“Building an Inclusive Prosperity” (CCNE Report & Community Leaders Meeting)

“She’s Ready to Fight for a ‘Renaissance'”

December 13, 2011

Thomas MacMillan, New Haven Independent:

After she was burned the last time, Helen Martin-Dawson said she’s prepared to work to make sure new developments in town come with an enforceable promise of good jobs for her neighbors in the Hill..

Martin-Dawson (at right in photo) said as much Tuesday evening as she helped officially release a new report from Connecticut Center For A New Economy (CCNE), a grassroots coalition of labor, clergy, and community activists.

The report, entitled “A Renaissance For All Of Us: Building an Inclusive Prosperity for New Haven,” comes just over a week after an “grassroots agenda”-setting CCNE meeting that laid out its main points. And it comes just three weeks before a raft of new union-backed aldermen are set to take office, many of whom are affiliated with CCNE and Yale’s unions.

The document, the result of years of community data collection by CCNE, presents a problem that faces New Haven, and points the way to possible solutions. Read it here.

The problem: While parts of New Haven have experienced a “renaissance” in recent years—downtown, medical and education sectors—the benefits have not been shared equally. Several parts of New Haven—mostly African-American and Latino neighborhoods—have still not recovered from the departure of manufacturing jobs, and the new investments in the city have not helped lift them up, the report argues.

(Read the full article here)

“New Economic Report calls for ‘Renaissance’ for all of New Haven”

December 12, 2011

Abbe Smith, New Haven Register

The Connecticut Center for a New Economy on Monday released a report 10 years in the making that sets the framework for what the nonprofit calls a “renaissance for all of us.”

The theme of the report is extending the city’s “renaissance” to all sections of the city including underserved places such as Newhallville and the Hill and connecting residents with good jobs.

“We hope that as we move forward with this renaissance, that it ends up creating better quality of life for all of New Haven,” said the Rev. Scott Marks, a founding member of CCNE.

The report draws statistics from the federal Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics and takes ideas gleaned from thousands of interviews of city residents as part of CCNE’s Community Voter Project. CCNE is a labor-backed nonprofit organization that advocates for economic and social well-being for working families. The report, which highlights inequality in the city, lays out a “Grassroots Community Agenda” for achieving change in the areas of job creation, economic development, access to affordable health care, education reform, affordable housing and more. It recommends three main tools for change: community benefits agreements and community impact reports for major development projects, and a comprehensive “jobs pipeline” program to include workforce training that results in solid employment, not minimum wage jobs.

The release of the report comes just weeks before the makeup of the Board of Aldermen dramatically changes to a very labor-friendly majority. Many of the people who knocked on doors for CCNE’s Community Voter Project knocked on those same doors when they were running for aldermen in the recent election. A CCNE community meeting on Dec. 3 to talk about neighborhood issues and set priorities drew hundreds of residents and dozens of elected officials.

(Read the full article here)