Chatham Square Neighborhood

A Diverse Fair Haven Community with Historic Homes and a Beautiful Waterfront

fighting negative image of our neighborhood

I was really upset by an article in this week's New Haven Advocate (June 3) that describes our neighborhood in a very negative light. The best way to solve our problems is to get more good people to move into this area--and that's not going to happen if our public image is mired in stereotypes. So I sent a letter to the editor (see below). I hope others do the same.

Re: “Hot topic: Prostitution” article in Advocate, June 3, 2010

To the editor:

As a resident of the Quinnipiac River area in Fair Haven, I strongly object to your description of my neighborhood as a slum. I have been living in this area, first on Front Street and now on Perkins Street, for nearly 10 years, and have seen a dramatic transformation of this neighborhood during that time. Most of the houses on Front Street are now owner occupied, and those that are not are well maintained by responsible landlords (including a beautiful new affordable housing development, Quinnipiac Terrace). One may occasionally see prostitutes on hot summer nights, especially on Grand Avenue, but that is far from making this are a “red light district.” I also object to the author’s reference to this neighborhood as “teeming with low-income families.” Using a word more commonly used to refer to animals or insects (a pond teeming with fish, or a barrel teeming with insects) is disrespectful and only reinforces negative stereotypes. Please do your research and keep your prejudices to yourself!

Christel J. Manning

19 Perkins St.

New Haven, CT 06513

203-772-0723

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Comment by Christel Manning on June 7, 2010 at 10:14am
Thanks, Voytec. I am hoping we can get a group of folks together to work on this in a more systematic way, I was planning on bringing it up at the economic development at Steve's house meeting tomorrow.
Comment by Voytec Wacowski on June 4, 2010 at 8:17am
Hi Christel, I absolutely agree with your opinion on need to fight the negative image of Fair Haven. I think it is unjust and outdated. While obviously there is a need to get more good people to move in that is not gonna happen with bad publicity. I believe that the neighborhood needs some form of the organized PR initiative that will include collaboration with the business and home owners in the area. There is , IMHO need to do some public outreach beyond our own community. I have some ideas on the topic -we should put into agenda of our next meeting.

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