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Solutions for New Haven
Public Safety and Justice Reform
Being smart on public safety means creating a community where everyone belongs, in every part of the city. This requires rethinking how, when, and why we use law enforcement and discontinuing wasteful policies that do not work. Too often, our leaders keep employing the same tactics that don’t solve the problem and lead to bias and discrimination. For the last half century, New Haven has participated in the federal government’s War on Drugs without making any significant headway against drugs or gun violence. This must stop.
We imagine better. By using the city’s power more precisely and adopting key criminal justice reforms, we can focus on getting illegal guns out of the city, treat addiction as the public health issue that it is, and concentrate our resources on what works. Everyone in New Haven deserves to be and feel safe. We can achieve safe streets on every block across our city, while ending outdated and ineffective practices that have disproportionately harmed Black and brown communities.
You can read Liam's plan for criminal justice reform here.
Housing and Community
The American Dream starts with having a place to call home. But for too many New Haveners, housing costs have become unaffordable. This is the result of city policies that simultaneously constrain the supply of quality homes and leave working families at the power of market forces and powerful interests.
We imagine better. With an “all of the above” approach to community development, including rental assistance programs, rezoning, and 21st century planning, we can develop our city’s economy, make it easier to find a place to call home, and reinvigorate our public spaces to make the Elm City a place of belonging, joy, and stability for all. A century ago, New Haven’s working class neighborhoods were engines of social mobility. They can be that again for the next century.
You can read Liam's plan for a more livable New Haven here.
The path to a good life begins at the schoolhouse door. As a parent of four kids in New Haven Public Schools, I’ve seen that the district’s schools are underfunded and mismanaged. I know the frustration of seeing teachers disappear in the middle of the year, burnt out or hired away.
We imagine better. Our schools need leadership that will bring new focus to the district’s perennial management challenges. By using the city’s powers more creatively, we can support our teachers and students, focus on curriculum that actually educates our children, and create better opportunities for everyone.
A fairer city budget
A city's budget is an expression of its values and priorities. Liam Brennan supports the priorities of a "Fair Share" budget that both promotes resident wellbeing and is sustainable. Liam's vision centers these values for making tough decisions about competing priorities:
Center New Haven's people when considering how to raise revenue and how to spend it.
Use the city’s strengths to raise revenue more equitably. This means getting downtown developers and suburban visitors to pay their fair share to support city amenities.
Target new investment to areas that meet people's needs and reinforce the city's fiscal health. This means directing new spending to policy areas like education and housing affordability, and conceptualizing public safety as more than just policing.
This policy brief describes how we should think about the city budget, to make sure it works for all New Haveners and makes the city stronger today and tomorrow. Read Liam's vision for the city budget here.
It’s time to really treat the climate emergency as an emergency. Using emergency powers we can fast track changes needed to combat climate change.
Greening our grid, making homes more efficient, and preparing for the inevitability of unprecedented weather events will take focus and energy. But it's also an opportunity to come together and make our community stronger. Read Liam's plan for green policy here.