Karen’s vision is a New Haven where all residents feel secure, have equity in opportunity, and know the future is sustainable. We aim to build a place where residents feel safe—from crime in our communities, discrimination from law enforcement, and the risks of income and housing insecurity. We must strengthen our city’s engines of equitable opportunity—rebuilding the strength of our schools after the pandemic’s devastating setbacks and investing in businesses and jobs in every part of the city. And we must ensure that our communities are durable—resilient to climate change and with a real, substantive plan for how to fix our city’s fiscal problems.
Karen DuBois-Walton was raised by Civil Rights-era activists who instilled in her the values that she carries with her each and everyday: a focus on inclusion and equity, a vision not only of what’s true but what could be possible, and a drive to achieve what’s possible through commitment to action. She’s brought these values to her work in government and public service for the last 25 years, in which she helped reshape city hall’s operations in the wake of 9/11, shepherded the building of the Wilson Branch library (the first new library in 40 years), oversaw the creation of the Civilian Oversight Board, engaged advocates on the development of the Elm City Resident Card, and so much more. For the past 14 years, Karen’s led Elm City Communities/the Housing Authority of New Haven through rapid transformation, rebuilding almost the entire housing portfolio, creating new programs at the intersection of housing and education, entrepreneurship, and job training, and building pathways to opportunity for her residents.