Two-term Fair Haven Alderman Joe Rodriguez plans not to run for reelection this year because of a new job he has taken with U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal.
Rodriguez disclosed his plans Wednesday while accompanying Blumenthal to a party at START Bank on Whalley Avenue (at which Blumenthal used the word “great” three times in one sentence in official remarks about the new financial institution’s job-creating and community-building potential).
Blumenthal, who took office in January, has hired Rodriguez as a research aide and outreach organizer. Rodriguez said he feels that position precludes him for running for office again or, say, taking sides in partisan primaries. During his time on the board he has taken a lead on issues such as blighted housing.
Following is a letter Rodriguez sent last week to the Ward 15 Democratic Ward Committee:
Greetings Ward 15 Friends & Neighbors,
As you may know this November 2011 is a General Election for the position of Mayor
and Aldermen. It is with a sadden heart that I regret to inform you all that I have
chosen not to seek re-election as the Alderman of Ward 15.
It has been an honor and a privilege in serving as your alderman for two terms. We collectively have worked vigorously with the city, police, and others to revitalize the Fair Haven neighborhood. Below is a highlight on some of what we accomplished in a short two terms.
- Established Grand Avenue as a commercial corridor & special services district
- Passed tough anti-blight legislation
- Passed legislation which requires banks who acquire foreclosed properties to register with the city.
- I ensured Fair Haven non-for-profits received their fair share in federal dollars during the CDBG process.
- Worked along side our Block Watches to engage residents in becoming acting citizens and organizing a Grafton St Block Party
- Worked with the Fair Haven Community Management Team to increase membership and helped organize their annual community picnic.
We, together have a lot more we can accomplish in the next 9 or so months and I look forward to working with you all—especially as we try to work on a tough budget. I will convene a community meeting soon to discuss the upcoming election.