“As a local entrepreneur, I know what it means to provide opportunity to those society has left behind. At Eco Urban Pioneers, I regularly hired second-chance offenders, immigrants, and many struggling to find housing. I understand how important it is for us to provide opportunity and resources to all residents. I understand how important it is for a leader to listen,” said Democrat Shafiq Abdussabur.
Embracing Immigrants and Refugees: It’s time we had leadership that embraces all people who choose to live in New Haven — whether they’re homeowners or homeless, whether they’re renters trying to build a nest egg or the housing insecure and trying to keep a roof over their heads, and whether they’re lifelong residents or new neighbors just arriving from another country seeking refuge.
- Sanctuary City with Teeth: Shafiq will work with the Board of Alders, local organizations, and advocates to pass an ordinance making New Haven a Sanctuary City. The current executive order is far from strong enough, and many immigrants and refugees coming to the City do not feel they can interact with the local government. One thing is clear: In a time when homicides and shootings have doubled under the current administration, it is vital that every resident feels safe calling the police.
- Elm City Resident ID Outreach: Shafiq will increase funding to the Vital Statistics Department, which administers Elm City Resident IDs, to create City positions focused on outreach for undocumented residents to get a City ID. This information will not be shared with federal immigration authorities while ensuring the City has the ability to understand the true needs of every neighborhood.
- Establish a City Immigration Center: Shafiq will work with local partners to establish a center for immigrants and refugees in Fair Haven. Here, they will be linked with City employees to assist.
- Create Refugee Displacement Plan: As part of a continuing partnership with local organizations focused on helping immigrants, Shafiq will create a comprehensive plan to address large waves of immigrants entering the City. This will include collaboration from the Board of Alders, advocates, and residents. Social safety nets for refugees and immigrants in New York City are diminishing, and New Haven is the end of the train line. It is critical that New Haven has a plan to deal with emergency scenarios of large waves of displaced people coming here to seek refuge.
- Hold Republican Governers accountable for human trafficking: As a sanctuary city that was specifically cited by Donald Trump, we already know that there is a target on us. Leveraging human suffering using coercion and trickery to compel vulnerable individuals into playing unwitting and unwelcome roles as actors in political stunts is a crime. As Mayor, Shafiq will work with the police chief and state and federal prosecutors to ensure that the first time New Haven is used as either the endpoint or a transit corridor for this type of human trafficking, the perpetrators and their conspirators will feel the full force of the law under every applicable State and Federal statute.
- 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 GASSD 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.
- Hyper Local Job Training with Trusted Partners: In addition to forming a jobs pipeline from Fair Haven, Shafiq will work with the GASSD 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.
Engaging the Youth: As part of an upcoming plan for New Haven youth, Shafiq will implement the following policies to actively engage our youth to be productive members of the community.
- Tackling Truancy: The Youth Services Department was eliminated by the current Administration. This department was tasked with sharing truancy rates and data with NHPS and State entities. Shafiq will create a division within YARD to share these data and make recommendations to NHPS to help get kids back into school.
- Revive “Outdoor Adventure”: New Haven’s greatest asset is our environment: the perfect balance of urban, shoreline, forested, and country settings, all within minutes of each other. Our youth can best learn about the history of our land through productive outdoor activities. Shafiq will work to hire the necessary YARD and Parks Department employees to fully staff the beloved Outdoor Adventure programs throughout the City. The current activities are impossible for just one City Employee to manage.
- Invest in Full Service Community Schools: As mentioned in his education platform, Shafiq will focus on investing in Community Schools.
- Embrace Community Assets: Community schools utilize the assets of the entire community to establish a whole-child approach to education and help students reach their highest potential. Shafiq will pursue federal, state, and private funding to invest in neighborhood-based community schools that build bridges of academic support and enrichment among community partners within each neighborhood. This is especially critical in neighborhoods with the highest levels of need and large populations that require specialized services, such as multilingual learners and special education students.
- Look at the Data: Studies show that community schools have a significant positive impact on student outcomes. For example, the UCLA Civil Rights Project found that community schools reduce absenteeism, improve academic outcomes, and increase graduation rates, particularly for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Improved Public Safety: Shafiq will implement many of the policies detailed in his public safety platform to better serve Wards 11 through 16. The full Public Safety plan can be read here.
- Create an Unarmed Auxiliary Constable Division (UACD): Inspired and building from the success of the Downtown Ambassador Program, a program Shafiq designed at the NHPD, he will, as Mayor, work to rehire retired officers for the Unarmed Auxiliary Constable Division, an auxiliary police division for good. New York City and San Francisco have emulated similar programs to great success in building safer, trusting communities. The UACD will ensure New Haven has walking beats in every district, will coordinate with civilian City Departments, and will ensure meaningful local hiring to the UACD.
- Real Walking Beats: As Mayor, Shafiq will create a real community engagement policing model that requires no cruiser and embraces that ground-level community building that is so hard to accomplish with a dwindling department. He will restore walking daytime and evening walking beats in all 10 policing districts. The department has been short-staffed, leading to the elimination of walking beats.