Elicker Leaves The Starting Block

Thomas MacMillan PhotoA hundred people crammed both rooms of Manjares Fine Pastries & Tapas Bar Thursday night. They weren’t there to order tapas. They came to support the launch of the mayoral campaign of East Rock Alderman Justin Elicker.

Elicker (pictured) formally announced his mayoral candidacy for mayor at 7:30 p.m. in the Westville restaurant across from Edgewood Park. He’s running to unseat 10-term incumbent John DeStefano. They’ll square off in the Democratic primary. State Rep. Gary Holder-Winfield is also planning to join the race; he has formed an “exploratory” campaign committee and expects to make a formal announcement in coming weeks.

In a 15-minute speech Thursday night, Elicker outlined his platform. He issued a general call for more accessibility and transparency in government along with several specific calls: for a hybrid Board of Ed, a new superintendent of schools, more early childhood education, “participatory budgeting,” updated the zoning code, and improved public transportation.

Aside from Elicker, the only other elected officials to attend the event were Aldermen Doug Hausladen and Evette Hamilton. Hausladen is backing Elicker in the mayor’s race. Hamilton said she is undecided.

Elicker’s announcement was preceded Thursday by a press release from the New Haven Democracy Fund, the public election financing program. Democracy Fund administrator Ken Krayeske announced that Elicker is the first mayoral candidate to join the program this year. To do so, Elicker resolved a funding dilemma arising from a loophole concerning exploratory campaign committees.

Manjares was packed on Thursday evening with people drinking wine and Negra Modelo beer, awaiting Elicker’s announcement. Campaign volunteers collected donations.

Tom Harned (pictured), a member of Elm City Cycling (ECC), was the first to donate by laptop to the campaign’s PayPal account. He said he’s supporting Elicker because “he represents the more modern way of politics.” Elicker works from the bottom up, not like the top-down “command and control” style of the current administration, Harned argued. He said Elicker has been ECC’s “strongest ally on the Board of Aldermen.

Mike O’Leary, an East Rocker who was sipping “a nice malbec,” said he’s been impressed by Elicker’s immediate responsiveness to constituent requests in the neighborhood. “He solves problems.”

Elicker said he chose Manjares because it was a casual, comfortable atmosphere befitting his campaign theme of “an approachable government.”

It doesn’t hurt that Westville is the “votingest” neighborhood in the city, as one attendee pointed out. Ward 25 consistently produces among the highest voter turnouts in New Haven.

Elicker began his announcement by listing some of the—sometimes obscure—community meetings and events he’s attended in the last couple of months as he’s considered a run: The Quinnipiac Terrace Homework Club, the Mary Wade Home Holiday Bazaar, the Hill Community Management Team. Everywhere he’s gone, Elicker said, he’s found that “people are interested in a new direction for this city. … A government that listens and doesn’t only talk to you.”

Elicker addressed three main themes: schools, budget, neighborhood support. Click the play arrow to see his speech, recorded by Ian Applegate.

Elicker said that while the city has spent $1.5 billion on new and improved school buildings, more needs to be done inside the schools. He called for a partially elected “hybrid” Board of Ed, a proposal that’s being considered by the Charter Revision Commission. He called for a new superintendent of schools, a line that got big applause from the crowd. The city needs to increase pre-K options in the city, which research has shown have a large impact on later academic success. And he said the schools needs a “21st-century curriculum” that includes “character education” and “life skills.” He also called for more vocational education.

On the budget, Elicker said the city is spending $65 million this year on debt payments alone and needs to take a more long-term view when it comes to budget planning. “We need to take the politics out of development!” he said, hitting another big applause line. Developers should not feel they have to contribute to a political campaign “to play ball in New Haven. And if I’m elected mayor, I will end that practice.”

Elicker promised to implement “participatory budgeting,” which means “you give neighborhoods the authority to prioritize what their spending is for some municipal investments in their neighborhood, instead of politicians.” It’s a citizen-led budgeting process that a ward in Chicago has tried out.

Elicker said the city should focus less exclusively on development downtown and work to develop “economic corridors” like Grand Avenue, State Street, Whalley Avenue, and Dixwell Avenue.

After his announcement, Elicker said his campaign has been interviewing prospective campaign managers and intends to hire someone in the next two weeks.

At a recent Westville campaign event, Holder-Winfield called a hybrid school board “not a terrible idea” and agreed with Elicker’s call for a more participatory government. Mayor DeStefano argues that a partially elected school board would politicize education. He has called the participatory argument a side “process” issue raised by his opponents. Click here and here to read about his and Holder-Winfield’s stands on those and other campaign issues.

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posted by: Curious on January 25, 2013  12:48pm

I’d like to see an Elicker event in the Hill or Newhallville. 

There will be critics of his run that are going to slam this as not representative of the whole of New Haven.  Get out there first, Justin!

posted by: mstratton on January 25, 2013  1:04pm

That was a first class event last night. People from across the city coming together to support Justin. Justin has been to more than 100 neighborhood meetings across the city in the past months. He knows the city better than anyone I know and he deeply cares about its future. i am fully committed to the city’s future and Justin.

posted by: ElmCityMama on January 25, 2013  1:04pm

It is so clear that Justin has been thinking about this for YEARS. The talking points here are EXACTLY what this city needs. The hybrid board of ed alone is worth getting him into town hall, but his emphasis on neighborhoods and participation make him gold.  Oh - and prove that he is an outstanding listener.  Can the other candidates say that?

In it to WIN IT!! ELICKER 2013!!!

posted by: Natalie on January 25, 2013  1:12pm

@Curious at 11:47am
It’s already been done! If you listen to the speech, you’ll learn that Justin has attended events in both the communities you name, and far more.

posted by: Wooster Squared on January 25, 2013  1:17pm

Elicker’s speech last night was truly inspiring. He laid out a clear and compelling vision for the future of New Haven. Most strikingly, his vision was one that relied on the energy, passion, and talent of the citizens of New Haven.

All and all, last night Justin showed that he is an outstanding candidate and will be an outstanding mayor.

posted by: wendy1 on January 25, 2013  1:25pm

I am all for fresh blood at city hall—young forward thinking, but we need an aggressive crusader when it comes to our relationship with the town company, YALE.  Starting now they have to pay their fair share not a token PR move.  They spend more on advertising I bet than they do on New Haven and since they underpay their help, the people here are hard up all the time.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on January 25, 2013  1:28pm

posted by: Curious on January 25, 2013 11:48am

I’d like to see an Elicker event in the Hill or Newhallville.

Why should he.Just look at the pictures.Looks like he is implementing a white-liberal agenda.

posted by: anonymous on January 25, 2013  1:29pm

As a society, we need to support public financing and get money out of politics.

Any politician who runs for mayor without using our city’s public financing system should be immediately disqualified from consideration by progressive voters.

Kudos to any candidates who put ethics first and decide to use a system that is so clearly in the public interest. 

And Kudos to every resident who chips in $20 to each candidate using the system (even if they don’t support that candidate) - this kind of small action is what ensures that we can continue to build and preserve our democratic institutions.

posted by: Nhv.Org on January 25, 2013  1:34pm

Elicker’s Speech [media files]

http://youtu.be/fpwbaXLEAE0 << Full Video
http://snd.sc/XDLR7n << Full Audio (16min)
http://goo.gl/h8J5D  << Article.  Text Transcription.

posted by: robn on January 25, 2013  2:16pm

OK I know its a lot to ask but if between now and the election, Justin can rescue somebody from a burning building AND rescue a dog from drowning in freezing cold water, he’s definitely got my vote.


posted by: greenhouse on January 25, 2013  2:40pm

Justin has been my alderman for a long time and he’s great, smart, educated(dual master’s degree from Yale University), bi-lingual(spanish speaker), motivated(look at him run through the East Rock trails!), passionate, compassionate, and caring!  We deserve something much better than the status quo in New Haven. 

To 3/5’s, Justin has been a big help to the Cedar Hill’s diverse population.  You should meet Kenya, Betty, Claire, Rebecca, Fred, Marie, Keith, and Alice and they will tell you how important Justin has been to Cedar Hill.  Everyone from Justin’s ward was invited to the campaign launch and other parts of the city as well.  People who care about Justin came out to celebrate and support him.  NHI, why did you not mention Kenya’s introductory speech(It was great!!) .  To an outsider, 3/5th’s assessment would be correct but Justin cares about everyone who lives in city, not just white liberals.  Justin was smart in choosing Westville for the campaign launch because it has the highest voter turn out(thanks NHI for that info) and DeStefano lives there.  What better way to challenge DeStefano than to show up at his doorstep.

New Haven is probably the nicest big city in CT because of the Ivy league status and all that it brings.  But, we must not forget that it is New Haven, not “Yale” Haven.  There must be a diversity of jobs that not only come from Yale U. and YNHH.  And Yale has just grown by 4000-5000 employees with the St Rae’s takeover.  Justin must try to bring other jobs here; a hard task.  Or, get more city services paid for by Yale U.  They have a multi-billion dollar endowment.

Jeffrey Kerekes made us believe it is possible to defeat King John in 2011(45% of the vote) and Justin Elicker will prove it is possible in 2013!

posted by: Curious on January 25, 2013  3:44pm

Natalie, I am not at all questioning Justin’s commitment to all of New Haven.  I simply know that based on previous commenters, and the fact that Justin is white, well-educated, from Yale, and represents East Rock; all things he has been slighted for in these very comment pages.

Elicker’s opponents’ best chance of defeating him is to paint him as the intellectual but not street-smart white guy from Yale and East Rock who only has the welfare of affluent whites in mind, like Yale students and professors.  You can bet money on the fact that he will be painted with that brush, as a guy who doesn’t care about and can’t relate to the working middle class, the poor, blacks, hispanics, and any other sizable voting bloc.

All I am saying is that he needs to get out ahead of that nonsense, and do it visibly by getting out NOW that the campaign is effectively on…get down to the rest of New Haven, hold more meetings out there, and do it in the public eye.

posted by: Curious on January 25, 2013  3:47pm

3/5ths, what about the people in those pictures makes them obviously liberal?  White I get, sure…but how do you spot a liberal at a dozen yards?

posted by: cedarhillresident! on January 25, 2013  3:48pm

Could not make it last night, but he 100% has my support. His speeches are great but I am all about actions. That is why he is getting my support. He is a proactive candidate. And a proactive person in general. I truly believe if he becomes mayor all the community’s in the city will benefit from his creative way of doing things! 

Elicker 2013!!!

posted by: Cedar Hill Merchant on January 25, 2013  4:35pm

greenhouse obviously knows the same Justin I do. The fair, hardworking, passionate, compassionate and tireless Justin. His track record proves he get all the jobs done, time and time again. He is always more than willing to pitch in and do his fair share as well. East Rock and Cedar Hill have been truly fortunate to have such an amazing Alderman. Now all of New Haven can look forward to having him as our amazing Mayor! GO JUSTIN 2013!!!!

posted by: AyJoe on January 25, 2013  4:48pm

Glad to see election time is back once again! :) 

I hope Gary runs and we can have a very competitive and entertaining election. 

Kidding aside here, it will be particularly interesting to see how these candidates interact with each other and what issues they most care about.  It strikes me that all too often New Haven candidates’ issues are always the same.  Not that they are not important, but I would like to see some real honesty for one.  Perhaps we can speak about structural racism within city departments? or Environmental issues and justice? 

I was just in Rogers Park, where they have the participatory budgeting, and it is indeed a very cool place.  Kudos to the activists in that ward however, they organize and mobilize to ensure that the community is represented.  Just introducing participatory budgeting isn’t going to change anything….

posted by: Nhv.Org on January 25, 2013  5:16pm

I think the city is ready for a new mayor.  Yale is ready for a new president.  And personally I would prefer if someone beat the mayor in a re-election than if a candidate endorsed by the mayor was to win.  The problem with staying in government too long is that it naturally leads to relationships that become too comfortable.  it’s not really anyone’s fault, it’s just human nature.  and our goal, as citizens who design government to be more effective, is probably to limit terms.  I like what Justin has said, because he has said he would limit terms.  To me, that is a man who will not be mayor until retirement.  And I think that’s important because government leadership positions need to be shared more frequently. 

Winfield, if you’re listening, indicate the time and place of your acceptance speech to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and you will be given the same media attention.  fair is fair, if you’re running for mayor. 

Thanks Paul for posting our video.

posted by: anonymous on January 25, 2013  5:38pm

AyJoe, I agree that environmental and social justice should be more of an issue in the campaign.  In fact it should be the top issue. There should be citywide outrage over what has happened here in recent years.

For example, the current Mayor has widened many roads, turning Whalley Avenue into a highway, over the objections of hundreds of residents.  They have put in about four or five roundabouts and a half dozen bike lanes to nowhere, and point to them as their citywide “traffic calming” plan, even though we have 250 miles of streets.

Even worse, the City also signed off on a massive expansion of the highway system right through the center of New Haven, including a useless $100 million “flyover” to get to Route 34, a highway that shouldn’t exist in the first place - the $100 million from that absolutely useless bridge could have been used to turn New Haven’s bus into the nation’s best transit system. Take half the money spent on the new Q bridge and we could have done this for Bridgeport and Hartford, too.

The result of these stupid choices will be even more health problems, stress, sick and dying children, pollution, dead streetscapes prone to crime, and sky-high local unemployment for generations to come.  What do each of the candidates think about that? Which ones have met with the DOT recently to fight for the health of people who live here?

posted by: Natalie on January 25, 2013  5:52pm

@robn at 1:16pm
I kid you not, and as a neighborhood block watch captain could confirm, Justin was making last-night phone calls earlier this week to help get a freezing dog out of the cold.  Cory Booker took a page out of Justin’s book!

@Curious at 2:44pm
I hear you; I misread your first comment to mean you’d like to see him “at an” event.  Sorry about that. 

When those Elicker For Mayor events do happen in the neighborhoods you mention (and I bet they will), I think what folks will find, consistent with Kenya’s description of her experience in Cedar Hill, is that Justin understands and prioritizes the needs of diverse communities. 

Kenya talked about how Justin fought a rooming house in Cedar Hill, helped local businesses beautify the street, and put in a playground.  (I’m also surprised that the NHI didn’t cover her introduction.)  Those accomplishments took months (or years) of hard, consistent work by Justin.

Serving as mayor is going to allow Justin to do on a much larger scale the same great work he’s already been doing in diverse neighborhoods.

posted by: Solsbury on January 25, 2013  6:43pm

I agree with 3/5 . Look at the pictures. Non whites are only 32% of the city, so where are the others? It is one of the four poorest cities in the nation, why isn’t his plan solely focused on that?
Even listen to the rhetoric. What about this “plan” will help the majority of the New Haveners?
The working poor already have preK… does he mean just make sure that his constituent population get to have more assured preK in their neighborhood? (Hooker, Edgewood, NHale) so they don’t have to mix with other NHers?

What about a hybrid BdEd will help those majority of the people? What about a new superintendent will help those people? (Superintendents are on a 3 year contract that only get evaluated and renewed by BdEd by the way). Does he even know that we have 21st century skills in our curriculum (at my high school, we do, along with PLTW BioTech, and a new school starting with a votech focus.. Has he ever been to a Bd Ed meeting? Can he say what is wrong with the current Bd Ed, or just that his friends didn’t get to pick someone?

I’m sure defenders will continue to state how great he is.. But we don’t need a do gooder savior, we need someone who understands what NHaveners go through every day. The reality is that jobs, eds, etc.. is what is important… not bike lanes, or if you are upset that your smart ideas don’t get listened to at budget time, or if you just want your friends in office..

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on January 25, 2013  6:46pm

posted by: Curious on January 25, 2013 2:47pm

3/5ths, what about the people in those pictures makes them obviously liberal?  White I get, sure…but how do you spot a liberal at a dozen yards?

Iknow some of them.

posted by: SaveOurCity on January 25, 2013  6:56pm

MacMillan (or editor) Please DO NOT use the title “East Rock Alderman Justin Elicker”.  It is a poor and misleading label.  Look at Ward 10 - it covers about 25% of East Rock and the remainder is Cedar Hill and Fair Haven. 

Also, a better selection of pictures would also help to tell a more accurate story.  Although there were certainly ‘white, well educated liberals’ there, I was impressed that (by my count) 40% of the crowd was either black or latino.  This is without a doubt a testament to the fact the Justin has a track record of getting things done across the whole city - not in just a few neighborhoods.

Please don’t encourage those who are pigeon-holing this candidate.

posted by: robn on January 25, 2013  7:13pm


Do you have an example of a potential candidate who is racially neutral (relative to JE?)

posted by: sccampion on January 25, 2013  8:17pm

Congratulations, Justin! What a grand event to launch your campaign. Wonderful to connect with old and new friends from all parts of the city, who share your vision for our great city.
Your value-based platform is both forward and pragmatic- emphasizing community empowerment thru “accessibility”, “transparency”, and collaboration for excellence in our schools, accountability for our budget process, and responsiveness to our neighborhoods.
  In preparation for your campaign, you showed humility, openness, and determination by reaching out to citizens across the city in an effort to listen and learn about their concerns. You demonstrated that you are committed to the value- the strength of our city is directly proportional to the united effort of its residents and elected officials. We are all in this together!

posted by: Stephen Harris on January 25, 2013  9:42pm

The City is in dire need of new blood, new energy, and new ideas.

I support Alderman Elicker. He’s very smart, knows how the modern world works, has a grasp of the problems facing the City, and knows the direction we should take.

I’ve lived here since 1998 and have never heard a politician say anything - good or bad - about the way our City develops: Development reform just wasn’t not on anyone’s radar. So to hear Alderman Elicker talk about reforming how the City develops if refreshing.

All development involves the zoning code. It shapes, for good or ill, the City. A good code will increase investment and grow the grand list. A bad code only gets in the way of progress.

Taking politics out of development is paramount. The current project-based approach (essentially a deal between the City and a developer) is extremely short-sighted because it only looks toward the needs of the moment. Replacing project-based planning with long term planning is essential to ensure the success of New Haven.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on January 25, 2013  10:26pm

posted by: Curious on January 25, 2013 2:44pm

All I am saying is that he needs to get out ahead of that nonsense, and do it visibly by getting out NOW that the campaign is effectively on…get down to the rest of New Haven, hold more meetings out there, and do it in the public eye.

How does he win this group over.

Black Clergy Back DeStefano.


posted by: greenhouse on January 26, 2013  12:17pm

Good Morning 3/5’s!

Will you help Justin?  Will you financially back him?  You seem to be the voice of some of the african american population in New Haven.  He needs help in key areas as you mention in your comments!  Please call/email and help him!  I am sure he would appreciate your help with these key constituents.

I know that Justin cannot do worse than King John.  DeStefano did some good things and yet some good things happened around him without his control.  I think one of Justin’s messages is that he wants people to take pride in the neighborhood you live in, no matter which one it is. 

The systemic poverty in some neighborhoods has to be addressed with jobs.  “Feel good words” are not enough and Justin knows this.  But, if people care about their surroundings a little more, positive changes can come to every neighborhood in this city. 

DeStefano has $700K in his coffers to take on any challengers.  This is a huge amount of money!  This is why it is imperative for Justin to qualify for the Democracy Fund and reach 200 donations of $10 or more.

I feel that Justin should be given a chance, considering how long DeStefano has been there.

posted by: cp06 on January 26, 2013  12:24pm

If only it were that easy: schools will be improved by a “hybrid” school board and new superintendent, as it seems Elicker is suggesting.These 2 things alone will make the schools better? Not the incredible number of strategies that are now in place and being put in place to improve the education system from multiple angles by addressing the many variables that impact student success?

I don’t see big picture thinking in Elicker’s statements on improving education (or anything related to New Haven), just a few attacks on certain smaller pieces of the whole. Could Elicker or any candidate put forth a big picture vision and strategy to improve New Haven that is better than that of our current Mayor’s? I don’t think so. I think that is why its easier to zone in on smaller components of the whole. And this seems to be enough to satisfy people who just don’t want DeStefano anymore. I’ve yet to hear a good reason why these people don’t want DeStefano other than references to “king johnny” and claims that he’s been mayor for too long.

If New Haven was no longer continuing to improve, if DeStefano no longer was putting forth a realistic, informed big-picture vision and fresh ideas for the city (along with the ability to leverage the talent and resources to make these things happen), then I would agree that its time for him to go. But that’s not the case!  (Does anyone remember New Haven 20 years ago?)

I want what’s best for our city and for it to keep improving so no matter who I “like”, I am going to go for the person who has brought our city to where it is now and is STILL putting forth fresh ideas for its continued improvement.

posted by: David S Baker on January 26, 2013  12:42pm

Awesome awesome awesome.

The charisma of Kerekes with genius public policy chops.

And he HAS been out there!  He has been showing up for events in my neighborhood, knows all the local issues street by street and has brilliant ideas.  Which is shocking because most of city seems to think The Heights is still part of East Haven.

I want lawn sign NOW!  Where do I mail my check?

So awesome…

posted by: SaveOurCity on January 26, 2013  1:19pm

@ 3/5ths:  You ask a question that will be critical to this race:

“How does he win this group over.
Black Clergy Back DeStefano.”

The black clergy group in New Haven is traditionally very powerful and influential in elections.  This year, where will they place their support?

1) Will that place their support based upon race and back Holder-Winfield?

2) Will they place their support based upon the traditional New Haven process of back room deals, kick backs, and fear of retribution and back DeStefano?

3) Will they support fiscal responsibility, long term vision, and fairness and back Elicker?

The answer to this question will go a long way towards determining the results in November.

posted by: anonymous on January 26, 2013  4:57pm

Harris is right. Modernizing the zoning code could cost $250,000 or more but is well worth the investment, particularly if it is written with environmental justice and social justice as a priority. 

For example, cancer-causing gas stations like the one planned for the corner of Orchard & Elm, next to where hundreds of young children live, should be illegal (as they now are in many other cities and nations).  And bonuses for workforce housing (i.e. housing units for nurses, police officers, and teachers) should be incorporated or expanded, so that we have more middle class people in the city, not just rich and poor.

posted by: streever on January 26, 2013  5:34pm

Solsbury, I’m sorry you misunderstood what he is advocating for the Board of Ed.

He stated precisely what is wrong with the Board of Education: it is not accountable to citizens. We have a fully appointed BoE. Elicker’s said that a hybrid BoE—with some appointees for stability and general elections for accountability—is the first step forward.

By pushing for a hybrid board, Elicker is making a step toward reducing his own personal power as Mayor.

I’m sorry that you misunderstand the position.

In general, the integrity, transparency, and intelligence behind Justin’s work and thoughts is extremely compelling. I am excited for his candidacy. I won’t even be a resident here after April, but I feel like with Elicker as Mayor, there may be a New Haven to come back to someday.

There are some great photos of the diverse crowd of enthusiastic supporters here—they are visible to anyone with a Facebook account.


posted by: ELMCITYDOC on January 26, 2013  7:33pm

I’m struck by the logic of Streever and others who suggest that an elected Board of Ed will be accountable to the people of New Haven. DeStefano has been elected for nearly twenty years, yet many of the people in this thread and elsewhere claim that he is not accountable to residents. Let’s be clear about what we really expect to come from what may amount to nothing more than a popularity contest. Elections are an important mechanism for increasing accountability. But they are certainly not the only means or even the most efficient means.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on January 26, 2013  9:39pm

posted by: greenhouse on January 26, 2013 11:17am

Good Morning 3/5’s!

Will you help Justin?  Will you financially back him?  You seem to be the voice of some of the african american population in New Haven.  He needs help in key areas as you mention in your comments!  Please call/email and help him!  I am sure he would appreciate your help with these key constituents.

First I am not the voice of some of the african american population in New Haven.In fact therer are a lot of african americans who would love to get rid of me along with some in the latino population of New Have.If Justin ran with the green party,I would help him.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on January 26, 2013  9:50pm

posted by: SaveOurCity on January 26, 2013 12:19pm

How does he win this group over.
Black Clergy Back DeStefano.”

The answer to this question will go a long way towards determining the results in November.

The answer to this question is simple.King john just like King Bloomberg of New York have the Black Clergy in there pocket.Gary Holder-Winfield goes to community baptist church.His minster sits on one of the Boards.The minster at varick church is a fire commissioner.You think they would have there people go against the mayor.

P.S. My Bad. King John also has the Latino vote hands down.

posted by: streever on January 26, 2013  11:14pm

I do not think that having a hybrid board alone will increase accountability—I said, “it is the first step forward”, and I do believe that.

You seem to have also misunderstood. Elicker never said that having a hybrid board is the beginning and the end.

You write as if he will do that and simultaneously eliminate the current reforms, but no one has said anything remotely like that.

Please bear in mind. The current reforms may be producing impressive gains, but look—honestly look—at the miserable baseline we are improving from.

That baseline is the primary output of John DeStefano and Reggie Mayo.

As good as they may be doing now, in their last years of power, the corrupt and patronage loving duo are merely attempting to make amends for years of neglect and failure.

This swan song apology may be great, but it does not excuse 18 years of failure, and it is time for a change.

posted by: JuliS on January 27, 2013  4:48pm

i am so glad to hear justin is moving forward with the campaign. i would be hard-pressed to name a more enthusiastic, honest & forward-thinking citizen of new haven. i can’t wait to support him in this move. let’s do this, new haven! no more business as usual, where the citizens end up with the short end of the stick.

posted by: getyourfactstraight on January 27, 2013  5:12pm

Didn’t and won’t read any of the comments because a person gets into the back and forth thing. I was impressed with what Elicker had to say and am keeping a very open mind. I am not hearing anything in particular impressive from Gary. Am waiting to hear more about what his plans are to get this city back in financial shape. And well, the mayor it just seems to be the same thing over and over and over but will not rule him out at this moment. I am waiting to hear one more announcement which rumor has might happen. That announcement would please me and I think he should do it. I think he would win by a landslide. Come on now just do it.

posted by: robn on January 28, 2013  10:15am


I wondering what kind of brazen astroturf campaign that Local 34 will run when they’ve decided upon a candidate. Now that the cats out of the bag, hopefully New Haveners will vote otherwise and not hand over their whole government to a group of people who mostly live in the suburbs.

posted by: RCguy on January 28, 2013  11:56am

.If Justin ran with the green party,I would help him.

posted by: ConcernedCitizen on January 28, 2013  12:06pm

I VERY much look forward to hearing more on Justin’s run for Mayor.  From what I know of him, he means what he says in changing the Mayors office to a practice of government transparency, open mindedness, fair hearing, and listening to his constituents and community.  What a RELIEF he would be from the domination upon us now!