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    Office Of The Mayor

    Inauguration Speech 2004, January 5, 2004


    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
    Friday, January 2, 2004

    FOR MORE INFORMATION:
    Roland Lemar, Mayor's Office
    203/946-7660; 203-804-1295 (cell)

    INTRODUCTION

    IT'S GREAT TO BE IN FAIR HAVEN TODAY.

    AS A KID - MY AUNT GEN LIVED JUST AROUND THE CORNER ON POPLAR STREET. AND, MY UNCLE JOHN WAS A BRIDGE TENDER OVER AT THE GRAND AVENUE BRIDGE, JUST A FEW BLOCKS FROM HERE (THAT'S THE BRIDGE THAT WORKS IN FAIR HAVEN).

    I REMEMBER PLAYING IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD AS A KID WITH MY TWO COUSINS - MARTY AND JOHN. JOHNNY WAS IN OUR WEDDING PARTY WHEN KATHY AND I GOT MARRIED. TODAY HE'S A BATTALION CHIEF ON THE FIRST DIVISION, WORKING OUT OF THE LOMBARD STREET HOUSE HERE IN FAIR HAVEN. (WHICH IS BETTER KNOWN TO SOME OF US AS THE 15TH WARD POLLING PLACE - WHICH ITSELF CAN BE A PRETTY EXCITING PLACE ON ELECTION DAY).

    AND, I'M EXCITED TO BE HERE AT FAIR HAVEN MIDDLE SCHOOL, ONE OF FIVE NEW - OR LIKE THIS BUILDING - REBUILT SCHOOLS WHICH WILL BE OPENING IN SEPTEMBER.

    YOU KNOW MY PARENTS JOHN AND JUDY, MY SISTER CHARLENE, ALL ATTENDED FAIR HAVEN MIDDLE SCHOOL. IN FACT, MY PARENTS WERE ALREADY DATING EACH OTHER BACK IN 1936 WHEN THEY WERE GOING TO SCHOOL HERE.

    TO ME FAIR HAVEN HAS ALWAYS BEEN - AND CONTINUES TO BE - ABOUT FAMILY.

    YOU THINK BACK OVER ALL THE YEARS, ALL THE THOUSANDS OF KIDS WHO SAT IN THESE SEATS SINCE THE SCHOOL ORIGINALLY OPENED IN 1929, LOOKING UP AT THAT MOTTO - "ENTER TO LEARN, GO FORTH TO SERVE". THOSE ARE GOOD WORDS.

    FOR A LOT OF YEARS DIRT AND NEGLECT COVERED THOSE WORDS UP - BUT NOT ANY MORE. TODAY THEY LOOK PRETTY BRIGHT DON'T THEY? - "ENTER TO LEARN, GO FORTH TO SERVE".

    THINK ABOUT FAIR HAVEN - PERHAPS THE MOST AUTHENTIC OF NEW HAVEN'S NEIGHBORHOODS. THE OLDEST NEIGHBORHOOD STILL RESEMBLING WHAT IT LOOKED LIKE, WHEN IT WAS FIRST BUILT. URBAN RENEWAL'S DEMOLITION MISSED THIS PART OF THE CITY.

    THE STREETS ARE NARROW AND LOTS OF THE HOUSES DON'T HAVE ANY DRIVEWAYS. YOU SEE FAIR HAVEN WAS BUILT AT THE TIME OF THE STREETCAR. MOST OF THE HOUSING STOCK IS MULTI-FAMILY - BECAUSE, THAT'S JUST HOW FAMILIES LIVED TOGETHER BACK THEN.

    THE PEOPLE, THEY WORKED IN THE FACTORIES THAT WERE THEMSELVES ALL CLUSTERED TOGETHER IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD. AND THE WORK WAS HARD, AND IT DIDN'T PAY A LOT, OR PROVIDE A LOT OF JOB SECURITY. BUT THOSE FAMILIES WANTED TO DO BETTER. SO THEY WEREN'T AFRAID OF THE HARD WORK AND THEY WERE ABLE TO SEE THAT THEIR MUTUAL INTEREST WAS GREATER THAN THEIR SELF INTEREST.

    SO THEY FOUGHT, AND THEY FORMED UNIONS. AND WHILE THE WORK WAS STILL HARD, WELL, NOW IT PAID FAIRLY AND IT PROTECTED THE WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES. AND BECAUSE OF THE BETTER PAY, THE WORKERS WERE ABLE TO SET SOME MONEY ASIDE, BUY A HOUSE, SEND THEIR KIDS TO SCHOOL AND HELP THEM DO BETTER - IN SHORT TO BECOME MIDDLE CLASS.

    YOU SEE, FAIR HAVEN FAMILIES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT SELF SACRIFICE.

    THE COMMUNITY WAS KNIT TOGETHER BY THE ETHNIC CHURCHES, EACH SERVING DIFFERENT IMMIGRANT POPULATIONS - AND BY LOCAL BUSINESSES - AGAIN CATERING TO AND SUPPORTED BY EACH OF THE DIFFERENT GROUPS OF IMMIGRANTS.

    IN 1933 THEY EVEN ELECTED ONE OF THEIR OWN MAYOR. HONEST JOHN MURPHY. NEW HAVEN'S GREAT DEPRESSION AND WORLD WAR II MAYOR. HE SERVED 14 YEARS.

    HE SANG IN THE CHOIR JUST DOWN THE STREET AT ST. FRANCIS. HE STARTED WORK AT MANNIX AND HICKEY A CIGAR MANUFACTURER AT 713  GRAND AVENUE. HE BECAME A LABOR LEADER. LATER HE BECAME PRESIDENT OF THE NEW HAVEN CENTRAL LABOR COUNCIL.

    HE TOOK NEW HAVEN THROUGH THE DEPRESSION. LATER HE WOULD GO DOWN TO UNION STATION TO SEND THE CITY'S BOYS OFF TO THE SECOND WORLD WAR. HE WELCOMED MOST - BUT NOT ALL OF THEM -BACK. PRETTY TOUGH TIMES.

    BUT YOU SEE FAIR HAVEN - LIKE THE REST OF NEW HAVEN - HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT CHARACTER. ABOUT VALUES - BUT MOSTLY ABOUT WORKING FAMILIES SACRIFICING TO DO BETTER FOR THEIR KIDS AND THEIR COMMUNITY.

    IN SOME PARTS OF THIS NEIGHBORHOOD ENGLISH MAY BE THE SECOND LANGUAGE - AND I KNOW SOME PEOPLE WHO TURN THEIR NOSES UP AT THAT. BUT YOU KNOW WHAT? THERE IS NO PART OF AMERICA, MORE AMERICAN, THAN FAIR HAVEN.

    FAIR HAVEN TODAY

    AND ANYONE WHO KNOWS FAIR HAVEN TODAY - WHO KNOWS NEW HAVEN - KNOWS IT'S STILL PRETTY MUCH THE SAME. PEOPLE WORKING TOGETHER, LIVING TOGETHER, WORSHIPING TOGETHER. FAMILIES COUNTING ON EACH OTHER. FAMILIES WORKING FOR BETTER THINGS FOR THEMSELVES AND THEIR KIDS.

    FAIR HAVEN - MORE THAN ANY OTHER PART OF THE CITY - HAS ALWAYS BEEN AN IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY. A PLACE WHERE FAMILIES, IMMIGRANT FAMILIES, WORKED HARD AND CLIMBED THE LADDER TO SOLID MIDDLE CLASS SUCCESS.

    SO MANY FAMILIES FROM THROUGHOUT SOUTH CENTRAL CONNECTICUT, CAN TRACE THEIR ROOTS AND THEIR OWN SUCCESSES HERE - TO FAIR HAVEN.

    FOR GENERATIONS IT WAS THE IRISH AND THE ITALIANS - TODAY IT'S THE MIX OF PUERTO RICAN, AFRICAN-AMERICAN, MEXICAN AND CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICANS - WHO MAKE UP A MAJORITY OF FAIR HAVEN.

    AND THEY'RE MAKING THAT SAME CLIMB, THEIR CLIMB, UP THE UNIQUELY AMERICAN LADDER THAT - PERHAPS MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE - DEFINES US AS A NATION.

    A NATION OF SOLID MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES. FAMILIES WORKING HARD EVERY DAY TO DO BETTER FOR THEIR KIDS. IT'S ALWAYS BEEN (AND REMAINS SO TO THIS DAY) THEIR SWEAT, THEIR DETERMINATION, THEIR SACRIFICE AND SELFLESSNESS THAT HAS GROWN OUR ECONOMY, DEFENDED OUR NATION, AND DEFINED OUR VALUES AS A PEOPLE.

    CITY INVESTMENT

    NOW, OUR JOB IN GOVERNMENT, AND AS A COMMUNITY, IS TO PROTECT AND GROW THAT ASSET - OUR MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES.

    OUR PUBLIC INVESTMENT STRATEGIES AND SUCCESSES HAVE SUPPORTED THOSE FAMILIES:

    • CRIME - MORE THAN CUT IN HALF;
    • DROP OUT RATES - CUT IN HALF;
    • MORE KIDS GOING TO SCHOOL AT AGE 4. MORE KIDS IN SCHOOL AFTER SCHOOL, ON WEEK ENDS, AND IN SUMMER SCHOOL;
    • FROM A HIGH OF NEARLY 2,000 VACANT STRUCTURES - TO JUST OVER 500;
    • A BILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF PUBLIC SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION;
    • THOUSANDS OF HOUSING UNITS BUILT;
    • A CITY KNOWN NATIONALLY FOR THE ARTS, FOR IT'S EMERGING KNOWLEDGE BASED BUSINESSES, FOR IT'S LIVABILITY AND VIBRANCY.

    IN NEW HAVEN WE KEENLY UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF MAKING GOVERNMENT INVEST IN PROTECTING AND GROWING OPPORTUNITY - BY PROTECTING AND GROWING THE MIDDLE CLASS.

    YET FOR ALL THAT - FOR ALL OUR EFFORTS AND FOR ALL OUR SUCCESSES, TOO MANY OF OUR FAMILIES ARE FALLING BEHIND.

    STATE, FEDERAL AND PRIVATE INVESTMENT

    THINK ABOUT IT.

    HOW CAN WE HELP FAMILIES BECOME - AND STAY MIDDLE CLASS IF WE PUT THEIR KID'S EDUCATION OUT OF REACH?

    • THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT HAS INCREASED TUITION COSTS AT SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT STATE UNIVERSITY BY 43% OVER THE PAST 5 YEARS;
    • AT GATEWAY - DESPITE THE FASTEST GROWING ENROLLMENT IN THE STATE - NEW HAVEN'S COMMUNITY COLLEGE IS THE ONLY ONE IN CONNECTICUT WHICH HAS NOT HAD IT'S CAMPUS REBUILT; AND
    • THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT? IT'S PASSED A LAW CALLED "NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND". A LAW THAT WILL END UP TAKING DOLLARS OUT OF THE NEW HAVEN PUBLIC SCHOOLS, AND WHICH PROMISES EVERYTHING - BUT DELIVERS VIRTUALLY NOTHING.

    YES, THINK ABOUT IT.

    HOW CAN WE HELP FAMILIES BECOME - AND STAY MIDDLE CLASS IF WE DON'T MAKE WORK PAY:

    • LOOK AT THE WORKERS AT CHEF SOLUTIONS IN NORTH HAVEN - LARGELY A NEW HAVEN IMMIGRANT POPULATION - THESE WORKERS HAVE BEEN FIRED FOR RESISTING WORKPLACE AND SEXUAL ABUSES; OR
    • LOOK NO FURTHER THAN YALE NEW HAVEN HOSPITAL WHERE 150 DIETARY WORKERS - OVERWHELMINGLY MINORITY AND FEMALE - REMAIN WITHOUT A CONTRACT FOR THREE YEARS.
    • AND THE BOSSES AT THE HOSPITAL RESIST IN EVERY WAY THEY CAN - THROUGH INTIMIDATION AND EVEN BY ARRESTING THEIR OWN EMPLOYEES - THE RIGHT OF WORKERS TO ORGANIZE AND COLLECTIVELY BARGAIN.

    THINK ABOUT IT.

    HOW CAN WE HELP FAMILIES BECOME AND STAY MIDDLE CLASS IF THE PRIVATE SECTOR, THE PRINCIPAL SOURCE OF WEALTH CREATION FOR MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES, TAKES A WALK ON THEM:

    • LOOK AT NEW HAVEN SAVINGS BANK. A BANK BUILT BY THE SWEAT OF 165 YEARS OF NEW HAVEN WORKERS, WHICH MAY WELL BECOME JUST ANOTHER DISTANT INTER-STATE INSTITUTION; OR
    • UI WHICH IS LOSING IT'S CONNECTION TO THE COMMUNITY FROM WHICH IT HAS GROWN. FIRST BY ENABLING THE OIL FIRED RESTART OF ENGLISH STATION - LOCATED IN THE HEART OF THIS COMMUNITY IN WHICH HUNDREDS OF KIDS SUFFER FROM ASTHMA. THEN BY DRIVING A POWER CABLE DOWN THE MIDDLE OF THE HARBOR CHANNEL, JEOPARDIZING OUR ENVIRONMENT AND THE GROWTH OF CONNECTICUT'S BUSIEST PORT. AND NOW, BY ABANDONING THEIR COMMITMENT TO CHARITABLE GIVING.
    • HOW'S THAT FOR SUPPORTING FAMILIES?

    OH YES, THINK ABOUT IT.

    HOW DOES DESTROYING THE CHANCE TO GO TO SCHOOL, STOPPING WORK FROM PAYING, ELIMINATING THE BANK THAT MAKES THE MOST HOME LOANS - AND - HARMING THE HEALTH OF OUR KIDS - GROW MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES? WELL, IN NEW HAVEN, IN CONNECTICUT, OR ANYPLACE ELSE IN THE UNITED STATES FOR THAT MATTER ,IT DOESN'T.

    AND IT'S NOT JUST ENOUGH FOR US TO THINK ABOUT IT. IN NEW HAVEN AND IN CONNECTICUT WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

    NEW HAVEN AGENDA

    FIRST, WE KNOW WHAT WE NEED TO DO IN THE CITY:

    1. WE WILL CONTINUE TO SET THE NATIONAL PACE FOR COMMUNITY POLICING. WE HAVE THE BEST TRAINED OFFICERS, WE HAVE THE PARTNERSHIPS, WE HAVE THE OPENNESS, WE HAVE THE ATTITUDE, AND WE HAVE THE LEADERSHIP IN PLACE IN CHIEF ORTIZ AND IN ASSISTANT CHIEF NORWOOD TO CONTINUE NEW HAVEN'S DRIVE TO A SAFER, MORE CIVIL COMMUNITY.

      AND I MUST SAY A WORD ABOUT THE NEW HAVEN FIRE DEPARTMENT. A WEEK AGO TODAY, ON CHRISTMAS DAY, WE LOGGED A THREE ALARM FIRE ON SHERMAN AVENUE - AND THEN A FEW HOURS LATER - A TWO ALARM OVER ON FOUNTAIN STREET.

      CHIEF GRANT TOLD ME THAT IT WAS THE FIRST TIME IN 25 YEARS THAT WE HAD A THREE AND A TWO ALARM FIRE CALLED IN ON THE SAME DAY.

      A THREE ALARM FIRE CALLS IN OVER 50 OF OUR FIREFIGHTERS. A TWO ALARM - 40 FIREFIGHTERS. THE DEPARTMENT MADE SEVEN SAVES THAT DAY. THAT'S THE STUFF OF OUR PEOPLE.

    2. WE WILL CONTINUE WITH DETERMINATION OUR EFFORTS TO BE A PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT THAT SERVES ALL KIDS, AND THAT PROVIDES THE OPPORTUNITY FOR ACADEMIC ACCOMPLISHMENT FOR EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM.

      NO SCHOOL DISTRICT DOES MORE FOR KIDS. REACHES MORE KIDS. PAYS AS MUCH ATTENTION TO DETAIL AS DOES THIS SCHOOL DISTRICT - LED BY CONNECTICUT'S SUPERINTENDENT OF THE YEAR - ONE OF FOUR FINALISTS COMPETING FOR NATIONAL SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT OF THE YEAR NEXT NOVEMBER - DR. REGGIE MAYO;

    3. WE WILL CONTINUE TO WORK TO BUILD JOBS AND PREPARE OUR RESIDENTS FOR WORK. AT THE NEW PLACES LIKE IKEA AND PFIZER; AT THE OLD PLACES LIKE YALE; AND AT THE CHALLENGED PLACES LIKE TWEED NEW HAVEN AIRPORT;

    4. THE LIVABLE CITY INITIATIVE AND HOUSING AUTHORITY NEW HAVEN WILL CONTINUE TO BUILD AND REHABILITATE HOUSING - BOTH AFFORDABLE AND HOME OWNERSHIP; AND

    5. WE WILL WORK WITH PARTNERS. WE WILL HOLD DOWN THE COST OF GOVERNMENT. WE WILL DO ALL THAT WE NEED TO DO - ALL THAT WE MUST DO IN NEW HAVEN TO CONTINUE TO MAKE INVESTMENTS THAT SUPPORT THE ABILITY OF FAMILIES TO BECOME MIDDLE CLASS AND TO STAY SOLIDLY MIDDLE CLASS.

    THE BIGGER STRUGGLE

    BUT EVEN ALL THAT - AND EVERYTHING ELSE THAT WE SHALL DO - WILL NOT BE ENOUGH. AND SO WE WILL FIGHT FOR THOSE THINGS THAT CHALLENGE THE LARGER COMMUNITY, AND THE STATE, TO SUPPORT THESE MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES.

    1. WE WILL FIGHT FOR THE WORKERS AT YALE NEW HAVEN HOSPITAL. OUR COMMUNITY HOSPITAL MUST ENGAGE IT'S WORKERS (WHO ARE OUR NEIGHBORS) AND PERMIT A FAIR ELECTION, WITHOUT INTIMIDATION BY SUPERVISORS AND BOSSES, ON WHETHER THEY SHALL BELONG TO A UNION.

      YOU KNOW, A CENTURY AGO LOW WAGE MANUFACTURING JOBS TRANSFORMED OUR ECONOMY, JUST AS SERVICE JOBS ARE DOING SO TODAY. THE UNIONIZATION FIGHTS IN OUR FACTORIES THAT CREATED MIDDLE CLASS JOBS THEN, IS OUR STRUGGLE TODAY -–BUT THIS TIME IN THE SERVICE SECTOR. WORK MUST PAY!

    2. WE WILL CONTINUE TO CHALLENGE NEW HAVEN SAVINGS BANK TO DO RIGHT BY FAMILIES. YOU SEE, MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES NEED ACCESS TO CAPITAL - TO BUY HOMES, TO START BUSINESSES, TO PAY FOR COLLEGE TUITION. IT IS MY SINCERE HOPE THAT THE BANK AND THE COMMUNITY OF NEW HAVEN CAN ARRIVE AT A COMMON GROUND WHERE BOTH IT - AND OUR WORKING FAMILIES - CAN BENEFIT.

      AND AS MUCH AS I APPRECIATE YOUR ATTENDANCE HERE THIS AFTERNOON, I URGE YOU TO JOIN 100'S OF YOUR NEIGHBORS THIS MONDAY NIGHT, JANUARY 5TH, AS THE PUBLIC HEARINGS ON THE SALE OF NEW HAVEN SAVINGS BANK CONTINUE. OUR VOICES WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

    3. WE CAN SUPPORT MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES AT THE STATE CAPITAL BY:

      • WORKING WITH FELLOW CITIZENS THROUGHOUT THE STATE FOR SMART LAND USE AND TAX REFORM, THROUGH A NEW ADVOCACY GROUP CALLED A 1,000 FRIENDS OF CONNECTICUT;
      • BY WORKING WITH LABOR AND SOCIAL JUSTICE ORGANIZATIONS TO ENSURE ACCESS TO CHILD CARE, AND HEALTH CARE, AND QUALITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS, COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES; AND
      • BY SUPPORTING STATE LEGISLATORS AND OFFICIALS WHOSE VALUES AND ACTIONS CONSISTENTLY SUPPORT THESE FAMILIES.

    GETTING IT RIGHT FOR THE CITY'S WORKING FAMILIES IS GOING TO REQUIRE A LOT OF WORK IN A LOT OF PLACES - MANY OF WHICH ARE NOT GOING TO HAVE A NEW HAVEN ZIP CODE. BUT AS I LOOK ACROSS THE PEOPLE IN THIS ROOM, LOW AIM HAS NEVER BEEN OUR PROBLEM.

    CONCLUSION

    THINKING ABOUT THIS OLD NEIGHBORHOOD, I AM REMINDED THAT TWO GENERATIONS AGO, NEW HAVEN LED THE WAY AS AMERICA'S CITIES SOUGHT TO REBUILD THEMSELVES.

    BUT URBAN RENEWAL WAS ABOUT BRICKS - NOT PEOPLE.

    NOW, WE KNOW BETTER. OTHERS KNOW BETTER. BUT THE FACT IS THAT WE IN NEW HAVEN HAVE LEARNED BETTER THAN MOST, THAT THE POSSIBILITIES AND WELL BEING OF ALL OUR CITIES AND TOWNS - DERIVE FROM THE STRENGTH AND WELL BEING OF OUR FAMILIES. FROM THE ABILITY OF OUR FAMILIES TO WORK HARD, TO GET PAID FAIRLY, TO SACRIFICE - ALL SO THAT THE NEXT GENERATION, OUR KIDS, CAN DO BETTER.

    THAT'S WHAT THIS OLD NEIGHBORHOOD IS ABOUT. THAT'S WHAT OUR CITY IS ABOUT.

    YOU KNOW OVER THE LAST YEAR, I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY, THE PRIVILEGE REALLY, TO SERVE AS PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL LEAGUE OF CITIES. A LOT OF YOU - ESPECIALLY ON THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN- WERE VERY SUPPORTIVE OF ME IN THAT EFFORT AND THE TIME THAT I SPENT AWAY FROM THE CITY - AND I THANK YOU BECAUSE I LEARNED SO MANY THINGS - BUT TWO IN PARTICULAR THAT I WOULD SHARE WITH YOU.

    FIRST, THAT AMERICANS - NO MATTER WHAT CORNER OF THE COUNTRY THEY COME FROM, NO MATTER THEIR STATE, THEIR RACE, THEIR AGE - BELIEVE AND HOLD FIRM TO A CORE SET OF VALUES. VALUES THAT SPEAK TO SELF SACRIFICE, CONNECTEDNESS AND INVESTMENT IN ONE ANOTHER, AND THE SENSE THAT WE ALL NEED AND ARE MADE BETTER, BY ONE ANOTHER.

    AND SECOND, THAT WE HAVE WITHIN OUR POWER THE ABILITY TO CHANGE THE COURSE OF OUR CITY, OUR STATE, AND OUR NATION. AND I BELIEVE THAT. I KNOW WHAT CHANGE WE CAN MAKE.

    IT'S TIME FOR EACH OF US, IN OUR OWN WAY AND WORKING TOGETHER, TO CHANGE NOT JUST NEW HAVEN, BUT CONNECTICUT AS WELL. TO APPLY OUR VALUES, OUR HARD WORK, OUR CONNECTEDNESS - AND TO CHANGE THE WORLD.

    AND THAT, REALLY, IS OUR OPPORTUNITY OVER THE NEXT TWO YEARS. AND WE SHOULD AIM FOR NOTHING LESS.

    2005 AND 2006

    AND, SPEAKING PLAINLY, IT IS MY HOPE THAT THE VOTERS OF THIS CITY WILL RETURN ME TO THIS WORK AGAIN, IN 2005.

    AND, IT IS MY FOND WISH THAT ALL OF YOU CAN FIND IT A JOURNEY WORTHWHILE TO JOIN ME IN, AS WE CREATE A STATEWIDE CAMPAIGN OF VALUES, OF INVESTMENT AND OF SUPPORT ON BEHALF OF FAMILIES THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT.

    YOU SEE, WHAT IS THE POINT OF LIVING, IF WE CANNOT DREAM BIG DREAMS FOR OURSELVES AND OUR CHILDREN? IF WE CAN'T AIM TO CHANGE THE WORLD?

    DR. BENJAMIN E. MAYS, PRESIDENT OF MOREHOUSE COLLEGE AND MENTOR TO MARTIN LUTHER KING, jR. SAID THAT:

    • "THE TRAGEDY OF LIFE DOESN'T LIE IN NOT REACHING YOUR GOAL. THE TRAGEDY LIES IN HAVING NO GOAL TO REACH.
    • IT ISN'T A CALAMITY TO DIE WITH DREAMS UNFULFILLED, BUT IT IS A CALAMITY NOT TO DREAM.
    • IT IS NOT A DISASTER TO BE UNABLE TO CAPTURE YOUR IDEAL, BUT IT IS A DISASTER TO HAVE NO IDEAL TO CAPTURE.
    • IT IS NOT A DISGRACE NOT TO REACH THE STARS, BUT IT IS A DISGRACE TO HAVE NO STARS TO REACH FOR.
    • NOT FAILURE, BUT LOW AIM, IS SIN."

    THE AMERICAN IDEAL - AND ALL THAT WE HAVE DONE IN NEW HAVEN - WAS FORGED FROM CONTINUOUS STRUGGLE - not low aim. IN THESE CHALLENGING TIMES, wE CANNOT ABANDON THE INVESTMENTS THAT have ENSURED THE TRANSFER OF THOSE IDEALS FROM ONE GENERATION, TO THE NEXT, AND TO THE NEXT. aMERICA HAS ALWAYS BEEN A PLACE OF DREAMS. together wE MUST CONTINUE TO AIM FOR The stars - IN NEW HAVEN AND NOW IN CONNECTICUT.

    my thanks to each of you TODAY. MY THANKS FOR YOUR DREAMS FOR THIS CITY, FOR HER FAMILIES, FOR HER CHILDREN. THANK YOU. AND GOD BLESS EACH OF YOU AND OUR CITY.

    THANK YOU

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    PLEASE PERMIT ME SOME ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS.

    1. TO CITY CLERK RON SMITH.
    2. THE NEW HAVEN BOARD OF ALDERMEN: 13 NEW MEMBERS; AND JORGE PEREZ AND THE LEADERSHIP TEAM.
    3. TO THE CO-CHAIRS OF THIS EVENT SUSIE VOIGT AND KEVIN WALTON.
    4. TO ALL THOSE WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE PROGRAM AND ALL THE VOLUNTEERS WHO MADE THIS EVENT POSSIBLE - WHO HELPED PLAN IT, CONDUCT IT, WHO ENSURED THAT WE LEGALLY AND SAFELY OCCUPIED THIS BUILDING.

      TO THOSE WHO MADE THIS SCHOOL - 73 YEARS OLD - NEW AGAIN:

    5. ARCHITECT-BILL MOORE AND HAROLD ROTH OF ROTH & MOORE (NEW HAVEN).

    6. CM-LYNN FUSCO (OWNER) AND JOE CASTELLANO (PROJECT MANAGER) OF THE FUSCO CORPORATION.
    7. WPA MURALS HERE AND AT NATHAN HALE - YALE ART GALLERY'S PAT GARLAND.
    8. TO MY MOM, MY SISTERS AND NIECES, MY TWO BOYS;
    9. MOST OF YOU KNOW KATHY- WE MET 27 YEARS AGO AT UCONN.

      Added January 5, 2004

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