Justin Elicker will help make decisions about the future of land in New Haven—not as the city’s full-time mayor, but as the new part-time executive director of the not-for-profit New Haven Land Trust.
The not-for-profit group announced Elicker’s hiring on Thursday. Elicker (pictured), who ran against Democrat Toni Harp in the 2013 mayor’s race, replaces the Land Trust’s interim director, Catherine Bradshaw. (Harp won.)
The Land Trust’s board voted unanimously to hire Elicker, according to a public letter written by its chair, J.R. Logan.
The 32-year-old trust manages 80 acres of public space, supports close to 50 community gardens in neighborhoods across town, and conducts environmental education programs.
Elicker starts the new job next week.
The job “combines a lot of interests of mine,” he told the Independent Thursday. “I like the fact that it’s a mission-based organization that is assisting communities throughout the city and empowering people to sustain themselves more from a food perspective, but also encourages people to engage well with their neighbors and build community.”
Elicker is also teaching a course at Southern Connecticut State University this semester on education and school reform. Most of the 28 students are freshman, he said. “Most of them want to be teachers.”
The letter from the Land Trust board chair listed Elicker’s professional qualifications for his new executive director job as well as his job responsibilities:
“Professionally, Justin has worked with the Yale Office of Sustainability and served as a sustainability consultant to numerous companies. He has a dual master’s degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the Yale School of Management. Elicker’s community and environmental leadership includes the Friends of East Rock Park, which he reinvigorated with Cedar Hill resident Betty Thompson, and New Haven Green Drinks, which he co-founded. He served for four years on the New Haven Board of Aldermen, spearheading environmental initiatives and serving as an informal advisor to the Food Policy Council. Most recently, he completed a city-wide campaign for mayor. As a candidate, he demonstrated his ability to effectively lead a large-scale outreach effort, raise funds and motivate staff and volunteers to engage thousands of people across the city.
“As part-time executive director, Justin will manage all aspects of the organization’s administration and programs. He will also be charged with organizing and strengthening the Land Trust’s already robust network of volunteers in running programs, raising funds and increasing the visibility of the organization. This is an excellent time to get more involved in the Land Trust and I hope you’ll consider responding to our upcoming calls for volunteers.”
Elicker was asked if he plans to run again for mayor next year.
“I’m focused on the Land Trust and teaching,” Elicker responded.
posted by: GregoryL on February 13, 2014 1:51pm
Congratulations to Justin and to the Land Trust.
posted by: Braffy on February 13, 2014 2:20pm
Happy for Justin Elicker. And lucky Land Trust! He is qualified in so many ways for so many different ventures. Enjoy yourself Mr.Elicker and maybe someday you will re-focus on becoming New Haven’s mayor! We are very lucky to have you living here.
posted by: citoyen on February 13, 2014 2:21pm
Congratulations to both Justin and the Land Trust. It’s win-win for both of them—the Trust gets a superbly qualified leader, and Justin gets executive experience to add to his resume. And it’s a win for New Haven, which will be well served by both.
Justin showed himself during last fall’s campaign to be an inspiring personality, who cares about the city and its future, and we now have an indication that he intends to stick around (rather than, as I heard suggestions last year, become yet another Yalie flash-in-the-pan who quickly departs for other realms).
I wish him all the best. The Land Trust is lucky to have him, and we are lucky to have him among us.
posted by: Semi Semi-Dikoko on February 13, 2014 2:29pm
Congratulations to Justin Elicker and to the Board of the New Haven Land Trust for an excellent and competent choice of leadership! Excited and look forward to supporting and working closely with you alongside many other volunteers!
posted by: Dwightstreeter on February 13, 2014 2:41pm
The founder of Green Drinks, a woman named Debra (forgot her last name) said she ran the group on her own for years and was years into it when Justin signed on to assist with meetings - as a number of other people have done from time to time.
Justin has a great record of accomplishments and should correct the record on this point.
posted by: Claudia Herrera on February 13, 2014 3:20pm
This is a position where I feel strongly confident that you are well prepare (and supported) to make the difference.
I also see this as a chance for him to show that he’s prepare to understand minorities,low income communities and create awareness by “recruiting” new people to make a real impact in our more needed locals communities (ALL over) New Haven.
Hope fully he dose not fill more ideas of we need to support ALL the non-profit organizations that are out there, But by making smart and efficient moves in the organization. My main complaint about this subject is that many, many member of these group are NOT locals and they do not understand the quality of life we have do deal day by day.
Look forward to see how this will work for communities like mine (Fair Haven-non chatham square) since in the past we asked for help, BUT we were “NOT qualified to be supported” even that in our group has quite of people that were farmers in their countries.
posted by: Billy on February 13, 2014 4:14pm
Congratulations, Justin. You’ll be great for this job!
I really look forward to working with you. Your intelligence and dedication will be such a gift to the community gardens and open spaces you’ll be working to manage. You’ve always been a strong supporter of increasing food security and promoting health for all New Haveners. Your leadership will invaluable to the “movement”.
posted by: Nan Bartow on February 13, 2014 11:22pm
Congratulations to Justin Elicker and to the Board of the New Haven Land Trust. You are both lucky to have each other. Justin will be a superb executive director. I look forward to hearing about his new initiatives. Best of luck!!
posted by: Champ358 on February 14, 2014 10:46am
Congrats to both NHLT and to Mr Elicker. This seems like a great opportunity for the LT to expand and to further its mission.
posted by: Stephen Harris on February 14, 2014 9:18pm
Congrats and good luck Justin. The Land Trust is lucky to get a such a serious and capable person.