Citywide Adult Literacy Initiative

For Immediate Release

Press Conference

What: Citywide Literacy Plan and Bilingual City Challenge

Where: Hartford City Hall, 550 Main Street

When: Tuesday, July 11, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.

J. Stan McCauley Calls for Renewed Commitment to Adult Literacy Services and Proposes Bilingual City Challenge 

Hartford, CT – In recognizing Hartford’s persistently low literacy rates among adults, mayoral candidate J. Stan McCauley announces citywide adult literacy plan and his Bilingual City Challenge as part of his Path to Impact for Hartford. McCauley will announce his plan on Tuesday, July 11, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. at City Hall, 550 Main Street, Downtown Hartford.

“Building on adult literacy programs we already have in place and stimulating new initiatives will be a major piece of our strategy to realign priorities in our city,” said J. Stan McCauley. “Literacy is the most foundational indicator of life-long success. If Hartford is to have a viable future, we must prioritize our most vulnerable language learners. Low literacy at the levels we’re talking about means adults are struggling with everyday tasks, like navigating street signs and reading ATM machines. How do you truly function in a democracy if you cannot fill out your health care forms or fill out job applications? Even if you’re in construction, how do you write up a bid?”


Hartford is poised to see billions of dollars of infrastructure money and broadband equity grants come through the city. Not addressing this fundamental civil and human right will once again leave many Hartford residents unable to access viable job opportunities.

By advancing adult literacy through cross sector collaboration, public awareness campaigns, and comprehensive citywide planning, we are dedicated to creating a city where every individual has equal opportunities to participate in our democracy and our economy. We can no longer be complacent. It is in our best interest to make sure that, regardless of why people didn’t gain strong literacy skills that they gain them now. We invite all stakeholders to join us in this endeavor, recognizing that literacy is not just a personal skill but a fundamental right that contributes to social justice, empowerment, and the overall well-being of our community.

A signature part of the proposal is the bilingual city challenge. Hartford is predominantly a Hispanic and Latino city and while a huge focus of literacy initiatives helps people to learn English or strengthen their literacy skills, we believe there should be an effort for native English speakers to learn Spanish. We want to establish Hartford as a dual language city.  Hartford is an international city and being fluent in more than one language should be the norm. As part of the bilingual challenge, as mayor, McCauley is committing to become conversationally fluent in Spanish in the next four years and to providing resources for other native English speakers to join him.