Elicker, By The Numbers

50 “solutions” so far; 25 to come. Over 1,000 contributors. 77 percent from New Haven. 28 days to go.

That’s mayoral candidate Justin Elicker’s numerical take in a snapshot of the Democratic primary campaign. He offers the take in a new campaign video released Monday. Click on the play arrow to watch it.

Elicker faces three other Democrats—state Sen. Toni Harp, Hillhouse Principal Kermit Carolina, and former city development chief Henry Fernandez—28 days from now in a Sept. 10 primary. And he may face all of them again, or most of them, in the Nov. 5 general election.

“After 20 years in office,” incumbent John DeStefano took in a total of 1,283 contributions in his 2011 mayoral race—and only 332 of those came from New Haven, Elicker notes in the video. Elicker has already received 774 from New Haveners.

“We are New Haven funded,” Elicker declares in the video. “If elected, I won’t owe favors to out-of-town special interests or contractors.”

He acknowledges that he remains behind the race’s frontrunner, Toni Harp.

Here’s another big number: “More than 50 percent” of potential primary voters remain undecided, Elicker asserts, based on an internal campaign poll. If true, that may prove the video’s most important number of all.

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posted by: TheMadcap on August 12, 2013  6:20pm

Well realistically by undecided people mean they’re not going to vote. What was the turnout for the general election in 2011, like 26%?

posted by: Brutus2011 on August 12, 2013  10:18pm

Justin Elicker is a quality candidate.

And an effective communicator.

Has a good education.

I like the state dep’t experience.

Elicker for Mayor.

Sounds like a plan.

posted by: Eddie on August 13, 2013  1:02am

Something that I have watched in dismay are Justin’s canvassing schedules.  I have consistently admired his ambition and commitment to the environment.  But his last three canvassing schedules and petition drive concentrate on the most well-served neighborhoods in New Haven.  His last three canvassing schedules did not list a single location in West River or Newhallville (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=621088191243064&set=a.540058902679327.129639.520736764611541&type=1&theater; and https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=618360791515804&set=a.540058902679327.129639.520736764611541&type=1&theater;).  For the two canvassing schedules, they meet in the following places

Westville: 3 days
East Rock: 3 days
East Shore: 2 days
Wooster Square: 2 days
The Hill (which is gigantic): 1 day
Newhallville: 0 days
Beaver Hills: 0 days
West River: 0 days  

I’m sure they sent some lone teams to underserved neighborhoods, but it is this lopsided focus that I believe makes people uncomfortable with Elicker’s candidacy.  He is canvassing in the same affluent neighborhoods that have contributed to his campaign.  Paul nailed it when he wrote that Elicker had risen to power by representing the pet issues of affluent people who have recently moved to New Haven.  Yet a political strategy that bets on winning overwhelming support from this demographic, while neglecting the rest of the city does not forebode well for the inclusiveness of his administration.   

During the same time period I have canvassed in the Hill four times for Harp, and I’m a slacker!!

posted by: Wikus van de Merwe on August 13, 2013  9:05am

Eddie why don’t you ask them for a canvasing schedule history so you can make a judgement based on accurate information, rather than trying to make a judgement from 2 pictures off his Facebook feed.

I’m sure the people who met with his canvassers in Newhallville, Beaver Hills, and West River will see through your deception pretty easily.

posted by: Fairhavener on August 13, 2013  9:06am


You left out of your numbers (hopefully an honest typo) that he’s canvassed a total of 3 days in Fair Haven Heights and 3 days in Fair Haven. Moreover, I would add that these schedules are incomplete and it is a call to volunteers to help out. Justin’s teams have also canvassed Dwight neighborhood last weekend.

Lastly, I would add that Justin was a major influence in fighting back against nuisance crimes like, dirt bikes and atv’s—which have greatly improved the quality of life of many.  It’s been argued that dealing with smaller crime is part of the equation to combating greater crime generally and if these so called “pet issues” are dealt with in the process than what is the harm in that?

posted by: Fairhavener on August 13, 2013  9:09am

@Eddie: also the schedules you reference are meeting points (usually at the home of a volunteer willing to host) and then people often part to with either the same area and often somewhere else.

posted by: Curious on August 13, 2013  10:13am

...and where’s Paul Bass with the correction in the comments of Eddie’s distortions of the Elicker campaign’s canvassing efforts?  Is that only a service available to the Harp campaign, or is he abstaining from doing that now?

posted by: Wikus van de Merwe on August 13, 2013  11:28am

Curious, a casual observation of published column topics, the choice of language used, and which comments fail to make it through moderation make it pretty obvious who NHI is in the bag for.  I half wonder if donating to NHI shouldn’t count as a campaign contribution…

posted by: Claudia Herrera on August 13, 2013  11:41am

You brought up a good point not counting that Justin’s videos are base only with the information and numbers collected from his own friends he has working in the field of public services and social media.

@Fairhavener you did not say what areas of Fair Haven. His was 3 time is the area of chatham square and high Fair Haven where a lot of his friends are.

The other 80% of Fair Haven has being left out (which it tell you where are his priorities). Actually I take it back he went to the Church of Santa Rosa with a NOT a good feed back so far a heard and have being told from many of them. The 90% of that population never heard form him before.

posted by: Carlos R. Galo on August 13, 2013  12:43pm

Hello friend and neighbor @Claudia Herrera:

As an unpaid volunteer I have personally canvassed for Justin Elicker in Fair Haven.
I have walked the streets door to door—sometimes with Justin himself—on parts of Ferry St., Grand Ave., many streets south of Grand including Poplar, Saltonstall, Blatchley, Lloyd, Wolcott, Exchange, and some of Clinton Ave., Perkins St., Front St., and Chatham St.
I am doing this on my own time after work and on weekends and this is just my experience. Obviously, I am just one person and I’ve yet to hit all streets in Fair Haven though if given the chance I would love to. I also know that many of my Fair Haven neighbors are doing very much the same.

Claudia, I am in no way meaning to discount your comment since I know that there is some truth to what you are saying; almost assuredly, no one candidate has knocked on *every* door in this City. However, your specific assertion that Elicker’s campaign has left out “the other 80% of Fair Haven” proved too far from the truth not respond to.

posted by: Dee Rien on August 13, 2013  1:23pm

Let’s repeat it for people reading these comments who don’t know how disingenuous these anti-Elicker commenters are being. The locations on those Elicker canvassing schedules are MEETING PLACES. Anyone who has ever canvassed knows you show up at a meeting place and are given and clipboard with a neighborhood to canvass on it. And that neighborhood could be ANYWHERE. A list of meetup locations IN NO WAY tells you where a candidate has canvassed and where he has not.

posted by: John Fitzpatrick on August 13, 2013  1:32pm

For the record, before even declaring his candidacy, Elicker attended a meeting of the West River Neighborhood Services Corporation and a meeting of the Chapel-Ellsworth Block Watch (located in West River), and he met with a number of people active in the West River community, including me. The assertion that he has ignored the less affluent areas of New Haven just isn’t true.

posted by: Claudia Herrera on August 13, 2013  2:13pm

As Carlos said very few of them (that corner of Fair Haven)are trying to walk around 4 blocks out of his neighborhood and only them speck very highly about Justin’s effort to understand their needs.
The rest of Fair Haven, the lower income areas and streets (do not take my discussion to resume his reach outs) are not happy with the huge difference of quality of life just a few minutes between us. Look the graphics and numbers Justin’s team prepare. And as same as you Carlos many of us we are talking, walking meeting people, making neighborhood meetings for our candidate, going door to door, walking tours with our candidate to trying to make a real connection to our problems. NO ONLY FOR MY Neighbors around my house. Important to mention we are not getting pay either. And the 80% is not out of the reality. Fair Haven knows that and Ms Toni never come a long she also bring a group of people taking notes and making connection with us face to face.

posted by: Razzie on August 13, 2013  4:00pm

“If elected, I won’t owe favors to out-of-town special interests or contractors.”

Right. But he will owe East Rock supporters—BIG TIME!

posted by: Curious on August 13, 2013  4:22pm

Razzie makes a great point.  If elected, Elicker will probably siphon off all the prosperity out of Newhallville and The Hill and spread it around all those East Rock elites!

Or, god forbid, he might make MORE of New Haven like East Rock….safer, more attractive!  Who wants THAT?!

posted by: Jonathan Hopkins on August 13, 2013  4:28pm

Let me get this straight. You would rather have someone beholden to suburban interests (Harp and Fernandez) then someone beholden to city residents (Elicker and Carolina)?

You do also realize that “East Rock” is made up of several different communities, right? There’s the Whitney-Audubon Arts District which has a public housing Tower (McQueeney Towers), luxury housing (Audubon Court, Whitney-Grove Square), offices, businesses, schools and institutional buildings; then there’s SoHu which is filled with many small, dense houses and apartments in addition to churches, school and businesses; there’s also the affluent Whitney-Orange area that has a lot of large, Queen Anne-style houses, a few businesses, churches and many institutional buildings; then there’s Goatville, a working class area of small modest, multi-family homes; and then there’s Cedar Hill, another working class area.

What exactly do you mean by “East Rock” because it could refer to a lot of different communities, each of which is diverse in its own way.

posted by: anonymous on August 13, 2013  8:43pm

I agree with John F.‘s comments about West River. I have attended maybe three or four dozen large neighborhood meetings in Hill, Brookside, Newhallville, Fair Haven and other neighborhoods that aren’t Westville or East Rock. Senator Harp attended none of them. Elicker was the only candidate who not only showed interest at quite a few of them, but actually took concrete action on some of the problems that were discussed. He also showed up on time. Just pointing this out because I think it explains why some of the residents at those meetings are now out there canvassing for him.

I saw Harp show up late to two of these meetings, ask to speak, and then completely fail to follow up on any of the concerns that were discussed.

This suggests that Senator Harp simply isn’t the kind of hands-on, responsive, energetic State official that we generally have in, say, Lemar or Dillon.  The burden is on Harp to prove otherwise.

As a sidebar, the fact that Harp and these reps voted for Keno, without discussing their sudden last-minute inclusion of it with the residents who will see their corner stores turned into local gambling parlors overnight, shows that none of them are fit to be the head of a diverse, democratic city like ours.

posted by: anonymous on August 14, 2013  12:40am

“Paul nailed it when he wrote that Elicker had risen to power by representing the pet issues of affluent people who have recently moved to New Haven.”

Eddie, it’s incredibly dismissive and presumptuous to suggest that people who are not affluent dont care about the same issues as everyone else in the United States. 

Perhaps this sort of attitude that quality of life, long-term financial sustainability, clean elections, or recent immigrants don’t matter as much as union job pipelines and new parking garages (for suburbanites or suburbanites to-be) is what allows a candidate like Harp to vote for Keno dens in each neighborhood, and not speak out when a road in her district is widened into a four lane highway.

Elicker has made enormous progress on issues like school lotteries and public safety. I haven’t seen the other candidates at a single one of those meetings, including large ones organized by the Yale Unions on these topics. If you went, you might find the issues are pretty much the same no matter where you live.

posted by: Razzie on August 14, 2013  8:08am

@ Jonathan Hopkins

The term “suburban interests” is your creation not mine. And you haven’t defined it or how it relates to Sen Harp’s campaign. Sen Harp’s support is far broader than any suburban group or collection of donors. In fact, her donors and supporters are far more diverse (geographically, ethnically and culturally) than Elicker can even hope to be. His filings indicate the vast bulk of his contributions are clustered in the more affluent wards of the city, not in Newhallville, Dixwell or The Hill. His donors are characterized by persons like Michael Stratton who bundle their contributions in the names of their children to evade the Democracy Fund spending limit.

When I reference East Rock, I reference the East Rock ward (pre-redistricting) that first elected Elicker. That ward was not diverse like it now is. The East Rock that elected Elicker was the ward that fought against the recent property re-valuation because it felt its property taxes were too high, and that other areas of the city should be forced to subsidize their tax burden. THAT is the type of East Rock political influence I would be concerned about if Elicker were to become elected Mayor.

posted by: Brian L. Jenkins on August 14, 2013  9:23am

Elicker may be qualified to be the mayor of New Canaan, but certainly not qualified to be the mayor of the City of New Haven.

He creates his own poll and conveys fictitious information that he wants the public to scramble over.  Unfortunately, because most people behave like sheep (including some of the media), they’re doing just that.

Elicker continues to accuse Toni of owing outsiders should she become mayor.  Coincidently, the city would be begging outsiders for help should Elicker become mayor.

Let’s not be fooled into thinking that a two term Alderman brand new to the city, is more than capable of running New Haven. Because he spews out platitudes certainly doesn’t qualify him as a mayor of this great city.

The social problems in the city that Elicker are unacquainted with, will continue to mature under a Elicker administration. 

He’s reached across political party lines at the inception of his candidacy, but to be mayor of this city, one must also reach across racial lines in order to be affective.

Can Elicker reach across these racial lines? I believe so.  Has he done it thus far? I haven’t seen it.

posted by: anonymous on August 14, 2013  9:52am


According to NHI, Harp and Elicker raised about the same amount of money. Over 75% of Harp’s money came from outside New Haven, including from lavish fundraisers held by her family in Hamden.

In stark contrast, over 75% of Elicker’s money came from New Haven residents, with a large number from every ZIP code.

Regarding “racial lines,” whatever that means, New Haven is 30% white, the suburbs are 90% white. About half of New Haven school kids are Hispanic, and more than half of New Haven residents are under 30 years old, so I think it would be amazing if our next Mayor spoke Spanish and could relate to younger people.

posted by: Jonathan Hopkins on August 14, 2013  10:32am


You should look at Harp’s funding sources. I would be less worried if her contributions came from St. Ronan and Prospect Hill because at least those places are in the city, but instead they come from Hartford’s West End neighborhood, which is where the Governor’s Mansion is. “Suburban interests” is in reference to her numerous contributions from New Haven’s suburbs and endorsements from suburban-majority and controlled unions. Remember those sweetheart deals Destefano made with the unions in exchange for their endorsement during the lead-up to his run for Governor? That will just become standard operating procedure under Harp. And if you think she’ll just get Hartford to pay for it, you should take a look at the State’s budget.

Low-income communities typically don’t contribute to political campaigns, regardless of who is running. This is true of Elicker and Harp, like it was true of Obama and Malloy.

Ward 10 prior to redistricting included most of the Whitney-Orange corridor, which is quite wealthy; part of Goatville, which is middle class; and Cedar Hill, which is working class. Now the ward includes Quinnipiac Terrace. His job as alderman of that ward is to represent his constituents. Are you claiming that he did not do that? Revaluation was a concern in his ward, so should he have ignored that concern or should he have done his job and responded to the concerns of his constituents? If he had ignored the concerns of his constituents, then I would be more worried about his ability to lead the city because that might indicate that he just does what he wants. But since he represented his constituents at the ward level, I don’t see why he would suddenly turn about-face and not do that at the city-wide level should he become mayor.

posted by: Claudia Herrera on August 14, 2013  2:34pm

@Jonathan Hopkins maybe you need to update your data.
Obama won because the Latino support played a very important role. HE announced it after the surveys. Malloy send thank you letter to the Latino community that support him. Harp IS receiving OUR support.(Justin has two; Lee and Galos’s)  Low income communities are active more that ever now, since a lot of those young voters are old enough to vote and having a better understanding of the importance of the vote in this country. 

As Eddie and Brian L. Jenkins explain well this is not ONE side of the story talking. Justin refused to said who did the polls for him. This next paragraph is from the New Haven Register who conducted his interview.

“Elicker wouldn’t go into any of the details as to who conducted the poll, how long ago it was conducted or what percentage of voters are behind each of the candidates”

You say so many things wrong here that will take a long way just to explain you how much the low income communities feel and why they support these efforts. I found you way too arrogant for you event trying to understand their “ignorant point of view”.

“Low-income communities typically don’t contribute to political campaigns, regardless of who is running. This is true of Elicker and Harp, like it was true of Obama and Malloy.”

Maybe HERE is yours and Justin’s answers as same as ROMMEY found out too late when he lost with Obama.
when you underestimate the anger and passion of the low income population and minorities. IS for sure you will not will have even our sympathy. We have a voice and power too not only books and strategies works. A prove for this Mr. Harp give 4800 signatures in 4 1/2 days ready to the city clerk office and later 600 more in total 5,400. If you want to talk about numbers here there are. Real numbers count and sing.

posted by: anonymous on August 14, 2013  3:49pm

Claudia: So, where is your poll that says only two “Latino Community” people support Elicker and the other 100% supports Harp?  I don’t host campaign events at my house like you, but I know personally that quite a few Spanish-speaking and/or Latin American-born people in New Haven support each candidate other than Harp.

Also, I don’t get your point about Obama. Obama had by far the largest number of small donors. Elicker has more donors from New Haven than all three other campaigns, combined.  Justin’s average donation is a tiny fraction the size of that received by Harp (more than 80% of whose money comes from outside the city).  Progressive citizens do not support “big money” candidates fueled by suburban interests like Harp/Romney.

posted by: Jonathan Hopkins on August 14, 2013  4:07pm

Que te calmes.

It is not an opinion of mine that people with little disposable income (low-income people) typically do not make financial contributions to political campaigns. It’s just a fact. I’m not implying anything with that, I’m merely stating that when people say that Elicker doesn’t have many low-income contributors it’s meaningless because neither does Harp, nor did Malloy or Obama or any other politician. All politicians receive the vast majority of contributions from people that have disposable income. This is not a controversial point to make.

Who conducted Elicker’s poll is irrelevant at this point. He paid some company to conduct the poll and he has used the results for internal strategy, which is none of our business. If he comprehensively released the results publicly, then he should reveal who conducted the poll so that the public can judge its legitimacy, but since he hasn’t released the specific results of the poll it really doesn’t matter who he paid to conduct it or how it was conducted.

As for my personal opinion on Elicker - I think he will likely get crushed by Harp in the Democratic Primary, but I think he stands a chance in the General Election. I have a lot of concerns about him, including his short-term residency in the city and because I think he will have a very difficult time governing the city due to BOA obstructionism, among other reasons. Having said that, I have way more concerns about Harp and Fernandez that make Elicker the lesser of evils, in my view.

posted by: Claudia Herrera on August 14, 2013  7:42pm

@Jonathan Hopkins Estoy calmada :-)

I am with you in ONE thing the majority of the monetary support comes from the “Big boys”  but it is why democracy still playing “the song to dance”. Definitely I am not agreed with you by saying that it is irrelevant now who conducted the polls, especially that his has the song of transparency information to all. Justin’s reasons are obvious he paid to make polls to study and manege strategies.

But what’s he’s maneuvering between lines is that he has “prove in paper” to support him that he’s actually having a chance. After the primaries. I also disagreed with you. I actually think the general elections will come even harder for him. The popular vote is with Harp and Henry. Justin is “simpatico” but like I express this to him in person He just not ready. I can ensure you that staring THIS weeks it’s going to be more endorsements for Toni but to step up more from Henry’s numbers. Regardless what Justin’s polls are saying.

Henry and Harp openly have being talking about emigration, support Latino opportunities and at least trying to reach out to us. No so much from Justin. So. For Last, our Senator of CT Richard Blumenthal and our governor of CT D. Malloy have being proven by supporting the Latino community in many important issues for us. What is making you think the “low income” community is not moving this elections now? WE know we need a local authority who is in the same page. Harp or Henry?

posted by: Eddie on August 15, 2013  10:11pm


You make a good point that many of the priorities are shared across New Haven.  The general consensus seems to be that jobs, safety, and education are the top priorities for most people who live in New Haven.

Still I’m troubled by the exclusive nature of the Elicker campaign.  I’m convinced that the policies that address general priorities and the administration of these policies will be affected by who has voice and agency in an administration.  Justin has very little governing experience, so this campaign is one of our only chances to infer how accessible his administration will be.  When I see a canvassing schedule that completely excludes important neighborhoods and give cursory attention to others it raises a red flag for me.  I ask why aren’t canvasses hosted out of Newhallville?  I ask why is only one canvass hosted out of the Hill?  No one has provided an answer to these questions.  I know other campaigns are hosting canvasses out of nearly every neighborhood multiple times per week.  The distribution of canvasses and their hosting location is important because it signals that a campaign has people in a neighborhood who have a voice in the campaign.  So you can bemoan the “suburban unions” until you are blue in the face.  Still there is absolutely no question in my mind that the progressive social movement in New Haven has a deeper commitment to and has done a better job of searching for and identifying leaders across the city.  This process is dynamic and is constantly changing but the social movement seems to be doing a better job of empowering people in every neighborhood.  The movement is more inclusive than anything Justin Elicker has built.  So yes, the general priorities are shared, but who is empowered to articulate their vision for New Haven is different.

posted by: Fairhavener on August 15, 2013  10:47pm

@Eddie, you wrote: “I know other campaigns are hosting canvasses out of nearly every neighborhood multiple times per week.”

You mean the same campaigns that favored big money from special interests over the Democracy Fund?