Our school system, once an example to other urban school districts, had the worst chronic absenteeism of any Connecticut district last year and is being closely monitored by the State Department of Education. Make no mistake - this is a moment of crisis. As Mayor, Tom will be hands-on with education, ensuring that district leadership has the rigor, accountability, and transparency that our families deserve. Tom will enact policies that improve our ability to attract and retain exceptional teachers, strengthen our partnerships, and ensure that every student in a classroom is engaged. Read Tom's op-ed in the New Haven Register on his plan to bring our schools back on track.
Public safety is paramount. So many of our residents do not feel safe walking outside at night, or even in the day time. As Mayor, I will go beyond conventional approaches to crime by investing in preventive measures to disrupt cycles of violence before they occur, and strengthening our approach for getting illegal guns off of the streets.
Our city faces a housing crisis, with skyrocketing rents and property taxes increasing 20% or higher in several neighborhoods, despite the city receiving more than $100 million in Federal funds last year. This has caused homeowners and renters to be pushed out of their homes. As Mayor, I will freeze the property tax increases and fight to establish rent stabilization. I will also establish incentives to encourage more owner-occupied housing purchases.
Fueled by the history of redlining and discrimination, our majority-Black and -Hispanic commercial corridors need renewed investment, and we must strive to address the racial disparities that still plague our city. The most extreme racial disparity in New Haven is that of Black business ownership - Black residents are 22x less likely to own a business than white residents. As Mayor, I will establish a community-based business development initiative, working with commercial corridors like Dixwell Avenue and Grand Avenue while providing needed support to minority entrepreneurs to build centers of economic and cultural excellence in our city. Read Tom's policy positions on supporting minority-owned businesses in New Haven.