The other day it dawned on me that I had not clearly communicated the reason for launching Our New Haven. Please forgive me. I'm new to this and it's a rookie mistake; there will be other mistakes as we move forward - promise.
In any event, I was motivated to get involved because I am not happy with the direction in which the City is moving, or not moving. The 11% tax hike last summer was the last straw. My parents home in Edgewood, where I was raised and lived most of my life, received an 18% tax increase during the revaluation. So, over the course of a few years taxes went up ~30% . At the same time, city services and the quality of life declined. It's a double whammy. Meanwhile, a City with so much potential is burdened with a structural deficit that has it barreling toward State control or bankruptcy.
All along, most of our elected officials seem more concerned with special interests, than the City's interests. Not nearly enough of our city officials put first our children, our residents, our local homeowners, and our small businesses. At times, it seems we don't count. I wanted my voice to be heard and I wanted to participate in the process, not just every two years at election time. But like most of you, I work full-time and have family and personal obligations which preclude me from participating on a regular basis and/or at a fixed time. There was no easy way to participate or communicate with like-minded residents. Hence, Our New Haven.
Our New Haven is about organizing, acting, and executing. BUT IT IS VERY MUCH AN EXPERIMENT. There is no 'grand plan' or funding and no army of people behind the curtain. It will only go as far as people are willing to take it. We hope to get more people involved by making it easier to participate - via projects. Our aim is to bring wholesale change to the way New Haven is governed and operated, to hold our elected officials accountable, and see to it that our City officials put OUR interests first. But again, it is an experiment. So, if you’re still reading and you’re ready to act to change New Haven for the better then please look around; there are a couple of ways you can get involved right away. At the very least, please sign up to receive future communications so we can gauge community interest.