Art Perlo, 74

by Paul Bass, New Haven Independent, Dec. 23, 2021

Art Perlo, Ward 24 co-chair and executive board member of the Yale Unions Retirees Association, passed away on Dec. 18, 2021, after a year-long battle with bladder cancer.

Alder Evette Hamilton called him a “gentle giant” for his kindness, commitment, humor and broad knowledge that touched the lives of so many in the city, state and around the country.

Born in New York on November 2, 1947, son of Marxist economist Victor Perlo and artist Ellen Perlo, Art moved to New Haven in 1975 after living in Chicago and Portland, Oregon, to join his life partner Joelle Fishman, participating in her People before Profits campaigns for Congress and mayor.

As an independent economist and activist, Art devoted his talents to the cause of the rights and equality of working class people of all races, genders and national backgrounds.

An IT worker at Yale’s Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry lab for 35 years, he helped organize and was a founding member of the clerical and technical workers union Local 34 Unite Here in 1984. Although not eligible for the union with his managerial and professional job classification, he was appreciated for honoring the strikes of Local 34 and Local 35, joining his co-workers on the picket line for respect and improved wages and benefits. He was an early proponent for restructuring Yale’s hiring practices to open job opportunities for Black and Latino New Haven residents.

Since the 1990s ….


Contributions to the causes closest to Art’s heart can be made at:

Due to the rise in COVID a gathering will not be held at this time. On January 1, 2023 an open house continuing the annual tradition of Art and Joelle will be held to celebrate Art’s life and carry on the movement-building his life exemplifies.


Please follow and like us:
Pin Share