The Professors Grill Elicker

Melissa Bailey PhotoHow much does that young man weigh? Enough to take on the city unions and solve a pension crisis?

Those questions emerged Tuesday, as a cadre of veteran Yale professors met with Justin Elicker, the 37-year-old Yale graduate running for mayor. The professors sized him up in a backyard fundraiser hosted by Doug Rae, a Yale School of Management professor and former city chief administrative officer.

The fundraiser took place in the final stretch before next Tuesday’s Democratic mayoral primary, where Elicker faces three contenders—Kermit Carolina, Henry Fernandez and Toni Harp. It also took place in the heart of the home base, East Rock, that has propelled Elicker into being a contender in this race.

The event placed Elicker before a particularly tough crowd, academic-wise—it included people who have written classic books on subjects ranging from global political strategy to, in Rae’s case, New Haven politics and government. (The book’s called City: Urbanism and Its End.)

At about 5:30 p.m., Rae and his wife, Ellen Shuman, opened their home on Lincoln Street to about 20 visitors. A table under a trumpet-vine-covered pergola offered simple snacks and drinks. Shuman pointed out the candidate to those who hadn’t met him before.

“There’s some wine on the table, and Justin is right there,” she said.

The crowd that gathered in folding chairs in the leafy backyard reflected a demographic sympathetic to the candidate: Elicker, who earned a master’s degree in forestry and business from Yale, has proved popular among Yale professors and in East Rock.

Rae introduced Elicker to the crowd at 6:10. Elicker, the alderman in East Rock’s Ward 10, acknowledged one former constituent in the crowd: Rae’s 99-year-old mom, Katherine Rae. (She said she left Elicker’s ward for a senior housing complex in Hamden.)

After Elicker’s stump speech, Doug Rae asked the first question.

“Justin, I’m worried about your weight,” he joked. “You’ve lost 20 percent of your body weight” since beginning the race for mayor.

“I didn’t have any body weight before I started running,” Elicker replied.

The 6-foot candidate later estimated his weight at roughly 160 pounds. (“I don’t weigh myself.”)


Then Rae cut to the question that many had said was on their minds as they milled about on the patio: How will the next mayor fix the city’s pension problem?

The city has $505 million in unfunded pension liabilities. Its two pension funds, for police and fire and other municipal workers, are under-funded by about 50 percent.

“We’re the Detroit of 10 years ago,” replied Elicker, meaning that the city will plunge into bankruptcy if it doesn’t change course.

Elicker called for a cap on the amount of money that the city borrows per year. And he said he would consider moving police from a defined-benefit pension plan, in which workers are guaranteed a set pension regardless of how the pension fund performs, to a defined-contribution plan, which operates like a 401(k).

The pension problem has emerged as a major issue in this year’s campaign. Fernandez has called for asking the state to pitch in money; Harp has called that idea sophomoric. She has said she would avoid switching public employees to market-based 401(k)-type plans so that families don’t face the risk of losing all their benefits in the case of a market crash. Click here to read more about their positions.

Elicker went on Tuesday to say that the city needs to “hold the line on taxes,” not to protect the rich, but “to encourage more businesses to move to New Haven.” He called for developing the waterfront to bring in more revenue.

“Do you think Yale contributes enough to the city?” asked another attendee.

Elicker called for combining the Yale shuttle with CT Transit. The two serve the same routes in East Rock, for two different populations, which is wasteful and ethically troublesome, Elicker said. He said Yale should give its workers and students bus passes on CT Transit; in return for its investment Yale would have a say in making sure CT Transit serves the Yale community’s busing needs.

Elicker also said Yale should do more to encourage Yalies to start businesses in New Haven, with the help of startup hubs such as The Grove.

Allan Plattus (second from left, chatting with retired Yale history professor Gaddis Smith, a celebrated author of books on American diplomacy and Yale’s history), a veteran urban planning professor at Yale, described himself as undecided in the mayor’s race. He noted that a new mayor will have an “incredibly short period,” just two years, to get anything done. Some changes come only after building up relationships for years, he noted.

“In two years, what would you do?” Plattus asked.

Elicker said among his first moves, he would create more transparency in the city budget; expand youth programs in city schools; and introduce “participatory budgeting,” whereby citizens get more say on how public dollars are spent.

As the crowd evaluated Elicker’s answers, Rae and Shuman’s Australian terrier, Sydney (pictured), sniffed the candidate’s ankles.

The event wrapped up at quarter to 7, so that Elicker could hustle to City Hall for a full Board of Aldermen meeting.

The city’s financial state appeared to be a top priority for the crowd. Shuman, a former Yale development official who today runs a startup investment fund, said she’s supporting Elicker because “I think he is very cognizant of the city’s liabilities—all of these benefits that we’ve promised. He’s willing to address them in the most thoughtful way.”

“They’ll Chew Him Up”

Charlie Hill, a diplomat in residence and a senior lecturer in humanities at Yale, approached Rae after the speech. Hill, known for his book Grand Strategies: Literature, Statecraft and World Order and a class on the same subject, lives around the corner on Bradley Street.

Hill told Rae he liked Rae’s candidate, whom he had not met before. But “how are you going to protect him from the old pols?” he asked Rae. “They’ll chew him up and spit him out.”

“He’s tougher than he looks,” replied Rae.

“It’s not the pols that worry me,” Rae later said. “It’s negotiating pensions and benefits” with municipal unions. “It’s very tough.”

“I’ve done it,” Rae said, in his time as chief administrative officer, “without any notable success.” 

Hill later elaborated on his concern: “Politics, as they say, ain’t bean-bag. When you have someone who is really good and fresh and wanting to change things in a positive way—the old pols are not going to be happy with him. Things are going to be difficult.”

Hill said he was satisfied with Rae’s assurance of Elicker’s toughness. And he liked what he heard Tuesday.

“Pensions are a problem all across the country because of public unions,” Hill said. “It is really on the edge of destroying one city after another. [Elicker] understands that and he explained how he would approach it.”

“He knows the details. He knows how the system works. He can explain it to you.” Hill said of Elicker. “I think he’s a superb candidate. He is really what the city needs. I’m not a Democrat, but I support him.”

As an unaffiliated voter, Hill can’t vote on Tuesday. But he said he would cut a check and put it in the mail for Elicker’s campaign.(Hill may have a chance to vote for Elicker, or one of his opponents, on Nov. 5; Elicker and two other candidates have petitioned their ways on to the general-election ballot as independents.)

Rae said he had originally supported Matthew Nemerson before Nemerson dropped out and backed Harp.

“I like Toni Harp,” he said. “She’s a great person.” But his experience with former Mayor John Daniels led him to believe the state legislature “is not a great training ground for mayor.”

Rae called Fernandez “very well informed.” But “he may not have Justin’s ability to knock on the doors and listen to everybody.”

Rae said he taught Elicker in a large required course for students at the School of Management. He said he’s impressed with his willingness to listen. “The spirit of democracy is alive in him.”

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posted by: westville man on September 4, 2013  8:54am

Interesting…another lead story on an East Rock meet n greet and another host (Rae) only mentioning 3 candidates as possible choices, leaving out Carolina. Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man” immediately comes to mind.
We are, indeed, worlds apart right here in New Haven.

posted by: Dwightstreeter on September 4, 2013  8:57am

Weren’t municipal pensions an offset for what used to be low wages in the public sector? To blame pensioners for the changes in the economy seems mean-spirited now.
We need to re-examine salaries and pensions. Workers should have benefits, but taxpayers should be able to afford them.

posted by: New Haven Nuisance on September 4, 2013  9:02am

“Justin’s ability to knock on the doors and listen to everybody” is 2nd to none. I’ve never seen a candidate running for public office who is more open and honest with people, and one who genuinely cares what people have to say.  If you don’t believe me I’d recommend you call Justin on his personal cell phone at 203.500.2969.

posted by: anonymous on September 4, 2013  9:24am

Anyone who went to one of the 12 debates knows that Elicker knows the details.  Anyone who has seen him negotiate on behalf of city residents in hundreds of state government meetings, neighborhood meetings, school board meetings, or Aldermanic meetings also knows this well. Extremely effective is an understatement. 80% of his contributions come from within the city as a result.

Harp’s performance at the debates was practically incoherent. It’s not 1989 anymore, when she worked with Rae on political committees. In recent years, Harp has repeatedly failed to stand up for the needs of New Haven residents on multiple issues. Case in point: Keno.  Maybe that’s why an overwhelming share of her contributions come from outside the city limits.

Fernandez did alright in debates but has been completely absent from the city over the past 5 years. It’s not 2006 anymore.  And he has 66 donors from New Haven in the last round- like Harp, he is a “Big Money” candidate.

Carolina, like Elicker, may have the most progressive policies and is a a strong candidate with deep support from within New Haven. But like Fernandez, he has failed to get involved in most things related to New Haven residents over the past several years other than his own school and neighborhood. I’d like to see him do more on a citywide scale and run for Mayor in 5 or 10 years.

posted by: Scot on September 4, 2013  9:58am

Elicker is exactly what this city needs. He is genuine, honest, hard working, realistic, smart, kind, and isn’t a puppet for any special interests or big businesses.  (And he has a great sense of humor to boot!).

If you’ve ever been frustrated by politics, you have to vote for Justin.  Without the support of the local machine politics (the DTC that supports Harp), Justin got to this point through nothing other than character, common sense, and hard work.  I believe he is a truly rare candidate in that regard.  We are incredibly lucky to have him and I hope people realize it.

posted by: robn on September 4, 2013  10:10am

Cue 3/5 complaining about vulture capitalist plundering pensions… even though those stories are completely irrelevant in New Haven where for years, unions/politicians have been mutually complicit in inflating benefits to unsustainable levels while simultaneously allowing them to be underfunded (something any high school graduate could recognize.)

posted by: TheMadcap on September 4, 2013  10:12am

Yes, public sector workers generally made less than the private sector paid in actual wages, this was made up for in later benefits. Public sector unions didn’t bring us to this position, the city and state constantly underfunding its pension plans(or as Elicker had pointed out in a debate, expecting returns that may have well been based in Narnia, c’mon now, an 8% expected return?). It’s also true though they’re now going to have to make concessions that many of them don’t want to budge on. It’s not fair, but unfortunately it’s reality.

posted by: robn on September 4, 2013  10:30am


Municipal union leadership were well aware, each year, of how the numbers work and how the 8% target was unrealistic. They kept their mouths shut to kick the can down the road. Well we’re near the end of the road so now what? Membership should be asking leadership hard questions.

posted by: Hieronymous on September 4, 2013  10:56am

Scot has said it well, it’s not often that a city has the opportunity to elect a candidate who is a pragmatic idealist, who makes decisions based on evidence and not politics, who has demonstrated remarkable integrity and work ethic, and who actually has a shot. As I’ve said to folks while canvassing, unless someone has already told you who you’re *supposed to* vote for, Justin is probably who you *want* to vote for.

Charlie Hill has voiced, in my view, the only reason not to vote for Elicker (and to vote for Fernandez instead), but I don’t think it’s strong enough to outweigh all of the reasons to vote for him. The worst case scenario in an Elicker administration is that he’s limited in what he can accomplish by an obstinate Board of Alders so that, in two years, we’re basically where we are now with property taxes, pensions, crime, and the like. I think the same could possibly be said for Fernandez, but not Harp and Carolina (she, precisely because there would be concentrated power in a bloc with interests that are not exclusively aligned with the greater good of New Haven; he because, well, to me at least, he just seems a little erratic and not quite up to the job). So Justin’s not going to make things worse. But he’s the only one who can take us beyond the status quo to something really much better, a transformation of municipal governance in this city to embrace new urbanism (and therefore attract new residents and investment), while keeping a “preferential option” for the most vulnerable (seriously, check out the 75 solutions and you’ll see Elicker is not the New Canaan gentrification candidate certain folks claim he is).

I think we’ll be more or less fine if Fernandez is the next mayor, but it will be more of the same we’ve had with JD (setting us generally in a good direction, but placing his own political interests first, sometimes at our expense). I’d be bummed if Carolina or Harp won. But Elicker, to me, is the only one to actually get excited about.

posted by: yayaya on September 4, 2013  11:06am

In response to “anonymous”: Um…..does Justin Elicker have a full-time job? I see him walking around our neighborhood at a time when most working people are headed to the office.
I would assume that Carolina having a full-time job might inhibit his ability to participate as fully in things related to the majority of New Haven residents. And during that time, as a principal in one of the city’s biggest high schools, hasn’t he been working very hard for residents, just in a different way?

posted by: citoyen on September 4, 2013  11:45am

Hieronymous has consistently been posting calm and astute comments for many weeks now—reasoned without being emotional, committed without being propagandistic. The thoughtfulness is impressive.

Scot is a close second.

Kudos to you both. (I suppose it helps that I tend to agree with you on substance.) You set an example I do try for, but sometimes lapse from.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on September 4, 2013  11:48am

posted by: robn on September 4, 2013 10:10am
Cue 3/5 complaining about vulture capitalist plundering pensions… even though those stories are completely irrelevant in New Haven where for years, unions/politicians have been mutually complicit in inflating benefits to unsustainable levels while simultaneously allowing them to be underfunded (something any high school graduate could recognize.)

Can you prove that unions been mutually complicit in inflating benefits to unsustainable levels while simultaneously allowing them to be underfunded when all evidence points to pension funds are natural targets for predatory capitalists. They are reserves of huge amounts of savings. Investment bankers target pension funds with fraudulent investments.These are the same Investment bankers who put money into the election coffins of the politicians when they run for office.Look at how the neo-cons forced the Post Office to pre-fund its pensions for 75 years. This will be a huge pool of savings that the predatory capitalists will loot one day.There simply is no money anywhere that is safe from predatory capitalists. People must have some fund to use for income when they are old and unable to work. That money has to be put somewhere. The predatory capitalists will find it and steal it. I guess the people better go back to stuffing cash in there mattresses or somewhere. so robin explain to me How do jobs who have no unions are have the same problem with there pensions/

My bad.I forgot how about Social Security which has been a target for investment banks for a long time.Someday they will get it and there will be about 70-90 million american retired people with little or no income.

posted by: anonymous on September 4, 2013  11:48am

Yayaya, you are correct. However, without having seen Carolina at a single one of hundreds of policy decisions and critical debates, it seems difficult to judge his negotiation skills or positions on the issues. He could branch out a little. Many residents work full time and then attend hearings in the evenings.

To be fair, Harp and Fernandez have a similar problem. Neither has been involved at a local level in recent years in ways that have allowed them to stand up for the needs of people who actually live here on critical issues like slumlords, urban development, budget decisions, rooming houses, policing, noise and dirt bikes, or NHPS lotteries. 

Fernandez helped negotiate deals 10 years ago. Although some of these were highly questionable, at least we know that he has skills. 

Harp has showed up at a few local meetings, although in my view, she showed little ability and almost zero interest to effectively follow-through on the concerns of people at those meetings.  In the case of the widening of Whalley in her district, her absence and inability to listen resulted in a disaster for New Haven. She might as well have been a Senator from Bethany or Madison, far more beholden to the Big Money contractors and lawyers who live out there than to New Haven residents.

Of the three candidates who have been absent from most if not all local issues in recent years, Harp has the best excuse. But sneaking through a law to allow Keno at corner stores, in some Hartford back room at midnight without consulting city residents, doesn’t win her too many points.

In summary, Harp should be excluded from consideration because of damaging policies (among other problems), Fernandez needs to prove that he still cares about the city, and Carolina simply needs to demonstrate his abilities beyond where he works.

posted by: newhavenmom on September 4, 2013  11:52am

I was at an event for Toni Harp last night and what she talked about is what really matters - our children , our families and how to make New Haven a place where EVERY child have the same access to education and services - not just a small portion of the children.  It was a diverse group of people from across the city - and yes - most lived in New Haven.  She has my vote.

posted by: David S Baker on September 4, 2013  12:08pm

“intellectual elite” is a phrase that pandering toadies tag on qualified candidates in an attempt to frame them as snobs when they have no other line of attack.  Baseless discrediting of experince.  Treating campaign strategy as quantity of voter over quality of voter only requires a baseless attack of the informed voter to the quantity. Weak angle.

‘the state legislature “is not a great training ground for mayor.”’  Carve that in stone somewhere.

posted by: robn on September 4, 2013  12:13pm

Elicker has a consulting business so he makes his own hours…but you know what; I’m willing to cut the other candidates some slack if they’re (presumably) flex timing at their occupations. This election is important and the city deserves choices.

posted by: robn on September 4, 2013  12:29pm


Sure I can prove that municipal union have been complicit. Here’s a link to CERF (City Employee Retirement Fund) Board meeting minutes. The Board includes a member representative.

posted by: Hieronymous on September 4, 2013  1:05pm

The feeling’s mutual, citoyen (and Scot, and a few others I won’t bother to name for fear of forgetting some).

posted by: Bill Saunders on September 4, 2013  1:08pm

New Haven Mom,

Did Candidate Harp explain how she was going to accomplish this, or was it just more pleasant platitudes?

posted by: cedarhillresident! on September 4, 2013  1:19pm

“intellectual elite”  hmmm I remember when the rebublicans were calling Obama an“intellectual elite” I still voted for him…because everyone know that is a BS political line.

posted by: AJF515 on September 4, 2013  2:36pm

@westville man: Carolina is mentioned. In fact, he’s listed first in the list of Justin’s challengers.

posted by: Brutus2011 on September 4, 2013  2:49pm

I am, frankly, wary of all politicians.

I was originally for Gary and but also liked Justin from the beginning of his campaign.

My first priority in a candidate that he or she be as most unlike DeStefano as possible.

My second priority was that he or she be smart.

My third priority, and I know some will not like this, was that he or she be a minority.

Obviously, Gary was my first pick.

But Justin as my second pick is still a viable candidate and he has my support.

Henry and Toni are disqualified for me because I see them as being too much like DeStefano.

And KC, to me anyway, has not exhibited the chops to effectively run the city, so no.

There you have it—

Brutus2011 endorses Justin Elicker for Mayor.

posted by: westville man on September 4, 2013  2:50pm

AJF515-  You missed the point of my post- the hosts of both articles I referred to mention Elicker’s qualifications as contrasted with 2 other candidates, omitting Carolina. The author of the piece mentioned Kerm as part of the story early on, not the hosts.

posted by: TheMadcap on September 4, 2013  2:53pm

If focus on children is the over riding concern, why are you instead not voting for Carolina? A man whose entire career has been about children.

Seriously though, what candidate doesn’t focus on children, any candidate anywhere for that matter. I mean you go to Elicker’s website and the first policy solution he put down is about high quality childhood care for everyone

And if I recall, Fernandez’s website is big on focusing on education.

posted by: Dwightstreeter on September 4, 2013  4:41pm

Brutus2011 and Anonymous might be interested to know that Carolina was the only one to mention regionalizing government services. It’s not a new idea, but as local government is pushed to crisis levels, it should be explored.
Do we really need all these fiefdoms?

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on September 4, 2013  4:55pm

posted by: robn on September 4, 2013 12:29pm


Sure I can prove that municipal union have been complicit. Here’s a link to CERF (City Employee Retirement Fund) Board meeting minutes. The Board includes a member representative.
Merriam-Webster Complicit -Associated with or participating in a questionable act or a crime.

Merriam-Webster Questionable-Open to doubt or challenge; problematic.

Again you are weak. You can not just go buy board meeting minutes.

Mr. Ciampini stated 2012 was a very good y
ear. Total fund was up 11.6% year to date
versus 10.5% for passive index. For the month the fund is up 1.2% versus 1% for the
index. Of notable mention is Glovista, up 26.9%
year to date versus 18.2% for the index.
What helped them were their tactical move
s in and out of cash. Logan Circle was up
29.9% versus 18.5% for the index. Also,
of notable mention bonds were up 11.9%
cumulatively versus the index at 8.9%.
Polen Capital is on watch. They seem to be holding their own. There was gross
underperformance by Paradigm; they the portf
olio’s only domestic small cap equity
manager. They will use it as a place
holder until we find a replacement.
Total equities were up 16.2% versus
15.6% for the index. Pimco Total Return
performed very well at 10.9%
versus 4.2% for the index.
Mr. Williams stated that in recent weeks people started pumping money back into
equities. In the last week ending January 9
$18 billion went into U.S. equity mutual
funds. Some analysts say it is
not that equities
are cheap it is that bonds are really.

Show me The Investment Records Books which provides a well designed format for keeping records and track of your investments.

posted by: FacChec on September 4, 2013  5:29pm

Given the FAC that Justin just voted to approve the police contract without changes to the defined pension plan, he will have to wait five more years, maybe three more than his first term and one year more than his second term to move police to a defined contribution plan as he discussed with these East Rock folks. Maybe not Justin you getting ahead of yourself.

Police Contract OK’d
Mar 5, 2013

Aldermen voted unanimously Monday night to approve a five-year contract with the police union.

The new contract gives cops a 9 percent raise over five years. It goes into effect retroactively, back to July 1, 2011.

The deal will result in savings of more than $6 million to the city, said Hill Alderwoman Andrea Jackson-Brooks, chair of the Finance Committee. Those savings are due to givebacks in health and retirement benefits. Click here for full details about the contract, which was approved by cops in February at a rate of 2 to 1.

Jackson-Brooks successfully added an amendment that will not allow the police chief to increase the salary of rookie cops, unless approved by the Board of Aldermen.

Downtown Alderman Doug Hausladen stood to support that fact that the contract does not allow police to have a “hold-down” system, by which certain cops were given exclusive control over plum extra-duty jobs. Hausladen said the city will not go back to the “moral grey area” allowed by the “hold-down” system.

posted by: Scot on September 4, 2013  5:35pm


I have to second what Bill Saunders questioned, what were Harp’s specific ideas to accomplish this?  I’ve followed this campaign pretty closely and have listened to several of the debates. Harp rarely says anything specific about how she will fix anything.  She’ll say things like, we need to put our children first. At her event last night, what were the details about her plan that most impressed you? I don’t doubt she’s a nice person but I would just like to see some specifics. 

Elicker has put in writing a number of ideas on how to put our children first and improve Education:

6 of his first 10 solutions are about children/education.  I think they make a lot of sense.

posted by: Edward Francis on September 4, 2013  5:47pm

As Robn stated: “Municipal union leadership were well aware, each year, of how the numbers work and how the 8% target was unrealistic. They kept their mouths shut to kick the can down the road. Well we’re near the end of the road so now what? Membership should be asking leadership hard questions”

Robn I would suggest that you find the time to attend some of the meetings of the Policemen’s & Firemens’ Pension Board and perhaps the City of New Haven Pension Board also.  The Investment portfolio’s are discussed from time to time and that is the appropriate place to get the information that is being bantered back and forth by people, responding to the NHI, who don’t have a clue but have all the answers. Everyone has a right to their opinion but please base it on the true facts.  Robn, this is not a dig at your comments, just a suggestion that maybe others could also attend these meetings.

posted by: Claudia Herrera on September 4, 2013  9:34pm

20 Vs Thousands for Harp.

According to this article around 20 present,one republican and the first impression that came out of his mouth was:

“Hill told Rae. “how are you going to protect him from the old pols?” he asked Rae. “They’ll chew him up and spit him out.” And then, oh yes, I think he can make it! Latter Hill said,I will mail him a check.

The question is; where is Justin applying to work as a mayor? over 15 alders are not supporting him, all the democrats politician of OUR CT STATE are NOT supporting him and since he knows has no chance to win. He will run as an Independent. With this last tile how much support can he get for our City or from where?

We have a lot of young well educated and smart individuals in New Haven with impressive resumes. Justin has been in New Haven for six years and the whole 4 years of barely scratching the surface of politics.

Where Justin political skills? how diplomat he is? If as a joke he won where he’s going to take us in the first quartet of government?

Please stop saying the he’s for the people, what people? Thousand are going for Harp.

Justin is NOT ready I am not willing to give my vote and take the chance to a “training in the job” HOPING that he will accomplish in real life ONE or TWO of his paper notes.

We almost there Ms. Harp. You are going to be our next Mayor!

posted by: anonymous on September 4, 2013  11:24pm

Claudia, the fact that Elicker has more contributions from New Haven residents than all three other candidates combined, as of this month, contradicts your points. Elicker has over 1,100, Carolina and Harp are tied at 407 a piece, despite the fact Carolina has never held office while Harp supposedly has a great record of 20 years in office (in reality, many of her decisions have been disastrous to the city, which may explain why she lacks the support she should have). Many of Harp’s New Haven contributions come from city contractors and PAC affiliates. Elicker has a thousand plus, zero from PACs, because he has been extremely effective at advocating for everyday residents within and outside of the bounds of his elected office, on issues like school transparency, development, slumlords, and public safety.

posted by: HhE on September 5, 2013  11:57am

Claudia Herrera, I find your argument to be very problematic.

1000s for Harp vs. 20 for Elicker.  This was a small gathering, to allow a group of people to listen and ask questions.  I attended a similar event for Gary several months ago.  Not everyone here is nessicarly an Elicker supporter, and certainly, the vast majority of Elicker supporters were not here. 

Of course most members on the Board of Alders are not supporting Justin.  They belong to a machine, and that machine has spoken.  That machine wants a candidate that will do their biding, and not what is nessicarly best for the city.  That Unite Here and CCNE support Sen. Harp is reason enough alone to question here merit.

“…barely scratching the surface of politics.”?  He has been the most active and effective member of the BoA.  Twenty years in the state Senate, and Sen. Harp has just become one of the most powerful, but certainly not effective or engaged. 

What people?  According to Razzie, East Rock, put I put it to you both, a wide range of people from this city who believe he is the most qualified to run. 

Sen. Harp has admitted to not understanding the budget.  Just the other day, she proposed a solution that was outright illegal. 

I do not doubt that November cannot come soon enough for Team Harp.  The more she runs, the weaker she looks.

posted by: Claudia Herrera on September 5, 2013  9:34pm

@ anonymous
The contradictions are no going to be resolve by exchanging the supporter ideas from different candidates. Especially when is very clear to me that NHI is a strong supporter of Justin and as a result they present the news with a “the personal touch of opinion”.  NHI always Happen to be in the right time and place of EVERY SINGLE HEROIC step the Justin makes and as the contrary the time they spend to going behind the red notes from any other candidate.

No is not my opinion only and that is why we are talking for Harp. I am working 5 days a week and lately because of lack of time I am not knocking door to door. BUT I still receiving phone calls and emails from Latinos asking why I STOP supporting Justin. Many of us agreed that he’s a like-able young guy with “fresh ideas” but that is all. When you actually talk about relationship he will use to make a team to support he’s ideas he goes blank.

Checks and contribution as the more educated community give is consider as actual VOTES?  AS long they “drop a check” that’s goes to the chart of VOTER’s donations?

I don’t think so.

posted by: Claudia Herrera on September 5, 2013  10:08pm

So I still having trouble to understand and accept that 4 years of experience is all Justin needs to run a CITY!!

Wow, I have being working in the health industry for years and JUST to deal in one area (Dentistry) we found ourselves still learning after 10 years!!! And this is with smart Doctors taking seminars and constantly training with new technology etc. And even then when we try to use the knowledge for the Public Health Dentistry, guess what, IT DOESN’T   WORK THE SAME.

My point is the professor and intellectuals want to support Justin because he was a good student and a great guy with a good ideas to explore. They can support him to be an “Public Speaking Strategist” guy until he actually learns how to deal with real life problems. Our new mayor needs to understand the importance of diplomacy and political skills that are required to deal with the BIG diversity population that New Haven has. Looking on the stage singing, playing up and down, but yet, all it says is,  “that boy has energy” (so does my 16 year old) But what about HIS RESUME?? Yes a real resume not propaganda. 

None of our CT state authorities are supporting him and I guess according to you, Ms. Harp’s 20 years dealing with actual and real problems are all going to the trash. Harp supports the Latinos to get driver license for the undocumented residents. Justin AVOIDS and ignore to even talk about this group of New Haven residents.

Toni Harp FOR MAYOR!

posted by: anonymous on September 6, 2013  9:21am

Claudia, Harp may be a nice person but she should be shown the door for repeatedly failing to stand up for the needs of New Haven residents, particularly those in low-income communities.  Her incredibly offensive comment about gambling addictions alone, which she said to try to justify her vote for Keno terminals in our corner stores, should be reason enough for a citizen advocacy group to call for her immediate resignation. Furthermore, Harp herself did not pay any income tax for four years in the 1990s and did not pay until the Federal Government placed a lien on her house. The other three candidates in the race are far more qualified.

posted by: A Contrarian on September 6, 2013  4:52pm

Would be curious to know how many of those who think Elicker lacks experience to run New Haven thought the same of then-Senator Obama’s lack of experience to run the whole US in 2008.

posted by: Champ358 on September 6, 2013  9:37pm

To A Contrarian:

You have made the point for Harp by asking this question.