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    Office Of The Mayor
    Mayor's Monday Message

    Dear Friends:

    Five years ago, the City first began issuing Elm City Resident Cards to all New Haven residents. Since then, more than 10,000 cards have been issued, enabling card holders to access basic City and community resources. The cards have also been used as primary identification by residents to open bank accounts at Start Community Bank.

    Five years ago, we made a simple statement about what it means to be a New Haven resident. We chose to define our City and what it means to be a part of it not by failed federal immigration policies, but by what we all see and experience every day. We are residents and neighbors and community members here not because of what it says on a piece of paper, but because we raise our families here, worship here, work here, pay taxes here, and send our children to school here. The message of the Elm City Resident Card was simple-- if you are a resident here, you should have access to basic City services here.

    Five years ago, there were many from outside our community who used the card and our simple message as a platform for hate and ignorance. Residents in Fair Haven were the subject of retaliatory raids by federal immigration agents seeking to undermine our community. Five years later, the success of the card is evident in how mundane it has become. Ten thousand residents gained access to the dump, the ability to take out a library book, and to go for a swim at Lighthouse. Hardly anyone even noticed. Certainly, no one was harmed. Amidst the partisan diatribe that has consumed federal immigration conversations, I hope our story can serve as one example of how simple it really can be.

    Five years later, this is a time to reflect on who we are as a City and what this card represents. The first cards issued in 2007 will expire this month, and there will be a series of community conversations and events this week as we recommit ourselves to continuing and expanding this important program. The Health Department Mobile Van Unit will be stationed at each event to issue cards and offer assistance with HUSKY and Medicaid. Events include:

    Tuesday, July 24 through Saturday, July 28: "My City, My Card" photo exhibit at City Hall.

    Tuesday, July 24 through Saturday, July 28: Elm City Resident Card holders will enjoy discounts and a $25 prix fixe menu at select New Haven restaurants. Restaurants include Adriana's Bar and Grill, Barcelona Wine Bar, Basta Trattoria, Bentara, Claire's Corner Copia, Geronimo, Oaxaca Kitchen, Olde School Saloon & Bistro, Soul de Cuba and Zinc.

    Thursday, July 26, 5:30 p.m., Panel Discussion at the New Haven Free Public Library on the Past, Present and Future of the card with Frank Sharry, Executive Director and Founder of America's Voice, Kica Matos, New Haven immigration activist and former City Community Services Administrator, and State Rep. Roland Lemar.

    Saturday, July 28, noon, 191st Anniversary of Peruvian Independence celebration on the New Haven Green.

    As we recommit ourselves to continuing and expanding the Elm City Resident Card, I am interested in hearing from you and other cards holders about your experiences and how we can improve the program. If you have any comments, suggestions or questions, please do not hesitate to email me at mayordestefano@newhavenct.net with the subject line "Elm City Resident Card", or call my office at 203-946-8200.

    Volunteers Needed for Citywide Kindergarten Canvass

    Help kindergartners and their families start school right! Beginning August 18th, the Citywide Kindergarten Canvass will knock on the doors of incoming New Haven Public Schools kindergartners and their families. In pairs, volunteers with answer families' questions and remind them of the importance of attending school everyday, reading with their children, and finding time to talk as a family.

    Studies show that school attendance in the early years translates to future success in school and career. The Citywide Kindergarten Canvass is working to try to help New Haven children and families get off on the right foot.

    We need your help! Please sign up today to volunteer.

    Volunteer shifts are scheduled...

    Saturday, August 18th, from 9am to noon and from 1pm.to 4pm

    Tuesday, August 21st, 4:30 to 7:30pm

    Thursday, August 23rd, 4:30-to-7:30pm

    The rain date is Saturday, August 25th.

    The Citywide Kindergarten Canvass is a collaborative effort among the City of New Haven, New Haven Promise, New Haven Public Schools, United Way of Greater New Haven, and others. We hope you can join us! For information or questions about volunteering, contact Joshua Mamis at jmamis@uwgnh.org or 203-691-4229.

    New Haven Public Schools Outpace State Test Gains

    Recently released Connecticut Mastery Test and Connecticut Academic Performance Test results for 2012 show New Haven students outpacing statewide gains across most subject areas and grades, continuing to close the achievement gap between New Haven students and the rest of the state. In a testament to the success of New Haven School Change, New Haven scores have improved over the past several years at rates nearly double that of the state, although progress remains to meet the accelerated pace of School Change goals.

    Superintendent of Schools Dr. Reginald Mayo had this to say about the results: "New Haven scores continue to increase at rates twice that of the state, and that is something to be proud of. We are closing the achievement gap, and moving in a positive direction. Still, our growth is not nearly good enough. We need to move from incremental growth to exponential growth."

    Across all grades and subjects on the CMT, 66.5 percent of students tested at a proficient level, compared to 64.6 percent last year and 56.8 percent in 2008. Across all grades and subjects, 42.2 percent of students scored at goal, compared to 40.2 percent last year and 32.4 percent in 2008. Across all subjects on the CAPT, 59.6 percent of students scored at proficient or above compared to 61.9 percent last year and 57.4 percent in 2008. In CAPT goal, 23.4 percent scored at goal or above compared to 21.1 percent last year and 18.6 percent in 2008. For a detailed release, visit www.nhps.net.

    Community Arts Grants Announced

    I visited St. Andrew's Episcopal Church this morning to announce the 28 recipients of this year's Mayor's Community Arts Grants. A total of $25,500 was awarded this year to support neighborhood-based arts and cultural activities. Since its inception in 2000, the Mayor's Community Arts Grant Program has awarded $325,496 to over 220 arts and cultural projects such as festivals, murals, performances, and apprenticeships.

    I am tremendously grateful to all of these groups who, with a very modest amount of City support, do wonderful work year after year. New Haven is the Cultural Capital of the state not just because of what happens downtown, but because of the incredibly talented individuals and organizations working each day to make all of our neighborhoods more beautiful and more interesting places to live.

    Contact Name: Elizabeth Benton

    Contact Email: ebenton@newhavenct.net

    Contact Phone: 203-946-8200

    [7/24/2012]


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