I've represented Ward 1 on the Board of Alders for the past two years. Here’s some of the work I’m most proud of:
Last May, I rallied 25 members of the Board of Alders to pressure Governor Lamont to send pandemic relief funds to undocumented Connecticut residents. Our efforts, combined with activism around the state, helped win millions in critically needed funding.
Over the summer, I worked with Downtown small business owners to close down a lane of College St so that restaurants could set up more tables for outdoor dining, which helped them stay afloat during the pandemic.
This spring, I was proud to team up with community organizers and city residents to help organize the Vaccinate Fair Haven effort, which knocked on over 5,000 doors to spread the word about vaccines. This door-knocking campaign helped increase vaccination rates among Black and Hispanic residents in the neighborhood.
This month, a noise ordinance amendment I drafted with Alders Abby Roth, Frank Douglass, and Ron Hurt unanimously passed the Board of Alders Legislation Committee. When it passes the full Board in June, the change we wrote will prevent trash haulers from violating city law and waking up residents before 5 am.
In March, the Board of Alders passed the Equality Act resolution that I introduced to show New Haven's support for LGBTQ+ rights at the local, state and federal levels.
This month, the Traffic Authority approved my requests for three new bike lanes downtown. I'm looking forward to working with city staff and my colleagues on the Board of Alders to get these lanes set up in the coming months.
As a member of the Aldermanic Affairs Committee, I've helped question and approve mayoral appointees for top jobs in City Hall and for a number of key boards and commissions. Our committee has made sure to approve qualified nominees who will advocate for racial and economic justice in our city.
I've also served on the Board of Alders' Inclusionary Zoning Task Force, where I've worked with my colleagues and city staff on changes to New Haven's zoning code. I'm hopeful these efforts will help bring about zoning reforms that make New Haven a more affordable and equitable place to live for all our residents.
I’ve spent the past five years serving and fighting for the New Haven community in every way I could. Here’s some of the other work I've done:
Director of the Connecticut Progressive Caucus
Since the fall of 2018, I've served as Director of the Connecticut Progressive Caucus. In that role, I've helped organize and mobilize the progressive Democrats in the Connecticut House of Representatives. I've fought to pass a $15 an hour minimum wage, Paid Family Medical Leave, criminal justice reform, and a state budget that gives New Haven the resources our community deserves.
Eli with New Haven State Rep. Robyn Porter
Ward 1 Co-Chair
I served on the New Haven Democratic Town Committee from 2018 to 2020. As Ward 1 co-chair, worked to increase voter turnout in the 2018 midterm elections, teamed up with Alder Catalbasoglu to engage Ward 1 constituents and the broader community, and led the effort to write a political accountability plank for the New Haven Democratic Party platform.
Eli with former Ward 1 alder Haci Catalbasoglu
Policy staff for State Rep. Roland Lemar
In the spring of 2018, I worked in Representative Roland Lemar’s office, researching policy issues with a focus on affordable housing. My experience in the legislature showed me what it takes to turn progressive policy ideals into law: hard work, strong principles, and an ability to build coalitions.
Eli with Rep. Lemar at the State Capitol
Member of the New Haven Homeless Advisory Board
In the spring of 2019, then-Mayor Toni Harp appointed me to New Haven's Homeless Advisory Board, where I worked on affordable housing and homeless services policy. I left the Homeless Advisory Board when my term on the Board of Alders started in 2020.
The Affordable Housing Task Force meets at City Hall
Tutor at Elm City
In 2018 and 2019, I volunteered at Elm City Internationals, a New Haven nonprofit helping immigrant kids succeed in local schools. I loved working with the 5th and 6th grade group to improve their English reading and writing skills.
Eli helping students with reading comprehension
Member of the Connecticut Commission on Community Service
In 2018, I was appointed to the Connecticut Commission on Community Service by then-Governor Dan Malloy. As a commission member, I've worked to distribute state dollars to service organizations and learned about nonprofit work across Connecticut.
Eli helping Loaves and Fishes New Haven with their COVID-19 grocery delivery service