At its monthly meeting on Monday, the Alderman Affairs Committee confirmed 11 new appointments to various municipal committees.
Karen Lin, Photo Editor
On Monday evening, the aldermen’s affairs commission of the council of aldermen confirmed 11 appointments to various city government commissions.
Candidates were appointed to committees such as the Ethics Council, which adopts rules and regulations for the administration of the city’s Code of Ethics; the Civil Service Council, which regulates employment in the city; the Equal Opportunities Commission, which helps implement laws prohibiting discrimination in employment and housing; and the Cultural Affairs Commission, which promotes the development of artistic and cultural activities.
The first potential nominee to speak was Nina Silva from the Disability Commission. Silva has lived her entire life in the Dixwell neighborhood of New Haven. Silva said she had a 21-year-old son with Down syndrome and said she wanted to both learn more about the legislation and help children with disabilities.
Silva said she hopes “parents don’t have to go through what [she] crossed, PPT navigation [Planning and Placement Team], IEP [Individualized Education Plan], and other programs.
Ned Parker, an ordained pastor at Yale Divinity School, has been appointed to the Ethics Board. Prior to living in New Haven, Parker lived in Seattle, where he interacted with community members marginalized due to his connections to the church.
Carmen Mendez, a New Haven neighborhood specialist, has been appointed to the Homeless Advisory Commission. With a 34-year history in public service, she expressed her desire to “work with people who are compassionate, loving and understanding, and who want to help people have homes.”
In explaining his qualifications, Mendez recalled the story of a homeless person who lived in Fair Haven. She was tasked with letting them know that they had to leave the area and take out their belongings. However, when she arrived, she found that she didn’t have the heart to move a person who could just as easily have been anyone else. Mendez said the experience taught him the importance of focusing on policy solutions to help people who are homeless.
Leasley Negron has been appointed to the Civil Service Council. She has a graduate degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology with experience in creating and administering city employment reviews, policy writing and management, and quality assurance. She has served on the board before and looks forward to serving again, she said.
Kevin Diadimo has been appointed to the Equal Opportunities Commission. Having served in various community service organizations, including the Democracy Fund and the Planning Commission, he trained in law as a practicing lawyer for 20 years and currently works in the justice system as a receiver in a criminal court.
Pamela Allen has been appointed to the Equal Opportunities Commission. Allen said they had personal experience of homelessness and had gone from unemployable to employable. Its target population is mainly made up of people whose income is 150% below the federal poverty line; it wants to encourage employers to hire people from this population, as was done before.
Hope Chavez, director of artistic planning at Long Wharf Theater, said she is passionate about building bridges between artists and arts institutions. After being appointed to a short-term commission to kick off the cultural planning process, she is excited to deepen her commitment to public service, Chavez said.
Magaly Cajigas, who currently works for the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, has also been appointed to the Committee on Cultural Affairs. Born and raised in New Haven, she has always taken advantage of every opportunity for artistic or cultural enrichment. She believes that âthe arts and culture is something that everyone in our community should appreciate,â and looks forward to serving in her new role, she said.
David Coon currently sits on the Cultural Affairs Commission and has been re-appointed for another three-year term. The first item on his agenda after the renewal of his mandate is to ratify an updated set of statutes of the Cultural Affairs Committee, as the current one was ratified almost 30 years ago.
Francesca Vignola and Reed Immer currently sit on the Cultural Affairs Commission. They look forward to being reappointed so that they can continue to serve New Haven, they said.
Each presenter has been appointed to his post.
The Alderman Affairs Commission meets on the last Monday of each month at 6 p.m.