Dear New Haven Residents!
With gratitude for a second term as mayor, I’m very pleased to share this “City of New Haven Transformation Plan.”
Over the past two years we’ve made broad, positive strides in public safety, public education, and economic opportunity. We’ve earned steady and positive national attention for these accomplishments, and our city already has many policies and programs in place that others could use as models. Today, there are signs everywhere that a more vibrant and equitable New Haven is emerging, and it’s very exciting. Many challenges remain, but the results of my first term buoy my spirit and boost my belief in our collective potential to address those challenges.
Our “City of New Haven Transformation Plan” is a five-year blueprint to ensure that the city keeps moving forward. It will help transform all of New Haven into a place of greater opportunity and well-being for all of our residents. More than a year of genuine collaboration among community residents and leaders has yielded a vision for improving our city that builds on its many assets: a capacity to attract high quality people, institutions and jobs; an accepting and inclusive culture; and, a collective sense of history, responsibility, and perspective.
This plan envisions a new generation of partnerships among public agencies and nonprofit providers. I’m optimistic about these collaborations because there is a shared commitment to forge new, more effective approaches in critical areas such as job and workforce development, public health management, homelessness prevention, adult literacy, and early childhood education. More than ever before we recognize the interconnectedness of all these areas as well as the need to address the multiple barriers many families face as they struggle towards a better life.
Implementation of some transformational strategies is already underway. For instance, in New Haven, smoking-related cancer and cardiovascular disease are two of the top five causes of death and premature death. In response, we successfully mobilized the social and public health networks around a common set of anti-smoking objectives. Similarly, collaboratives of human service providers are already working together to help the chronically homeless get housing and on a path to self-sufficiency, and individuals returning from incarceration reconnect with family, community, and jobs.
We’re looking forward to similar success on many other fronts. After having served more than 25 years in elected office it is more clear to me than ever that the common denominator in a successful strategy to combat the challenges we face is providing the best possible public education for our students. And I strongly believe literacy is the key to a robust, effective public education system. So, to complement all we must do to transform New Haven, we must become “The City that Reads.
I cherish the opportunity we have at this time and place in history to work with all of you to build a city that is responsive to all those who are here, and accountable to all those yet to come. The “City of New Haven Transformation Plan” -- please join me in making this a reality.