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With Glover At His Side, Fernandez Pitches Idealism
by Paul Bass | Sep 3, 2013 7:15 am
Posted to: Campaign 2013
Why would a movie star come to New Haven, twice, to endorse a mayoral candidate?
Danny Glover can explain.
He explained it to an overflow crowd Monday night at Yale’s Afro-American Cultural Center on Park Street. Glover came there to endorse the candidacy of Henry Fernandez, one of four Democrats running for mayor in a Sept. 10 primary.
Here’s the short version of Glover’s explanation: Fernandez began as a student activist and went on to do great things. He cares a lot about public education. He cares a lot about cities. He knows “city government can work ... when people mobilize.” Also, Glover “know[s] his amazing wife [Kica Matos] because we worked on death penalty cases” together.
For the full, uncut, three-minute version of Glover’s answer to a student asking him to explain his endorsement, click on the video above.
Glover (pictured)—the star of films like Lethal Weapon and The Color Purple, an international human-rights activist, and “one of the 10 best-known human beings on the planet,” as Fernandez described him Monday night—arrived in New Haven as the heated mayoral primary race enters its final, frenetic week. The visit demonstrated the emphasis candidates have put on attracting Yale student volunteers and voters, especially now that the academic year has begun. Click here to read about mayoral candidate Toni Harp’s Yale visit earlier in the day; and here about a recent campus visit by candidate Justin Elicker.
Glover’s visit also demonstrated the sense of momentum Fernandez’s camp said it has picked up as the campaign enters its final week following a live-televised debate last week and an endorsement from the New Haven Register. Only a sparse crowd turned out in Dixwell to hear Glover when he first came to New Haven to endorse Fernandez’s candidacy back on May 23. It was standing-room only at Monday night’s event at the Yale Afro-Am Center, with more than 100 people, most of them student age, in attendance.
In his remarks, Fernandez (pictured) appealed to the students’ idealism, couching his candidacy in the context of broader social change.
He urged them to see their “time here” at Yale and in New Haven as “the opportunity to change the world and see yourselves as the vehicle to change the world.”
“Has there ever been a struggle in America that did not start with young people?” Fernandez asked the crowd. “If we are going to change this city, if we are going to change cities in America, you have to be that change ... You have to believe that change will never come if you don’t begin it.”
Fernandez then invoked the memory of the late civil-rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King.
“Dr. King led the Montgomery bus boycott when he was four or five years older than you,” Fernandez noted. “he was dead before he was 40”—and still managed to change the course of history.
Then he urged them to register to vote, if they hadn’t already; to vote, preferably for him, on Sept. 10; and to volunteer on the campaign.
Tags: Danny Glover, Henry Fernandez
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Now that we are in the “I-know-Danny-Glover-vote-for-me” staff, I wonder if Elicker can respond with Fred Savage from Wonder Years and Kermit Carolina can slam through Kadeem Hardison from A Different World? What a game-changer it would be if Toni Harp could pull together the cast of 90210!
To be expected from “look who I know” Fernandez. Who cares?
When nothing seems to be going right in the Fernandez camp, he plays the D. Glover card.
Hey Henry! Now all you need is Mel Gibson.
Unfortunately, for the Fernandez campaign, the real “Lethal Weapon” Henry’s concerned with is Toni Harp.
I can respect Henry enough for at least trying to resuscitate his dying campaign.
However, unless Danny has with him the entire cast of “The Color Purple,” it doesn’t look good for the Fernandez camp on September 10th.
I would hope that Henry would visit the idea of endorsing Toni Harp after the primary and avoid the stain of division should he lose.
Humility is one of the most difficult acts in which a human can display. I have always viewed being humble as a way of sharpening one’s character.
I viscerally believe that Henry would really rather unite the Democratic Party by supporting the winner, then to risk losing twice and damaging his integrity.
It’s difficult mentally for some people to relinquish the position of abandoning a campaign that is spiraling downwardly, especially when they believe that they are the best qualified.
Henry, if the voters don’t feel the same way you do about yourself on September 10th, would you accept the defeat graciously and do the right thing?
Politics is never to be taken personal.
President Barack Obama at time plays golf with Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner.
Former Speaker of the House Thomas “Tip” O’Neill and Ronald Reagan fought regularly. However, they were the best of friends and joked with each other regularly.
Many people love to involve themselves in politics…but don’t understand it at all.
Public Service is more than just a few ideas on a website or doing well at a debate. Public Service entails being a problem solver, fighting hard for the interest of others while addressing your personal concerns last.
Moreover, you’re to never hate or personally disrespect your opponent and his or her family members just to try and score points.
I have read many funny things in these posts, but yours was far and away the funniest. Or maybe Kermit can get Rog from What’s Happenin’ and Toni can get Lamont from Sanford and Son, Elicker can get Potsy from Happy Days.
Not as funny as yours, but in the same vein.
On another, related note (strange politics), the prime noise ordinance offendor on Front Street yesterday (and you have to be pretty darn loud to take that prize on a Saturday afternoon) was a large pickup truck pulling some sort of wooden patio (?) with Harp signs all over it. Music blasting loud enough to hear 2 blocks away. I guess quality of life issues aren’t a real priority for the Harp campaign. Just pump up the volume and drown out everything and everyone else.
You know who Hernandez also apparently knows—Schmuley Hecht, the largest real estate holder in New Haven.
Anyone notice all of the Campaign signs showing up in front of every Pike International house.
I find this a disgusting ploy that misrepresents the residents of these rental properties.
My friend lives in one such house, was equally disgusted, so she put up an Elicker sign for balance.
If you are a voiceless Pike tenant, I would recommend that you get your horse’s sign on the lawn. Placement is crucial, but entirely up to you…..
#1 Question of the 2013 campaign season:
Who will Punky Brewster endorse??
What bothers me about this is that it seems the Fernandez campaign really, really believes that trotting out “some famous guy” will dazzle voters into supporting Henry’s bid. Please - if there’s anyone out there who hadn’t made up his or her mind and this was the thing that tipped the scales into voting for “OneCity” Henry - do us all a favor - don’t vote at all.
What’s always impressed me about Henry is his ability to inspire a group of Yale students, negotiate a deal with the likes of IKEA, figure out how to find mutually beneficial solutions with alderman, manage a diverse staff and stay focused on the big picture. It’s rare to find all that in one package. I couldn’t make it last night, but I’m glad he sought to inspire. If Danny Glover can help Henry do that in New Haven, that works for me.
@HewNaven — Punky is apparently holding out of the primary. I hear Kermit Carolina’s staff has turned their efforts from cartooning to sewing together green felt for the “Kermit for Kermit” unveiling this week. “It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Mean” is his new slogan.
It was evident that no one on the Fernandez campaign prepared a script of any sort for Mr. Glover. Unfortunately, this event probably did Mr. Fernandez more harm by insulting the audience with its transparency.
I was hoping to hear just a little from Mr. Glover about why he cares about NHV, and to not have this clearly articulated was a big miss by everyone on Team Henry,
Separately, NHI, why is there a photo of their shoes? Random.
Why the sneakers… New Balance is the only major sneaker company that still maintains factories in the US. They also fight for trade policies to keep jobs in the US and stop the exploitation of cheap labor abroad. I wasn’t at the event yesterday, but according to the Register article, sneakers came up in the conversation, in reference to a certain celebrity who makes big bucks selling sneakers made in sweatshops.
Danny Glover is in the trenches for Henry, because that’s what he does. This year, he’s been on the picket lines with transit workers in Oakland, auto workers in Mississippi, and families of solitary confinement prisoners in California. He’s been in the trenches fighting for death row inmates with Kica.
Let’s heed his call and get on the streets and reimagine and rebuild our city!
Henry supporters often point out that he brought Ikea to New Haven. If he is going to take credit for that, how come he didn’t do more to develop Long Wharf? To this day it looks more like a wasteland than a nicely developed area. Ikea happened almost 10 years ago and there’s been no other developments to complement it since then. How much manufacturing did he help bring to New Haven? We have masses of desolate, unused industrial space in New Haven, directly next to a major harbor, train system, and highway intersection and it remains vacant year after year.
I don’t completely blame Fernandez however if he gets credit for Ikea I have to question our serious lack of development as well. We need to develop our harbor, and attract some manufacturing to take advantage of these great resources we have (boat/train/auto). I would like to see what Justin Elicker could do with these resources.
I agree with “Scot.”
New Haven is geographically situated for business with infrastructure in place to support businesses.
I must be missing something because all the positive attributes of New Haven seem to be unused or under-appreciated or something.
It was a colossal blunder the first time and things haven’t improved with the remix.
New Haven has a long history of squandering it’s resources on pet social engineering projects in the name of community development.
Making New Haven nice for the people that live here is where the focus needs to shift. Real Growth stems from that investment,
Megan bring up an interesting issue, if we wish to create jobs in New Haven, ought we stand by manufactures who employ Americans? Where were Mr. Fernandez’s shoes made? They do not look like the products of Alden or Allen Edmunds. Rather, the style is typical of Chinese shoes. (I have been in shoe stores in China.)
@Brutus & Bill Saunders,
With regard to Long Wharf and the waterfront, Elicker has put in writing some good ideas:
Not sure if the other candidates have as well?
@ Scot - @ Brutus
Toni Harp’s position on development is summarized at
As with many of Harps “position papers”, this one was first posted to the internet on July 12th. A bit late in the game for deep thoughts no?
Plus, plugging your address into Google yields a title including “Yvonne’s Draft”. Can’t Toni even draft her own positions?
Good grief; this person might actually end up running our city.