Greens Endorse Paca

September 19, 2017

Green Chair Patricia Kane stated in a release that the party decided to endorse Paca because of his “vision for the city” and “his commitment to specific steps to improve the economy and quality of life for New Haven residents.”


Paca issued a statement that he’s “thrilled” with the Green endorsement. He stated that it “speaks directly to my commitment to grow our green economy and partnerships with businesses, residents and students; provide more ethical transparent and inclusive government and maintain a focus on the neediest amongst us, namely our homeless.”

(New Haven Independent)

Joyner, Torre Speak Up For Paca

September 10, 2017

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School board President Ed Joyner, who has been a visible supporter of Marcus Paca’s mayoral campaign, issued a statement Sunday night explaining why.

So did longtime board member Carlos Torre (a former board president as well). The releases came as Paca prepares to square off against Mayor Toni Harp in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

(New Haven Independent)

New Haven mayoral hopeful Paca says waste, mismanagement hampering city’s progress

September 08, 2017

Marcus Paca, as a city native, says he is the one with the best understanding of New Haven and has the vision to make sure it stays strong in light of state and federal fiscal restraints.

Paca entered the last weekend of campaigning before Tuesday’s Democratic mayoral primary promising a reduced budget for New Haven in terms of less bonding, fewer unnecessary contracts and more transparency, as he looks to beat Mayor Toni Harp, who is seeking her third term in office after more than 20 years as a state senator.

“I think New Haven’s future can be brighter than its past. I think New Haven needs fresh, new, energetic leadership to move it progressively forward,” Paca said. “I want to have an honest conversation with folks about the true state of our city.”

(New Haven Register)

New Haven Mayor Harp misses finance filing deadline; Paca qualifies for Democracy Fund

September 06, 2017

Mayor Toni Harp’s campaign could face a filing penalty fee after failing to submit finance forms in time this week, while challenger Marcus Paca has started receiving public campaign funds.

(New Haven Register)

Mendi Blue Paca: John Stoehr does not speak for me

September 06, 2017

When the Paca and Harp mayoral campaigns are focused on issues that matter to voters, like jobs, education, homelessness, city maintenance and public safety, things don’t go so well for Team Harp, which is running light on accomplishments in its four-year tenure. So Stoehr’s single ambition is to divert voters away from the issues. 

(New Haven Register)

Paca’s In The House

September 05, 2017

Marcus Paca won over a voter the other day with some old-fashioned one-on-one campaigning in the most intimate of settings: a gathering in a private home.

The event took place Sunday at the 1892 beautifully restored East Pearl Street home of Patricia and Kirby Long. About a dozen people attended, mainly from within the circle of friends of the Longs and Gerry and Kathy Wenner—she is Patricia’s sister—and also Fair Haveners.

It was one of a half-dozen or so such “house” events that Paca has organized to introduce himself to voters since his insurgent campaign began. 

(New Haven Independent)

Paca Questions Church St. South Plan

August 30, 2017

If Marcus Paca becomes New Haven’s next mayor, he promises to take a closer look before allowing the developer who allowed the Church Street South complex to deteriorate to build it back up again.

And if he does end up working with the developer, Paca vowed, he’ll keep the company “on a short leash.”

Paca, who is challenging incumbent Mayor Toni Harp in a Sept. 12 Democratic primary, made that vow Tuesday during an interview on WNHH radio’s “Dateline New Haven” program.

(New Haven Independent)

Marcus goes on air with 94.3 WYBC

August 26, 2017

Marcus discusses his vision and plans for New Haven on The Electric Drum on 94.3 WYBC. Program hosted by Juan Castillo and Yusuf Shah.

Legal Aid Takes City To Task On Lead

August 24, 2017

Despite two city-ordered series of repairs, a child is still living at a west side apartment with lead-paint poisoning —  the latest chapter in a decade-long saga that’s now the subject of a demand letter and an upcoming suit by legal aid lawyers questioning how effectively the city regulates hazards in renters’ homes.

[A] spate of enforcement actions came in response to a demand letter sent to the city last Wednesday by two New Haven Legal Assistance Association attorneys. The letter, which documented “urgent fire, health, and safety concerns,” like toxic lead paint that’s poisoned two kids, said the situation fits a “pattern of failure” by the city to stay on top of code violations.

(New Haven Independent)

90 New Educators Hired

August 24, 2017

A procedural mistake nearly scuttled the Board of Education’s plans to add close to 90 new staff members before students return from summer break next week.

Short one member after Daisy Gonzalez’s death, the board almost couldn’t reach the five-member quorum to take action. The three board members present — Ed Joyner, Carlos Torre and Frank Redente — frantically called and texted their colleagues, asking them to call in to a conference line. After about 20 minutes, Darnell Goldson and Che Dawson both dialed in.

Mayor Toni Harp was absent.

(New Haven Independent)

Paca Eventually Gets In The Door

August 22, 2017

Paca showed up to the East Shore Senior Center on Townsend Avenue at noon Tuesday dressed in a nice suit, ready to charm the women with coffee and cannolis from Rocco’s Bakery. The only thing missing was flowers.

But he got stopped at the door. The center’s director told him he needed approval from the city’s elderly services director if he wanted to come in.

Paca, who is challenging incumbent Mayor Toni Harp in a Sept. 12 Democratic primary, had made the date three weeks ago. He ultimately was allowed to speak but not with the news crew present.

(New Haven Independent)

Democratic primary set for New Haven mayoral race

August 16, 2017

Mayoral candidate Marcus Paca has earned enough signatures to trigger a Democratic primary with Mayor Toni Harp.

Paca was one of seven candidates seeking public office who successfully petitioned to appear in the Democratic primary.

“I’m excited that the residents of New Haven will have a choice for mayor in this year’s election cycle,” Paca said in a statement. “Although we have a long way to go I want to thank all of my staff, supporters, signers and especially wife, Mendi, for their dedication to democracy.”

(New Haven Register)

Now The Counting Starts...

August 09, 2017

Mayoral candidate Marcus Paca, who on Tuesday was certified to appear on the Nov. 7 ballot, said his campaign submitted around 3,200 signatures to appear on the Democratic primary ballot as well.

His team had to hustle: By law they had only two weeks to collect all those names. Paca said he personally collected close to 1,000 signatures in that time.  Now the waiting starts, as the registrar of voters team verifies signatures. A final determination on whether Paca makes the primary ballot is expected either at the end of this week or early next week.


“I’m a Democrat. If she’s going to win, she’s going to earn it,” he said of incumbent Democratic Mayor Toni Harp, whom he’s challenging.

(New Haven Independent)

Paca Makes Nov. 7 Ballot

August 09, 2017

New Haven voters will be able to choose between at least two candidates for mayor in at least one election this fall.

That’s because Marcus Paca has qualified for the Nov. 7 general election ballot as an unaffiliated candidate, in his quest to unseat two-term Mayor Toni Harp.

Jessica Rios reported to her boss, City Clerk Michael Smart, at around 3 p.m. Tuesday that she had verified 293 signatures of New Haven voters that Paca had collected on petitions to make that ballot. He needed only 122.

“This goes to show that democracy is not dead in our city,” Paca said. “But we have a lot more to do.”

(New Haven Independent)

Millennials Cycle Into Mayoral Race

August 04, 2017

Marcus Paca’s campaign found a way Thursday to get 20 and 30-something moving in local politics: order them some pizza and invite them on the Elm City Party Bike. 

The Democrat’s campaign for mayor has a Millennial Task Force, which invited young professionals to Ah Beetz pizza on Temple Street after work Thursday afternoon and hired out New Haven’s new mobile pedal-bar with wheels to pedal around downtown and talk about how to make a better city.

(New Haven Independent)

Paca Hits First 1,000 Signatures

August 03, 2017

“Ain’t gonna change,” West Rock’s Earlana Mundy told the candidate.

“Nothing changes?” he responded. “Well, that’s why I’m running.”

Marcus Paca was the candidate in question, and Tuesday he made that pitch at the Brookside Estates public-housing development in West Rock on the first stop of a long afternoon in his quest to rack up thousands of signatures so his name can appear on the Sept. 12 Democratic Party mayoral primary ballot against two-term incumbent Toni Harp.

On the trail Tuesday, Paca offered a straightforward pitch: I’m here, ready to listen and lead, if you give me a chance.

Communicating that message and seeking the signatures, person-to-person, proved a painstaking process as Paca sped across the city with his wife and campaign aide, Mendi Blue, to attend four events in five hours.

(New Haven Independent)

Paca: I’m Like Yates; Harp’s Like Trump

July 15, 2017

Is New Haven a stable city that has become safer, more responsibly governed, and more attuned to the needs of its students and workers over the past four years? Or is it barely treading water, rife with violence and unemployment, led by a mayoral administration bent on political retaliation and deceit?

Mayor Toni Harp said the former, and her challenger for the Democratic mayoral nomination, Marcus Paca, offered the latter view as they pitched their candidacies Saturday morning to 60 party leaders during a forum held by Democratic Town Committee (DTC) on the steps outside the Betsy Ross Parish House on Kimberly Avenue.

(New Haven Independent)

Harp, Paca take part in New Haven mayoral candidate forum

July 15, 2017

Members of the New Haven Democratic Town Committee held a candidate forum in the parking lot of the Betsy Ross Arts Magnet School Saturday after they found the hall decorated and apparently booked for another event.

The candidates for various offices carried on, using the threshold at the top of the steps as a platform to address dozens of members of the town committee and other residents with mayoral challenger Marcus Paca up first before Mayor Toni Harp took to the improvised stage.

The pair have appeared at ward committees around the city, but they have not engaged in a debate per se, although both took questions from fellow party members Saturday.

(New Haven Register)

Read Marcus Paca's Democratic Town Committee Speech

July 15, 2017

Read the full text of Marcus' speech to New Haven's Democratic Town Committee.  Learn about his thoughts on democracy, the challenges and opportunities facing New Haven, and the ways in which work in the Harp Administration impacted his thoughts about open government and his decision to run for mayor.

Paca Certified For Public Financing

July 14, 2017

Talk about a good deal: Marcus Paca has to turn over $2,910 — and he gets $19,00 in return.


That’s because the Paca has qualified for matching money for his campaign for the New Haven Democratic mayoral nomination under the city’s public-financing system, known as the Democracy Fund.

Paca said in a written statement Friday that he’s “thrilled” that his campaign qualified and looks forward to continuing his participating in the Democracy Fund. He stated that the milestone reflects “incredible momentum around giving, evidenced by the fact that we received nearly 75 percent more donations from New Haven residents than our goal number to qualify.”

That “tells us that our message for new vision, new energy and real progress is resonating with voters. Now, with public financing, we will be able to continue our focus on the concerns of residents, business owners and seniors and won’t be beholden to big donors, special interests or machine politics.”

(New Haven Independent)

Paca turns up the heat on New Haven mayor’s record; Harp vows continued improvement

July 12, 2017

Mayor Toni Harp and her political opponent and ex-employee Marcus Paca took their campaigns through Westville Wednesday night, as the Wards 26 and 27 Democratic Town Committee held a forum at Mauro-Sheridan School.

Paca, who presented his vision for the city first, criticized several aspects of Harp’s first two terms in office, leaving her to defend against and rebut his claims during her 15 minutes.

(New Haven Register)

Beleaguered Registrar of Voters Delays Paca’s Public Money, Mayoral Debate Promised

July 11, 2017

Mayoral challenger Marcus Paca appears to have qualified to receive public campaign cash — once a dispute involving the beleaguered Registrar of Voters office can be cleared up.

Paca submitted records to the Democracy Fund — the city agency that runs New Haven’s public-financing system — showing he collected contributions of at least $10 apiece from around 350 New Haven voters, according to Aly Heimer, who runs the agency. Paca, who is challenging incumbent Toni Harp for the Democratic mayoral nomination, needs only 200 such contributions to qualify for the system and an initial $19,000 grant.


So far, Paca has had less success getting Mayor Harp to engage in public debate with him. The two have shown up at a series of Democratic ward committee meetings across town to introduce their candidacies. Organizers of the events have disallowed people from asking questions — even when, as at one such Hill forum this past Saturday at Roberto Clemente Leadership Academy, Paca said he was told a Q&A segment had been on the schedule.

(New Haven Independent)

Alders Override Mayor’s Vetoes

June 27, 2017

The Board of Alders handed the Harp administration a resounding defeat Monday night, voting 25-0 to override mayoral vetoes of policy amendments of the new city budget that takes effect Saturday.


The vote took place at City Hall.


The alders voted to override Mayor Toni Harp’s vetoes of 10 amendments to the final $538.9 million city budget that deal with policy, not changes in how much money New Haven spends.

(New Haven Independent) 

Johnson Endorses Paca

June 20, 2017

Ira Johnson, who had filed papers to seek a ballot spot in this year’s mayoral election, has decided to endorse Democratic mayoral challenger Marcus Paca instead.

(New Haven Independent) 

Harp, Paca Portray 2 New Havens

June 16, 2017

In Mayor Toni Harp’s New Haven, violent crime has fallen nearly 75 percent in six years. In challenger Marcus Paca’s New Haven, bullets still fly in struggling neighborhoods, with victims shot “even in their own homes.”

Young people are flocking downtown for walkable living and a startup-friendly culture, in Harp’s city. In Paca’s, economic development hasn’t touched the Westville, Grand Avenue or the Dixwell main drags.

Harp’s New Haven hasn’t had a property tax increase for the last two years. Paca’s city is perilously close to one because of endangered state aid.

(New Haven Independent)

New Haven Mayor Toni Harp defends move to give $20,000 pay raise to youth services director

May 29, 2017

Mayor Toni Harp is digging in.


The mayor is in disagreement with the alders as to who has the final say over salaries if an employee’s duties increase. She said she gave a $20,000 raise to Youth Services Director Jason Bartlett sometime in fiscal 2014-15 and then put the $105,000 salary in the proposed budget sent to the alders for fiscal 2015-16. At that point, the alders didn’t approve the raise.

The mayor, who was first elected in 2013, said she was told by the Human Resources and personnel offices to come to them if an executive management employee should have his or her salary adjusted. “That was what we were told. Look, I was new, that is what I did. They told me I could do it,” Harp said.

(New Haven Register)





Editorial: Harp circumvented the proper process in raising director of youth services pay

May 27, 2017

No matter how you look at it, the math does not add up.


Since 2015, the salary of the city’s director of youth services has been listed on the city’s budget as $85,000. But we now know that is not true — and alders are demanding an explanation from Mayor Toni Harp.


They have good reason.

(New Haven Register)

Paca Contemplates “Clean Money” Run

May 26, 2017

Mayor Toni Harp said she is opting out of New Haven’s public-financing system for her reelection campaign, while opponent Marcus Paca is exploring jumping in.

New Haven has the state’s only municipal public financing system, administered by the Democracy Fund. It distributed a total of $111,250 to three mayoral candidates in 2013, the last time any campaigns participated.

Advocates tout the fund as a way to limit the influence of big special-interest money in elections and to enable more candidates to field competitive campaigns.

(New Haven Independent)

Paca Kicks Off Voter Ed In Fair Haven

May 19, 2017

Mayoral candidate Marcus Paca opened a campaign office and made a pitch for voter registration and education, in the heart of Fair Haven, particularly for those who are formerly incarcerated.

With a DJ Skorp spinning tunes and drowning out the busy Friday traffic making its way up and down Grand Avenue, Paca and his supporters gathered to talk about building an informed electorate and putting more voters on the rolls.

(New Haven Independent)

Paca: I’ll Drive Myself & Own Up To Mistakes

May 16, 2017

Marcus Paca promised Tuesday that, if elected, he won’t have a police officer drive him around and he will promptly come clean with the public about mistakes like breaches of private health data.

During an interview on WNHH radio’s “Dateline New Haven” program, Paca, who is seeking the Democratic mayoral nomination, cited those two positions as examples of how as mayor he would run a tighter fiscal ship and communicate more openly with the public.

(New Haven Independent)

Paca Op-ed: Defeaning Silence of City Hall

May 01, 2017

Over the past two weeks the New Haven Independent has reported on a data breach in which hundreds of residents’ confidential medical records were compromised. These residents put their faith and trust in our city government in seeking services and treatment. However, the City of New Haven failed them and continues to fail them and all other city residents by not openly and publicly addressing the controversy from the top. While Harp Administration officials have remained silent, federal and state legal agencies have opened investigations regarding whether the city failed to comply with federal and state guidelines for response to data breaches. When/if wrongdoing is found, taxpayers will be on the hook for millions of dollars in potential civil liability.

(New Haven Independent)

Health Data Breach Repercussions Grow

April 25, 2017

One ex-city employee faces new felony charges — and another city employee has been fired — in the latest fallout from a data breach that compromised the personal information of over 500 New Haveners with sexually transmitted diseases.

Meanwhile, federal and state agencies are investigating the city’s handling of the matter, which a local union leader blasted and about which newly released documents raise questions.

(New Haven Independent)

Harvey Feinberg Endorses Paca

April 19, 2017

Westville civic activist Harvey Feinberg has endorsed the mayoral candidacy of Marcus Paca.


Paca is challenging incumbent Mayor Toni Harp this year for the Democratic Party nomination.


Feinberg used to serve as president of the New Haven Block Watch Association and has served on many local boards and commissions, including, most recently, the Commission on Equal Opportunities.

(New Haven Independent)

Paca calls for fiscal responsibility

April 07, 2017

Mayoral candidate Marcus Paca dug into the latest plan for the city’s budget at a public hearing at Hillhouse High School on Thursday night, calling the plan wasteful and unfair to the city’s taxpayers.

In a speech, Paca said he was alarmed by what he heard at budget talks that took place at City Hall the day before, during which many heads of city departments had requested additional funding in the upcoming fiscal year. He argued that it was irresponsible for the city to increase spending and to expand programs given the possibility of large funding cuts to the city from state and federal government.

(Yale Daily News)

Paca Blasts City Budget

March 30, 2017

I’m Marcus Paca and I am running to become the next mayor of the City of New Haven.  Right now, too many New Haveners are suffering. Far too many folks in our communities cannot afford high city property taxes, our senior centers aren’t well-maintained and there are students without textbooks or supplies in their classrooms. Many New Haveners are also out of work or not earning livable wages. The State of CT is anticipating a $2B shortfall and the city learned yesterday that the US Attorney General intends to hold up $200K in justice funding for the city. Millions more in cuts to New Haven have been proposed by the Trump Administration.

(New Haven Independent)

Caraballo Endorses Paca

March 24, 2017

Marcus Paca Friday picked up the first endorsement of his campaign to unseat Toni Harp in September’s Democratic mayoral primary. The endorsement comes from Alicia Caraballo, a retired principal of New Haven’s Adult Education program who served on the Board of Education until September 2016. Caraballo lives in Fair Haven and serves on the board of the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

(New Haven Independent)

Forum: Marcus Paca represents next generation of voices

March 24, 2017

I am supporting Marcus because he has extensive experience in leadership roles in multiple sectors, including government. I am supporting Marcus because he has effectively and responsibly managed hundreds of employees and multimillion-dollar budgets. I am supporting Marcus because he has a clear, comprehensive and cost-effective vision about how to move our city forward (see I am supporting Marcus because he has the listening, communication, motivational and engagement skills New Haven desperately needs in its chief executive.

(New Haven Register)

Paca: Students Can Help Us Improve Schools

March 09, 2017

In describing his ideas for boosting education in New Haven, mayoral candidate Marcus Paca talked about how two teachers and an adult neighbor once reached a Hillhouse High School student who was struggling with his parents’ divorce and the death of his friends.

(New Haven Independent)

Paca courts support for mayoral run

March 06, 2017

With ample time to spare and few actors in play, mayoral candidate Marcus Paca is reaching out to Elm City political organizations such as the Board of Alders and the Democratic Town Committee to garner support in advance of the election.

(Yale Daily News)

Forum: Marcus Paca: Why I am running for mayor

February 18, 2017

My name is Marcus Paca, and I am running for Mayor of New Haven. I was raised in the Newhallville and Hill neighborhoods and graduated from New Haven Public Schools. For the past 25 years, I have served the city that I love as a commissioner, delegate representative, alder, nonprofit board member, activist, volunteer and city official.

(New Haven Register)

Former city official launches mayoral campaign

February 21, 2017

Marcus Paca announced his mayoral candidacy and launched his campaign website on Saturday, just over eight months before New Haven’s November mayoral election. Two-term incumbent Mayor Toni Harp still has not officially announced her bid for re-election, leaving Paca as the only declared mayoral candidate.

(Yale Daily News)

Marcus Paca announces he’s running for mayor of New Haven

February 18, 2017

Marcus Paca said he has been preparing for this his whole life.

Paca, the city’s former labor relations director, has announced he is running for mayor in a challenge to Toni Harp, the two-term incumbent.

(New Haven Register)

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