Some Favorite Sites
Government/ Community Links
At Diaper Bank, Harp Promises Change From Bottom Up
by Allan Appel | Oct 22, 2013 2:47 pm
Posted to: Social Services, Campaign 2013
Two months after depositing 4,800 signatures at 200 Orange St. to put her name on the Democratic Primary ballot, the Harp campaign Tuesday deposited a nearly equal number of diapers at the New Haven Diaper Bank.
The donation took place at a press event at 370 State St., in North Haven where the not-for-profit organization, founded in New Haven, has expanded regionally as the sole distributor of the essential hygienic item to low-income moms in New Haven, Hartford, Bridgeport, and Middlesex County.
The event was held in the distribution facility amid tall totems of Pampers, Luvs, Cruisers, and Cottontails.
There Democratic mayoral candidate Toni Harp highlighted her leadership in addressing what she termed an important “public health issue”: keeping households stocked with dipaers.
“Behind food and housing, it’s the number one stresser for women, and it’s most common for single-headed households. In New Haven, in poor neighborhoods, that’s up to 60 percent,” Harp said.
Diaper Bank Executive Director Janet Alfano cited Harp’s work as a state senator in securing $150,000 a year for two years between 2007 and 2009 to make the expansion possible.
Diaper Bank founder Joanne Goldblum hailed Harp for her “unbelievable, never-ending commitment to children and families,”
Then-Gov. Jodi Rell subsequently erased the budget line item for the Diaper Bank; Harp said she and her colleagues on the legislature’s Appropriations Committee are committed to restoring it.
“It was the first time any state ever had diapers as a line item, said Harp.
While no other state has replicated Connecticut’s solo achievement, Harp said, U.S. Rep Rosa DeLauro and her allies support the concept on the federal level. “It’s just a matter of time before this initiative is available to all states,” Harp added.
The diaper assistance is aimed at the three in ten poor mothers who would regularly run out. Harp described young moms who wash and reuse to stretch the supply, and would even in some instances steal diapers if they have to, were it not for the Diaper Bank.
The bank operates like the Connecticut Food Bank, as the prime distribution central for shelters, day care centers, and schools.
Running out of diapers can lead to low self-esteem and potential depression among the moms. That can filter down to the kids, often in the form of the child staying home.
“A lack of diapers is [potentially] the straw that breaks the camel’s back in the community,” Harp said.
Harp was asked how the Diaper Bank’s signature thumbnail description—“Change from the bottom up”—relates to her current mayoral campaign. Harp’s answer: “We’re talking about everyone in New Haven. Not only the elites, but a coming together.”
Alfano saod the Harp campaign’s gift of 4,500 diapers was particularly generous, “nurturing and comfortable.”
She would happily accept a contribution of diapers from the campaign of independent mayoral candidate Justin Elicker, as well, Alfano said. “Absolutely.”
Harp campaign manager Jason Bartlett said the campaign has been collecting the 4500 diapers for about two weeks.
After the diaper event and a fundraiser to follow, Harp said she was devoting the remainder of the day to prepare for the final public debate of the campaign Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Gateway Community College.
Tags: Diaper Bank, Toni Harp
Post a Comment
“Then-Gov. Jodi Rell subsequently erased the budget line item for the Diaper Bank; Harp said she and her colleagues on the legislature’s Appropriations Committee are committed to restoring it.”
Well then, why haven’t they? It’s not like it’s a potentially budget breaking item, and we’ve had a Democratic governor as well as Democratic super majority in the state legislature for 2 1/2 years now, and Harp has been chair of the appropriations committee during that time.
Once again Harp’s legislative history reveals a consistent conviction to fight for policies that benefit working people. It also shows an ability to prioritize important issues that might not be obvious to every political leader.
Just last week the NHI noted her leadership on providing universal breakfast to students in New Haven. Current research shows that such policies have significant effects on student’s performance and long-term educational success.
Here the NHI notes her leadership on providing access to diapers. Recent studies show that the lack of access to diapers is a major crisis in New Haven (http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jul/29/science/la-sci-diaper-need-20130729).
Politicians are like diapers; they need to be changed often and for the same reason.
Why wouldn’t Toni Harp make this donation as an individual or as an officeholder, and not as a political candidate? Surely, it would still have received coverage, and wouldn’t have created the appearance of a non-profit participating in a political campaign. Expressing support for the Diaper Bank or CT Food Bank, yet exposing those organizations to risk with the very same action, seems hypocritical and careless.
Perhaps Harp could be a leader in working with diaper banks and poor parents on cloth diapers, especially if wash and reuse is already going on—better for the wallet and the environment.
Also another seemingly disingenuous campaign event/donation. The picture shows a podium with a Harp sign inside the diaper bank. What kind of message does that send to a poor diaper recipient who walks in (if they’re uninformed)? Vote for her because she gave me a box of diapers? That smacks of vote buying.
Lack of diapers causes stress, and diaper donation fundraisers are a great idea.
But living next to a Keno-fueled gambling den also causes stress to a family - a kind that is not reversible, unless Harp reverses her vote on the enabling legislation.
The difference in the candidates isn’t who supports diapers, it’s the fact that Harp helped ram through the approval of Keno with no community consultation, as a favor and kickback to the multi-billion dollar corporations and their CT-based law firms who are now donating heavily to her campaign.
Starting next year, thanks to Harp and her friends, the State’s 600 new Keno dens will primarily impact low income neighborhoods with many single mothers and young children, not the far out suburban-like lanes and 30-room mansions where Harp, DeLauro, or Malloy live.
Based on that experience, we now know exactly how Harp would go about governing our city. Fundraisers for local nonprofits won’t cover up the damage.
Here we go again. Harp laudably contributes to the New Haven Diaper Bank and uses her campaign to call attention to a health crisis in New Haven. A recent study found that around 30% of the mothers in their sample needed diapers!! Her actions speak louder than words, but she also has a legislative history that gives her vital credibility on this issue. Once again it is an issue that is receiving attention from researchers, which reveals her track record of foresight as an elected official.
Yet how do Justin supporters respond? They make-believe that is another indication of corruption, and even allege vote-buying!!! Yup, they once again prioritize imaginary concerns about corruption over pressing social challenges that need to be addressed. This is not good governance.
I’m not that old, but I know that my mother only used diapers on my siblings and me that were made of cloth and washable, held together by a safety pin.
What’s so difficult about that? What’s the #4 stressor, the pizza delivery guy not showing up on time?
You are right, this does highlight a major difference between candidates. Elicker thinks Keno is more important than low income mothers having diapers for their children. I think something is wrong with his priorities if he wants to continue to rant against legalized gambling in CT instead of providing relief to women and children in need. We’ve had lotteries and casinos and bingo for years. Let’s not revisit what is already done.
Razzie, why do you think that “we should not revisit what is already done”? A politician’s record, when it is as terrible to the community as Senator Harp’s is, should be the basis for an informed voter’s decision.
As far as priorities go, please point to the time where Elicker said Keno (aka destruction of neighborhoods/exposure of kids to gambling) is “more important” than diaper need.
Elicker’s focus on issues such as zoning and affordable housing shows that he cares deeply about the challenges faced by low income residents in our city, whereas Harp just spouts absolutely meaningless drivel about “more jobs.” The problem isn’t jobs—it is infrastructure and affordability, issues which Elicker clearly understands to a much greater depth than Harp.
Elicker is the “address our inequality” candidate. Harp represents the status quo.
In my view I find your desire to take up an anti-gambling crusade more than a little misplaced in this mayoral election. Revisiting the statutory or moral authority for allowing casinos, bingo, lotteries, Keno, etc. to operate goes far beyond the purview of any mayor, not just New Haven. In contrast, providing for the health and welfare of low income mothers and children is exactly the type of policy initiative I would expect my Mayor to promote.
Sen Harp’s record of service to the community is amply documented by the legislative record for the past 20 years. I offer the following link as a means of acquainting you with it, if you truly have an interest in knowing.
In contrast, I find very little in New Haven’s legislative record that lists any tangible accomplishments of Alderman Elicker. I am unaware of any ordinances related to zoning or affordable housing that he has successfully sponsored. I am aware of his unsuccessful legislative initiatives featuring the trolley proposal, but otherwise unaware of any infrastructure projects he has championed.
Following your review of the information contained in the above link, I would be interested in learning whether you still contend that Elicker’s legislative career has been more productive and more in tune with the needs and interests of New Haven residents than Sen Harp.