A Better Dixwell and Newhallville

“Our black and brown communities across New Haven need a Freddy Fixer right now,” Democrat Shafiq Abdussabur said. “I grew up in Dixwell and Newhallville and went to the then-Helene Grant School. I know these streets, and I will be a Mayor who champions our communities of color. We have so much talent, drive, and persistence in this City, and that's what makes us such a strong and resilient community. It’s time we leverage that talent and set residents up for success.”

A Better Dixwell & Newhallville

Prioritize Public Safety

Create a Traffic Safety Task Force – As Mayor, Shafiq will form a Dixwell Corridor Traffic Safety Task Force, with representation from the State DOT, Safe Streets coalition, Alders, CMTs, NHPD, City Engineer’s Office, Department of Traffic, Transportation, and Parking, and community leaders. The goal of this task force will be to create practical traffic calming measures such as speed humps, speed tables, and curb bump-outs, in addition to meaningful enforcement through the NHPD’s speed trailer. This task force will assess and create new infrastructure and other safety measures to bring New Haven closer to a truly-mobile city for everyone.

Real Community Safety – As Mayor, Shafiq will work with residents in Newhallville and Dixwell to reestablish relationships and partnerships with public servants. As part of a greater public safety plan, Shafiq will build bridges between the NHPD and community residents to facilitate the type of trust required for effective community policing. Walking beats and residency incentives for our officers will provide a consistent and meaningful presence within our communities. Shafiq will also reestablish a Junior Policing Program and Conflict Resolution programs (like Guns are Not Toys) to educate our youth on ways to be safe and prevent crime. These initiatives aim to create community-embedded safety systems so that police are not the first responders to conflicts. 

Rebuild Trust and Partnerships for Healthy Community

Partnership Programs with Faith-Based Communities — We must rebuild trust in our communities left behind by city government, primarily in communities of color. Many residents turn to their spiritual leaders for guidance and assistance when faced with an out-of-touch government. As Mayor, Shafiq will work to convene spiritual leaders to form a partnership with the City’s Community Services Administration. Each place of worship will be invited to promote programs that address local issues such as health education, recidivism, crime and gun violence, financial literacy, and economic empowerment. They will work with respective City departments to have a direct line to the City and Mayor’s Office.

Rebuild the C in CSA — As Mayor, Shafiq will prioritize hiring from communities of need to be the face of the City with vacancies in CSA. CSA is comprised of departments that should be embedded in our communities: Health, Elderly Services, Housing & Homeless Services, Food System Policy, Community Resilience, and Youth and Recreation. These City departments need to be fully staffed with qualified people from the community they serve. We must rebuild that missing trust between residents and City Hall. 

Uplift the Local Economy

Create a Dixwell/Newhallville Special Services District (DNSSD) — As Mayor, Shafiq will work with business associations like the C.E.D.P. and local partners to create a new special services district for the Dixwell Avenue corridor in Newhallville and Dixwell. The special services district will be separated into two zones, in Dixwell from Munson to Broadway and in Newhallville from Munson to Goodrich. These districts will provide revenue to support maintenance and beautification, as well as assess and support investment opportunities to uplift existing businesses and prioritize standing up new entrepreneurs from the community. 

Invest in the Dixwell Avenue Coordor — In partnership with a DNSSD, Shafiq will work to identify investment opportunities to uplift existing storefronts, find new local businesses and entrepreneurs, and operationalize an incremental development strategy to fill vacant properties.

Prioritize Black and Brown Entrepreneurs — The City’s Small Business Resource Center will be expanded to work with neighborhood stakeholders to host regular networking events and participate in local events to form a pipeline of local black and brown entrepreneurs and provide them with business planning and other needs to get them on their feet and established in the corridor. 

Train & Sustain — Shafiq will implement a Train & Sustain partnership through the Small Business Resource Center for new and existing micro-businesses and small businesses. The City will provide these capacity-building grants to cover the needs of stable back office support, insurance coverages, and direct payroll assistance while developing staff through paid training and apprenticeships. The grantee is required to hire New Haven residents for at least 12 months.

Hold Developers Accountable — As Mayor, Shafiq will hold developers accountable when trying to invest in Dixwell and Newhallville. New Haven is not for sale. Without buy-in to government and community standards, there will be no tax breaks for those developers. Shafiq will ensure any development contracts incorporate hiring local residents from the community. Keeping that money in New Haven can provide residents with job opportunities while bolstering the local economy. 

Blue Collar Jobs Pipeline — Working families are the backbone of our economy. In conjunction with holding developers accountable for hiring locally, Shafiq will work with the DNSSD and job training organizations to create a pipeline to job opportunities at City Hall. There are over a hundred vacancies at City Hall, and they should be filled by our residents. 

Economic Cultural Corridors — As part of a larger plan to establish community economic empowerment zones throughout the city, there will be a focus on creating economic cultural activity within these empowerment zones to highlight, improve, and create cultural symbols, institutions, and businesses. New Haven is the cultural hub of Connecticut. It's time the City invested in and marketed its most significant asset, our cultural dynamism. 

Better Opportunities for Our Youth 

Hyper Local Job Training with Trusted Partners — In addition to forming a jobs pipeline from Dixwell and Newhallville, Shafiq will work with the DNSSD and other organizations to establish regular training for young professionals and youth to participate in apprenticeships programs with trade unions, NHPD, NHFD, AMR/GMR, City Hall, and NHPS. By actively engaging with youth to invest in the next generation of civil servants, we will never again find ourselves with 150 critical city positions sitting empty. 

Getting Kids Back to School — Truancy rates are out of control in New Haven. Shafiq laid out his plans to combat absenteeism in his education platform. These measures include working to create neighborhood-based after-school sports and enrichment programs that can provide students with safe and productive outlets for their free time rather than resorting to negative behaviors. These programs also help to build community by promoting socialization and collaboration between students, parents, and community members.

Afford to Call New Haven Home

Come Back to New Haven — As a part of a bigger plan to incentivize residents to come back to New Haven, Shafiq will work with new developers and landlords to provide employment incentives for new hires by subsidizing their rent with an employment contract to fill long-vacant city jobs. 

Homeownership where the ‘Home’ Is  — There is no question that the pandemic unearthed the realities of segregated housing and generational economic inequality in Connecticut, especially in our communities of color. As Mayor, Shafiq’s City Plan and EDA will create Economic Disparity Zoning in areas across the City to prioritize federal, state, and local funding to help renters and homeowners address the rising cost of living and lower wages. Further, this Administration's current affordable housing policy is displacing families and people who have been on the Housing Authority lists for years by placing them in available housing, sometimes across the City and away from their home community. As Mayor, Shafiq will establish a policy with Elm City Communities and map out those on HUD vouchers to find a home where they want to be.