Erin Elizabeth Stewart is the 40th Mayor of the City of New Britain. Having been first elected at the age of 26, she is the youngest mayor in the City’s history and only the second woman to hold that office.
Despite having held office for only seventeen months, Mayor Stewart has already earned accolades for her leadership and results-driven style of governing. She closed a deficit of over $30 million, brought stability and responsibility back to the City’s finances, and gained an unprecedented 3-notch upgrade in New Britain’s bond rating by Standard & Poor’s.
Under her leadership, New Britain is undergoing a dramatic economic turnaround. For the first time in years, the City’s grand list is experiencing growth, businesses are expanding, and in the fall of 2015 she will add Costco to the list of City’s top ten taxpayers. Much of that interest has been spurred by the opening of CTFastrak, New England’s first bus rapid transit system, which directly connects downtown New Britain with downtown Hartford. Both the City and the State are spending millions in transit-oriented development and streetscape improvements that are bringing increased commercial and residential development to New Britain.
Mayor Stewart has also invested significant resources in helping New Britain’s homeless population through the creation of the Building Hope Together Task Force: New Britain’s Workplan to End Homelessness. By bringing city officials, clergy members, and social services providers around the same table, Mayor Stewart is not only continuing New Britain’s tradition of compassion for those less fortunate, she is intent on finding housing and treatment for those who seek it.
Mayor Stewart is also committed to making New Britain a “green” community. Through her “Smart City Initiative,” the Mayor has spearheaded the largest solarization project in New Britain’s history, including a massive solar array at Shuttle Meadow Reservoir, as well as rooftop solar arrays on most school buildings. She is also taking steps to increase the use of LED technology in all City buildings and streetlights, further reducing the City’s energy consumption. In recognition of these efforts, Eversource (formerly CL&P) awarded New Britain a “Bright Ideas” grant to continue these types of projects.
Mayor Stewart was born on May 4, 1987 in New Britain to Patricia (Badolato) and former New Britain Mayor Timothy Stewart, who served from 2003 to 2011. Her uncle, the late State Representative Dominic J. Badolato, represented New Britain in the Connecticut General Assembly for 22 years. Mayor Stewart’s entire family has a longstanding commitment to serving their neighbors in New Britain, and she is proud to continue that tradition.
As a proud graduate of New Britain’s public school system, Mayor Stewart has a passion for education and served on the City’s Board of Education prior to being elected to her current role. While on the Board, she strongly advocated for a return to neighborhood schools, encouraged greater parental engagement in the scholastic lives of their children, and fought for enhanced accountability measurements for teachers and administrators. She is also a 2009 graduate of Central Connecticut State University, earning a bachelor of arts in political science and public administration. The University will be honoring her with the Young Alumni Service Award this summer.
Mayor Stewart continues to be humbled by the recognition she has received for her service and leadership. In 2013, she received the Women’s Leadership Award from the Connecticut Republican Party. In 2014, Connecticut Magazine named her one of their “40 Under 40,” and the New Britain City Journal named her their “Person of the Year.” She has been the subject of in-depth profiles by national media outlets like the New York Times and Newsmax.
In addition to her role as chief executive officer, Mayor Stewart relishes her job as a role model for young people – especially young women – and never misses an opportunity to encourage them to follow their dreams.