesn't have tolls. We are leaving money on the table without them. (Amazon wants good infrastructure. It would really appreciate nice roads.)
Millennials staying. Connecticut is losing more millennials than it's gaining. Jobs are the primary reason, but also contributing are a lack of public transportation and affordable housing. Good news: A new commuter rail service called the Hartford Line will launch 17 daily round trips between Hartford and New Haven in 2018. Also, the state has been supporting housing development near transit centers to appeal to the younger crowd as well as empty-nesters. (Amazon mentioned the importance of infrastructure for its new headquarters.)
Another national championship for the UConn women's basketball team. Men, too. Wouldn't it be terrific if the UConn men's basketball team faced off against, say, Gonzaga in the Final Four? Gonzaga University is, of course, from Washington state, as is ... Amazon.
A reliable, reputable developer for the Downtown North neighborhood. Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin did the right thing when he kicked Centerplan Construction off the project. The failed developer of Dunkin' Donuts Park would not have been the right choice to build up the neighborhood surrounding the park, a crucial element of the overall plan to boost city revenue by adding taxable property. A proper development would also help to attract young talent and businesses, such as, right, them.
Hope for Hartford kids who have been left behind in schools that remain segregated and crumbling two decades after the state's highest court decreed that that racial isolation violated children's constitutional rights. Good schools are also critical for parents who might be considering moving to a city for a job — maybe for a certain large online retailer.
More suburban visitors to Hartford. If the city is going to maintain the momentum generated by the Hartford Yard Goats, the new UConn branch and a recent development mini-boom, it will need a continued influx of people from outside the city to patronize its bars and restaurants and take advantage of its many sporting, artistic and musical offerings. There's a hub of culture in the Capital City and plenty of parking. It's getting better all the time, and you might as well take advantage of it before all of the Amazon employees swamp the city.
A good candidate for governor. No, not Jeff Bezos.
A joyful and prosperous 2018 for us all.