This week marks the beginning of National Awareness Month in New Haven. We kick off National Awareness Month on Wednesday, April 2nd with a program to increase public awareness of the variety of resources available in New Haven for substance abuse prevention and treatment. The event will take place at 1pm at the Main Branch of the New Haven Free Public Library. On display until the end of the month will be helpful information surrounding underage drinking and useful tools for parents to discuss issues concerning alcohol use with their children. Later on in the evening, the New Haven Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking and the Commission on Substance Abuse will sponsor a Town Hall Meeting discussing methods to prevent underage drinking. The meeting, Start Talking Before they Start Drinking, will take place from 5:30pm until 8:30pm at Hill Regional Career High School. We encourage all residents, notably parents, to stop by these events. Substance abuse negatively affects our entire city and increased awareness and participation amongst New Haven residents will bring us one step closer towards reducing the number of those affected by substance abuse problems.
Mayors Night In & Free Financial Literacy Workshops
On Tuesday, April 1st, I will be hosting Mayors Night In. Please come down to City Hall from 5pm to 6pm to express your questions and concerns about our city. As part of Mayors Night In this Tuesday, two free courses will be made available to New Haven Residents at City Hall addressing the issues of foreclosure intervention and financial literacy. Banks and Agencies will have representatives available along with representatives from the Office of the Tax Collector and Livable City Initiative to answer questions regarding Real Estate taxes, mortgages, and refinancing. These services will be available from 5-8 pm on Tuesday.
Neighborhood Housing Services will present a mini-Foreclosure Intervention training and Kerri Ward Kelshall-Ward of Financial Empowerment for Women, LLC will conduct a mini-Financial Literacy class. Space is limited. Residents are encouraged to sign up for classes upon arrival. Participants in the program include the following: Citizens Bank, Webster Bank, People's Bank, NewAlliance Bank, Yale Law School Students, Empower NH, Greater New Haven Community Loan Fund, Community Action Agency CT Housing Finance Authority, Legal Aide of Greater New Haven, Community Mediation and Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America. For futher information please call Julie Savin, Deputy Director of Administrative Services at 946.2844 or C. J. Cuticello, CCMC Tax Collector of the City of New Haven at 946.8051. Light refreshments will be served
Horses & Chariots Return
At the Carousel at Lighthouse, this Wednesday at about 11:00 am 8 horses and one (of two) chariots are coming back from their full restoration. We send them out during the winter to our professional carousel artisan and he returns them in the spring. He has done truly amazing work. I encourage you to take a look.
We are on a pace to restore every horse on the Carousel in time for its 100th anniversary in 2011. Funds for restoration are generated from private events held in the carousel and from private and corporate "adoptions". We, of course, welcome all contributions through the Friends of the Carousel. The last time the carousel was fully restored was in the '80's when hundreds of people were involved to save the Carousel.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) Misconduct Hearing
Next Monday, April 7th I will attend and speak at a hearing of the National Commissioners on Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) Misconduct. The Commissioners will examine and discuss claims surrounding ICEs violation of the 4th Amendment and will ensure that their recommendations provide Constitutional protection for all. I will speak about the negative impact of ICE Enforcement on families and communities, notably the damaging results of the ICE raids that have taken place here in New Haven.
Were Counting on Your Votes!
You may have heard the exciting news the New Haven Public Schools Community Engagement Team has been selected as one of the 10 national finalists for the MAKE IT YOUR OWN award...a grant sponsored by the Case Foundation to award monies to projects that bring communities together. Over five thousand projects were narrowed down to the top 100. From there it was narrowed down to the top 10. Now, they are going to choose the FINAL FOUR. This is where we need all of your help, support and networking skills to get everyone you know to help us achieve our goal of winning the grant totaling $ 35, 000.
Voting is done online and it is a very judicious process with only one vote per email address. In addition to voting for our project entitled My School is Your School, you will be asked to choose three other projects that you feel are worthy of your vote. So you see, the winners are chosen not from committee but by the American public. (It's a cross between the Presidential election, Dancing with the Stars and American Idol and we are asking all of your for your votes.) You can access the voting site by going to the following address: Casefoundation.org/myvote
Just follow the directions and your vote will be cast. We ask that you tell your friends, family, neighbors, your mailman, and those of your distribution lists to gain as many votes as possible. The voting will continue until April 30 and we will know by the first week in May if we were successful.
The grant is about teamwork, community, friendships, cooperation and consensus building and your vote will be an integral part of the mission of our team. If you should have any questions, please call me at 946-8912.
I hope you have a happy and healthy week.
Very truly yours,
John DeStefano, Jr.