The Fight to Cure a Community’s Ills

The Fight to Cure a Community’s Ills: How An Innovative Alliance Forced Yale-new Haven Hospital To Help Its Impoverished Neighborhood As Part Of A Plan For A New Cancer Center

May 21, 2006 | By JOEL LANG | Hartford Courant

Download the PDF:  The Fight to Cure a Community’s Ills

Or read the article online: Click Here

Joel Lang’s excellent, in-depth overview of the CORD (Communities Organized for Responsible Development) struggle that resulted in a landmark community benefits agreement (cba) with Yale-New Haven Hospital also looks at CCNE’s origins and its co-founders, Rev. Scott Marks and Andrea Van Den Heever.

“Achievement First and Newhallville are showing our city how development can benefit everyone”

CCNE is delighted to report that a Community Benefits Agreement has been reached between Achievement First and the Newhallville community!

On December 17, after two months of negotiations, Achievement First and Newhallville leaders proudly stood together as partners in a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA). Achievement First is a non-profit charter school management organization that operates 22 schools in Connecticut and New York.

This CBA pertains to the construction of a new high school building at the site of the former Martin Luther King, Jr. High School at 580 Dixwell Avenue. Achievement First Amistad High School is a high-performing school that will serve 550 students by 2015. The project will revitalize a crucial plot of land in Newhallville.

This past summer, Achievement First reached out to Alderwomen Foskey-Cyrus (D-21) and Clyburn (D-20) to begin discussions about construction of the high school. The Alderwomen promptly sought input from the neighborhood during Management Team meetings, and facilitated a number of other open community meetings.

Some key components of the Community Benefits Agreement include:

  • Access to space in the newly constructed school for Newhallville community engagement.
  • Access to the 9th grade for students who did not attend an Achievement First “feeder school.”
  • Access for New Haven residents to good jobs through a partnership between Achievement First and the Board of Aldermen-led Jobs Pipeline Initiative (“New Haven Works”).
  • Art that pays tribute to civil rights leaders as the former MLK site does.
  • Resources for Newhallville youth programming.

“A brand new high school and a Community Benefits Agreement represent a win-win-win for our neighborhood, New Haven parents and children, and Achievement First,” said Ward 21 Alderwoman Brenda Foskey-Cyrus. “Achievement First and Newhallville are showing our city how development can benefit everyone.” 

“On behalf of the 550 students who will be served by this new, state-of-the-art, college-preparatory high school, Achievement First is pleased with this outcome,” said Reshma Singh, vice president of external relations for Achievement First. “This agreement provides an unprecedented level of community benefits, not the least of which are the $1.5 million purchase price for the property and the $35 million construction project to raze the existing building and construct a new facility. We look forward to working with this coalition of New Haven’s elected leaders and community groups to improve the lives of children growing up in New Haven, and to build a better city for all residents.”

The Community Benefits Agreement includes a provision that CCNE will review the agreement annually and provide a written report to the parties, the Board of Aldermen, and the City of New Haven.

Press coverage:

12/18/12 “It’s A Deal —& A Sale

12/18/12 “Accord on new Achievement First school in New Haven OK’d

“Grassroots Agenda Starts with Jobs” at Dec. 3 City-Wide Community Leaders meeting

Hundreds of residents came together December 3rd at the City-Wide Community Leaders meeting to identify and find collective solutions to New Haven’s most pressing problems.

In a packed school cafeteria, people from across the city—including a significant number of local and state lawmakers—held small group discussions framed by some common questions about what they thought the city’s priorities should in the coming year. Read more