2nd-Term Goal: Revive Q House

Melissa Bailey PhotoDixwell Alderwoman Jeanette Morrison launched a reelection bid with one top priority for the neighborhood: Find a way to reopen the shuttered Q House.

Morrison, a first-term alderwoman in Dixwell’s Ward 22, put forth that goal as she announced her intention to seek a second term. She is set to face two opponents in a Sept. 10 Democratic primary: perennial candidate Cordelia Thorpe and longtime Dixwell activist Helen Powell.

Morrison announced her reelection plans Friday outside the iconic Dixwell Community “Q” House at 179 Dixwell Ave., which shut its doors in 2003 after serving as a community hub for over 75 years. The city now owns the property; activists have been trying to reopen it for years.

Morrison, a Dixwell homeowner for 20 years, argued that the Q House was a vital part of the Dixwell community. She noted that the city recently allocated $40,000 for a feasibility study about reopening the building. The city also hired a consultant to work on the topic. The effort to revive the Q House comes amid a parallel effort to turn the Dixwell Armory into a community center. Morrison said she does not agree with those who see the two efforts as conflicting.

In addition to the Armory, she said, “every community needs a Q House.”

Morrison said another top priority in her next, two-year term would be “making sure New Haven Works,” a new jobs pipeline, “continues to prosper.”

Morrison, who’s 45, works for the state as supervisor in the Department of Children and Families. She has two kids, including one who just graduated from Hillhouse High. She marked her campaign’s launch with a cake declaring Ward 22 a “priority ward,” meaning one that gets its due attention.

She plans to raise money through a joint political action committee shared by Newhallville Alderwomen Delphine Clyburn and Brenda Foskey-Cyrus (pictured), who are also seeking reelection. All three have the support of the Yale unions; they first won their seats in 2011 in a game-changing campaign that saw a super-majority of labor-backed candidates take control of the Board of Aldermen.

Melissa Bailey PhotoHelen Powell (pictured at a 2008 “Obamagala”), who until recently worked in the registrar of voters office, said this week that she too intends to run for the seat. She has been involved in many civic causes over the years.

“I’ve been in Dixwell 36 years. I know my neighbors,” she said. She said she is prepared to petition her way onto the Democratic primary ballot. “I’m not going to get the [Democratic Town Commitee] endorsement. I’m going to work.”

Thomas MacMillan PhotoClick here (and scroll down) to read about Cordelia Thorpe’s (at left in photo) campaign plans.

The ward is accustomed to three-way races; several took place in recent years among former Alderman Greg Morehead, Thorpe, and Lisa Hopkins.

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posted by: Webblog1 on June 28, 2013  9:19am

The $40,000 Engineering department study Morrison speaks to in this article was allocated in the 12/13 budget, to date she has not even produced any results of that report to the Board of Aldermen.

In addition, Morrison has little to nothing to show for her term in office. She is a member of the finance committee, she did not push for, nor did she offer any amendments to the 13/14 budget to continue in her so called effort to revive the Dixwell Q House.

Instead, Morrison led the campaign to increase city taxes and to sell city streets to Yale.

Her Campaign theme is bogus, and cannot be believed.

posted by: robn on June 28, 2013  9:21am


We’ve got plenty of programs in the city and plenty of good facilities; they’re called public schools.

posted by: Curious on June 28, 2013  9:23am

Maybe the three of them can all make a pledge to make the Q House their top priority, and that they’ll all work together to revive it no matter which of them wins the seat.

That would be nice to see.  No reason to let politics divide a couple of strong women who care about their community.

posted by: elmhurst1 on June 28, 2013  10:16am

Wasn’t reviving the Q House her 1st term goal also?

posted by: Curious on June 28, 2013  11:14am

Elmhurst, I think it was.

You see this a lot.  Something being promised, not delivered, then the incumbent asking for more time to deliver it.  It’s often a way to plead for more time in office.

posted by: Noteworthy on June 28, 2013  2:29pm

Out with the old, in with the new. Q House is a dead stick and should remain so. The salvation of children is not found in a Q House - it’s found in the school house and God’s house. You want to save your neighborhood - start with telling them the truth.

And then do something besides voting the way the union wants you to, read the budget, and reduce not increase taxes. This city is flat ass broke and if you didn’t know that after sitting through the worthless public hearings on it, you should know it by reading the document. It’s an Italian Tragedy.

posted by: dorothy25 on June 28, 2013  3:03pm

It would be amazing if Alderwoman Morrison managed to get the Q House renovated or rebuilt in 18 months—- wait that wouldn’t be amazing, that would be a magic (meaning impossible). 

She is the only person who has been able to see the process through this far.  She has fought to secure funds to conduct a feasibility study so that going forward, there is a realistic plan for the Q-House.  That study will soon be underway. She is engaging the community in the process to ensure that their vision of the Q-house remains at the forefront.  This kind of work doesn’t happen overnight.  Keep up the good work Jeanette.

posted by: Webblog1 on June 28, 2013  5:41pm


Actually the NHI posted a connecting link to this story in 2010. You can read that here:


In that story the BOA gave the committee more time to produce a plan. See the following paragraph:

“The CCGNHDCH has been working for years to reopen the Dixwell Community “Q” House, which shut its doors in 2003 after more than 75 years of service. After purchasing the empty 179 Dixwell Ave. building this summer, the city offered the CCGNHDCH six months to plan for the Q House’s reopening. The Board of Aldermen since pushed that deadline back to June. Muhammad assured the community that the board intends to have a plan ready before summer”.

Therefore, two years before Ms. Morrison took office a report on the feasibility of re-opening the Q-House was under way.

You say it would be impossible for her to complete the task in the next 18 months.The study is underway.
You said:
“This kind of work doesn’t happen overnight”

Seriously Dorthy, four years, two studies, thousands of dollars later, and she still needs 18 to 24 months more…..Please!

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on June 29, 2013  1:08pm

What happen to this.

City Seeks $2.8M To Fix Up Armory


Q House Backers Question Armory Plan.