CitySeed seeks a dynamic and driven leader with proven experience in program growth and strategy to lead Sanctuary Kitchen. The Program Director will have expertise in strengthening training programs and networks for job placement. Info at cityseed.com. Click on the “Who We Are” tab, click on “Employment.”
The Rochdale Co-op has been providing affordable housing in downtown New Haven since 1947. We are a democratically-run and diverse community that relies on the active participation of our members. We strive to be a supportive, fun, and ecologically-responsible place to live. We appreciate your interest in becoming a member of the Rochdale Co-op. The Rochdale Co-op has an average of 12-13 members, and provides a cooperative living environment (private bedrooms, shared kitchen, bathrooms, common areas, house meetings and duties).
We are a diverse community and value our diversity. The Rochdale Co-op does not discriminate against applicants on the basis of race, color, family status, ethnicity, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, religious background or religious affiliation.
Application and more information can be found on Craig’s List New Haven — search for Rochdale.
Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS) is currently welcoming evacuated Afghan families and are ready on 24-hour notice to receive as many as needed.
Please help us:
Donate to defray costs of essentials upon arrival emergent costs. Irisct.org/donate.
Join a local community group in towns around the state and work with IRIS to welcome families in your community. irisct.org/communitycosponsorship.
Collect backpacks, school supplies, winter coats and waterproof winter boots. Our storage is limited at this moment. Please email email@example.com.
Ronna Stuller, secretary, Green Party of CT
As a unity of local chapters throughout the state, the Green Party of Connecticut is committed to the Four Pillars of all Green Parties worldwide: grassroots democracy, social justice, non-violence and ecological wisdom. In order to empower the political voice of the people – not corporate interests or their lobbyists – Green Party candidates accept contributions only from individuals, not from PACs. This year’s election we are running over a dozen candidates in municipal elections all across Connecticut.
Justin Paglino MD, Ph.D., of Guilford, was our 2020 nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives in the third Congressional District. He has continued, on the local and national front, to advocate for a nonprofit healthcare system that serves everyone, as well as reforms that would strengthen our democracy, repair our environment, and invest in a peaceful future.
We invite readers to learn more about our organization at www.ctgreenparty.org or www.facebook.com/GreenPartyofConnecticut. We also invite readers to consider changing their voter registration to Green Party, and/or to consider visiting your local Green Party of Connecticut chapter to learn more and get involved. You will be most welcome.
Statement by Justin Paglino
I am running again for the U.S. House of Representatives, for the seat currently held by Rep. Rosa DeLauro, and I anticipate that my name will be on the ballot in November 2022. I intend to once again seek the nomination of the Green Party of Connecticut.
The factors that spurred my initial decision to run for this office are unchanged. Our national healthcare system still makes healthcare unaffordable for vast swaths of Americans. Unlike Rep. DeLauro, I support single-payer Medicare for All, the reform that would save $500 billion dollars and 70,000 lives each year. Recently New Haven passed a resolution declaring its support for Medicare for All, yet our representative in Congress is still not a cosponsor.
Our national energy policy is still completely inadequate to address the severe threat of climate change. Unlike Rep. DeLauro, I support the carbon tax and dividend policy we need to finally put a real limiting force on our untamed carbon emissions, while making the transition to sustainable energy affordable for all. Our nation still grotesquely over-spends on the military budget, and the City of New Haven recently passed a resolution declaring this to be the case. Unlike Rep. DeLauro, who voted against a 10% cut to the Pentagon budget, I support a 50% budget cut, with just transition programs in place to keep defense industry employees employed. We are in more need of windmill blades at this time than helicopter blades, but the skill sets to make these do overlap significantly.
Our nation’s runaway economic inequality continues to hurt. Although I give credit to Rep. DeLauro for fighting for the child tax credit, I would go further and call for a Federal Jobs guarantee and Universal Basic Income, as more progressive members of Congress have already done and Rep. DeLauro has not.
Our nation’s politics are deeply corrupted by corporate interests. Unlike Rep. DeLauro I accept no special interest money, only funding from individuals. Our two-party system discourages voters from voting their values, but I encourage voters to do exactly that, because if you don’t vote for something, you’ll never get it. Unlike Rep. DeLauro, I support Ranked Choice Voting, a reform that eliminates the spoiler effect and thus will allow multiparty democracy to flourish.
Please visit my website at justin4all.org to sign up for my newsletter, or to contribute to this campaign for healthcare, climate, peace, economic justice, and uncorrupted multi-party democracy.
To Our Readers:
The Progressive Action Roundtable is looking for someone who knows how to write clearly and has a good command of spelling and grammar. This person must also be interested in talking to local organizers about their groups and plans, and writing a couple of short articles (of approximately 300 words) for the monthly PAR newsletter. A small stipend will be available.
In addition, we would like more of our readers to become involved in working on the newsletter. We want to expand our Planning Committee and Production Team. Enhancement of our Facebook presence is also needed. Would you like to gather articles about local activities? Can you help with graphics? Are you a good proofreader?
If you’re interested in helping the PAR newsletter provide news about New Haven-area activism, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what you’re able to do to keep PAR promoting the work of the many wonderful progressive organizations in the New Haven area.
by Ronna Stuller, Secretary, Green Party of CT
A unity of local Green Party chapters, the Green Party of Connecticut is committed to grassroots democracy, social justice, non-violence and ecological wisdom. These are the Four Pillars of all Green parties worldwide.
Green Party candidates accept no PAC contributions, only donations from individuals. In this year’s election we are running over a dozen candidates in municipal, state, and federal elections all across Connecticut.
In this PAR article we feature a statement by Justin Paglino MD, PhD, of Guilford, who is our nominee for US House of Representatives in the Third Congressional District, the seat currently held by Rep. Rosa DeLauro. We invite readers to visit our website https://www.ctgreenparty.org to learn more about our positions and our candidates. We also invite readers to consider changing their voter registration to Green Party, and/or to consider visiting your local Green Party of Connecticut chapter to learn more and get involved. You will be most welcome.
Statement by Justin Paglino M.D. Ph.D., Green Party of CT candidate for US House of Representatives, CT-3:
This year I decided to run for US House of Representatives so that voters in my congressional district would have the option of voting for a representative who supports Medicare for All, Ranked Choice Voting, Reduced Military Spending, a bold Green New Deal with Carbon Pricing, Fracking Ban and Federal Jobs Guarantee, and other policies that my opponents in this race do not support. Many voters do, however, support these policies, and these issues need at least one candidate on the ballot who supports them, so that voters can show where they stand on these issues.
Unlike my opponents, but like most Americans, I support Medicare for All. Single-payer healthcare will not only provide comprehensive healthcare without charge to all Americans, but will also save up to $500 billion a year thanks to efficiencies of scale and removing the profit motive from healthcare insurance.
Unlike my opponents, I am a strong advocate for Ranked Choice Voting (RCV), an electoral reform that ends two-party dominance by eliminating the spoiler effect. RCV accomplishes this by allowing voters to rank their candidates in order of preference on the ballot. This reform exists now in Maine, where Lisa Savage is running as a Green Party candidate for US Senate; because of RCV, she will not act as a spoiler.
Unlike my opponents, I seek to rein in overblown Pentagon spending and redirect these funds towards the needs of Americans, including a Federal Jobs Guarantee. Rep. DeLauro, in contrast, this year voted YES for the $740 billion dollar Pentagon budget, and voted AGAINST a modest 10% cut (the Pocan amendment).
Unlike my opponents, I am willing to support bills that would enact the bold greenhouse gas-reducing policies that science calls for, such as HR763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019 (Carbon Tax and Dividend), or such as HR5857, the Ban Fracking Act. Neither bill is supported by our current representative.
I encourage PAR readers: always vote for what you want, not only against what you fear. If you want something, you have to vote for it, or you’ll never get it. There is a way out of the two-party system – it’s Ranked Choice Voting – but first you have to show you are willing to vote for it.
Please visit me at justin4all.org, e-mail me at email@example.com. Follow me on facebook/justin4all, twitter/justin4all2, insta/justinpaglino, youtube/justin4all.
And thank you to all you progressive activists!
– Justin Paglino M.D. Ph.D.
by Joseph A. Luciano Sr., Rapid City SD
[Joe Luciano, currently of Rapid City, lived in Seymour and was a fierce advocate for disability access and disability rights. He would often contribute articles to PAR. We are glad he sent us his musings about disability access (and non-access) in his new home town.]
Last year I moved west from downtown Seymour after realizing it would never become a Livable Community in my lifetime. (By “livable community” I mean ADA compliant, ready to support independent living and Aging in Place.)
The New Haven Register’s senior editor, James Walker, did a story about me going westward: “A senior with disabilities heads west.” (www.nhregister.com/news/article/James-Walker-Bound-A-senior-with-disabilities-13772366.php)
While the town demolished pot-holed downtown streets and broken sidewalks and replaced them with crosswalks and curb ramps, the work was botched. Some crosswalks led to sidewalks not provided with ADA-required curb ramps; some curb ramps did not lead to ADA-required level landings. In winters, law enforcement continued its policy of not enforcing the snow-removal ordinance. Because of that, disabled residents using wheelchairs (myself included) encountered barriers of snow, denying us accessible routes to groceries, pharmacy, banking, and other common needs. Most appalling, the police department held a “Coffee with Cops” good-will event . . . at an inaccessible downtown restaurant. They just didn’t get it.
Quality of life in downtown Seymour became so intolerable I decided to move. I chose the “Fifth-Best Place in America to Successfully Age in Place.” Rapid City, South Dakota.
Actually there were other reasons that were the deciding factor: both my sons lived there—also my grandchildren. And my home church was there too. And a world-class cancer care institute. I needed all of those.
To anyone thinking of following in my wheel tracks: Don’t! South Dakota has the worst reputation in social and human services. (Teacher salaries are the lowest in South Dakota.) Elders with disabilities who chose to live independently (like me) are struggling to make ends meet. That’s because the bar to qualify for support services, personal care aides, companion/homemaker aides, and South Dakota’s version of Medicaid is set so high it’s beyond reach of most who need it. And if you need healthcare you will drown in co-pays. What’s more, accessible housing costs are unreasonably high; I’m paying more for less space. As for the para-transit system (Dial-A-Ride), it’s the worst. (I suffered in-juries on my very first ride; I tipped over backwards be-cause drivers do not practice safe standards for boarding wheelchair passengers like in Connecticut. As for pizza, no place here in “prairie land” makes pizza like Pepe’s Pizza or Modern Apizza. (But I get equal or better pizza; my sons built a backyard brick, wood-fired pizza oven.)
Nevertheless, I’m staying here. The reason is simple: I’m living near family. My sons are just a few minutes away by car. They are my rides to church and Sunday dining out, some medical treatments, road trips, and family gatherings at their homes. Views of the Black Hills from my apartment are spectacular.
Stay where you are!
by Mark Colville, Amistad Catholic Worker
I reach out today with an urgent call to come together as advocates, caregivers, organizers, activists and allies, in response to the ongoing unmet needs of some of the most at-risk people in the New Haven community. As the coronavirus pandemic has unfolded, many concerned people in the area have intensified our work with people experiencing homelessness, and from that perspective, we’ve seen the city and some of its institutions take bold and proactive steps. At the same time, there is a growing fear that those efforts are falling short in terms of providing safe spaces for significant numbers of people who still lack the wherewithal to follow the statewide directive to shelter in place.
The latest initiative has been to move all of the people who were using the city’s homeless shelters into hotel rooms, a move that was completed within the past three weeks. Thanks to a concerted raising of voices, we have now seen the city commit to expanding that initiative to include all individuals who identify as experiencing homelessness, regardless of whether or not they typically use the shelter system. This is a very positive development, and many of us have been working hard to get those folks signed up for the rooms as they’re made available.
The problem we face now is that the ”shelter model” of service delivery is simply being transposed onto these hotels. This includes supervision, security measures, invasions of privacy and disciplinary regimens which are in fact the reason why so many people refuse to stay in shelters in the first place. Regardless of how anyone feels about such refusals, this project of moving everyone from the street into hotel rooms will not be sufficient, at least in its current form, to accommodate everyone- particularly, for example, those who are mentally ill and/or active drug users.
In response, the Amistad Catholic Worker is joining an effort already underway to erect a tent city, in an as-yet undetermined open space somewhere relatively close to the city center. This is being organized collectively and with a fair degree of urgency. It will integrate the requirements of social distancing and sheltering in place, but the rules and regulations will be developed and agreed upon by those dwelling in that space. Thus the responsibility for its operation in a safe and sanitary way, maintaining the peace and respecting the privacy of its residents, will also be assumed collectively.
We are now looking for camping supplies, especially tents, sleeping bags, warm blankets and tarps. If you can donate any of these or other items, please contact me: (203) 645-5417 (call or text); firstname.lastname@example.org. For anyone interested in taking an active role in getting the project off the ground, I’m happy to discuss that as well.
Stay safe everyone. Gratefully,
Stand Up for Racial Justice put together the following. If you want to receive the SURJ newsletters on a regular basis, please e-mail email@example.com.
This is a special issue with links to community response and mutual aid resources, webpages and groups.
Hope you’re doing well – stay safe!
We want to share regional resources for mutual aid, support for those who are the most affected on the basis of health but also by the economic impacts of the spreading disease.
Donate to a food bank! Don’t stockpile groceries! When everyone only takes what they need, there’s enough for everyone!
Think of supporting your local businesses by buying a gift-card or a voucher that you can use in the future. Put a dollar in a jar if you’re having a drink at home and send the money to your favorite bartenders or donate to an emergency fund!
Regional Groups and Support Networks:
Mutual Aid/Support Waterbury, Bridgeport, New Haven and Surrounding Areas
document for sharing resources:
New Haven Area Mutual Aid
CoronaVirus CT Community Support / Apoyo Comunitario – link
Internet Book of Critical Care (IBCC)
Corornavirus Tech Handbook
Coronavirus Community Care Resource Guide
Mutual Aid Disaster Relief – When Every Community is Ground Zero: Pulling Each Other Through a Pandemic
Things To Do (at home for free!)
Collection of free resources – link
Time magazine and National Geographic for kids
Museums offering virtual tours
Free films from Indigenous film makers
Storytime for children
Fundraisers and Solidarity Campaigns:
Solidarity with Incarcerated People:
SURVIVING INSIDE: commissary payments for incarcerated people
Urgent Action Needed to Protect Individuals in Connecticut’s Prisons and Jails from Coronavirus-19 Pandemic
The Coronavirus Could Spark a Humanitarian Disaster in Jails and Prisons
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Response & Resources from The Justice Collaborative
‘Stay home?’ 500,000 homeless Americans can’t follow coronavirus advice
Perspective from disabled folks
National Fund for bartenders
Fund for musicians impacted by Covid-19 shutdowns:
ACTIVIST SONGBOOK audition process is now entirely online. (March 14th & 28th library auditions are canceled) You can submit video or audio of you performing a song or rap here
Sat Mar 28th 1pm The Annual Meeting of Promoting Enduring Peace (PEP)
More Details coming at www.PEPeace.org
Including Exclusive Video of Naomi Klein’s Lecture at Harvard AND we will announce the winner or winners of the 2020 Gandhi Peace Award
Opportunities to Get More Involved
To hear about more opportunities, join the SURJ New Haven General Body Google Group. We use this group to let members know about last-minute events and actions, as well as to coordinate SURJ’s presence at actions. Go to groups.google.com, search for our google group, and click “join.”
Another way that SURJ members can get more involved is by volunteering with our committees and working groups to organize and facilitate events. These groups often meet outside of general body meetings. If you see a project you might be interested in, email firstname.lastname@example.org to get connected with the co-chairs.
Recommended Media of the Week:
Tiny Pricks Project
the material record of Trump’s presidency
by Diana Weymar
SURJ is a national network of groups and individuals organizing White people for racial justice. Through community organizing, mobilizing, and education, SURJ moves White people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability. We work to connect people across the country while supporting and collaborating with local and national racial justice organizing efforts. SURJ provides a space to build relationships, skills and political analysis to act for change. Join us!
by Lesley Higgins-Biddle
Anne Higgins died on October 21, 2019, at her home in North Haven, Connecticut. Known for her commitment to social justice and racial equity, Anne was active in greater New Haven as a founding leader of People Against Injustice (PAI), with a special concern for prison reform and changes to Connecticut’s drug policy. She was active in New Haven/León Sister City Project after traveling to Nicaragua in her 60s and in the United Church of Christ state conference Peace and Social Concerns committee, which led her to be arrested for protests against nuclear weapons in Groton at the submarine base and in Washington, D.C. As an ordained minister, Anne believed unequivocally in “talking the talk and walking the walk.”
Anne was born in Bridgeport where her grandfather had been a progressive minister at Park Street Congregational Church on the city’s East Side. She attended a new, John Dewey-based elementary school that encouraged young girls to play sports, explore their intellectual gifts, and challenge social norms. She graduated from Smith College (1943) with a major in art and then became one of the first women to graduate from Yale Divinity School with a Master of Divinity, subsequently becoming an ordained Congregational minister. At Yale Anne met the love of her life, Arthur Higgins, with whom she co-pastored small rural churches in upstate New York, Colorado and Maine, at a time when the profession was almost entirely dominated by men.
Anne and Arthur moved back to Connecticut to serve parishes in Chester and Wilton, and raise their four children. While in Wilton they became very active in civil rights, with Arthur attending the March on Washington and Anne becoming active in SNCC and CORE chapters in nearby Norwalk. Anne’s critique of the American power structure was a major inspiration for her art and she created many paintings that expressed both oppression and hope, often at the same time.
Throughout her life, Anne remained indomitably committed, both aesthetically and ethically, to a life well lived and that ‘spoke truth to power.’ From her friend Paula Diehl: “Her last years of ministry took the form of programming for elders in affordable housing. She always tried to increase residents’ world-view and help them to better tolerate and understand those who were not like them.”
Anne is sorely missed by her sons, Bart and Gerry, and her daughters, Lesley and Ethel, who are pictured here with her at an exhibition of her paintings at the New Haven Friends Meeting in 2018. Anne’s friends from PAI, the Nicaraguan Prayer Group, and the Friends Meeting, are grateful for having known her. The sparkle in her eyes will be missed by everyone who knew her.
PAR readers are invited to send in proposals for panels, workshops or lectures for the Southern Connecticut State University 2020 Women’s & Gender Studies Conference. The theme is “Gender, Race, Community, & Conflict: Pursuing Peace and Justice.” The conference will take place Friday and Saturday, April 24 and 25, 2020. Submission deadline is Dec. 16, 2019.
The world is right now witnessing the unprecedented destruction of communities—mostly Indigenous—and their habitats, including the ongoing fires raging across the Amazon rainforest, the Dakota Pipeline construction, and the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea. Major conflicts have been exacerbated among genders, races and cultural groups, resulting in unspeakable suffering and violence in communities, from the desecration of Indigenous lands and sacred spaces to climate strikes and the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, two-spirit people, and trans women of color.
How do feminists and their communities, Indigenous and settler-colonial, address these problems and heal the breaches that have divided and torn communities apart? How have feminists and activists creatively used the existing power structures to reverse the fragmentation of peoples and break down hierarchies? In the pursuit of peace and justice, what are feminist activists doing within their families and communities to stop the divisions and violence and counter the hatred and demonization against “the other”? How are peace and justice achieved through the intersectional and transnational coalitions across gender, race, class, sexuality, religion, nationality?
Please submit proposals and supporting materials to email@example.com, with attention to “Conference Committee.” If you have any questions, please call the Women’s & Gender Studies Office at (203) 392-6133. Include name, affiliation, e-mail, and phone number. Proposals should be no longer than one page (250-400 words). Panel proposals are encouraged.
The Women’s & Gender Studies Conference at SCSU is self-supporting; all presenters can pre-register at the dis-counted presenters’ rate. The registration includes all costs for supporting materials and all meals and beverage breaks. For more information, visit the SCSU Women’s & Gender Studies page, or contact Women’s & Gender Studies Program: firstname.lastname@example.org or (203) 392-6133.
by Annie Harper, CMHC/PRCH Financial Health Project
The New Haven Debt Map is learning from New Haven residents about their debt burden and working to collectively develop local policy reforms to reduce that burden.
People are struggling with student loans, car loans and credit card debt. Many people are behind on rent and bills, or have unpaid taxes, fines, and tickets. Close to 50% of New Haven residents have delinquent debt; rates are much higher in neighborhoods of color than in white neighborhoods. People with debts in collections may have their wages, bank accounts or tax refunds attached. More than 3,000 New Haven households are behind on their UI bills. Many owe property taxes, parking tickets, or can’t afford registration. Their cars may be towed, with retrieval fees too high for some to recover their vehicles.
People also owe mortgage arrears, medical debt, online/TV retail installment loans, tax refund advances, online payday loans, rent-to-own stores, pawnshops, bank overdrafts, child support, IRS taxes, library fines, Medicaid/DOC liens, bail bonds, loans from friends and family, credit from neighbor-hood stores, loans from loan sharks……the list goes on.
The consequences of debt go beyond a person’s finances. People with debt and arrears are more than twice as likely than others to have mental and physical health problems.
We need to know more about how debt affects New Haven families. Is debt a problem? What types of debt burden people most? What can we do in the city to reduce the burden? Can we help people save to avoid going into debt in the first place, and help them repair and build their credit? What policy reforms could help, such as municipal rules around property taxes and parking tickets, or utility bills and disconnections? Could employers help workers avoid and better manage debt?
We need to hear from experts by lived experience when it comes to debt so that we fully understand the situation, and to work together to push for policy reforms that will make a difference. If you are interested in knowing more, please contact Annie Harper, at email@example.com or (203) 295-4143.
Annie Harper is Project Director of the Financial Health Project of CMHC/PRCH (CT Mental Health Center and Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health).
by Joan Cavanagh, former Archivist/Director, Greater New Haven Labor History Association (2001-2017)
I was with Lula White at many gatherings in 35 or so years: peace actions to oppose the endless U.S. wars; Sunday night potluck discussions; Labor History Association meetings and events; union protests at Yale; even the occasional holiday party. With Mary Johnson, she often spoke of teaching, organizing and being jailed during the teachers’ strikes in the 1970s. Her story as a youthful freedom rider in the South unfolded more slowly.
When we decided to document the history of workers at New Haven’s Winchester Repeating Arms Company, Lula and her sister, Dorothy White Johnson, both long time members of the Labor History Association Executive Board, contacted former Winchester employees, conducted interviews and borrowed artifacts for the exhibit, “Our Community at Winchester: An Elm City Story.”
After the plant closed in 2006, we transferred the files, artifacts and photographs of the workers’ union, IAM Local 609, to the office I shared with the late Nicholas Aiello, then LHA president. The plan was to inventory and preserve them. As Nick witnessed 65 boxes slowly taking over our space, he became, not unreasonably, upset. We had a heated exchange. Lula arrived just as I left to take a breath. When I returned, Lula was smiling—and so was Nick, who congratulated us for having secured custody of these important historical records. Whatever she said or did, she had, typically, transformed the situation.
At Fairfield University, where the exhibit was displayed in 2017, I introduced Lula after a short history of the project, and began asking questions. The audience, mostly students, soon took over. Lula spoke quietly and without drama about her life as the daughter of a Winchester worker, growing up in the Newhallville section of New Haven, then becoming a teacher of history and union activist. She also shared the terrifying, brave experience of being jailed in Mississippi as a young Black woman, one of hundreds of freedom riders trying to integrate the buses in 1961. In an evaluation of the session, a student wrote that she was “cool.” She had shared her hope for a future based on engaged citizenship at a moment when it was desperately needed, just following the 2017 presidential inauguration.
During my only visit to the Intensive Care Unit where Lula was confined in June, not expected to survive, I whispered to her to “Keep fighting.” It wasn’t necessary. Fight she did. Over the summer, she slowly got better. She almost made it.
Despite Lula White’s inner calm, peace and strength, it cannot have been easy being fully “woke.” May she find the joy and rest she has earned.
Excerpt from the obituary notice of the New Haven Register, Sept. 16, 2019
Ms. White was frequently jailed as a freedom rider trying to desegregate public transportation. In addition, she was arrested for striking to raise salaries for teachers, and jeered for marching to protest injustice. She was recognized by the Quinnipiac University School of Law in 2016, was awarded the Thurgood Marshall Award for her activism and commu-nity service, and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree from Albertus Magnus College in 2010. Lula fought the good fight.
We continue to work on healthcare for all, affordable housing, the environment, concerns of unfair energy prices, care for the homeless and residents of sober houses. Our next board meeting is on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2-4 p.m. on the lower level of the Fair Haven Library, 182 Grand Ave. All are welcome to attend.
Annual membership dues for Coalition for People is $5. We would like more people to become members, as well as to consider joining our board. For more information, please call (203) 468-2541 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the last issue of PAR we notified readers of the passing of our board member Geraldine Poole. At the time of printing we were not able to include a photo. For all who remember Geraldine, we thought you would like to see her once more.
Holly Hackett, Community Advocate, Member of Coalition for People
My life has been impacted immensely by substance use disorder. Has yours? The statistics say yes, that 1 in 3 people know someone with substance use disorder, a chronic and debilitating brain condition. There are approximately 2.1 million people (and growing) in the U.S. suffering from this condition but only 1 in 9 seek treatment, usually due to the stigma surrounding mental health and addiction. These untreated traumas or mental health issues that lead to the person self-medicating can also lead to other health issues, criminal activity and unfortunately, deaths of despair. Every 11 minutes someone dies from an overdose and half are in private homes. In doing my research, I’ve concluded that a lot of these deaths at private homes have occurred in so-called “sober” houses.
My love Tom passed away just 20 days shy of his 39th birthday of liver failure after being in a “sober” house for about 3-4 months. I’m trying to bring awareness to these illegitimate, unsafe, fly-by-night houses that anyone can start, where MANY people across the country struggling with substance use disorder have died.
The cost to live in these houses can range from $700 to $10,000 a month and may not include food, cable TV or linens. In Connecticut there is Public Act No 18-171, but by using simple verbiage these houses are absolved and no one seems to want to enforce said act.
I’m also discouraged that these managers and/or owners of these “sober” houses aren’t held criminally liable if someone dies of an overdose at the house or perhaps drinks and drives and gets into an accident. I’d like to gather everyone together who has been affected by this disorder to stand together, work together, and find a way to let our local, state and federal legislators know these houses are UNACCEPTABLE and MORE needs to be done. We need to protect the vulnerable communities of people with mental health and substance use disorders. The process of Tom dying was long, and at times extremely physically and emotionally painful for him, but his parents suffered through emotional turmoil that cannot even be put into words!
I am hoping PAR readers will want to join me in working on this. Please contact me via email at email@example.com.
by the PAR Planning Committee
Since the nationwide strike for the 8-hour workday in 1886, the first of May has become a historic day for the struggles of working people, and for over a hundred years May 1 has been celebrated as International Workers’ Day. Locally, in 1970, the May Day protests on the New Haven Green demanded freedom for Bobby Seale, justice for the Black Panthers, and the end of the Vietnam War. Starting in 1987 and continuing for thirty years on the Green, the annual May Day celebration each year brought together dozens of organizations to promote their work for labor rights, peace, human rights, and economic rights to the broader New Haven community. And since 2006, city-wide marches for immigrants’ rights are held on May 1. Peace, racism, police brutality, union struggles, fair wages, anti-war, immigration, a safe environment, criminal justice issues, labor history, welfare rights organizing, the right to healthcare — these are some of the struggles and issues in the celebration of international solidarity.
April was a month full of upsurge. From April 11-21, Stop & Shop workers from Connecticut, Rhode Island and
Massachusetts (31,000 workers) were on strike. The union considers the new contract a victory, preserving healthcare and retirement benefits and providing wage increases. The next strike in Connecticut will be unionized workers in nursing homes. They are scheduled to strike on May 1.
For days there have been massive protests and marches in New Haven and Hamden condemning the thoroughly unjustified Hamden and Yale police shooting in New Haven of two African-Americans in their early twenties on April 16. Thankfully, Stephanie Washington is recovering from her bullet wounds, and Paul Witherspoon was not hit. Video from the police body cameras has not yet been released. As of this writing, people will gather at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 6 at the Hamden Town Hall for the Legislative Council Meeting. We urge our readers to join in the many rallies for justice around these and other issues and be inspired by the many people at the forefront of these struggles for their lives and their livelihoods.