Marcus is “Made in New Haven”. He grew up in the Newhallville and Hill communities. A son of the city, he has also lived in the Fair Haven and Edgewood neighborhoods. Marcus was educated in New Haven Public Schools, attending Edgewood Elementary School, Sheridan Middle School and James Hillhouse High School.
Marcus is guided by his faith and love for his family and the City of New Haven. Marcus has passionately and dutifully served the city for more than 25 years. When he was 13 years old, he volunteered on the mayoral campaign of John C. Daniels, New Haven’s first African-American mayor. Marcus has been committed to public service ever since.
Meet Marcus Paca: A Leader for the Future
After witnessing the murders of more than two-dozen friends and peers on New Haven’s streets from gun violence, Marcus became a pioneering member of the Young Adult Board of Police Commissioners. As a teen commissioner he was motivated to help find solutions to gang activity and gun violence in his neighborhood and to improve relations between New Haven’s youth and local police.
In later years, Marcus was an active member of the Whalley/Edgewood/Beaver Hills (WEB) Management Team and led the team’s Saturday Youth Reading Program. He was a commissioner on the City of New Haven Development Commission. Marcus was elected Alder for Ward 24 (Edgewood) in 2009 and was appointed chair of the Community Development Committee. He introduced legislation to make it easier for businesses to market their services; created a more transparent and accountable process for distribution of community development funds; and successfully lobbied for infrastructure improvements for his ward.
Marcus has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Hampton University; a Master of Business Administration from Southern Connecticut State University; and a Master Certification in Project Management from Rutgers University. He has diverse professional experience that spans the private, nonprofit and government sectors. Marcus’ professional experience uniquely prepares him to build bridges across all sectors as Mayor of New Haven and to bring management best practices to City Hall.
For seven years Marcus was a telecommunications marketing executive at Verizon Wireless, Virgin Mobile and Sprint/Nextel in New Jersey. He rapidly rose from Store Manager to National Account Manager and negotiated national contracts with the NBA, ESPN and the US Army; increased market share for the brands he oversaw by 25%; and managed a $5M strategic marketing budget for clients including Target, Sam Goody, Media Play and Suncoast.
Marcus also worked six years as a program director/manager in the nonprofit sector, where he focused on community development, workforce development and clean energy initiatives. As Director of Energy and Weatherization at Action for Bridgeport Community Development, he oversaw nearly $20M in program funds; served 14,000 clients; and managed approximately 30 employees and 100 contractors. As a Workplace Specialist at The Workplace, Inc., Marcus coached more than 200 clients in workforce readiness programs and created at least 100 employment opportunities.
From 2014-2016 Marcus was the Director of Labor Relations for the City of New Haven. He managed negotiations and relationships with the city’s 13 labor unions that represent thousands of employees. He ran the most cost efficient labor department in the State of Connecticut based on the rate of productivity per employee, as he oversaw hundreds of grievances, arbitrations, mediations and labor settlements with a three-person office.
Marcus is Vice President of the board of the Greater Dwight Development Corporation and President of the Winston Island Corporation, LLC, which developed and owns the Whalley Avenue Stop & Shop grocery store, gas station and plaza. He is a board member of the Engineering and Science University Magnet School and a former board member of the Boys and Girls Club of New Haven. He is a member of the Elks, East Rock Lodge No. 141 and Prince Hall Masons, King Solomon Lodge No. 23.
Marcus has a son and an adult daughter, who live out of state. Marcus lives with his wife, Mendi, also a proud New Havener, in Wooster Square. He’s an avid gym goer, history buff and hopeful owner of an English bulldog (if he can convince Mendi to let him get one). Marcus is nostalgic for the days when New Haveners could enjoy a show at the New Haven Coliseum and shop at the Chapel Square Mall.