Martin M. Looney
Looney won an open seat in 1992, succeeding Democrat Anthony V. Avallone. He previously was elected to six terms in the House, beginning in 1980. In 2008 and 2010, he was cross-endorsed by the Working Families Party.
Looney is the Senate's majority leader, its longest-serving legislator (with a tenure split between the chambers) and a student of the General Assembly's history and traditions.
Before becoming majority leader in 2003, Looney had stints as co-chair of the banks and finance committees. In New Haven, he took on Mayor John DeStefano in a bruising primary for the Democratic mayoral nomination in 2001. He takes on the politically sensitive task in 2011 of drawing legislative districts as a member of the bipartisan Reapportionment Committee.
In the Senate, Looney has a record of supporting progressive causes and organized labor.
He supported mandating insurance coverage for autism therapy, the decriminalization of marijuana, the abolition of the death penalty, and allowing undocumented immigrants to attend public colleges at in-state rates. As a House member in 1991, he voted for passage of the income tax.
Supported Progressive Health Care Reform
In late 2009, Martin M. Looney was one of more than 1,000 state legislators to sign a letter entitled "State Legislators for Progressive Health Care Reform". The letter was a project of the Progressive States Network and was developed in consultation with national health care reform advocates, including the AFL-CIO, AFSCME, Community Catalyst, Families USA, Herndon Alliance, National Women's Law Center, Northeast Action, SEIU, and Universal Health Care Action Network. The letter reads in part,
- "Failure to pass national comprehensive health reform now will further jeopardize state and local budgets, undermining public services like education, public safety, and transportation infrastructure... We, the undersigned, call on President Obama and the Congress to enact bold and comprehensive health care reform this year – based on these principles and a strong federal-state collaboration – and pledge our support as state legislators and allies in pursuit of guaranteed, high quality, affordable health care for all."
Alfred L. Marder 90th Birthday Celebration
Hon. Rosa DeLauro, Sen. Toni Harp, Sen. Martin Looney, Rep. Juan Candelaria, Rep. Patricia Dillon, Rep. Toni Edmonds Walker, Rep. Gary Holder-Winfield, Rep. Roland Lemar, Ald. Jorge Perez, President, New Haven Board of Aldermen, Ambassador Sylvester Rowe, Mohammed Barrie, Vinie Burrows, Mary Compton, Joelle Fishman, Craig Gauthier, Emanuel Gomez, Hilda Kilpatrick, Henry Lowendorf, Kenneth Marder, Rev. Scott Marks, William Morico, John Olsen, Quentin Snediker, Jarvis Tyner, Andrea van den Heever, Susan Yolen
A statement issued on the committee's behalf read;
- Dear Friends and Family of Al Marder,
- We are excited to invite you to celebrate the 90th birthday of Al Marder and to recognize his many contributions, international and local, toward world peace, justice and equality.
- Please join us in this joyous occasion on Sunday, March 18, at 3:00 pm at the New Haven Peoples Center, 37 Howe Street, New Haven, Connecticut 06511.
- Among Al's many projects, there is one he selected for support on this occasion. The New Haven Peoples Center is a site on the African American Freedom Trail in Connecticut. It provides social, cultural and educational opportunities for the community. From his youth, Al has taken part in the activities of the Peoples Center, where today he serves as president.
Supporting Chris Murphy
New Haven Democrats gave Chris Murphy a rousing show of support for his U.S. Senate campaign—even as his opponent claimed some of them as her own backers.
The event took place Sunday, late january 2012, at the East Rock home of U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro. It marked the launching of Murphy’s campaign organizing drive in the third U.S. Congressional District. He was running for the 2012 Democratic nomination of the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Joe Lieberman.
Some 80 Democrats, many of them elected officials and influential activists, crammed the downstairs of the home DeLauro shares with Democratic strategist Stanley Greenberg. As Dannel Malloy learned in the 2010 gubernatorial elections, New Haven Democrats, the state’s largest and best organized bloc of urban votes, are the big prize in statewide elections. Both Murphy and his leading opponent for the Democratic nomination, Susan Bysiewicz, had been calling and calling ward-level Democrats for months seeking their support.
Murphy drew an impressive turnout at DeLauro’s home Sunday. Leading state legislators like state Sen. Majority Leader Martin M. Looney and Reps. Toni Walker, Roland Lemar, and Gary Holder-Winfield all spoke in support of his campaign. And 16 members of the city’s 30-member (all-Democratic) Board of Aldermen showed up, including many of the newly elected labor-backed activists who represent a formidable vote-pulling force.
“I think we have the entire Board of Aldermen here!” DeLauro proclaimed while introducing Murphy to the crowd from a perch on a stairway.
“I think the overflow crowd at Congresswoman DeLauro’s house spoke for itself as to who New Haven Democrats think the best candidate is to stand up for the middle class,” Murphy campaign manager Kenny Curran said.
Guns to butter
The Greater New Haven Peace Council (a chapter of the US Peace Council) and the New Haven Peace Commission achieved a victory when their initiative to institute economic conversion of Connecticut’s military industries was passed by the State Senate. The office of Sen. Toni Harp released the following statement announcing the achievement:
- State Senator Toni N. Harp (D-New Haven) was joined today [May 1] by Senate Majority Leader Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven) to secure an overwhelming vote for her initiative to establish a Futures Commission to help Connecticut prepare for and adapt to changing global economic conditions. Senators Harp and Looney said Connecticut must be prepared to compete in an economy that is likely to include fewer and fewer federal defense contracts over time.
Backing Toni Harp
New Haven Mayor Toni Harp announced her bid for a second term at a campaign kickoff event on a Saturday in early May 2016..
The kickoff, held at Edgewood Park, was attended by community members as well as representatives of New Haven at the state and federal levels. Sen. Richard Blumenthal LAW ’73, Sen. Chris Murphy, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro and state senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney each endorsed Harp, underscoring her commitment to bolstering youth services in the city. In her remarks, Harp spoke of the city’s progress in reducing crime, bettering public schools and creating new jobs as strengths of her administration. The campaign’s office will open on June 6 at 940 Whalley Ave.
“I’m excited. I’m joyful. And I’m proud to announce that I’m running for a second term for mayor,” Harp said.
Several city officials, including Hill alder Dolores Colon ’91, have noted that Harp is the leading candidate in the race, but Murphy said city residents should still vote on Nov. 3.
“This is as important as it gets,” he said. “It’s up to everyone here … to take nothing for granted in this election.”
- Ct mirror bio, accessed march 22, 2013
- Progressive States Network: State Legislators for Progressive Health Care Reform (accessed on Dec. 23, 2010)
- New haven People's center blog, Tuesday, March 6, 2012, Alfred L. Marder 90th Birthday Celebration
- New Haven Independent, Leading City Dems Boost Murphyby Paul Bass | Jan 23, 2012 9:16 am
- USPC website, CONNECTICUT SENS. HARP, LOONEY EARN SENATE APPROVAL FOR BILL TO MAP ‘ECONOMIC CONVERSION’ THROUGH FUTURES COMMISSION
- Yale Daily News, Harp kicks off re-election campaign By Erica Pandey Staff Reporter Saturday, May 16, 2015