I would like to share with you a decision that I have made and feel very good about: I will retire from the city at the end of this year. We have come a long, long way in making New Haven a better place and our city is now in much better position than it was 20 years ago when I first took office. At that time, many downtown businesses and employers were moving out of the city and filing for bankruptcy. Now, our downtown is one of the most heavily residential in the Northeast region; with thriving local and national businesses and the development of a bio-medical economic sector for the city and region.
Our city's schools, once crumbling, leaking and antiquated structures now provide a comfortable, safe and welcoming environment for learning. New Haven school children now have 37 new schools that are safe, modern structures that are conducive to learning. Equally important is what is happening in these buildings: our nationally acclaimed School Change initiative is producing early results. The four-year graduation rate for New Haven Public Schools is now at 70.5% and our student achievement rate is twice that of the state average. New Haven Promise is helping families in our city by covering college tuition costs. These students aren’t just starting college, they are staying in college. Of the first cohort of Promise scholars who began college last year, 85% have entered their sophomore year.
New Haven can be viewed as a “laboratory for change” in that we’ve taken a proactive role addressing social issues--often long before these issues are addressed nationally. In this sense, the policies we have instituted on issues such as civil unions, a living wage, re-entry work and resident ID cards have informed and shaped the national dialogue and policy creation on these issues.
I look forward to continuing to work hard for New Haven over the next year. Our city has a strong civic fiber and I expect more great things for New Haven in the future. I'd like to thank the residents and organizations who have worked over the years – and continue to work—to transform ideas into realities and make our city a better place.
Community Conversation on Violence –TODAY!
People from across the state and on various “sides” of the gun control debate will come together to talk about violence, its impact on us and what measures can be taken to reduce it.
The New Haven Independent and WTNH created this forum to provide a thoughtful, respectful and passionate debate about where Connecticut should go next in the search for solutions regarding gun violence. The forum will include a live panel discussion, live audience, live bloggers and will air live on WTNH.
This "Town Hall" meeting will happen today, Wednesday January 30th, at 4pm at Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School at the corner of College and Crown streets. The public is welcome to attend this free event.
FREE Tax Preparation Centers Now Open Across New Haven!
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Centers are now open across the city. VITA provides free federal and state tax return preparation to households earning less than $51,000 per year. Taxes are prepared by IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers at many convenient locations throughout the region.
To find a VITA site near you, go to: here