FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Local 34–UNITE HERE! Endorses Mayor Justin Elicker, City-Town Clerk Mike Smart, and twenty two alder candidates for their commitments to good union jobs, affordable housing, and youth opportunities

[NEW HAVEN] – The Executive Board of Local 34–UNITE HERE!, the union representing clerical and technical workers at Yale University, proudly endorses Justin Elicker in his bid for reelection as Mayor of the City of New Haven, Mike Smart for City-Town Clerk and these alder candidates: Frank Douglass in Ward 2, Ron Hurt in Ward 3, Evelyn Rodriguez in Ward 4, Kampton Singh in Ward 5, Carmen Rodriguez in Ward 6, Ellen Cupo in Ward 8, Caroline Tanbee Smith in Ward 9, Renee Haywood in Ward 11, Rosa Ferraro-Santana in Ward 13, Ernie Santiago in Ward 15, Jose Crespo in Ward 16, Sal Punzo in Ward 17, Sal DeCola in Ward 18, Brittiany Maybery-Niblack in Ward 20, Troy Streater in Ward 21, Jeannette Morrison in Ward 22, Tyisha Walker-Myers in Ward 23, Evette Hamilton in Ward 24, Adam Marchand in Ward 25, Richard Furlow in Ward 27, Tom Ficklin in Ward 28, and Brian Wingate in Ward 29. Mayor Elicker and these alders’ dedication to our city, its workers, and residents have earned them the strong support of Local 34. Mayor Elicker has worked with the New Haven Board of Alders to invest in all neighborhoods in our city and support working people. 

For four decades, Local 34 has stood in solidarity with the people of New Haven. We have fought for a union standard that allows workers to build lives of dignity and security. We have also fought for New Haven residents to have fair opportunities to get good union jobs at Yale. Currently, we are partnering with the residents of our city to campaign for more good union jobs, increased access to affordable housing, and expanded opportunities for our youth. Mayor Elicker and these candidates share our vision for a stronger and more equitable community, making them the clear choice for our city’s continued progress.

“These candidates have shown unwavering dedication to the betterment of our city and its workers and has earned them the resounding endorsement of Local 34–UNITE HERE. These leaders’ commitment to investing in good union jobs that empower workers with dignity and security aligns perfectly with our mission to create a more equitable community,” said Barbara Vereen, Chief Steward.

While many of the candidates for alder are incumbents, we are very excited to extend our first-time endorsements to newcomers Caroline Tanbee Smith, Ward 9; Brittiany Maybery-Niblack, Ward 20; and Troy Streater in Ward 21. These leaders have shown a passion and willingness to work hard for the residents of our city and fight alongside incumbent alders to carry on the work of our coalition.

Throughout his tenure, Mayor Justin Elicker has demonstrated clear leadership, advocating for the rights and interests of working people in New Haven. Under his guidance, significant strides have been made to improve the lives of our residents. Notably, he led efforts with New Haven Rising and UNITE HERE to secure an additional $52 million in funding from Yale University for the city, while working with our state delegation to double state PILOT aid, resulting in stabilized city finances and revenue for vital city services. None of this would have been possible without the advocacy and support of our champions on the Board of Alders.

Local 34 Vice President and Cancer Center worker Lisa Stevens said, “We are proud of our efforts to have Yale University contribute more funds to our city. We know that it would not have been possible without the support and partnership of Mayor Elicker and our champions on the Board of Alders. Yet, there is more to be done—we look forward to continuing to campaign with our Alders and Mayor Elicker on large employers in our city to pay their fair share.”

Affordable housing is a national crisis that affects our members and the members of UNITE HERE. Recognizing the pressing need for affordable housing, Mayor Elicker worked with the Board of Alders to allocate $36 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to support affordable housing initiatives and promote workforce and community development. New Haven stands apart from other Connecticut cities in the support it has provided for affordable housing through American Rescue Plan funds. The city’s support for tenant unions and its investment in supporting New Haven’s Fair Rent Commission are powerful actions that will help stabilize our rental market.

By working together, our city can solve problems that are challenging cities across the country. Our candidates have shown an important willingness to work with groups across the city with a focus of addressing these challenges. After decades of disinvestment from our cities and attacks on workers, we need leaders like Mayor Elicker and our Alders who will stand with working people. 

About Local 34–UNITE HERE:
Local 34–UNITE HERE represents clerical and technical workers at Yale University. For forty years, we have been committed to protect, promote, and advance the interests of clerical and technical employees at Yale University, upholding our dignity and unity. We work alongside other Yale employees, unions, and the New Haven community to strengthen unionism, foster justice, and advocate for equality. Committed to supporting workers’ rights, we fight against racism and sexism and for the equality of all working people, ensuring a fair and just workplace for all while striving to be a positive force within the broader labor movement.