Alderman Sergio Rodriguez, candidate for city clerk, sat down for an interview earlier this spring with La Voz Hispana. What follows is a transcript of his responses to questions, translated from Spanish. (Click here and here for stories about other candidates.)
Experience: I am running for city town clerk because I have the experience that makes me an excellent candidate for the position; 35 years in social services, 10 years in direct services and 25 of those years as an administrator. I have been in office as the alderman for Ward 26 for the last 10 years and have served in numerous leadership positions, President Pro Tempore, Chair of Finance, Deputy Majority Leader. I have held leadership positions on a national level. I was elected to the board of the National League of Cities for two years, and served as the President of the Hispanic Elected Local Officials for two years. So as you see I have the leadership qualification to hold this position
Vision: I have a vision that goes beyond the statutory requirement of the position or the job function of the City Town Clerk.
I want to look at continuing to modernize the office, the website and find additional resources to assist the current staff that works extremely hard in providing services to our citizens
But I also believe that as the City Town Clerk I can play a critical role in engaging small businesses, the job drivers in our community, going into the community and high schools and engaging and educating residents and students in the role of entering campaigns, registering campaigns, absentee balloting, and as a city wide elected position help to promote voter registration especially, with our Latino/Hispanic residents.
Community: I believe that this position should be directly connected to the community and that the clerk should be engaging residents about the office of the City Town Clerk, what services are available, how to access those services in a more efficient and effective manner. I believe the position should have a spot on the mayor’s cabinet as an ambassador for small business on behalf of the mayor.
For far to long the position of city town clerk has been out of view and absent from the public. It is time to bring strong leadership, visibility/transparency, value, and integrity back to the office of City Town Clerk. No more question of what is the office of the City Town Clerk and why should we have that position. I want to make this position truly work for the residents of our great city
On Ron Smith: I do not have any comments about the current City Town Clerk. What I will say is that the current staff that works in the office does the best it can with the resources available. They need more resources to help improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their work. I will provide the strong leadership to work on bringing in more resources to assist the office and it’s work.
Ward 26: As you know I have been the alderman in the 26th ward for ten years. In that time I have work hard to maintain relationships with my constituents and keep the ward a place where individuals and families can have a friendly safe and attractive community to live in. We are currently looking for my replacement and will be interviewing possible candidates in the very near future.
Campaign: Well the campaign picked up momentum at our April 4th announcement, when more than 100 supporters reflecting the ethnic and professional diversity of our city filled up the banquet hall, holding signs and showing their strong support for me. This is a citywide campaign, I need the support of the community but specifically the Latino/Hispanic community to continue to move this campaign forward. This is a moment in New Haven history where a new city clerk who is not only qualified for the position but also happens to be Latino would be the first Latino elected citywide in New Haven and the support and vote of the community at large and especially the Latino/Hispanic community can help to write that story. I ask the community to please join me on this historic and defining moment in supporting and electing me as their next city clerk.
Contact: The strategy for success is to continue to raise money, grow the campaign team and build a get out the vote organization.
We want to mobilize the community to come out and vote.
Please join us in this journey by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 203-410-9519 or 203-535-8402.
Thank you for this opportunity