Ward 13 Up For Grabs

First-term Fair Haven Heights Alderwoman Brenda Jones Barnes has decided not to run for reelection.

The labor-backed Democrat announced her decision in a group email message Wednesday.

“For personal reasons, I must announce my intention not to seek re-election as Alderwoman for Ward 13 in the City of New Haven. I have decided to publicly announce at this time so that there is an opportunity for a prospective candidate to consider running and campaign,” she wrote.

“Serving the Fair Haven Heights community and the City of New Haven has been a privilege and an honor. Thank you for this opportunity.”

No candidates have yet filed papers to run for seat.


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posted by: Curious on June 26, 2013  4:09pm

Was this a Local-34 backed candidate, or not?

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on June 26, 2013  5:03pm

For you union haters.She did not vote for the sale of the street to yale.

The final vote was 21 to 8. Voting against the sale were Hausladen, Elicker, Fair Haven’s Migdalia Castro, Newhallville’s Alfreda Edwards, and four union-backed aldermen: Brenda Jones-Barnes, Delphine Clyburn, Newhallville’s Brenda Foskey-Cyrus, and Beaver Hills’ Angela Russell.

posted by: HewNaven on June 26, 2013  7:33pm

I have a feeling Jones-Barnes was getting to independent of her Local 34 backers. Too bad, she seemed like she actually cared about being an alderperson. Now, what about Chris Ozyck?!

posted by: Wildwest on June 26, 2013  8:23pm

Yes, she never would have won without union money Curious. We had a man who was running an honest campaign and lost to her after her union purchased flyers were pasted to every door in the neighborhood for weeks on end.

posted by: Wildwest on June 26, 2013  8:25pm

And 3/5ths, you may be on to the real reason she is not running. The union already has someone else in mind to fatten their wallets&pensions; while the rest of us suffer.

posted by: Curious on June 27, 2013  7:47am


Three-fifths, unions have their role in the workplace.

They shouldn’t be out running for office to change the community to better suit the needs of their workers.

They shouldn’t be sending WORKER EARNINGS to advance their own political agenda.

posted by: mlpavela on June 27, 2013  10:53am

Brenda Jones-Barnes was an A-OK Alderperson and I’m sad to see her go.  Not only did she vote no on the street sale, but I felt she did a good job keeping the ward updated through her e-mail list and was adequately visible to the people she represented at the BoA.

Thank you Brenda, and best of luck with whatever’s next.


posted by: Eddie on June 27, 2013  3:03pm


Was your man the one who was running on the mayor’s slate or was he the guy who took third?  Brenda Jone-Barnes won the campaign through an extraordinary canvassing effort.  She was out knocking on doors and leading a team nearly every afternoon. Flyers don’t win campaigns, a compelling platform, conversations, and persuasion do.  If she ran again, she could add solid constituency service, major achievements such as New Haven Works and democratizing the BOE to her campaign platform.

posted by: HewNaven on June 27, 2013  5:27pm


I’m curious. If she ran again, would Jones Barnes add that she “voted against the street sale”. As far as I’m concerned, that was her boldest move yet.

posted by: Eddie on June 28, 2013  8:44am


I’m sure that you won’t be surprised that I think many of the BOA’s accomplishments are much more important than the sale of the streets.  I think Brenda would have been well served to campaign on all of these accomplishments. 

For all the talk of concentrating power, this board has been the most successful probably since Dick Lee in decentralizing power between our representative institutions through the public charter revision.  It helped create New Haven Works which has already employed over 40 people and promises to give many more New Haveners employment opportunities.  The BOA is responsible for getting a community agreements benefit with Acheivement First, when the mayor just wanted to sell the school with no such agreement.  This means the maintenance staff will have middle class union jobs, more New Haven students will have the opportunity to attend these schools, and the facilities will be accessible for youth in the neighborhood.  This BOA ensured that the Armory donated by the state will be used as a facility to enhance youth opportunities.  It is hard to imagine DeStafano stepping down without his slate of alders being defeated.  We all know that even the NHI has credited this BOA of encouraging the shift to community policing. 

I know that I’m repeating myself.  But I sincerely believe this BOA has made extraordinary accomplishments, particularly for a BOA.  The BOA only achieved these accomplishments through deep cooperation and acting as a coalition.  I understand that people are not going to agree with every decision those on the BOA has made, and appreciate electoral challenges.  Still I think every single member who has acted with the progressive coalition on the BOA can campaign fiercely on what they have achieved through their cooperation.  I consider you to be one of the more fair-minded commenters on here and hope that even in your disagreements you can appreciate these accomplishments.

posted by: HewNaven on June 28, 2013  10:18am


I don’t count New Haven Works as an accomplishment. It is corporate welfare thinly veiled as a community enrichment program. Let me ask you this, why doesn’t Yale, or any of the other big money supporters of New Haven Works, support a program to train local entrepreneurs to become small business owners, or provide vocational training to kids who will never ever go to college, or support the growing food justice movement that has just as much to do with poverty than anything else! Why won’t they do these things?? Because there’s no payoff for the Yale Coporation. New Haven Works is a cheap, low-risk investment for Yale and these other big companies, under the guise of helping people with real problems. Don’t get fooled again Unite Here. If you want to help working people, organize the baristas or the lawnmowers in New Haven county.

posted by: Eddie on June 28, 2013  11:33am


I’m not naive about Yale.  For the last eight years I have spent considerable effort fighting to make Yale a more just organization.  I participated in campaigns that successfully forced Yale to divest from the private prison corporation, CCA.  This is a corporation that profits from the incarceration of millions of Americans (http://truth-out.org/news/item/8875-corrections-corporation-of-america-a-study-in-predatory-capitalism-and-cronyism).  I have consistently worked to help graduate students and others win union recognition.  I have participated in campaigns to win the community benefits agreement from Yale’s Cancer Center.  I participated in campaigns to win paternal support for graduate students, so that students could attend graduate school and have children.  I have participated in the campaign implement New Haven Works.  I am painfully aware of Yale’s resistance to implement programs that it does not perceive to be in its interests.  It is from this awareness that I appreciate the struggle and achievement of New Haven Works.  It is a program that owes its existence to an immense amount of effort from a larger number of individuals.  Many unemployed and underemployed individuals will have better employment opportunities as a result.  This seems to be an important step for social justice.  You suggest Yale could do more, and I wholeheartedly agree.  But I don’t think that the need to do more, negates the current struggle and accomplishments.