We understand the economic, social and historic value of our downtowns and we strive continuously to help legislators, state agencies, municipal officials and others understand how critical they are to our shared success. To this end, we engage with state & local leaders, private sector partners, and downtown professionals to bring awareness of the needs and benefits of Connecticut’s commercial corridors and historic Main Streets.
CMSC regularly advocates on behalf of its members for policies and regulations that benefit our downtowns.
Connecticut’s downtowns and Main Streets are fortunate for the support of the Main Street Working Group, led by Representative Jennifer Leeper (Fairfield and Southport) and Representative Anthony Nolan (New London). The Main Street Working Group hosts a Lunch and Learn series throughout the session to share information about Main Street and issues that affect the vibrancy of our downtowns to their legislative colleagues.
CMSC offered written testimony in support of the following legislation:
We asked our members to help develop our legislative priorities by taking our 2023 Advocacy Survey. They responded, letting us know what’s important to them.
Four issues were identified as critically important:
CMSC members also prioritized three additional areas as important:
CMSC regularly engages with state and local leaders to bring awareness to the needs and benefits of Connecticut’s commercial corridors and historic Main Streets, in addition to communicating the critical work our members do on the ground.
To this end, we actively participate in the legislative Main Street Working Group chaired by Representatives Jennifer Leeper and Anthony Nolan. The Working Group was created in 2020 to study existing policies and identify opportunities to support local Downtown Main Streets across the state. CMSC provides information on issues facing downtowns and connects the Working Group with downtown professionals and industry experts who can speak to issues such as managing a downtown and transit oriented development.
Watch our webinar with founding chairs of the Main Street Working Group, Representatives Quentin Williams, Jane Garibay, and Jennifer Leeper, to learn tips for contacting legislators.
CMSC believes there are six core components vital to a healthy downtown: Place, Economic Vitality, Stewardship, Inclusiveness, Sustainability and Connectivity. Each year we monitor legislation that will impact our downtowns and Main Streets around these key issues and often provide oral or written testimony in support or opposition of a bill.
To date CMSC’s efforts, coupled with our many partners and allies, have led to several changes that give our downtowns new economic development tools, increase safety for pedestrians and cyclists and advance equity in zoning laws.
CMSC often partners with other organizations to effectuate change on a larger scale. By approaching issues in a collaborative way, we’re able to make incremental, impactful change. We strive to build relationships, convene relevant parties, and work together with a broad spectrum of public and private entities, including:
We also have strong working relationships with developers, planners, bankers, engineers, academics and many others with whom we partner on programs and specific projects. Many of these people and their respective organizations also share their knowledge with CMSC and our members through our network of Professional Affiliates.