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Elicker Dives Into Dixwell

by Paul Bass | May 28, 2013 8:15 am

(50) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author

Posted to: Dixwell, Campaign 2013

“I’m not supporting someone [just] because of the color of their skin,” Greg Morehead called up to the second-floor window on Admiral Street after introducing yet another neighbor to “my friend Justin.”

“We don’t do that,” agreed the woman on the second floor. Then she gave Morehead’s “friend” all the time he wanted to make his pitch.

That “friend” accompanying Morehead on a stroll through the Dixwell neighborhood was Justin Elicker, one of seven Democrats vying to succeed retiring two-decade incumbent Mayor John DeStefano.

Five of those Democratic mayoral candidates are African-American. (So are Morehead, a former alderman, and the woman on the second floor.) Elicker, a third-term alderman who grew up in New Canaan, is white. His base is in the largely white East Rock neighborhood, where he is a second-term alderman.

He probably won’t win the majority of the black vote. But he probably can’t win the Sept. 10 Democratic primary or the general election—in which he plans to run whether or not he wins the primary—without getting some black votes. Elicker picked up some black supporters early in his candidacy. He has spent plenty of time in neighborhoods like Dixwell, the historic heart of New Haven’s black community, since announcing his candidacy, making the pitch for electing a mayor who brings a fresh, honest approach to government.

On Sunday, dressed in a pinstriped suit and a “Just Elicker” button, he spent hours in Dixwell.

Paul Bass photo He started the day with a prize speaking spot—at 1,100-member Varick AME Zion Church on Dixwell Avenue, one of the oldest as well as current among the faster-growing and more politically potent houses of worship in the neighborhood. The church holds three packed services on Sunday morning. Every last seat—all 400 of them—was filled, including in the balcony. Elicker sat in the front pew between his wife Natalie Elicker and campaign supporter Semi Semi-Dikoko for the full rollicking two-hour-plus service.

Before delivering his own sermon, Pastor Eldren Morrison introduced Elicker to the crowd as a “humble man of ideas.”

Elicker than got two minutes to make his pitch. (Click on the play arrow at the top of the story to view a snippet.) Appearing loose, he burst into momentary song—echoing the “Get on Board!” refrain sung by a woman moments before. The church erupted in applause. Then Elicker spoke of the need for New Haven to build on the “strong foundation” of its downtown by strengthening the “branches”—corridors like State Street, Grand Avenue, Whalley Avenue, Dixwell Avenue. “We need to focus on gathering our community together and working together—not just expecting government to do, but community and government to do together,” he said. He praised the church for taking initiative with its current efforts to launch a charter school.

Elicker lingered after the service to schmooze with congregants ...

... then regrouped with a half-dozen campaign supporters in the Dixwell Plaza parking lot. They prepared to break into teams to knock on doors on surrounding streets. Campaign manager Kyle Buda offered a few tips before sending them on their ways.

Elicker paired off with Morehead, who represented the neighborhood on the Board of Aldermen before losing his seat two years ago to a candidate backed by Yale’s unions. (The unions, a crucial vote-pulling force, are not expected to back Elicker in the mayoral race.) Hobbling gamely on crutches in the wake of recent foot surgery, Morehead ushered Elicker up Admiral Street, where Morehead seemed to know everyone, including Valentine Taylor, a Jamaican-born homeowner who runs a small construction company. “He’s going to complain about his sidewalks,” Morehead predicted before Taylor came to the door.

Sure enough, after a warm handshake with Morehead, Taylor spoke of the years he has spent sending photos to officials about the sidewalk, about the woman in the wheelchair who has to wheel into the street to avoid it, about how the city has never come to fix it. Elicker didn’t promise to fix it. He promised to be up front about fixing sidewalks. “The bottom line is, the city doesn’t have a lot of resources. But at a minimum you should know what number you are on the list to know when your sidewalk’s being fixed. You should be able to call the city” and hear “you’re number 642” on the list so you know what to expect, Elicker argued. He also said who your alderman is shouldn’t determine whether your sidewalk gets fixed. (Click here to read about a new sidewalk-repair system the city has instituted.)

Taylor didn’t just complain. He spoke of how his neighborhood has prospered under Mayor John DeStefano thanks to renovation of blighted buildings and construction of new schools. (He did complain that mostly white contractors and workers do that work.) “The present mayor, he’s not the best to look at in the morning—but he cleaned up the neighborhood,” Taylor said. “Seems like the guy that [is] not so handsome does a good job. So you’re on my good side!” That produced some chuckles. In the end, Taylor did promise to give Elicker serious consideration in the primary.

So did neighbor David Waters, mostly, it seemed, out of deference to his pal Morehead, after a quick chat.

Lindsey Ruminski up the block spent more time hearing out Elicker. At first she didn’t want to come downstairs; she sat by her second-story window while Elicker and Morehead made the pitch from the front yard, including Morehead’s pitch not to consider a candidate’s race. Eventually Ruminski, who’s active on the Wexler-Grant School parent-teacher committee and runs a Christian youth education program in her basement, came downstairs to say her peace. She called behavior “off the hook” in the schools; she wants not just the kids, but the teachers, to dress better. She blasted “Parent University” for focusing on job-training for parents rather than basic academic skills they can use to help tutor their children. She called the school system’s new Singapore Math curriculum “ridiculous” because the parents don’t know how to help their children learn it. She said she wants a mayor who will improve the schools, period. “We built buildings. But we didn’t do anything for education,” she complained.

Elicker listened sympathetically. He spoke of his support for a proposal to amend the city charter and create a hybrid (part-elected, part-appointed) Board of Education. “You’ll get to vote on it” in a November referendum.“You can count on me [for support] as long as everything is [as you] say it is,” Ruminski told the candidate.

Ruminski’s neighbor Gina Phillips is an “influential”—a former ward Democratic co-chair who can influence other people how to vote. Elicker had met her previously; she will support him because he’s the only one who has come to her door, and because he has a family (a wife), she said when he reappeared Sunday.

Phillips’ number-one request for the next mayor: Stop crime.

“I pay taxes here. I feel unsafe,” she said.

“Ask: Will I walk on the [one-block-away Farmington] Trail by myself? No. Ask me: Will I walk up the street to the corner store? No. It’s really that bad. ... I can’t walk up the street with my grandchildren!

“We used to have a community. Now we have a ‘hood.’”

Elicker told her Chief Dean Esserman has been bringing back walking cops and community policing in general. He urged her to encourage young men she knows to apply for some of the new job openings in the department. (She responded that her nephew is serving time for murder.) In response to her request for more youth activities, Elicker said he can’t promise to build new community centers in every neighborhood. Rather, he said, the city has lots of beautiful new schools; he’d like them to house more after-school youth programs.

Greg Morehead added a pitch.

“Tell people,” he urged Phillips, “not to vote for people on the color of their skin. You know how people do.”

Phillips said her neighbors listen to her. She promised to tell them.

 

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posted by: Greg-Morehead on May 28, 2013  8:41am

There was more to me saying, I’m not supporting someone based on the color of their skin… I have served on the board with Justin and know his track record of getting things done.  Him and I have worked on various initiatives and resolutions together.  Justin is a forward thinker and a motivator.  Alot of times in our neighborhood, some people make the mistake of voting for someone based on the color of their skin and not on the work that they have done.  Out of all of the candidates that are running, In MY opinion, I feel that Justin is more qualified to take this city from where its at, to another level.  I know some people will be upset with me about that statement, but the truth is the truth!  He is not affiliated with the Unions, but will work with them for a stronger New Haven.  He’s not affiliated with alot of the groups that other candidates are affiliated with, but will work with those groups to move the city forward.  Theres alot more that I can say, but this article was supposed to be about Justin, and not about me. lol

posted by: Curious on May 28, 2013  8:53am

What’s this all about?

“The unions, a crucial vote-pulling force, are not expected to back Elicker in the mayoral race.”

I thought “the unions” just had invited several of the candidates, Elicker included, to present to them?  Did they decide something already?  Do you know something about the outcome of those meetings that hasn’t been reported on yet?  Is this based in something, or is it just personal speculation?

How about an NHI story on the methods that Local 34 is using to engage their members with to find out who they want the union to back in this race?  Why not that? 

NHI seems pretty cozy with Local 34, you’ve gotten them on the record before.  Why not now?  Why not tell the community how Local 34 decision makers are not engaging the members AT ALL on this huge decision?

posted by: Greg-Morehead on May 28, 2013  9:35am

@Curious
I don’t think that they did officially make their endorsement as of yet, but you can generally assume who they aren’t supporting and who they may lean towards.  Before 2 of my elections, I received a letter from the Unions stating that they wanted to meet with me to hear my platform etc so that they can determine who they were going to support.  I received that letter 2 days before the meeting when the other candidates received theirs weeks before, and then with me going in to these meetings, I sensed that they weren’t going to support me anyway, and they already had in their minds who they were going to support.  They put it out their to ALL of the candidates to make it seem like they want to be transparent, but even with the Mayoral candidates, they already knew way before they met with the candidates who they were going to support.  But, if one of the candidates don’t show up or make the meeting, they use that as a dis qualifier and say if they were present, we probably would have supported them. They know already who they are backing. Why is it that Toni Harp HAD to leave the Capitol meeting and attend their Union meeting?  Just for that same reason.  If she didn’t show, that wouldn’t have looked good with them still wanting to back her….. SMH

posted by: anon123newhaven on May 28, 2013  9:49am

three things:
1. FOUR of the seven candidates are black, not five.  Elicker, Nemerson, and Fernandez are all non-black.
2. Paul, can you please explain why you say that Elicker will not get the backing of the unions?  It seems like you have information that the rest of us don’t, and we’d all like to be enlightened.
3. The Independent should think about its own racial diversity as it strives to dive into problems of race in this city. It would be nice if you had a commitment to sending out reporters who, in some way, reflected the racial composition of the city they cover.

[Ed: Henry Fernandez identifies as African-American. His father is African-American. That’s why we do not describe him as “non-black.” I didn’t say Elicker will not get the backing; I wrote that he’s not “expected” to. That’s a prediction based on many, many conversations with people in town; people at various different levels of the campaigns do not expect Elicker to get that endorsement. Of course that could be proven wrong! ]

posted by: Xavier on May 28, 2013  10:25am

” Then Elicker spoke of the need for New Haven to build on the “strong foundation” of its downtown by strengthening the “branches”—corridors like State Street, Grand Avenue, Whalley Avenue, Dixwell Avenue. “We need to focus on gathering our community together and working together—”

Sounds like others are picking up on One City Henry’s call. Curious that One City Henry’s HQ is in Fairhaven and Elicker is on the other side of town.

To WIN, you have to get the machine’s support or at least divide it. Snagging Morehead is of little consequence given is relatively low profile in the machine’s apparatus. Note he does not hold office now. Noble analysis of his take on the unions and how they treated him. If you are interested in running a NICE election, then ignore or minimize the unions.

One City Henry understands the way things work in New Haven - and he has to play in order to get elected. One City Henry did not create the political environment of New Haven, but he understands it. Understanding it and playing along, will increase chances of WINNING.  Then One City Henry can GOVERN. Elicker has a lot of ideas and seems humble, but ideas don’t get you elected. The relatively few people who vote in New Haven are union connected or turned out by the machine - that is just reality.

Looks like Morehead is going to be the cyber Elicker defender. I guess in lieu of a well financed campaign with professional staffing, cyber defending yourself and your candidate are the next best thing. Just let go of One City Henry’s rejection of the Democracy Fund. Money, unions, and the machine, a recipe for a WIN, and everyone likes a WINNER.

One City Henry, WINNER.

posted by: Brian L. Jenkins on May 28, 2013  10:29am

To this guys credit, he is extremely ubiquitous.

Unlike Jefferey Kerekes, Mr. Elicker has understood that if he’s to have any chance to win this race, he’ll have to spend a great deal of his campaigning in the black community.

The idea that black voters in New Haven will shudder the thought of voting for this guy because he’s white is ridiculous.  John DeStefano has been elected by the black community for 20 years and the last time I saw him, he was still white.

Although I find myself somewhat enamored by this young man’s passion and desire to serve.  It’s Toni Harp that is most appropriate for the title to be the next mayor of the City of New Haven.

Nevertheless, I’m sure this campaigning has been a tremendous, rewarding and yet a humbling experience for Mr. Elicker.

posted by: Brutus2011 on May 28, 2013  10:35am

I agree with much of what Greg Morehead has to say.

We must elect our next mayor on who he or she is and not on their skin complexion.

It is hard to tell an oreo cookie until it is too late.

Mayor DeStefano was a master at manipulating us through his suspender-wearing and harrumphing Judas goat appointees.

No more.

posted by: Thomas Alfred Paine on May 28, 2013  10:58am

One thing I admire about Elicker is that he was the first to announce his candidacy for mayor, prior to Destefano’s announcement that he would not run. While others may have pondered running against the mayor, Elicker made his move and was willing to take on the 20 year incumbent. that will be a factor I will consider in making my decision as I examine all of the candidates.

posted by: anon123newhaven on May 28, 2013  11:55am

Who doesn’t expect him to?  Which people and for what reasons?  What good does it do us for you to say “he is not expected to” in a passive-voice construction that obfuscate an acting subject?  We would all like to hear about these “conversations” with people around town.

posted by: David S Baker on May 28, 2013  12:44pm

Paul is not off the mark on the union endorsement prediction.  Candidates have said as much in conversation.  Why would UNITE invest in backing a candidate in the democracy fund whom they could not bolster with their money?  They proved time and time again that spending wars and unpaid intern walkers are how to win elections. It would be completely out of character for them to invest in the kid with the dueling pistol and white gloves when other candidates are rounding up tanks. They don’t base their decisions on qualifications or depth of ideas, this is an INVESTMENT for them.  They want to endorse the person most likely to win and get a few puppet strings in the process.  Its a timeless technique they picked up from the big evil corporations they “protect” their members from.

posted by: Noteworthy on May 28, 2013  12:50pm

Brian Jenkins:

Before you throw all your support behind Toni Harp - don’t you think she should be both a taxpayer and that she clean up the debts left behind by her late husband? I’m not buying the myth that Toni Harp can eat the poisoned fruit all those years and never get sick, never know it was rotten. The web of companies designed to ignore taxes that are due, layer on debt in order to erase all equity, and not pay what is due taxpayers is staggering.

The Register did an an interesting piece over the weekend.

http://www.nhregister.com/articles/2013/05/26/news/new_haven/doc51a1851b78103763834002.txt

posted by: Truth Avenger on May 28, 2013  1:01pm

@Anon: You said,“3. The Independent should think about its own racial diversity as it strives to dive into problems of race in this city. It would be nice if you had a commitment to sending out reporters who, in some way, reflected the racial composition of the city they cover.”
Color and race have nothing to do with reporting the facts.  What exactly would you expect to be different if The Independent had sent out a reporter of “color”?

posted by: Threefifths on May 28, 2013  1:09pm

Just as Esau in his day sold his birthright for a mess of pottage.Black Minsters have sold out to the white political machine.The so-called leaders of the Black community. Increasingly, it’s as if they have sold their souls. Further, I do not trust them to speak for me because repeatedly they misrepresent my interests. The Black church is confused And the people are left lost unaware of our potential as a people and seemingly perpetually castigated as beggars sitting on bags of gold. The Black church, which used to be the center of the Black community, used to stand for something. The Black church, once the source of the Black voice in society, has become less and less relevant to the struggle for Black power because too many preachers have been compromised by ego or materialism, i.e. money. The way I see it, money, power, influence and greed have altered the game and have raised the stakes for an already troubled community.Preachers today make money that would probably, if he were alive, blow Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s mind.Even Dr.King said.Both political parties have betrayed the cause of justice. The Democrats have betrayed it by capitulating to the prejudice, and undemocratic practices of the Southern Dixiecrats . The Republicans have betrayed it by capitulating to the blatant hypocrisy of the right wing reactionary Northerners The contemporary church is often a weak ineffectual voice, with an uncertain sound. It is so often the supporter of the status quo. The power structure is consoled by the church’s silence, but the judgment of God is upon the church as never before
Dr.king MALCOLM X said. Our people have to become registered voters, but we first have to get a better understand of politics. We go into politics in a gullible way, an emotional way. When politics is cold blooded and heartless, we must first learn the science of politics, and we should not take sides with either party. We should not sell ourselves to either party MALCOLM X.

posted by: Threefifths on May 28, 2013  1:34pm

For those who keep saying I’m not supporting someone just because of the color of their skin.Then why do you support a political party that has done noting for you.

Any time you throw your weight behind a political party that controls two-thirds of the government, and that party can’t keep the promises that it made to you during election time, and you’re dumb enough to walk around continuing to identify with that political party, you’re not only a chump but you’re a traitor to your race” Malcolm X in Detroit April 12, 1964


Is it hard for you to leave the Democratic and Republican Party?Take a look at what African people are doing in other parts of the world. In the majority of African countries they have several political parties of their own. You can go to several countries in Africa and the people belong to a political party from the youth to the adult.We need a black political party so we can have our own voting bloc and we can go to either party and cut deals that you will only receive our votes if we receive what we demand not ask but demand. When you have a voting bloc you are no longer asking or begging for things but demanding. You only have to look at what a few million Cuban people have done with their voting bloc that they give the Republican party in Florida. They control South Florida and have control of a policy that allows Cubans that touch United States soil to stay in this country. And last for those who keep saying I’m not supporting someone just because of the color of their skin.Look at the make up of Hartford.All white Male control and what have they done for your community.
Also understand Black minsters are always used Buy White Politicians,Look at the sell out prechers that Mayor Bloonberg have used.The same thing is done here. Mayor Deprives Rival of Black Clergy’s Support

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/29/nyregion/29ministers.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

P.S. Did Justin Elicker Rock and swing to the The Black National Anthem.

posted by: robn on May 28, 2013  1:56pm

So 3/5,

Tell us how you really feel; should we vote for someone because of the color of their skin?

posted by: Xavier on May 28, 2013  1:57pm

3/5s
“We go into politics in a gullible way, an emotional way. When politics is cold blooded and heartless, we must first learn the science of politics, and we should not take sides with either party. We should not sell ourselves to either party MALCOLM X.”

A good cut and paste! I agree, but emotion will still rule the day. Most have neither the interest, capacity, or time to study the science of politics- that is for experienced paid professionals like One City Henry’s staff.

I think One City Henry will WIN. One City Henry understands that politics is cold blooded and heartless. Anyone who has ever run up against One City Henry knows that he can be brutal and unforgiving. (During his tenure as deputy mayor/economic development chief, he would…(sadly my personal experience and nothing I can prove with a letter, a tape recording or the like…). One City Henry understands the cold blooded nature of the New Haven political scene.

A well researched article in the Register about the deceased husband of One City Henry’s opponent, Harp, was not by luck. It will be exploited by One City Henry’s professional campaign staff in the coming days to torpedo Harp’s campaign, sinking it before she is able to divide the machine. Looney backing Hart is interesting and its significance is not lost on those who remember JD’s brutal and cold blooded campaign against Looney. 

I suspect One City Henry’s campaign will exploit the back taxes owed by her deceased husband. It should direct itself not just to New Haveners (emotional sheep) but also to the larger audience (wolves) of greater New Haven (unions and One City Henry money bags).

One City Henry knows how to WIN and WINNERS, in this political environment, show they can GOVERN.

One City Henry - winner.

posted by: Xavier on May 28, 2013  2:04pm

3/5 + 2/5

A little cut and paste from me, from an article Bass did on Oct 24, 2007.

“One note offering insight into deliberations at City Hall came from DeStefano’s chief of staff, Sean Matteson. At the time City Hall was being battered in particular by police critics in the black community. Matteson weighed the pros and cons of establishing a “monthly 90-minute … roundtable” with black and Latino ministers. Matteson suggested the idea could provide the mayor some “moral ground” but also risked having the clergy go “off reservation.” The idea never came to fruition.”

posted by: robn on May 28, 2013  2:16pm

XAVIER,

A historical fine point. The 2001 election saw JD with 9,859 (62%) vs. ML 5,974 (38%). Statistically a blow-out unless you consider the date; September 11, 2001. There was a lot of enthusiasm at the time for Sen Looney but the events of the day took the wind out of most people’s sails. Mostly die-hard machine voters went to the polls. IMHO, JD was very lucky that day.

posted by: Threefifths on May 28, 2013  2:17pm

posted by: robn on May 28, 2013 1:56pm
So 3/5,

Tell us how you really feel; should we vote for someone because of the color of their skin?

You know how I feel when it comes to voting.I am for proportional representation and term limits.No one should vote base of skin color.But I do think Black people need there own party.

posted by: Threefifths on May 28, 2013  2:25pm

@Xavier

Black Minsters have always be used by white politicians and Slave Masters.The Only Minsters who were not used during slavery was Nat Turner And Denmark Vesey.In fact the minster in this church is a fire commissioner.And watch how many of the minsters start comming out for your man One City Henry.

posted by: robn on May 28, 2013  2:26pm

3/5,

Could a white person be in charge of the black persons’ political party?

posted by: Curious on May 28, 2013  2:33pm

Xavier, One City Henry didn’t have the stones to get in the race until DeStefano said he was stepping down.  No amount of Axe Body Spray covers up a yellow stripe down your back.

posted by: Truth Avenger on May 28, 2013  2:33pm

@Threefifths: If I read you correctly, it seems that you want people of color to trade one voting monolithic mentality for another.  Instead of the Democratic Party, vote the “Black Party.” By the end of his tenure as Black Muslim with complete loyalties to the organization, Malcolm X rejected many of the group’s tenets and completely lost faith in its leadership. Rather than encouraging people to vote race-based (and the issues that you assume would be in their best interests), the highest ideal would be to do what many in this article have already professed- judging the candidate by what they bring to the table, regardless of race, creed or color. Malcolm was murdered by those same people to which he awarded his loyalty. The worst thing that can happen to the black or any community is to allow themselves to be co-opted by coalitions based on something so superficial as race. To taint all black ministers as hucksters selling out to the highest bidder, does a disservice. Were you to actually do some fact-finding, you would come to understand that they do not all support the same candidate.  Moreover, I would wager that their congregants, being individuals who do think in flock of heard mentalities, are quite capable of making decisions based on their self and their community’s interest. Race-baiting is the last thing this race or New Haven’s people of color need.

posted by: Curious on May 28, 2013  2:37pm

Greg Morehead, maybe you can have better luck than me with this.

Local 34 is NOT asking it’s members how they feel about the mayoral candidates. The Local 34 leaders, who have made a big show of polling us in the past, are not asking one question of their members in this election campaign.

Not one.

I’ve said this here before, and nobody seems to care.

posted by: GoodNatured on May 28, 2013  2:46pm

I respect Greg Morehead - his opinion carries a lot of weight with me.

As for “the unions” not backing Elicker - as a couple of commenters have noted—the NHI should be more accurate: they mean the unions of Yale employees.

There are other unions in town - Police, FD, and teachers, to name a few.  Who they endorse - is still up in the air.

Local 34 and 35 are not expected to back him because he has gotten in their way too many times on the BOA—usually because he demands to look at the evidence or the budget sheet before making a decision, not just going along with whatever….

But mostly Local 34 and 35 won’t endorse him because the leaders know he won’t play footsie with them under the table to cut a deal with them at the expense of the welfare of the city as a whole.

Union rank-and-file know that in the voting booth, nobody knows who they vote for, so maybe there’s some hope.

posted by: Brutus2011 on May 28, 2013  2:48pm

to “robn”

I must reply to your question to “3/5”

A proper response would take up much more space than is allowed. Suffice it to say that would not be necessary to have a black political party if our country’s history had a different race relations trajectory.

Or to put it bluntly—if our country were not an apartheid society.

Thus, the answer is no because of our apartheid history and yes if our history did not discriminate based on skin color and race.

But, you already knew that which begs the obvious question—why are you baiting “3/5?”

posted by: Brian L. Jenkins on May 28, 2013  3:10pm

@ Noteworthy,

First and foremost, when it comes to honesty in reporting, I make it a habit to read The New Haven Independent and not the Register.

Secondly, the idea that you would reference the Senators late husband shows your level of immaturity and callousness.

Many individuals such as yourself, have this notion that attacking Toni below the belt is extremely comforting. 

Toni may very well be short in stature, but she is indeed tall in integrity. 

Please don’t misunderstand me, she’s a candidate and deserves scrutiny just like the other candidates are, but to attack her late husband in any fashion is way out of bounds.

If your intent is to paint her as being a political neophyte, your in for a rude awakening.  Toni’s attention to detail and service to others is unshakable.

I would pleasantly suggest to you my friend, never rule out the idea of attending a forum on class and respect.

posted by: Xavier on May 28, 2013  3:11pm

3/5 + 2/5
Agree. One City Henry is lining up the usual subjects, some waiting, because of past felonious conduct, but that is Ok.

Rev. Dr. Boise Kimber, as Bass once dubbed him in an Advocate article (sorry no cut and paste here), the “Mayor’s Favorite Felon,” has shown others how politics works. You want jobs for your folks, you get in good with those who control who gets the jobs.

Kimber got stuff done for his community, jobs and housing. You either love him or hate him, but Kimber out of that puny little church, has position himself on a national level. It is about perception.

One City Henry, while claiming he is African American, despite his Spanish name, can’t speak Spanish worth a dam, but his wife, who is probably more intelligent and at least nicer in your face, is working the Latino community base (their home neighborhood of Fairhaven and HQ for One City Henry’s campaign).

And like most of us sheep, the Latino support will be an emotional issue, mostly based on skin color and appeal (forget substance). Latino community “leaders” are being courted like never before, and it is going to their heads. Their self-importance is growing by each phone call and little “chat.” A partial list of the Latino “politicos” to watch: Perez, Castro, Santiago, Berrios, Ramos (already publicly for One City Henry), Candelaria, Rodriquez, and the ever ubiquitous Tomas Reyes (x chair of BoA and x of Norma Rodriguez, owner of La Voz Hispanic paper).

Appealing to emotion, all One City Henry and his wife Matos will need to do is a few family appearances. Perhaps an emotional speech from the wife in Spanish, should do the trick.

Latino clergy are not really players like the African American community because they could not really deliver and too much in fighting among themselves.

posted by: Curious on May 28, 2013  3:49pm

@ Brian L. Jenkins,

Nice attempt to paint Toni Harp as someone who is both powerful and yet so frail and ladylike that we should not subject her delicate being to the kind of scrutiny that any other candidate would come under.

I find the argument you’re clamoring against to be extremely persuasive.  Those dealings look shady, and if it was the crux of his business dealings, I find it highly unlikely that Ton was so in the dark about them.

Either she knew and was okay with it, or she was ignorant of it and that calls into question her ability.

posted by: westville man on May 28, 2013  4:08pm

Thanks, Brutus2011,  for so quickly and efficiently putting to rest the underlying notion that “racism goes both ways” - a notion that some posters here seem to believe. Your posts continue to be a breath of fresh air for me.

posted by: Greg-Morehead on May 28, 2013  4:10pm

@Xavier
Not to get off topic, why is everyone calling Fernandez, One City Henry. lol Where did that come from?  I missed this if it was explained before.

Greg

posted by: Greg-Morehead on May 28, 2013  4:20pm

@Curious-
You stated….
Local 34 is NOT asking it’s members how they feel about the mayoral candidates. The Local 34 leaders, who have made a big show of polling us in the past, are not asking one question of their members in this election campaign.


In my opinion, I think the reason is because they don’t have the staff to delegate as they did before.  From what I’ve heard, a number of key people that was setting up meetings etc in the past, has moved on because of shady practices by the unions.  Its either they don’t have the manpower to do what they did before or they are just that naive to where they don’t care about what their members think and are not going to get their input.  What they probably will do, like they did before, is after they endorse a candidate, they will send a memo around telling the members who they are supporting and will strong arm some to vote for their candidate.

posted by: Threefifths on May 28, 2013  4:29pm

posted by: Truth Avenger on May 28, 2013 2:33pm
@Threefifths: If I read you correctly, it seems that you want people of color to trade one voting monolithic mentality for another.  Instead of the Democratic Party, vote the “Black Party.”

You need to read what I wrote.I said Take a look at what African people are doing in other parts of the world. In the majority of African countries they have several political parties of their own. You can go to several countries in Africa and the people belong to a political party from the youth to the adult.We need a black political party so we can have our own voting block.Notice I said we need a Black Polical Party.So show me wear I said Vote for a Black Party.If you listen to Malcolm X’s “The Ballot or the Bullet” You will hear what he said.The time when white people can come in our community and get us to vote for them so that they can be our political leaders and tell us what to do & what not to do is long gone. By the same token, the time when that same white man, knowing that your eyes are too far open, can send another negro into the community & get you & me to support him so he can use him to lead us astray- those days are long gone too.

Malcolm was murdered by those same people to which he awarded his loyalty.

You need to read. The goal of the Cointelpro program was to neutralize radical and subversive political organizations and dissidents through covert means.It is known that government and law enforcement agencies planted infiltrators in the OAAU, NOI and almost all of the other civil rights movement organizations. Some of these agent/informers were highly placed. Their assignments were not only to report on all of their activities, plans and members, but to create disruption, distrust and to frighten any supporters.

To taint all black ministers as hucksters selling out to the highest bidder, does a disservice.

Show me the names of the minsters who are not hucksters or sell out Jack leg Minster.

posted by: Threefifths on May 28, 2013  4:36pm

@ Brutus2011
You are on point with all of your post.No one can baiting.To answer robin why would a white person want to.

posted by: Threefifths on May 28, 2013  5:04pm

posted by: Xavier on May 28, 2013 3:11pm

Kimber got stuff done for his community, jobs and housing. You either love him or hate him, but Kimber out of that puny little church, has position himself on a national level. It is about perception.

If this is the case why is it that Newhallville has the highs Unemployment in New haven.As far as position himself on a national level you must be talking about his friend who is called when the check clears Al Sharpton will be there.Give me a break.

posted by: robn on May 28, 2013  5:44pm

3/5,

Your evasion isn’t really an answer, but it does indicate a strong fear on your part of being labeled a racist. To best your question for question I ask, “why would a black (mixed race) man want to run a mostly white political party?”...or…are you saying that white people must be stupid for voting for Barack Obama?

BRUTUS2011,

Not to beat a dead horse, but the last time I looked, a black (mixed race) man was in charge of the United States (we’re pretty far from your inflammatory “apartheid” label). P.S. Your use of “begs the question” is grammatically incorrect.

posted by: Xavier on May 28, 2013  6:19pm

Hello Gregory Morehead
“Not to get off topic, why is everyone calling Fernandez, One City Henry. lol Where did that come from?  I missed this if it was explained before.”

http://fernandezformayor.com/#
http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/fernandez_launches_1_city_campaign_for_mayor/

Hence the moniker “One City Henry,” many might say, Henry’s City, New Haven.

posted by: Threefifths on May 28, 2013  7:39pm

posted by: robn on May 28, 2013 5:44pm
3/5,

Your evasion isn’t really an answer, but it does indicate a strong fear on your part of being labeled a racist. To best your question for question I ask, “why would a black (mixed race) man want to run a mostly white political party?”...or…are you saying that white people must be stupid for voting for Barack Obama?

Evasion give me a break.Do you home work.You said why would a black (mixed race) man want to run a mostly white political party?Last I looked the party is run by the DNC.In fact It is the principal organization governing the United States Democratic Party on a day-to-day basis. While it is responsible for overseeing the process of writing a platform every four years, the DNC’s central focus is on campaign and political activity in support of Democratic Party candidates, and not on public policy. The DNC was established at the 1848 Democratic National Convention.In fact   Obama transferred his Obama For America organization to the DNC, along with its 13 million person email list, as restrictions prevented him from taking it with him to the White House.So show me were this black mixed race man rusn a mostly white political party.

What does you question have to do with Blacks Forming there own party and How is it racist to form our own party.Black Americans have been Democrats for at least the fifty-three years.What have the Democrats done for Black folks in all of this time? Republicans don’t care about us either. But at least they don’t pretend to be on our side.Seems you are trying to duck the question of Blacks should form there own party.

P.S look up the group of white people who did vote for Obama.You will find young white people and white people who vote based on party memebership. Sam for Black folks.

posted by: ohnonotagain on May 28, 2013  7:41pm

All I really need to say is “Justin, so proud of you. You are one of the most honest,humble and sincere people I have met in a long time. This is exactly what we need in the political arena. After saying that, I also believe you will be fair, make smart decision for the taxpayers and sensitive to the employees. You are a man of compassion in all ways on all fronts. You have good financial sense and you have led by example during your tenure as an alderman. Your ego is not bloated as some running and your keen sense of what this city needs is on target and pretty darn wonderful. Thanks for being color blind and understanding that this really is one city….not just a catchy phrase. Carry on young man!

posted by: Noteworthy on May 28, 2013  8:09pm

Brian Jenkins:
All media has its positives and negatives. That a story has not appeared yet in the NHI, is not a harbinger of truth any more than a story in the NY Times is less true because it hasn’t appeared in the Wall Street Journal. 

With regard to Toni Harp and the businesses of her husband, Wendell Harp, it is not the Harps who are naïve about politics, patronage or wielding power for one’s own benefit.  I was merely suggesting you rethink your loyalty to Toni Harp given these revelations in the Register.  The facts speak for themselves whether one is dead or alive.

As for your heroic leap that the Register story or my comments were attacking Ms. Harp“below the belt” I completely disagree.  She is running for mayor, the chief executive overseeing a three quarters of a billion dollar budget that is chronically unbalanced and overdrawn,  5,000 employees , a bonded debt load for the city that is crushing the breath and will out of her people amid a rising tide of poverty and hopelessness, violence and epic urban unemployment.  Her history in Hartford and her family’s complicated web of the companies is very much of concern.  If you don’t know what’s happening under your own roof, how do you manage the city, or for that matter the state? 

Your assessment that I have a lack of class and respect may well be right but it’s not because of my comments found here.  It is because of the rampant self-dealing, dishonest and disheveled condition of what passes for politics and public service in this state – from New Haven to Hartford – it breeds contempt and condemnation. 

However, if you want to recommend a forum that will enhance my class on a personal level, I’ll consider it because I’m always interested in polishing my charming personality.

posted by: factsifter on May 28, 2013  11:19pm

You gotta like this guy! He talks to people without any rhetoric, no catchy slogans, he tells it like it is, doesn’t make any promises that he can not keep, doesn’t speak to a specific group of people any differently than he speaks to any other group of people.  Forget about this color stuff, voting bloc stuff, we all should be well past this kind of stuff, don’t you think? Elicker is a strait up kind of person that we need in government.  And he such a hard worker.  I think I will vote for him.

posted by: Truth Avenger on May 29, 2013  9:02am

@Threefifths:You said, “In the majority of African countries they have several political parties of their own.”  By “of their own” do you mean black? If they are in Africa, (with the exception of South Africa)aren’t all the parties ostensibly black? 
Since we are in America, it follows that parties would be a melting pot of ethnicities and races, reflecting the make-up of localities, cities, states and national political structures.
As to your NOI conspiracy theories… Let’s face it.  Malcolm saw that the leadership was flawed, its practices, like segregation-just wrong-headed. Rejecting these tenets and posing an implicit challenge to NOI leadership got him killed.
Your raced-based ethos leads to stratification, alienation, and down the road, to xenophobia or worse. You want people to learn the game of cold, hard politics, yet your prescription for progress denies that very paradigm. You would do better to worry about getting people to participate (at all) in the political process before trying to channel their allegiances to one voting block or another.  Your worst enemy is not people of color voting with the white man or for the white man. It is voter apathy.  It is voter disinterest. It is voter ignorance which includes selling out based on color or race identification.

posted by: Threefifths on May 29, 2013  11:11am

@ Truth Avenger

So are you saying if Black people start there own party it is Racism.In fact The Puerto Rican Nationalist Party was founded on September 17, 1922.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Puerto_Rican_Nationalist_Party_politicians

If you go to the Caribbean Islands there are some Caribbean Islands who are represented by the British Government and Blacks there have there own party.Even Marcus Mosiah Garvey, a black activist and labor leader, founded one of Jamaica’s first Black political parties.So again are you saying that Blacks should not form there own party.Also there were other Black people not just malcolm X who pushed for a Black Political Party.

As to your NOI conspiracy theories… Let’s face it.  Malcolm saw that the leadership was flawed, its practices, like segregation-just wrong-headed. Rejecting these tenets and posing an implicit challenge to NOI leadership got him killed.

Sorry it is a fact that cointelpro was the FBI’s secret program to undermine the popular upsurge which swept the country during the 1960s.It was used against black panthers,martin luther king and even used on John Lennon by Nixon.Would you call Skull and Bones and McCarthyism a conspiracy.So explain to me why Black should not have there own party.

posted by: robn on May 29, 2013  11:54am

3/5,

I think I know the answer; “Black should not have there own party” <b> because its racist.

posted by: Curious on May 29, 2013  1:26pm

@ Greg Morehead,

You said…

“In my opinion, I think the reason is because (Local 34 doesn’t) have the staff to delegate as they did before.  From what I’ve heard, a number of key people that was setting up meetings etc in the past, has moved on because of shady practices by the unions.  Its either they don’t have the manpower to do what they did before or they are just that naive to where they don’t care about what their members think and are not going to get their input. “

Myself and others in Local 34 have tried asking both our unit reps AND emailing President Laurie Kennington about the race, and all we get back is silence, or “we might not endorse anyone”.

They probably will decide behind closed doors and then expect us all to go marching hand in hand through the streets for THEIR candidate, but that’s just wrong.  They’re going to get THEIR candidate elected with OUR money without asking us for input.

Is there a labor standards oversight body?  At least a few of us rank-and-file members would love to lodge a complaint over this.

posted by: Truth Avenger on May 29, 2013  2:34pm

To Three-Fifths: A few final thoughts:  You said,“If you go to the Caribbean Islands there are some Caribbean Islands..”  “If we go to Africa…” We can go to any nation on earth that does not have the unique make-up of the U.S. and find political parties made up of the indigenous groups. The discussion here centers around New Haven politics. Your examples simply do not apply. No one has stopped African Americans from forming their own political parties… the reason we don’t have that is because there is no need. There is simply do the will to do that. People understand that the nation has evolved and that in order to participate in the process one need only jump in. The fact that the majority of candidates in the Mayoral race are black, speaks to this progress. This is not the Nation of Islam, or a nation belonging to any other specialized group.  We are bound by a Constitution and its protections- we are a melting pot. The only thing holding people back from progress or from forming their own parties, as I have previously stated, is their lack of desire to participate in the political process. You cite the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party from 1922…and?  More to my point, is Sonya Sotomajor…A Puerto Rican American woman who has ascended to the highest Court in the land not because of her race or affiliations with those of her race, but because of her abilities and willingness to participate in conventional political processes and work hard to achieve those ends.
To those wishing to form a party based on mutual needs and goals, I say, more power to you.  Those wishing to form a party based on race, does not make one racist.  It makes one unwise.

posted by: New Haven Taxpayer on May 29, 2013  10:24pm

@Xavier
I love your posts!
I have a question though; do you really believe in OCH, or do you just believe he will win? I can’t tell.
You are obviously an insider on OCH’s campaign and most everything you say is true, except one thing- Elicker will win, not OCH.
I look forward to your next.

posted by: cedarhillresident! on May 30, 2013  9:15am

@New Haven Taxpayer ...you so speak the truth!! ELICKER!!!!

posted by: anonymous on May 31, 2013  9:46am

Curious, you should definitely lodge a complaint about how the money is being spent.  At the very least, doing so will give members a better understanding of the organization and how the endorsement process works.

posted by: Threefifths on May 31, 2013  6:40pm

posted by: robn on May 29, 2013 11:54am

3/5,

I think I know the answer; “Black should not have there own party” <b> because its racist.

Show me were having a Black party is racist.You have Black Churchs Black Barber Shops.Would you say that is Racist.You need to read Tim Wise books.

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