Maya van Rossum, National Leader of Green Amendments for the Generations, is Coming to New Haven!

by Kimberly Stoner, CT Climate Crisis Mobilization

As readers of the PAR newsletter know, C3M (the CT Climate Crisis Mobilization) and CT NOFA (the Northeast Organic Farming Association of CT) have been working hard to get HJ 37, the resolution proposing the CT Environmental Rights Amendment to the state constitution passed in the legislature, so that it can come to a referendum of the people.

We are excited to announce that Maya van Rossum will be coming to Connecticut April 19 to April 22 to inspire us to action in honor of Earth Day. Maya van Rossum is the founder of Green Amendments For The Generations, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring passage of Green Amendments in every state constitution across our nation. Van Rossum was also a lead petitioner in the landmark case decided by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 2013, that revived the state’s long-ignored Constitutional Environmental Rights Amendment, empowering it to protect the people’s right to pure water, clean air, and a healthy environment. This victory inspired her to write the book, The Green Amendment: Securing Our Right to a Healthy Environment, now in its second edition. Planning for her visit is still in process, but the following events are confirmed:

  • Wednesday, April 19: Environmental Justice and Environmental Rights, 7 p.m. United Church on the Green, 270 Temple St., New Haven. Leaders in the Environmental Justice movement from around CT will be invited to join Maya van Rossum.
  • Friday, April 21: Conference on The Green Consumer and the Future: From Today’s Fast Fashion to the Law of Tomorrow. 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. University of Connecticut School of Law. 55 Elizabeth St., Hartford. Maya van Rossum will be speaking in the afternoon panel. Event website:
  • Also Friday, April 21: The Green Amendment, talk and book signing. Possible Futures Books. 318 Edgewood Ave., New Haven. For time, go to
  • Saturday, April 22: Middletown Earth Day Extravaganza. Noon-3 p.m. Harbor Park, Middletown. Event website:

Thanks go to donations from the GNH Green Fund to CT, NOFA and a donor to C3M for making these events possible!

Over $1,000 Raised for Ukrainian Union at New Haven Event

by Dan Piper and Stanley Heller. Promoting Enduring Peace

Union members and supporters met on February 25 in a fundraiser for a branch of the Independent Trade Union of Ukrainian Miners. Despite New Haven’s first snow of the year, they gathered and heard over Zoom from Yuri Samoilov, the president of the Kriviy Rih City Branch of the miners’ union. He had to be translated from Ukrainian to Spanish and from Spanish to English, but it was done swiftly and without a hitch.

Frank Panzarella, a former president of a Connecticut Machinists local and professional singer, entertained with a verse he wrote to the tune of Neil Young’s song “Rockin’ in the Free World” and later sang the traditional labor hymn “Solidarity Forever.” Over Zoom we also heard from Pavel Polska, who was in Mexico and Fabio Bosco, a unionist from Brazil. Rachel Lonchar, a member of Teamsters Local
1150, gave her analysis combining support for the miners’ union and Ukraine’s resistance, but explaining that U.S. government support is being given to weaken Russia in a battle of empires, and warning that U.S. officials would like to entangle Ukraine in U.S. imperial ambitions.

Raffle tickets were sold and winners got everything from Ukrainian tea to cups with Ukrainian colors to a copy of Ukrainian artist Kataya Gritsvea’s depiction of the Russian invasion. An auction was held for a donated print from noted artist and journalist Molly Crabapple, made from a sketch of a main square in Kyiv during her 2022 trip to Ukraine. Bidding went on for a while and a hefty sum was raised for the Ukrainian union.

Teamsters were the biggest group attending the fundraiser, but members and retired members of five or six other unions took part. There was applause when it was announced that John Olsen, the former president of the Connecticut AFL-CIO (who was not able to attend), had made a donation.

The event was sponsored by Workers’ Voice and Promoting Enduring Peace and co-sponsored by the Ukrainian Socialist Solidarity Campaign, the New Haven Federation of Teachers (933R) Retired Teachers Chapter, the Ukraine Solidarity Network and around 15 individual union members.

Contributions can still be sent online via “Chuffed” at or by check to Promoting Enduring Peace, 39 Goodrich St., New Haven, CT 06517.  Make checks to “Promoting Enduring Peace” and be sure to add in the “Memo” line “for Ukrainian miners.”

Biden’s Budget Proposal a Reminder of the Democrats’ Failure

by Party for Socialism and Liberation, March 9, 2023

Today’s [March 9] budget proposal that the Biden administration is attempting to present as a bold vision for social change is in fact, little more than a bitter reminder of the Democrats’ failure over the last two years to implement their own agenda of progressive reform. Despite having a clear popular mandate, when it was actually possible to enact the measures included in Biden’s draft budget, the Democratic Party leadership came up woefully short.

To become law, a budget must pass both houses of Congress, and there is no prospect that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives will vote in favor of these proposals. Up until the midterm election, however, the Democrats were in the relatively rare position of controlling the White House, the House of Representatives, and the Senate. Their failure in these critical years to pass major reforms has reduced their current proposals to little more than rhetorical statements of principles.

Much of what is in Biden’s budget proposal would indeed bring some welcome relief to working people. The draft includes provisions to restore the enhanced child tax credit that sends monthly checks to parents, reduce drug prices, increase subsidies to cover the cost of college tuition, and establish universal pre-K. It would also fund an expansion in the number of children who receive free school meals, and mandate paid family and medical leave up to 12 weeks.

It should also be noted that there are highly reactionary, anti-worker parts of Biden’s proposal as well. The draft allocates a record $835 billion for the Pentagon, reflecting the administration’s commitment to its new Cold War policy that is bringing the world to the edge of catastrophe. The White House also brags in a press release that it “includes funding to put 100,000 additional police officers on the street.”

But the aspects of the Biden administration’s agenda that are positive – which are rooted not in genuine concern for the people but fear that capitalist rule would be destabilized in the absence of concessions – can all be vetoed by the Republican majority in the House. This is a ridiculous state of affairs considering that most of these proposals are recycled from the “Build Back Better” social program expansion that Biden spent much of his presidency up to this point pushing.

Because they were unwilling to eliminate the anti-democratic “filibuster” rule in the Senate, Biden had to stake everything on a single bill passed as part of a budget procedure that is immune to the filibuster’s 60-vote requirement. But in order to succeed, he needed to force Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, the two most right-wing Democratic Senators, to go along with it. Rather than bringing to bear the pressure that can be generated by the most powerful political office on the planet, President Biden simply offered concessions and praised Manchin in public, emphasizing what great friends they had been for many years.

This, unsurprisingly, amounted to nothing, and Manchin humiliated Biden by announcing on Fox News that he was withdrawing from negotiations with the White House.

[Article can be read in its entirety at To contact the Party of Socialism and Liberation in CT, email [email protected].]

News from Citizen’s Oil Co-op

by Adrian Hutson, Citizen’s Oil Co-op

Citizen’s Oil Co-op is a buyers’ club that has negotiated extremely competitive pricing for its members throughout Connecticut and Rhode Island for home heating oil and propane. We work with several full service companies and our pricing is typically 50-60 cents cheaper per gallon than the state average. We find that our average member can save $200-$600 annually on their home heating costs.

It is easy to join, just call our office or sign up online. We then connect you with a participating company in your town. That company contacts you directly to set up your account under the contracted Co-op pricing. With the price of oil on the rise we advocate on behalf of our members for negotiated fair pricing without the hassle of shopping around every time you need a delivery.

We also offer additional services and benefits to being a member of the Co-op such as a waived tank rental fee for propane customers. We have partnered with Trinity Solar to offer our members free consultations for solar panels and renewable electricity. We work with Bearing Star insurance to offer members free insurance quotes. Members can also get set up for a home energy audit through our partnership with New England Smart Energy. We are a one-stop shop where our members can get more information about their home energy and some of the most competitive pricing in the state for full service heating oil and propane.

We are also active in community partnerships and have a program called The Next Step. The Next Step is a platform where any community organization or nonprofit can inform their membership about the Co-op and for every person that signs up, we will donate $10 back to that organization. Through community partnerships we can pass on additional savings and support our local organizations.

For additional information on becoming a member, getting your organization involved in The Next Step, or about any of our other additional services, call 860-561-6011 or visit our website at

Saving More. Together.

Tent City Bulldozed

by Nora Grace-Flood and Paul Bass, New Haven Independent, March 16, 2023

Police swarmed onto the tent city off the Boulevard early Thursday morning [March 16] to clear the holdout campers and bulldoze the site — and make sure the press and public couldn’t watch what they were doing.

The operation began at 7 a.m.

Dozens of officers arrived to carry out an eviction order for homeless people who have been living in an encampment near a soccer field off Ella Grasso Boulevard. The city ordered the campers last week to vacate after inspectors said they found public health violations including cooking taking place inside flammable tents and human waste on the premises….

Campers had until Wednesday [March 15] to leave. Most did.

Three of the encampment’s ongoing residents remained. They left without incident. Officers brought them
McGriddles for breakfast, and members of the city’s crisis intervention team, COMPASS, worked with them to find new lodgings. The United Way is also providing storage spaces for two of the individuals kicked out of the encampment Thursday.

An advocate for the homeless, Mark Colville, was also on site. He set up a camp to protest the order to vacate. He refused to leave Thursday morning. Police arrested him for trespassing and removed him forcibly from the scene on a stretcher before taking him to 1 Union Ave.

One of the three last residents, Barry Lawson, said COMPASS had arranged for him to stay at the Youth Continuum shelter, where he was headed.

A second, Paul C, said ​“I have no idea what’s next,” as he departed. “I just had a traumatic experience. They gave me 20 minutes to clear out. All my emotions are mixed and f*cked right now.”
He had noticed a La-Z-Boy recliner abandoned on the side of Columbus Avenue a few days ago. ​“I wonder what it would be like to get drunk and pass out in that chair,” he said, weighing his options for where to sleep that night.

The third, who was named Victor, was already gone by the time reporters arrived. Around 8:30 a.m., the public works department brought in trucks and bulldozers to begin dismantling the camp.

Former tent city resident Jacquedah, who declined to give her last name, rushed to the entryway of the encampment just as she noticed a bulldozer hauling her tent off the ground. “No!” she screamed, as cops rushed to hold her back from nearing the area. ​“That was my first home here!”

The Elicker administration took unusual steps to ensure the press would not see how the operation unfolded. Beginning Wednesday, it declined to state when they planned to carry out the eviction order. They declined requests for advance notice, claiming they didn’t know the planned time. By the time most reporters got word of the operation Thursday morning, it was well underway. Heavy machinery was on site to clear the tents and debris.

[Article can be read in its entirety at Mark Colville is due in court March 24.]

Progressives Against Medical Assisted Suicide Holds Press Conference; Members Testify at Public Hearing Feb. 27

by Joan Cavanagh, Progressives Against Medical Assisted Suicide

Progressives Against Medical Assisted Suicide (PAMAS) held a press conference at the Legislative Office Building on Feb. 27, just before a public hearing before the Public Health Committee to discuss this year’s assisted suicide bill, SB 1076. Co-sponsored by Second Thoughts Connecticut, speakers included Cathy Ludlum, a Second Thoughts leader; Dr. Diane Meier, Director Emerita and Strategic Advisor at the Center to Advance Palliative Care and Professor of Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; and PAMAS members Nancy Alisberg, Elaine Kolb, and Joan Cavanagh. (You can watch the press conference at, thanks to Stanley Heller, who videotaped it.)

Six PAMAS members also testified against the bill at the public hearing, including Alisberg and Cavanagh as well as Deborah Elkin, Paula Panzarella, Monica McGovern, and Frank Panzarella.

The Public Health Committee, unfortunately, passed the bill at a meeting where none of the legislators who spoke even mentioned the many objections raised not only by PAMAS but also by disability justice activists. We expect that it will now be taken up by the Judiciary Committee. Please, write to members of that committee immediately and let them know that you oppose it, even if you are not in their district.

(The entire list of members can be found at If you can’t write to all of them, at least be sure to write to your own representatives and senators.

For more info, email [email protected].

Demos Call for a Sell-Off of Israel Bonds

by Stanley Heller and Shelly Altman, JVP (New Haven)

Protests against the trip to Washington, DC by Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich took place in twelve cities on March 12, including New Haven. Smotrich, who describes himself as a “fascist homophobe,” achieved special notoriety for calling for the Palestinian town of Huwara to be wiped out. He came to the U.S. to hustle for Israel Bonds.

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) nationally called for demonstrations. New Haven held one, though it made sure it wasn’t in competition with the St. Patrick’s Day parade going on that afternoon. About 20 people gathered in front of the Giaimo Federal Building early that Sunday morning with signs denouncing Smotrich, but more importantly calling for BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) and the selling off of Israel Bonds and other Israeli investments. The largest banner said, “Sell Off Your Israel Bonds and Other Investments in Apartheid.”

A few days later a second demonstration was held, this one in Hartford in front of the state office building housing the Treasury. Connecticut owns $10 million in Israel Bonds and about $100 million more in other Israeli stocks and securities. Among the 150 companies, 22 are particularly offensive, being involved with spying on activists and working on military projects. One is Elbit, Israel’s biggest weapons company. People came from around the state, not only Jews, but people notified of the action by the other event sponsors: the Middle East Crisis Committee, the Tree of Life Education Fund and Workers’ Voice. The new State Treasurer Erick Russell has not responded to letters or this protest so far. He can be reached at [email protected]

Where is all this money the state uses for investments coming from? Overwhelmingly it’s from state employees and school teachers. A portion of their pay is deducted each pay period and put in the Treasury. It’s highly doubtful that these workers know that some of their money goes to prop up Israeli apartheid.

The tactic of BDS got a new wrinkle these past weeks. Israeli leaders have constantly screamed about BDS saying boycotts are “existential threats” to Israel, in fact, “economic terrorism.” In their fight against Netanyahu’s attack on the Israeli High Court, several hundred U.S. Jewish business leaders have threatened to take their money out of Israel! They’re afraid to invest in a country without a court system that could protect business interests. Billions are at stake. If the threat were to be carried out, that would be BDS on steroids. Zionists like the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) pretend this is absolutely and completely different than BDS for Palestinian human rights. Sheer hypocrisy.
For more info, email [email protected]

Chief Moves to Fire 4 Cox Case Cops

by Thomas Breen, New Haven Independent, March 21, 2023

Police Chief Karl Jacobson has recommended that four city police officers be fired for their roles in the mishandling of Richard ​“Randy” Cox, roughly nine months after the 36-year-old New Havener suffered paralyzing injuries while in police custody.

Jacobson announced that decision in a Tuesday afternoon press conference held on the third floor of police headquarters at 1 Union Ave. With Asst. Police Chiefs Bertram Ettienne and David Zannelli and newly promoted Lt.-to-Asst. Chief Manmeet Colon at his side, Jacobson said that he has submitted recommendations to the Board of Police Commissioners that Sgt. Betsy Segui and Officers Oscar Diaz, Jocelyn Lavandier, and Luis Rivera be terminated from their employment with the New Haven Police Department (NHPD). He has issued that recommendation after the department’s Internal Affairs (IA) division wrapped up its months-long investigation of the roles that those officers and now-retired Officer Ronald Pressley played in the June 19, 2022, arrest and handling of Cox. Jacobson said that the IA investigation found that all five police officers violated a number of department general orders, including rules of conduct that require city cops to be law-abiding and work with integrity, trustworthiness, courtesy, and respect.

The IA investigation also found Diaz violated department general orders related to his driving of the police van and being on his cellphone, and it found that Segui violated additional orders related to her supervision of the police detention center. …

After Elicker’s City Hall press conference, Cox’s mother, Doreen Coleman, and one of his local attorneys, R.J. Webber, expressed a small sense of relief that — as they have been calling for months — the chief has now recommended that these officers be fired.

“It was something that we were waiting for,” Coleman said.

“While this has taken some time, the important thing is to get it right,” Webber said.
He and Coleman said that Cox remains paralyzed from the shoulders down and away from home at a rehabilitation facility. Coleman said she visits her son just about every day, most recently bringing him his lunch yesterday.

“He’s doing pretty good,” she said. ​“He’s holding on.” She said her son is still ​“processing” the chief’s recommended firings of these officers. ​“He’s in good spirits.”

[Article can be read in its entirety at]

Save Water, Save Money, and Save Our Waterways! And Get Free Flower and Vegetable Seeds!

by Diane Dynia, Hamden Seed Library

In the Brundage Library: The Hamden Seed Library is offering a class on how to set up and use rain barrels at your home. Having years of experience, Frank Panzarella will show participants how to set up a rain barrel using easy-to-find supplies. In addition, he will explain the benefits of collecting storm water for both the homeowner and our environment. It will be held in the Meeting Room of the Brundage Library, 91 Circular Avenue, Hamden on Wednesday, April 19 from 6:30-7:45 p.m.  Space is limited so register early online at Click on Programs, and then click on the Rain Barrel Program to register or call the library at 203-287-2680. If the class becomes full or if you can’t make it on the 19th, Frank will be at the Hamden Earth Day Celebration held at Town Center Park, 2761 Dixwell Ave., Hamden, on Saturday, April 22 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

In the Miller Library: On the lower level of the library, 2901 Dixwell Ave., Hamden, you can visit our Seed Library. Till mid-June you may choose from an assortment of vegetable, flower, and herb seeds, including heirloom seeds and varieties of vegetables and herbs of interest from around the world. The Seed Library is self-service. Please keep the following in mind:

  • You may select up to 5 types of seeds from the packets that are on display.
  • Only take as much seed as you need. We have provided glassine envelopes and labels for you.
  • Read the information on the packet, to make sure you can give your seeds the growing conditions they need.
  • Grow your seeds!

Workers Protest Pizza House for Homophobia and Violence Against Former Employee

by Nayeli García , Unidad Latina en Acción

On Tuesday, March 21, community groups protested at Pizza House restaurant (89 Howe St., New Haven) with Javier Lavado, a former employee who suffered homophobia, intimidation, and physical violence at the hands of the manager, Luis Nagera.

On Feb. 25, 2023, Lavado was verbally and physically assaulted by the manager Nagera. This incident was reported to the police and NHPD Officer Blanco inexplicably decided not to make an arrest.

Lavado reported to police that on Feb. 25, Nagera had been intoxicated and was very aggressive when Lavado disagreed with him about the correct way to put cheese on a pizza. Nagera physically assaulted Lavado and used hate language, telling him that he was a “poor faggot.”

On March 9, a commission from ULA went to the pizzeria with a letter addressed to the owner, Peter Papadopoulos, requesting a friendly meeting between the parties to avoid legal action. Papadopoulos refused to receive the letter and accused Lavado of trespassing, even though he knew that Lavado was on the sidewalk the whole time.

Given the refusal of dialogue by the owner of Pizza House and the history of violence that exists there, ULA has decided to start public and legal actions against the establishment. ULA has received complaints from other former employees about the intimidating actions that the manager continually uses when he is allegedly drunk.

ULA demands that Pizza House fire Nagera immediately for his disrespect for his co-workers, his homophobia, and violence. ULA demands monetary compensation for Javier Lavado for the abuse suffered there. ULA also calls on the New Haven Police Department to arrest Nagera for the hate speech and physical attack perpetrated on Lavado on Feb. 25, 2023. ULA also calls on the New Haven community to boycott Pizza House until our demands are resolved.

For information, contact Briam Timko, 201-370-7998. Unidad Latina en Acción is a grassroots organization defending human rights of immigrants and workers in Connecticut since 2002. Visit our website at

Environmental Assessment of Proposed Tweed Airport Expansion

by Save the Sound

The Federal Aviation Administration has released an environmental assessment of the proposed expansion of Tweed-New Haven Airport, which Save the Sound attorneys are currently reviewing. We will continue to argue for a full environmental impact statement — a more rigorous and detailed environmental analysis.

Among our concerns: wetland loss, impacts of flooding due to sea level rise, and the environmental justice impacts of pollution on nearby overburdened neighborhoods.

Learn more and add your voice at the public hearing April 1, 1:30 p.m. at East Haven High School, East Haven.

Rock to Rock, Saturday, April 29

by Chris Schweitzer, New Haven-León Sister City Project

Support local environmental and climate work through Rock to Rock Earth Day Ride! We are working with over 20 partner organizations to take real action in response to the climate emergency, and to raise critical support for local environmental organizations.

2023 rides include 5-, 12-, 20-, 40-, 60-mile, and 2 Family Rides in East Rock Park, plus hikes in East Rock Park and West Rock Park. Join the fun April 29. All rides start and end at East Rock Park, with a Green Fair, live music and food trucks. [email protected] or phone 203-479-0298.

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