DeLauro and DC Crew bring home the bacon
The New Haven federal delegation came home Friday with big smiles – and big bucks for local families and businesses.
At two separate events in town, the YMCA and the Shubert Theater, federal officials joined with local movers and shakers in celebrating two elements of the US bailout, a historic $ 91 million stimulus for Covid relief that Congress adopted in March.
One is the expansion of the child tax credit, the result of an 18-year campaign led by US representative from New Haven, Rosa DeLauro. Families receive their first checks as part of the expansion, which promises to more than halve the number of children living in poverty.
Meanwhile, the Shuttered Venues Operators Grant program, aimed at performing arts spaces that have been closed since the early stages of the pandemic, will bring relief to venues across the city as they prepare for a season of fall back.
The “miracle” of a child
Last Friday, families in New Haven, along with millions of others across the country, received their first monthly check from the federal government in the amount of $ 300 for children under 6 and $ 250 for 6 to 17 year olds. The money came without conditions. , and went to almost everyone, including families in the lower tax brackets. Experts expect this historic advantage, unique in a generation, to lift 55% of children, or 27 million families, out of poverty.
That’s the news MP DeLauro celebrated inside the YMCA in New Haven on Friday.
She then urged eligible families who have not applied for the credit – there are 25,000 in Connecticut – to do so as soon as possible.
“It is imperative that young people and their families receive this money,” DeLauro said. “It’s about the cost of food, the cost of diapers, health care, for middle class families, lower class families and working class families. There is still time! “
On Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Internal Revenue Service will be hosting an event at the Taxpayer Assistance Center at 150 Court S. to help families apply for the credit. Those who apply in the coming weeks will be able to receive payments for July and August, she said.
The two U.S. senators from Connecticut, Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, joined her on the YMCA podium. They stressed the importance of making the credi permanent, an effort Blumenthal linked to broader talks in Washington on an infrastructure bill.
“We cannot afford to build roads and bridges and leave our children aside, or not take care of human beings,” Blumenthal said. “The infrastructure program will be incomplete, and it will not be approvable, without a permanent child tax credit. If we move away from these children, we will be a lesser nation. “
President Biden has expressed support for the permanence, he added.
Mercedes Robinson, a single mother of children ages 8, 4 and 1, applauded DeLauro at the event. After returning to school to study psychology last August, Robinson said in a press briefing that she was only five classes away from graduation. The tax credit will help him complete his studies.
“The Child Tax Credit can help alleviate some of the financial burden and allow me to focus on school and provide for my children,” she said.
Both senators praised DeLauro’s long-term advocacy. She first introduced the legislation in 2003 and then over the next ten consecutive sessions of Congress.
Murphy spoke of the wider economic impact of having more disposable income in the city, describing the credit as a “miracle.”
“This money makes a difference for families living in poverty and able to pay their bills,” Murphy said. “It’s also spent here in New Haven. Without Rosa DeLauro, this would not have happened.
Throughout the speeches, the MP’s eyes were on two small children present, whom she immediately went to greet after the conference. Money, she said during her speech, could help not only make ends meet, but also enrich the childhood of Connecticut children.
“Let’s give them swimming lessons!” ” she screamed.
SVOG: “The lights are on today!”
The MP and Senior Senator regrouped after the first event a few blocks away on the stage at the Shubert Theater on College Street. There, they touted the Shuttered Venues Operators Grant (SVOG), which will funnel $ 90 million to Connecticut venues, including $ 3.96 million to New Haven venues.
“These theaters are our cultural heritage which we lose at our peril, and luckily they are doing well this fall,” said Blumenthal.
Speakers included Anthony McDonald, Executive Director of The Shubert Theater, which will receive funding alongside the Long Wharf Theater, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Square Foot Theater and Tavern, Café 9 and more.
Cultural wealth generates economic wealth, McDonald said, leading the public to support nearby businesses as well as site employees.
“Supporting the arts in the country, and more importantly in Connecticut, will help get the economy back on its feet,” McDonald said. “When we’re open, downtowns benefit. “
Café 9 owner Paul Mayer echoed the sentiment, calling the grant a “new lease of life” for his venue after the pandemic nearly forced it to shut down permanently to avoid financial ruin.
Catherine Marx, who heads the Connecticut District of the Small Business Administration, said some SVOG funding has yet to be distributed and encouraged eligible businesses to apply.
The Shubert, which has been operating in New Haven since 1913 (with a few years of hiatus), holds deep memories for longtime New Havers. Mayor Justin Elicker showed up on Friday, remembering a turn on stage singing Justin Bieber’s lyrics while strumming a guitar. The venue’s upcoming season includes musicals like Anastasi and Hair spray.
DeLauro appeared in numerous dance recitals at the Shubert in his youth and gave a brief tap performance on Friday in his red heels in front of admiring spectators. She helped revive the theater while working under then-mayor Frank Logue in the 1970s and organizing her election nights on its stage.
Declaring “the lights are on today!” She quoted author Jhumpa Lahiri:
“The power of art is the power to wake us up, to strike us deep, to change us. What are we looking for when we read a novel, see a movie, listen to a piece of music? We are looking, through a work of art, for something that alters us, that we were not aware of before.
Thomas Quagliano, stagehand at The Shubert, spoke of the hope he and other members of stagehand union Local 74 have and the enduring strength of his theater, which has held contracts with the union for more than a century.
“It gives us a light at the end of a very long tunnel,” he said.