Haci Catalbasoglu, the Yale undergraduate running unopposed for the open Ward 1 Board of Alders seat, Monday endorsed Mayor Toni Harp’s bid for a third two-year term.
Catalbasoglu is running in the Nov. 7 general election as an unaffiliated candidate. The Democrats and Republicans are not running candidates for the seat.
His statement on behalf of Harp follows:
Whenever we meet, Mayor Harp and I talk about our love for this city we both call home, and each time, without exception, I am always struck by the sheer depth of her passion for and understanding of the issues that matter most to New Haveners.
After over 20 years serving New Haven residents, as a local alder, a state senator, and now as mayor, Toni Harp brings seasoned experience and dedication to our local government. When President Trump threatened cuts to sanctuary cities and DACA repeal, Toni Harp stood strong for our shared values. And whether it’s improving early childhood reading, engaging at-risk youth to build a better future, or linking local residents to better jobs, Mayor Harp has focused on addressing the inequalities the divide our shared city.
Throughout her last two terms as mayor, New Haven has made real progress. Under her administration, New Haven Public Schools’ graduation rate has increased by nearly 14 percent and more of our city’s students are enrolling and staying in college. Mayor Harp has instituted programs that have drastically decreased crime rates and has hired a new police chief who is dedicated to deepening our city’s commitment to safer, stronger community policing. She’s worked on connecting New Haven youth to services and opportunities, has pledged to keep New Haven at the forefront of combatting climate change, and has balanced the city budget for the last three years. From what I’ve seen over the last four years — and by the numbers — New Haven is better off for Toni Harp’s time as mayor.
I am proud to support her in her re-election campaign so she can keep the city moving forward. I’m proud to stand with someone who shares my commitment to improving our community and ensuring that Yale and New Haven thrive because of each other, with a deeper, more meaningful relationship between our city and our school. If I’m fortunate enough to be elected as Yale’s alder in November, I will look forward to working with Mayor Harp to ensure that relationship thrives.
To every Yalie registered as a Democrat in New Haven, I urge you to vote tomorrow at the New Haven Free Public Library — and I urge you to cast that ballot for Mayor Toni Harp.
posted by: Samuel T. Ross-Lee on September 11, 2017 2:55pm
Not even elected and his independence is already in question.
posted by: pacmen14 on September 11, 2017 4:48pm
There was some hope that this guy would be an independent voice on the BOA. Now that’s dead before he even started. Haci articulates the same unconvincing statistics Harp has been touting throughout campaign season - job growth, better education, lower crime. Yet, like Harp, he doesn’t offer a SINGLE statistic to back up his claims. Which are the jobs citizens have been “linked” to? Harp still hasn’t told us and now neither has Haci. Where are the stats to support the claims of drastic drops in crime since Harp took office in 2014? There have been substantial drops since 2011 under DeStefano consistent with drops across the country, but where is the Harp-specific data they are touting? Where are the stats to support that “more and more students are enrolling and staying in college?” Is he not aware that it’s a legal requirement to balance budgets, so that’s not a mayoral accomplishment, especially considering that it’s all balanced on debt? (A new/prospective alder should know these basic things). Regarding the police chief, did Mr. Haci entirely miss the whole episode where Harp was FORCED to get rid of the last chief by the community despite the fact that he regularly berated citizens? If Harp had her way and was not overruled we would still have Esserman and his version of “community policing.” As a Yale student, one would have hoped for a more substantive explanation, though I guess this was the best he could do with the talking points he was given. Disappointing.
posted by: IloveYaleANDNewHaven on September 11, 2017 9:12pm
Incredible statement Haci! Will definetely be voting for you come November.
posted by: ConcernedCitizen23 on September 11, 2017 9:16pm
I think it’s great that we finally have an engaged student running for Ward 1 Alder. Harp is a great candidate, and the fact that Haci cares enough (and takes a big enough risk) to endorse in the primary means that we can expect some big things.
posted by: Thomas Alfred Paine on September 11, 2017 9:56pm
You never really get to know a person until you work with them or disagree with them. If Haci Catalbasoglu ever attended a Board of Education meeting or a Board of Aldermen meeting and actually talked with people who have worked with Toni Harp instead of just conversing with Harp about their mutual love for our city, he would have a more balanced perspective of the reality of those who have worked with Harp and disagreed with Harp.
Independents who are so quickly and so gullibly swayed, even before they are elected unopposed have lost their independence, and will be of little service to the public.
This Yale student should have done more research before making his endorsement.
Rev. Ross-Lee is right.
posted by: activevoter on September 11, 2017 10:28pm
Excellent read! It is really exciting to finally see a Ward 1 candidate that is deeply engaged with the New Haven community. Clearly, he cares about working in tandem with, and not in spite of other community leaders in New Haven so I wholeheartedly support his endorsement of Mayor Harp and don’t believe this reflects even remotely on his independence as a candidate. This is an excellent example of a passionate, hardworking leader recognizing the work of a leader of the same caliber. Really excited for the new collaborations and all the work Haci will do!
posted by: Samuel T. Ross-Lee on September 12, 2017 7:18am
He guy is running unopposed. Where is the “risk” he takes for endorsing Mayor Harp in the primary?