NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker officially announced Thursday he will be running for a second term.
Most of his first term as mayor consisted of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Elicker would hold frequent virtual updates for the public on the city’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to do so.
While students are learning from home, the city was able to provide technology support to over 20,000 students.
As stores started to open back up, the New Haven COVID Task Force was established to ensure businesses in the city are complying with basic COVID-19 protocols.
The Elicker administration has been dedicated to paying attention to the needs of historically marginalized populations, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, the city worked to move homeless individuals to hotels to help shelters social distance properly. New Haven was also one of the first places in CT where people can walk up to get a COVID-19 test, as opposed to going to a drive-thru site.
This past summer, New Haven saw a handful of Black Lives Matter protests in response to the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. The protests on the Green and around the city called for the end of systemic racism in the Elm City and around the country. Mayor Elicker said he listened to protesters’ demands, contributed to community dialogue addressing racism, and helped develop the city’s Police Civilian Review Board in response.
Another challenge the city faced was the city’s Parks Department’s decision to remove the Christopher Columbus statue after it stood in Wooster Square Park for over 100 years.
“I think it’s the right decision to take the statue down. I do think it’s important for us to have a conversation about how to celebrate Italian heritage for so many Italian people who live in the city,” Mayor Elicker said in June 2020.
Election Day 2019, he was elected mayor of the Elm City against Incumbent Toni Harp. During his first run for mayor, he promised more transparency for the city.
His transition team published a 50-page report of goals they had during Elicker’s first term just one week after he was sworn in.
If history is any indication, Elicker is likely to win a second term. New Haven has not had a one-term Mayor since 1931.
“We have been through an incredible year,” Elicker said Thursday. “It’s become ever more clear to me just how proud I am to be part of this city and to be in an opportunity to lead this city. But also how important it is for us to work together to solve the many challenges we face.”
Elicker has been a New Haven resident for over a decade, serving for the Board of Alders for four years and teaching as an adjunct professor at Southern Connecticut State University for three years. He earned two Master’s degrees from Yale; a Master’s in Business Administration from the Yale School of Management and a Master’s in Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry. He also worked in the U.S. Foreign Services and has been an elementary and high school teacher.