Meet Luke Bronin, Hartford's Mental-Health-Focused Mayor

Josh St. Clair
Photo credit: Illustration: Kyle Hilton

From Men's Health

Photo credit: Illustration: Kyle Hilton

AFTER receiving a Rhodes scholarship and law degree, Luke Bronin served in the U.S. Navy Reserve, deploying to Afghanistan in 2010. Bronin then worked alongside the Connecticut state governor, implementing policies to help homeless veterans. The father of three, Bronin is also a singer/songwriter. He was elected mayor in 2016.

Men's Health chatted with Bronin for our recent story, "50 States of Fit."

What's the most urgent public health issue facing your city?

There’s more attention paid to gun violence in America now, but not nearly enough attention paid to the long-term effects of trauma in communities exposed to gun violence. We’re working with partners to try to connect young people who experience gun violence to emotional and behavioral support.

What does it mean for your city to be "healthy"?

Health isn’t just about physical health—it’s also about mental and emotional wellbeing, and it’s about resiliency. Our residents’ strength and perseverance is an example to me, not the other way around. I try to be calm and steady even when things get tough and to respond to frustration and anger by listening in a serious way, showing respect, and responding honestly.

Photo credit: Luke Bronin

Favorite exercise and why:

Hiking with my kids. I don’t get to do it often enough.

Go-to healthy snack:

Kind bars (though, apparently, they aren’t as healthy as I like to think).

Song to work out to:

The Rising, Bruce Springsteen

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