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    Office Of The Mayor

    State of the City of New Haven by John DeStefano, Jr., Mayor, February 3, 2003


    MAYOR'S STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS

    MAYOR JOHN DESTEFANO, JR.: "THIS IS THE 10TH TIME NOW THAT I'VE HAD A CHANCE TO COME TO THIS PODIUM. AND, OVER THE LAST DECADE A LOT HAS CHANGED, AND IT'S TRUE ALSO THAT A LOT HAS REMAINED THE SAME. I'VE LEARNED A LOT AND I'VE SEEN A LOT WITH ALL OF YOU.

    I'M REMINDED THAT 49 YEARS AGO – ON FEBRUARY 1ST, 1954 – A YOUNG MAN CAME TO THIS PODIUM FOR THE FIRST TIME. DICK LEE WAS 37 YEARS OLD BACK THEN, AND HE HAD JUST BEATEN MAYOR CELENTANO ON HIS THIRD TRY – WINNING 39,526 VOTES TO CELENTANO'S 35,944, 86% VOTER TURNOUT BACK IN THOSE DAYS. WHAT A CAMPAIGN!

    IF YOU THINK BACK THEN, I-95 AND THE Q-BRIDGE HAD JUST OPENED. THERE WAS NO I-91. THERE WAS NO ROUTE 34. NO KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS HEADQUARTERS, OR COLISEUM. NO CHAPEL SQUARE MALL OR TEMPLE STREET GARAGE IN THE CITY. NO LONG WHARF. NO UNIVERSITY OR MADISON TOWERS. HILLHOUSE AND CROSS HIGH SCHOOLS WERE ON BROADWAY. THE CITY'S FIRST PUBLIC HOUSING PROJECT – ELM HAVEN- HAD JUST OPENED 10 YEARS EARLIER.

    NO ONE HAD HEARD THE WORDS URBAN RENEWAL, OR SLUM CLEARANCE, OR DREAMED OF THINGS LIKE SLUM-LESS CITIES. NO ONE HAD HEARD YET OF THE PANTHERS, OF RIOTS IN THE CITY. THERE WAS NO HUD, NO CCM. AMERICA WAS CHANGING. AMERICA WAS BECOMING A SUBURBAN NATION CRISSCROSSED BY HIGHWAYS, AND HER NORTHERN CITIES WERE RECEIVING AND BECOMING HOME TO THE GREAT EXODUS OF AFRICAN-AMERICANS FROM THE SOUTH.

    EIGHT TERMS AND SIXTEEN YEARS LATER, DICK LEE LEFT OFFICE. SOME YEARS LATER, IN JUNE OF 1980, HE WAS HONORED BY THE U.S. CONFERENCE OF MAYORS. AND IN SEATTLE, HE HAD THIS TO SAY AMONG OTHER THINGS: "ON BALANCE…MY GENERATION OF MAYORS….ALL FELT THAT THE GAME WAS WORTH THE CANDLE AND THAT FOR EVERY FAILURE THAT WE RECORDED, WE HAD MORE THAN OUR SHARE OF SUCCESSES AND BEYOND. AND BY GOD, I AM PROUD OF THAT ERA. WE WOULD DREAM, AND WE DID, WE WOULD TRY, AND WE DID. WHEN WE FAILED, WE FAILED MAGNIFICENTLY AND WHEN WE SUCCEEDED, WE SUCCEEDED BEYOND OUR FONDEST EXPECTATIONS, AND AFTER ALL," DICK LEE SAID, "WHAT'S WRONG WITH A RECORD LIKE THAT?" WELL,

    DICK, THERE WAS NOTHING WRONG WITH A RECORD LIKE THAT. DICK LEE SERVED AS OUR CITY'S 44TH MAYOR FROM 1954 TO 1970. HE WAS MAYOR BEFORE I WAS BORN, AND HE WAS STILL MAYOR STILL WHEN I ENTERED HIGH SCHOOL.

    HE TRIED, AND HIS FAILURES COULD BE MAGNIFICENT. HE TRIED, AND HIS SUCCESSES WERE SOMETIMES BEYOND ANYONE'S FONDEST EXPECTATIONS. BUT TRY, DICK LEE DID. TRY, HE DID. I WON'T ASK FOR A MOMENT OF SILENCE FOR HIM, BECAUSE I KNOW THAT HE WHAT HE'D APPRECIATE. LET'S STAND UP AND GIVE HIM AN OVATION. (STANDING OVATION)

    BUT NOW, THIS IS OUR TIME OF TRYING. OUR TIME OF SUCCESSES BEYOND EXPECTATIONS, AND OUR SHARE OF DARING MAGNIFICENT FAILURE. AND WE SHOULD NEVER BE AFRAID, OR SHRINK BACK FROM FAILURE BORNE OF HARD WORK AND HONEST INTENT. THERE IS NO DISHONOR THERE. FOR FAILURE BORNE OF HONEST WORK IS NOT FAILURE – IT'S A LEARNING EXPERIENCE. FAILURE IS TO NOT EVEN TRY. TO BE ORDINARY AND TO REST UNTESTED IN THESE TIMES. THAT'S TO KNOW FAILURE.

    THIS IS NOW OUR TIME, OUR MOMENT, OUR TEST, OUR CHANCE TO CHANGE THE WORLD AND EVERYONE IN IT. AND OUR GREATEST FAILURE CAN ONLY BE TO AVOID SAYING WHAT WE ALL KNOW TO BE TRUE. AND THE TRUTH? THE TRUTH IS THAT THE CITY IS DOING WELL. THE TRUTH IS ALSO THAT THE STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT - EACH HAMSTRUNG BY DELIBERATE POLICIES OF TAX CUTTING THAT THEY COULDN'T AFFORD AND TOUGH SPENDING DECISIONS THAT THEY REFUSE TO MAKE - NOW SEEK TO BALANCE THEIR DEFICITS ON THE BUDGETS OF FAMILIES IN NEW HAVEN AND CITIES LIKE US.

    AND, IF REGULAR WORKING FAMILIES AND THE MOST VULNERABLE IN THE NATION ARE HURT IN THE PROCESS, WELL, THEY'RE TOLD THAT THEY'LL JUST HAVE TO "SHARE THE PAIN".

    I REJECT THAT VISION. NEW HAVEN REJECTS THAT VISION. WE HAVE NOT COME SO FAR IN OUR CITY OVER THE LAST DECADE ONLY TO BE TURNED BACK BY THE MISBEGOTTEN POLICIES OF STATE GOVERNMENT – REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRAT LEADERSHIP ALIKE – THAT WOULD TURN THE CLOCK BACK, TURN OUR FAMILIES OUT, AND HAVE OUR KIDS OPPORTUNITIES PUT DOWN. I DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT THAT'S NOT WHY I GOT INTO POLITICS, AND THAT'S NOT WHY I'M A DEMOCRAT.

    THE FACT IS THAT OVER THE LAST 10 YEARS WE IN NEW HAVEN HAVE FOLLOWED A DIFFERENT PATH. FOR 10 YEARS, WE'VE SUSTAINED EACH OTHER. WE HAVE THE PEOPLE OF OUR CITY JOURNEYED TOGETHER, NEVER FAR FROM ONE ANOTHER, FROM EACH OTHER'S POSSIBILITIES AND OPPORTUNITIES, EACH OTHER'S JOYS AND SORROWS. WE'VE CLIMBED PRETTY FAR OVER THESE LAST TEN YEARS, MOSTLY ON OUR OWN AND MOSTLY TRUTH TO BE TOLD, TOGETHER. WE HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO. BUT IT'S BEEN AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE A MAGNIFICENT JOURNEY.

    THAT JOURNEY HAS BEEN GUIDED BY PRINCIPALS – BY VALUES THAT SHAPE, GUIDE, AND INFORM OUR WORK. THEY SET THE COURSE FOR OUR DECISIONS, OUR BUDGETS AND OUR POLITICS. I DO NOT EXPECT PERFECTION TOWARD ACHIEVING OUR GOALS, BUT WE CAN EXPECT FIDELITY, AND HONESTY, AND SELF-AWARENESS IN OUR DEDICATION TO OUR PRINCIPALS. OUR PATH HAS BEEN AND REMAINS CLEAR.

      • STRONG NEIGHBORHOODS, SAFE AND CLEAN. GOOD HOUSING. SUSTAINED PUBLIC SERVICES AND PARKS, LIBRARIES, GOOD NEIGHBORS.
      • SCHOOLS THAT WORK. THE BEST BUILDINGS FOR OUR KIDS. CHOICE IN CURRICULUM AND SCHOOL. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, ACADEMIC ACCOMPLISHMENT.
      • A GREAT DOWNTOWN AT THE CENTER OF A COMPETITIVE, NEW HAVEN BASED, REGIONAL ECONOMY. DOWNTOWN IS A DESTINATION OF THINGS TO DO AND SEE AND BE A, AND AS THE CENTER OF A KNOWLEDGE BASED ECONOMY THAT CAN COMPETE WITH ANY COMMUNITY, ANYWHERE, ANYTIME.
      • CITY GOVERNMENT THAT GETS THINGS DONE. THAT IS OPEN AND HONEST AND THAT'S SMART AND ALWAYS FINDING NEW WAYS TO DO THINGS BETTER (AND AS MR. ALTIERI REMINDS ME), CHEAPER.

    A CITY OF HOPE AND OPPORTUNITY. A PLACE THAT PEOPLE WANT TO BE. A PLACE THAT WELCOMES ALL. A PLACE WHERE COLLECTIVE ACTION AND RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE WHOLE COMMUNITY, ENSURES THE PERSONAL BEST FOR EACH OF US. WE HAVE SOME RESULTS.

    IN 2002 AND THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS, WE'VE TRAVELED FAR. PART I, CRIMES, DOWN BY A LITTLE OVER HALF, 19,000 TO 9,000. HOMICIDES, A 42-YEAR LOW. EISENHOWER WAS PRESIDENT THE LAST TIME WE SAW THIS LEVEL OF REDUCTION IN VIOLENT CRIME. OVER THE LAST 6 YEARS, 947 HOUSING UNITS BUILT AND REHABBED. AND 230 NEW HOMEOWNERSHIP AND 123 RENTAL UNITS PLANNED BY THE END OF NEXT YEAR.

    SCHOOLS THAT WORK. GREAT SCHOOL BUILDINGS. IN JUST THE LAST 12 MONTHS, WE'VE OPENED THE FIELD HOUSE, WILBUR CROSS, WEXLER SCHOOL. IN TWO WEEKS, THE NEW AQUACULTURE SCHOOL IN CITY POINT. UNDER CONSTRUCTION RIGHT NOW. ROBINSON, FAIR HAVEN MIDDLE SCHOOL, HALE AND TRUMAN. FOUR SCHOOLS $150 MILLION IN CONSTRUCTION. FIVE MORE ARE ABOUT TO START CONSTRUCTION AND SIX MORE AFTER THAT. JUST HAD AN ARCHITECT SELECTED. COME AND JOIN US SATURDAY, NOON. CHARLIE BLANGO'S WARD IS THE PLACE TO BE AS WE START CONSTRUCTION ON THE NEW JACKIE ROBINSON K-8. AND IT'S JUST NOT THE BUILDING. THE DROPOUT RATE HAS DROPPED 40% IN THE LAST FOUR YEARS. AND CMT'S, I WAS EXCITED ABOUT CMT'S. IN EVERY GRADE AND IN EVERY SUBJECT, WE DID BETTER. 1,100 KIDS FROM 23 SCHOOL DISTRICTS COMING TO NEW HAVEN, EACH AND EVERY DAY, A DISTRICT OF CHAMPIONS IN EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD.

    A GREAT DOWNTOWN AT CENTER OF A COMPETITIVE NEW ECONOMY. WE ARE BUILDING PFIZER, WHICH WILL BREAK GROUND IN THE NEXT WEEK; STRAUSS ALDER; ARTS IN THE NINTH SQUARE; IKEA IN LONG WHARF, IN HAZELANN WOODELL'S WARD. THE NEW I-95 MITIGATION PROJECT. WE DON'T MIND THE HIGHWAY BEING BUILT, BUT THEY'RE GOING TO HELP US BUILD OUR WATERFRONT OUT. AND WE'RE DREAMING A NEW GATEWAY DEVELOPMENT. A 300-ROOM HOTEL AND NEARLY SIMILAR AMOUNT OF NEW HOUSING UNITS, A NEW LONG WHARF THEATER, COMMUNITY COLLEGE AND PARKING.

    WE ARE CREATING JOBS. AND AS YOU SEE ON THE NEXT SLIDE, WE'RE SHARING THEM WITH THE REGION. NEW HAVEN IS HOME TO 25% OF THE REGION'S JOBS. WHERE WOULD YOU GO TO LOOK FOR WORK? AND UNEMPLOYMENT CONTINUES TO DROP IN THE CITY WHERE SEVERAL AGO, WE WERE ONCE HIGHER THAN THE NATIONAL AVERAGE. UNEMPLOYMENT IN THE CITY CONTINUES TO DROP, AND NOW WE ARE BELOW THE NATIONAL AVERAGE.

    WE'RE CITY GOVERNMENT THAT GETS THINGS DONE. TAX COLLECTIONS ARE UP, FUND BALANCE IS UP, AND WE ARE STINGY. OVER THE LAST NINE YEARS, THE ANNUAL GROWTH IN THE CITY BUDGET HAS BEEN 2.1%. THAT'S LOWER THAN THE CONSUMER PRICE INDEX. 2.4% UP FOR THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT AT 4.5 %. AND IN THE END, WE REMAIN A CITY OF HOPE AND OF OPPORTUNITY. LOTS OF NEW BUSINESS STARTS IN THE CITY. WE HAVE CHANGED PERCEPTION AND PEOPLE RECOGNIZE THAT WE ARE DIFFERENT. WE ARE AT THE POINT WHERE IF YOU POLL A REGION, WE POLL AS GOOD OR BETTER AS ANY AREA TOWN. AND WE HAVE RECOGNIZED GREET GAINS VERSUS BOSTON, NEW YORK CITY AND PROVIDENCE. WE REMAIN A PLACE FOR EVERYONE. ONE-THIRD OF CITY HOUSING STOCK IS AFFORDABLE, ONE OUT OF EVERY THREE UNITS, BECAUSE OF A CHOICE WE'VE MADE TO BE A PLACE THE WELCOMES EVERYBODY. COMPARE THAT TO LESS THAN 6% FOR THE REST OF REGION. LESS THAN 6% OF THEIR HOUSING STOCK AFFORDABLE. NEW HAVEN HAS 10% OF THE STATE'S – NOT OF THE REGIONS – OF THE STATE'S AFFORDABLE HOUSING STOCK. AND THAT'S REFLECTED IN OUR INCOME LEVELS. WE ARE A PLACE FOR EVERYONE. AND IT IS ALSO REFLECTED IN THE ENERGY THAT'S COMING IN THIS CITY. TEN YEARS AGO, THE CITY HAD SOMEWHAT LESS THAN 6,000 FOREIGN-BORN RESIDENTS. OVER THE LAST DECADE, THEY HAVE BEEN JOINED BY ANOTHER 8, 400. NOT AN INCREASE TO, BUT BY ANOTHER 8,400 NEW AMERICANS SEEKING POSSIBILITY AND OPPORTUNITY HERE IN NEW HAVEN. ALL THAT WITH A CHANGING POPULATION WORKING TOGETHER, NOT AT EACH OTHER.

    SO FOR ALL THIS, WE FACE A CHANGE. FOR ALL THESE GOOD THINGS, A CHANGE IS OCCURRING IN WASHINGTON AND IN HARTFORD, AND THAT CHANGE IS NOT GOOD. THAT CHANGE SAYS, "YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN. YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN AND WE ARE NOT A NATION BOUND UP TOGETHER IN EACH OTHER'S POSSIBILITIES," IS WHAT THEY WOULD SAY TO US.

    THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS CUTTING GOVERNMENT BY CUTTING TAXES A LOT. AND WHO ARE THEY CUTTING TAXES FOR? THIRTY PERCENT OF THE PRESIDENT'S CUT FOR THE RICHEST 1% OF AMERICANS, AND LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THE BENEFIT THAT 1% IS GOING GET. HOW WILL THEY SPEND IT? HOW WILL THE PEOPLE GETTING THAT TINY CUT SPENT IT? AND THE CONSEQUENCES OF THIS IRRESPONSIBLE ACTION IS THAT, WE HAVE GONE FROM A 10-YEAR PROJECTED FEDERAL BUDGET SURPLUS OF $5.6 TRILLION, TO A 10-YEAR PROJECTED DEFICIT OF $1.6 TRILLION. THE COST IS IMMEDIATE, AND IT'S BEING FELT NOW. PROGRAMS THAT HELP CITIES LIKE NEW HAVEN. PROGRAMS LIKE COPS, THE LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT BLOCK GRANT, AND HUD FUNDS FOR MAINTAINING OUR PUBLIC HOUSING, FUNDING FOR "NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND" AND NO FUNDING FOR HOMELAND SECURITY. AND THE STATE GOVERNMENT IS RIGHT BEHIND THEM.

    CONNECTICUT REMAINS THE MOST RELIANT ON THE MOST REGRESSIVE TAX POSSIBLE TO FUND PUBLIC EDUCATION. PLAIN AND SIMPLE, THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT IS DOING SOMETHING, LITTLE BY LITTLE, MONTH BY MONTH THIS YEAR. THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT IS SHIFTING ITS EXCESSIVE TAX CUTS AND THE COST OF ITS FAILURE TO INNOVATE, TO US, AND SAID, ‘SOLVE THE BUDGET IN PLACES LIKE NEW HAVEN. MAKE UP FOR OUR BAD CHOICES.' AND WE'VE SEEN THE RESULTS JUST TODAY; 8.4% OF THE CITY WORKFORCE IS GONE; 338 POSITIONS ELIMINATED SO FAR, 122 BY LAYOFF. AND TOMORROW, THERE WILL BE MORE. TOMORROW IN THE STATE LEGISLATURE, THERE WILL BE MORE BROUGHT THROUGH THE COURTESY OF THE REPUBLICAN ADMINISTRATION AND THE DEMOCRAT LEADERSHIP.

    THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND THE STATE GOVERNMENT HAVE LOST SIGHT THAT OUR WELL BEING AS A NATION, AND AS A STATE, HAS BEEN BUILT UPON A PARTNERSHIP. A PARTNERSHIP AND A VISION THAT AMERICA IS A NATION OF HOMETOWNS. A NATION OF CITIES, TOWNS AND VILLAGES, AND OF NEIGHBORHOODS. THAT OUR STRENGTH TRICKLES UP – NOT DOWN.

    AND SO THE TRUTH WE'RE LEFT WITH IS WE'RE DOING OKAY. THE STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAVE LEFT US. IF THEY DO LESS, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO DO MORE. RETURNING TO THE WAY THINGS WERE IS NOT OUR OPTION. WE'RE NOT GOING TO COMPROMISE OUR VISION, THE HARD WORK THAT WE'VE DONE TO DATE, WHAT OUR FAMILIES OR OUR CHILDREN WANT. WE'RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO MOVE FORWARD.

    HOW ARE WE GOING TO DO THIS? I'LL SAY IT AGAIN. WE'RE GOING TO STAY FOCUSED WITH OUR SIGHT FIRMLY SET ON OUR GOALS:

      • STRONG NEIGHBORHOODS;
      • - SCHOOLS THAT WORK;
      • A GREAT DOWNTOWN;
      • CITY GOVERNMENT THAT GETS THINGS DONE;
      • AND A CITY WHOSE NAME IS NOT JUST NEW HAVEN, BUT HOPE, AND OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL AMERICANS.

    HOW ARE WE GOING TO DO THIS? OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL YEARS AND BECAUSE OF THE THOUGHTLESS POLICIES OF STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO ACCOMPLISH SUCCESS USING DIFFERENT RULES. THERE'S GOING TO BE LESS MONEY TO SPEND…THERE'S GOING TO BE LESS MONEY TO SPENT. OUR FAMILIES FACE IN THEIR OWN HOMES UNCERTAIN TIMES. AND SO ALL OF US ARE GOING TO HAVE TO GIVE MORE OF OURSELVES, MORE OF OURSELVES TO EACH OTHER, SO THAT NONE OF US GET LEFT BEHIND.

    SO, SUCCESS IS GOING TO HAVE TO TAKE A DIFFERENT ROAD. SO WHILE WE PURSUE AND SUSTAIN ALL THE INITIATIVES AND THINGS THAT GOT US THIS FAR, WE NEED TO DO SOME THINGS DIFFERENTLY – IF WE ARE TO CONTINUE MOVING FORWARD. WE NEED WORKFORCE SAVINGS. THE STATE IS ABOUT TO CUT AN ADDITIONAL $4 TO $5 MILLION MORE FROM OUR CURRENT YEAR'S BUDGET. WE ALL NEED TO DO MORE. EFFECTIVE THIS PAST JANUARY 1, I'VE TAKEN A 5% PAY CUT. EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 1, THE CITY DEPARTMENT HEADS WILL RECEIVE NO INCREASE IN COMPENSATION THIS YEAR. BELIEVE ME, THIS IS NOT GOING TO OFFSET THE DAMAGE BEING DONE BY THE STATE.

    LET ME TRANSLATE THEIR ACTION FOR YOU. BY THEIR ACTION THAT THEY PLAN TO TAKE THIS WEEK, EXPECT 250 MORE LAYOFFS. AND THAT WILL INCLUDE THIS TIME TEACHERS, POLICE AND FIRE. AND EXPECT A PROPERTY TAX INCREASE. THE STATE IS ACTING IRRESPONSIBLY AND THE COST OF THEIR ACTION WILL BE UNFAIRLY FELT BY OUR FAMILIES, AND ON OUR WORKFORCE. THERE IS A CHOICE. WE NEED ALL OF THE CITY'S LABOR UNIONS TO WORK WITH US, AND TO AGREE TO A COST-SAVINGS PACKAGE FOR FISCAL YEARS 03 AND 04. IT IS MY SINCERE AND GENUINE HOPE THAT THEY WILL SHOW THE LEADERSHIP TO DO THIS.

    SECOND, RESIDENTS WILL NEED TO DO MORE AS WELL. WE ARE NOT IN A POSITION TO RAISE ALL THE PROPERTY TAX DOLLARS WE NEED TO REPLACE THE LOSS OF STATE FUNDS. THE PEOPLE OF NEW HAVEN WILL NEED TO SACRIFICE AS WELL. WE NEED MORE OF YOUR TIME. WE NEED MORE OF YOUR TIME IN OUR BLOCK WATCHES, IN OUR COMMUNITY GARDENS, AND OUR MANAGEMENT TEAMS. WE NEED MORE CITIZENS REGISTERED TO VOTE AND VOTING. HARTFORD NEEDS TO HEAR OUR VOICES IN ORGANIZED FORMS OF POLITICAL ACTION. AND HARTFORD MUST FEEL OUR MUSCLE AT THE POLLS IF WE'RE GOING TO CHANGE THIS. ALL OF US MUST TAKE THE TIME TO RE-EXAMINE AND RECOMMIT OURSELVES TO OUR CITY – AND TO THE VALUES OF OUR CITY.

    THIRD, THERE'S NO GAIN, NO MORE IMPORTANT ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS THAT WE ARE LEAST ABLE TO SEE ROLL BACK THAN THE SAFETY OF CITY STREETS. THE POLICE COMMAND STAFF, THE MANAGEMENT TEAMS AND CITY RESIDENTS MUST MOVE FORWARD WITH OUR NEXT PHASE OF COMMUNITY POLICING IRRESPECTIVE OF THE CUTS WE'RE ABOUT TO FACE.

    OUR RACIAL PROFILING INITIATIVE – WORKING WITH POLICE DEPARTMENTS THROUGHOUT THE REGION TO PREVENT ABUSE. PARTNERING WITH THE NAACP ON THEIR "STOP THE VIOLENCE" CAMPAIGN. WORKING WITH PARTNERS THROUGHOUT THE CITY TO END VIOLENCE, AND OUR FOCUS ON QUALITY OF LIFE ISSUES. WORKING HARD, HARDER THAN EVER BEFORE WITH NEIGHBORHOODS TO PROBLEM SOLVE AND PROVIDE SMARTER POLICING.

    FOURTH, THE TEACHER'S CONTRACT JUST ADOPTED WILL INCREASE STARTING PAY BY A THIRD. THIS IS AN INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITY TO SHAPE THE TEACHING WORKFORCE OF NEW HAVEN FOR SEVERAL GENERATIONS TO COME. THE CITY – IN A TERRIBLE PERIOD OF FINANCIAL CONSTRAINT – HAS MADE A COMMITMENT TO PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS, TO GET THE BEST TEACHERS FOR OUR KIDS, BECAUSE WE KNOW IT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT WE DO IN CITY GOVERNMENT. IN NEW HAVEN, EVERYONE TALKS ABOUT PUBLIC EDUCATION AND HOW IT SHOULD BE. THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY, THE UNIVERSITY, THE UNIONS, THE MEDIA – EVERYONE WANTS TO DO DR. MAYO'S JOB. IT AMAZES ME. WELL, HERE'S THE CHANCE. AS WE MAKE THIS COMMITMENT, LET THEM MAKE A COMMITMENT TOO - TO MAKE NEW HAVEN THE MOST EXCITING, THE BEST PLACE, FOR A NEW GENERATION OF WELL-PAID TEACHERS.

    FIFTH. PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT TO FORM A UNION. THE ISSUE OF GESO AT YALE AND THE SERVICE WORKERS AT YALE NEW HAVEN HOSPITAL SHOULD NOT BE ABOUT TACTICAL OR LEGAL MANIPULATION OF THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS ACT.

    MANAGEMENT AT THE UNIVERSITY AND AT THE HOSPITAL NEED TO BRING LEADERSHIP AND A CONCLUSION, AN END TO THIS CONTINUING CULTURE OF CONFLICT IN THESE WORK PLACES. THE PATTERN OF LABOR RELATIONS IS DESTRUCTIVE NOT ONLY TO THEM BUT TO THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY. SO, BE IT THROUGH A SUPERVISED ELECTION, A NEUTRALITY AGREEMENT, OR A CARD COUNT, PEOPLE MUST BE GIVEN A CHANCE TO CHOOSE FREE OF INTIMIDATION BY ANY SIDE, AND AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. AND THERE'S ONLY ONE SIDE HERE, AND THAT IS THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO FREELY AND FAIRLY CHOOSE TO BELONG TO A UNION.

    SIXTH, THIS IS A TOUGH JOB MARKET. IF YOU'RE A TEENAGER WITH NO WORK EXPERIENCE, YOU'RE UP AGAINST THE WALL. AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS ELIMINATED VIRTUALLY ALL THE FUNDING THEY ONCE PROVIDED FOR SUMMER JOBS.

    I'M ASKING THE BOARD OF ALDERMAN TO DO SOMETHING. I'M ASKING THE BOARD AND ITS LEADERSHIP TO TAKE UP A CHALLENGE, A CHALLENGE TO WORK WITH THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY TO SEE THAT EVERY KID WHO WANTS A SUMMER JOB THIS SUMMER, HAS GET A CHANCE TO WORK. I'M ASKING THE BOARD TO WORK WITH THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY AND WITH YOUR RELATIONSHIPS, TO PUT IN PLACE SLOTS SO THAT OUR KIDS WILL HAVE A CHANCE TO CREATE A SUMMER OF WORK, PAY AND SELF RESPECT FOR THEMSELVES IN THE CITY.

    SEVENTH. NEW HAVEN IS BLESSED WITH A LARGE NUMBER OF WORKING FAMILIES. NOW OFTEN THESE ARE SINGLE FEMALE HEAD OF HOUSEHOLDS WHO LIVE ON A KIND OF EDGE. IT'S A CLIFF WHERE ON ONE SIDE IS HOPE AND POSSIBILITY AND IT'S GOING OKAY. ON THE OTHER SIDE IT'S SO HARD, IT'S JUST SO HARD TO MEET DAY-TO- DAY OBLIGATIONS THAT YOU NEVER THINK OF TOMORROW, AND YOU NEVER THINK HOW YOU'RE GOING TO GET WHERE YOU WANT TO GET FOR YOUR KIDS. WE NEED TO DO MORE FOR THESE WORKING FAMILIES. WE NEED TO DO MORE FOR THESE FOLKS WHO ARE BEING PUSHED EVEN AS WE SPEAK, BY STATE AND FEDERAL POLICIES AND A TOUGH MARKETPLACE, OFF THE CLIFF.

    LATER THIS YEAR, THE CITY WILL ANNOUNCE A WEALTH CREATION INITIATIVE. IT'S GOING TO BE MODELED ON SOMETHING THAT WE'VE DONE TREMENDOUSLY SUCCESSFUL OVER THE LAST TWO YEARS, OUR EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT PROGRAM TO GIVE FAMILIES A BETTER CHOICE. I AM INVITING TONIGHT FOR YALE TO JOIN THAT EFFORT.

    YOU KNOW, A DOZEN YEARS AGO, SOME OF YOU WERE HERE, WE WERE IN THE MIDST OF ANOTHER RECESSION. AND YALE UNIVERSITY COLLABORATED WITH THE CITY AT THAT TIME OF MY PREDECESSOR, TO PUMP MILLIONS OF DOLLARS INTO THE CITY'S FINANCES TO BALANCE OUR BUDGET. WELL, THIS TIME, WE AT CITY HALL WILL BALANCE OUR OWN BUDGET. WE WILL DO THAT. WE DO NEED YALE TO STEP UP, BUT THIS TIME FOR WORKING FAMILIES. YOU SEE, WE'RE IN THIS TOGETHER. IT MAY MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF THESE FOLKS.

    EIGHTH – POLITICS. MANY OF US IN THIS ROOM HAVE WORKED HARD OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS TO OPEN UP THE POLITICS OF THE CITY. TO BE MORE INCLUSIVE, TO INVITE MORE PEOPLE TO THE TABLE. THE RESULTS ARE CLEAR. AND THE POLITICAL DISCOURSE, WHICH IS LOUDER AND HAS LOTS OF NEW FACES – NOW THIS IS GOOD. IT'S NOT ALWAYS EASY, BUT THIS IS A GOOD THING.

    IT'S TIME TO CONTINUE THE CAMPAIGN TO OPEN UP POLITICS, BY PASSING TRUE CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM HERE IN NEW HAVEN, AND THE STATE CAPITAL. AND IF ANYONE IN THIS AUDIENCE, ANYONE OF YOU DOUBTS THE CORROSIVE EFFECT OF MONEY IN POLITICS, TRAVEL TO HARTFORD AND THE STATE CAPITAL TOMORROW AND YOU WILL SEE.

    NINTH. LET'S NOT JUST CLEAN UP OUR POLITICS, BUT OUR WATER AND AIR TOO.

    OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS, THIS CITY'S ACCOMPLISHED AN INCREDIBLE REDUCTION IN DIRTY AIR EMISSIONS FROM CITY VEHICLES AND BUILDINGS. AS A CITY, WE HAVE TAKEN AGGRESSIVE STANDS AGAINST THE IRRESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOR OF POWER COMPANIES AND POLLUTERS. OUR BUILDINGS ARE NOW BEING DESIGNED TO THE HIGHEST ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY STANDARDS. AND SHORTLY OUR ROADS WILL OFFER COMMUTERS A CHOICE, THOUGH NOT JUST BE A PLACE FOR AUTOS BUT FOR BIKES AS WELL.

    WHETHER IT'S ENERGY POLICY, TRANSPORTATION POLICY, OR PUBLIC ACCESS TO OUR HARBOR AND OUR RIVER AND WATERFRONTS, THERE IS MUCH MORE THAT WE CAN DO. I'M, THEREFORE, CREATING A MAYOR'S TASK FORCE ON CLEAN ENERGY CHOICES. WE MUST WORK EVEN HARDER TO BUILD NEW HAVEN AS A CLEAN COMMUNITY AND A COMMUNITY OF CHOICE.

    AND FINALLY, TEN. AS WE GO THROUGH SOME TOUGH BUDGET TIMES NOW, LET'S NOT FORGET WHAT GOT US HERE. THE BUDGET IS GOING TO BE ROUGH. AND IF BETTER POLICING ENCOURAGED PEOPLE TO MOVE BACK TO THE CITY, SO TOO DID THE ARTS AND THE CONCERTS ON THE GREEN. LET'S NOT FORGET HOW WE GOT HERE.

    JUST AS MAKING PUBLIC HOUSING A PLACE OF CHOICE HAS BEEN THE RIGHT THING AND THE NECESSARY THING TO DO, WE CAN'T CONTINUE TO PROVIDE ALL THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR THE REGION, AND INDEED, FOR THE STATE. WE MUST BUILD UP OUR MIDDLE BY OFFERING CHOICES IN HOME OWNERSHIP AND OUR SCHOOLS.

    AND IF OUR DISCOURSE AND OUR DISAGREEMENTS ARE OCCASIONALLY AT ODDS POLITICALLY IN THE NEIGHBORHOODS, WE CAN'T LOSE SIGHT OF THE FACT THAT, FOR EVERY DISAGREEMENT WE MAY HAVE, WE HAVE TEN THINGS WE AGREE ON AS A COMMUNITY-SHARING VALUES AND DIRECTION OF THE CITY. WE HAVE SO MUCH MORE IN COMMON THAT ANYTHING THAT DIVIDES US, IF YOU SLICE US RACIALLY, ECONOMICALLY, OR BY NEIGHBORHOOD, WE SHARE SO MUCH AS A CITY.

    THAT'S WHERE I'LL END. IN THE FINAL ANALYSES, AT THE END OF THE DAY IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT, ALL WE HAVE IS EACH OTHER AND NO ONE ELSE. ALL WE HAVE US EACH OTHER. AND YOU KNOW FOR MY MONEY, (WHAT MONEY THE STATE'S LEFT US), WE'RE PRETTY GOOD COMPANY. MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, WE CAN COUNT ON EACH OTHER AS INDIVIDUALS IN THE CITY. SO, IF YOU ASK HOW THE STATE OF THE CITY IS, I'LL TELL YOU. THE STATE OF THE CITY IS STRONG. BUT THAT'S BECAUSE THE CHARACTER AND QUALITY OF THE PEOPLE OF THE CITY IS BLESSED.

    SO GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU TONIGHT. GOD BLESS OUR CITY. MR. PRESIDENT, THANK YOU FOR INVITING ME."

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