Mayor Toni Harp and U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., held a rally on Nov. 4 to promote their political platforms and encourage New Haven residents to go out and vote on Election Day.
The rally was held at Nica’s Market on Orange Street and included appearances by not only Harp and Murphy but also Chairman of the Connecticut Democratic Party Nick Balletto, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-New Haven, and many members of the state and city government. At the event speakers stressed the importance of voter turnout and rallied support for the Harp, Murphy and DeLauro campaigns. The tone was not uniformly positive, however. Many spoke critically of President Donald Trump and what Murphy called his “divisive and reckless” policies.
“This is the first time millions of people are coming out to vote since Donald Trump,” Murphy said. “Whether we like it or not, the turnout on Tuesday and the results will show whether we are really able to take this tidal wave of activism throughout the country and turn it into change.”
Each speaker at the rally endorsed Harp for mayor, pointing to her leadership skills and her outspoken fight for New Haven residents against Trump.
In particular, Murphy praised Harp’s work as mayor over the past four years, noting that they have known each other for a very long time, working together closely on the Connecticut General Assembly’s Public Health Committee.
“I don’t know that there is another mayor in the country that is standing up more forcefully, more regularly to Donald Trump than Toni Harp is,” Murphy said.
Harp said that the indictments for two Trump associates suggest “something is amiss in the current administration in Washington.” She also praised former President Barack Obama, saying that he provided “hope” when he was elected in 2008.
“We made progress during those 8 years, but how quickly does it turn around?” Harp asked the crowd.
Senate Democratic President Pro Tempore Martin Looney, D-New Haven, exalted the mayor’s devotion to New Haven, pointing to the fact that Jan. 1, 2018, will be the 30th anniversary of Harp’s first swearing-in ceremony as Ward 2 alder.
“In each of the capacities she has served in in those 30 years, she has been extraordinary,” Looney said at the rally. “As long as she is willing to serve, we need to support her.”
Attendees also rallied in support of Murphy and DeLauro’s 2018 re-election campaigns.
“It’s not popular in America to talk about gun violence in urban areas. [Murphy] has made sure that our young people have alternatives to engaging in crime,” Harp said. “He talks about guns in the face of the NRA.”
Looney called DeLauro the “conscience of the U.S. Congress,” and Murphy called her the “toughest fighter” he has ever known, noting that she rallied a bus full of “progressive women” to travel all around the state, helping elect him to the U.S. Senate in 2012.
In addition to the politicians speaking at the event, approximately 30 people attended Saturday’s rally.
“Mayor Harp knows how to work with a diverse population,” said Esther Armmand, a New Haven resident. “It is rare to have a mayor that considers the interests of the constituents as a cornerstone for decisions.”
Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 7.
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