NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Another candidate officially joined the race for New Haven mayor.

Shafiq Abdussabur, a Democrat, believes he can lead a better New Haven. He told News 8 that it’s all hands on deck, and his goal is to be an open-ear and vision-driven mayor.

With help from his young granddaughter and surrounded by his family, the 55-year-old filed paperwork Friday to run for New Haven mayor.

“I’m standing here because I feel the urgency that we need to do something now,” Abdussabur said.

The Elm City native is a community organizer and retired New Haven police sergeant and knows his work is cut out for him.

Abdussabur said the key to ending the cycle of violence is better education.

“We have to do something to stop this school-to-prison pipeline that has been established,” he said. “That’s not going to help us have a better New Haven.”

That’s why he says schools are his top priority.

“Our school children are being shot at,” he said. “Our school children are not in school. We do not have a solution for the absenteeism. We do not have a solution for the low reading levels, and we have the money that’s been sitting there for two years.”

Abdussabur is running against current New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker, management consultant Tom Holdenberg, and activist Wendy Hamilton.

Regardless of the candidate, they’re facing a laundry list of issues in the city. The diversity gap between white teachers and African American students is among the highest in the state at 61%. Crime is up, with seven deadly shootings in the last five weeks. And homelessness, where city leaders say there are currently 250 homeless individuals and families.