…for a New Social Contract in New Haven
Community-based Job Creation
New Haven needs more good jobs that include pathways to employment and advancement for people in the City.
- Connect job training to commitments for local hiring
- Ensure that new and existing jobs in the public and private sectors provide living wages, healthcare, and organizing rights.
- Expand the city’s living wage ordinance to cover more people at a higher wage rate
Community Voice in Development
Responsible development means balancing economic revitalization with the housing, health and employment needs of community members.
- Require developers to file Community Impact Reports before public hearings on proposed projects and establish more comprehensive guidelines for public awareness of and involvement in the development process.
- Review the 2006 Development Agreement between the City of New Haven and Yale-New Haven Hospital that expires in June 2011 and submit a report to the city that includes proposals for completion of unfinished items.
Access to Affordable Health Care
The rising cost of healthcare is an economic burden for all, and puts health insurance out of reach for many struggling families. This issue must be addressed at the national level, but local and state-level steps are also important.
- Work to support the passage of funding for SustiNet in the 2011 state legislative session
- Protect and expand employer-based health coverage for New Haven families.
A Secure and Equitable Economic Future for New Haven
New Haven families bear a heavy tax burden through rising taxes and rents, while facing struggling schools and cuts to public support services.
- Protect and increase the supply of affordable housing
- Inform the debate about democratic and comprehensive education reform, encompassing work and college readiness, economic security for New Haven families, and access to in-state tuition for all public university-bound New Haven students
- Balance the tax burden placed on working families with the tax breaks and exemptions granted to corporations and large institutions, while pushing for a more progressive state income tax
This Grassroots Community Agenda is a project of the Connecticut Center for a New Economy (CCNE), a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the economic and social well being of working families in Connecticut. Since 2001, CCNE has been addressing issues of inequality and racial disparity in our city through grassroots campaigns for affordable housing, access to healthcare, living wages, voter registration, environmental justice, and a community voice in development.
The Grassroots Community Agenda is the product of a decade of community organizing and research beginning in 2000. In 2004, over 350 leaders from diverse constituencies gathered to forge and adopt a new vision statement based on shared values. This “New Social Contract” has guided CCNE’s work since 2004, helping us find common ground between different single-issue strategies and stay focused on long-term positive change rather than simply react to individual crises. The New Social Contract says:
“In this twenty-first century, we have the audacity to believe that every family should be sustained by a good union job; that every child’s mind and spirit should be nurtured by an outstanding education; that our neighborhoods should be strengthened through affordable housing; that no one should suffer illness, injury or financial hardship because they lack access to health care. We must honor our heritage by welcoming and celebrating the vitality brought by new immigrants to our community. We believe that we must leave our children and their children with a safer, healthier environment.
We will work together to forge a new social contract between the New Haven community, its businesses, its government, and its major publicly supported institutions like Yale University and Yale-New Haven Hospital, to ensure a sustainable future for all. We will speak truth to power.”
Since then, CCNE has knocked on thousands of doors through the Community Voter Project (CVP), and had thousands of conversations and group meetings at door steps, in church basements, and in living rooms. We have called together elected officials, community leaders, and clergy to discuss New Haven’s economic future in our “Economic Blueprint” meetings. We understand that many of our young people get caught up in a cycle of crime and violence when they lack opportunity and hope. They are left out of the economy and left behind. We have looked to the grassroots for concrete solutions to the problems facing our city. The product of that work is this Grassroots Community Agenda, outlining the first steps towards our vision for a New Social Contract in New Haven.