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New London Green Party announces candidates for office

New London — The New London Green Party has announced three candidates for local office in the upcoming election, a group that includes prominent city activist Kris Wraight.

Wraight is joined by City Council candidate Eddie Long, a member of the New London Arts Council and co-chairman of Public Art for Racial Justice Education, or PARJE. William Keith Kimball, an accountant and public education advocate who has an elementary school-aged daughter, is seeking a spot on the Board of Education.

New London Green Party Chairperson Ronna Stuller also submitted paperwork to the state identifying her as a school board candidate but said she will serve as a placeholder in the event another individual commits to running.

Stuller said she is excited about the mix of candidates who would add needed diversity to the all-Democratic seven-member council. She said part of the goal of the Green Party is to “try and elect people who will actually build a budget that supports the values of our community … and supports the everyday struggles of people.”

Wraight was at the forefront of this year’s People's Budget movement, which had tried to convince the council to reduce police department spending in favor of other public services, education and the arts. She was one of six members of the Police Community Relations Committee to resign in April because of what the group had described as cyberbullying and intimidation by former members of the New London police union.

Wraight works as an independent restorative justice trainer and teaches anti-bias programs for the National Conference of Community and Justice.

“I moved to New London for love, but fell in love with New London,” Wraight said in a statement. “My goal is to make our city a safe space for everyone — young, elderly, disabled, pedestrians, Black and brown — by addressing the everyday needs of New London’s residents.”

Wraight said she recently dropped off her daughter at college and is seeking office now “because this is the right time for my family.” She also said she would continue to work with the community to “re-envision public safety.”

Long, a graphic artist, said in a statement that “public art fosters community gathering.”

“Investment in community art helps bridge social divides, promotes racial equity, encourages environmental stewardship, and supports the local economy,” Long said.

The Green Party, as a minor political party in Connecticut, doesn’t have automatic ballot access and must earn its way onto the ballot at each election. The party secures ballot lines by having a candidates earn 1% of the vote in a previous election or petitioning for that line. New London Greens had candidates in both the school board and council races in the last election and earned 1% of the vote.

“Other than the fact it’s hard to find seven good candidates, I don’t think we’d ever want to run seven candidates because we want a mix of parties on our boards,” Stuller said.

The city's Democratic and Republican town committees have previously announced slates of 14 candidates. One recent change in the Democratic slate is the withdrawal of Kevin Booker Jr. as a City Council candidate. He was replaced on the slate by Akil Peck.

g.smith@theday.com

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