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-chair of Public Art for Racial Justice Education (PARJE). William Keith Kimball, an accountant and public education attorney with an elementary school daughter, is seeking a place on the Board of Education.
London’s new Green Party leader Ronna Stuller also submitted documents to the state identifying her as a candidate for the school board, but said she will act as a placeholder in the event that someone else agrees to run.
Stuller said she was delighted with the mix of candidates that would give the all democratic seven-member council the diversity it needs. She said part of the Greens’ goal is “to try and choose people who will actually build a budget that supports the values of our community … and supports people’s daily struggles”.
Wraight was at the forefront of this year’s People’s Budget Movement, which sought to convince the council to cut police agency spending in favor of other public services, education and the arts. She was one of six members of the Police Community Relations Committee who resigned in April for 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 place for everyone – young, elderly, disabled, pedestrians, blacks and browns – by addressing the everyday needs of New London residents.”
Wraight said she recently dropped her daughter from college and is now seeking a position “because this is the right time for my family”. She also said she would continue to work with the community to “reshape public safety.”
Long, a graphic artist, said in a statement that “public art promotes community gathering”.
“Investing in community art helps bridge social divides, promote racial justice, promote environmental protection and support the local economy,” said Long.
As a small political party in Connecticut, the Green Party does not have automatic access to the ballot papers and has to earn money on the ballot paper every time it is voted. The party secures the ballots by getting a candidate to get 1% of the vote in an earlier election or petitioning for that line. The New London Greens had candidates on both the School Committee and City Council in the last election and received 1% of the vote.
“Aside from the fact that it’s difficult to find seven good candidates, I don’t think we’ll ever want to put up seven candidates because we want a mix of parties on our boards,” said Stuller.
The city’s Democratic and Republican city committees previously announced 14 candidates. A recent change to the Democratic list is the withdrawal of Kevin Booker Jr. as a candidate for city council. He was replaced on the slate by Akil Peck.