New Haven Mayor-Elect Justin Elicker Discusses Transition, Hopes for Future

The City of New Haven will have a new mayor for the first time in six years when Justin Elicker is sworn in in a few weeks.

Elicker beat New Haven Mayor Toni Harp in the Democratic primary and General Elections campaigning on platforms of change and inclusion, but what comes next?

"It's amazing the amount of work that we already need to get done to make sure there's a smooth transition," Elicker said.

He is less than a month away from becoming the city's next mayor. He said he's hard at work on his transition into office and guiding the city in a new direction.

"Being able to provide more people an opportunity to access government, to feel more a part of the process is what I'm most excited to do," Elicker added.

Elicker said a transition team of 25 is helping identify what will be his administration's priorities using a first 100 days approach.

Elicker, a former city alder who unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 2013, campaigned this time on uniting the city. It's something he believes improving public schools will help accomplish.

"There's policies that we can implement in our city to make sure our education system has more opportunities for early childhood education," he added.

Creating affordable housing through inclusionary zoning and new developer incentives is another priority.

"There’s a lot of people moving into New Haven and a lot of wealth that’s coming into New Haven, but we’ve got to make sure that New Haven residents that have been living here for many years benefit from the wealth that’s coming into town," Elicker said.

But Elicker's biggest focus is the city's crushing budget deficit.

"We have a severe budget crisis and it's likely to get worse and worse unless we implement policies to start to identify new sources of revenue, identify more efficiencies and make sure our city is able to pay for the basic services that many of our residents really want," Elicker added.

He will be sworn in as New Haven mayor on January 1.

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