Senate Republicans Appoint New Director of Urban Affairs

December 23, 2014

Avery Gaddis has been hired by the Connecticut Senate Republicans to fill new position focused on reaching urban communities

Hartford – The Connecticut Senate Republicans have expanded their efforts to engage urban communities by appointing a new Director of Urban Affairs. Avery Gaddis of Waterbury will join the Senate Republican Office’s Community Development & Public Affairs division in this new role.

Avery Gaddis

The Director of Urban Affairs will be responsible for organizing outreach to large and small cities as well as outreach to minority groups across the state. In this role, Avery Gaddis will help Senate Republican lawmakers by communicating the needs of minority groups and sharing Republican policy ideas with urban communities.

“We are thrilled to welcome Avery Gaddis to the Senate Republican Office,” said State Senator Len Fasano (R-North Haven), incoming Senate Minority Leader. “As Director of Urban Affairs, Gaddis will help open communications between Connecticut cities and policymakers. Here in Connecticut, Republicans have struggled to penetrate cities with our message and our plans to bring new hope and opportunities. I, as a Republican leader, will take blame for those inadequacies. But now is the time to correct the miscommunication. The strength of our state depends upon the strength of our cities. Just throwing money at urban issues is both short sighted and ignores the potential that residents of our cities can offer this state. We as a caucus have to look at new ways to create opportunities in urban areas. Avery can help us better communicate with our cities so that we can refine our approach and advocate for effective urban policies.”

“Our goals as a caucus are to create opportunities and remove the barriers that burden taxpayers,” said State Senator Kevin Witkos (R-Canton), incoming Senate Minority Leader Pro Tempore. “Just like Democrats, we believe that everyone in Connecticut deserves access to the best education, a wide variety of job opportunities, and a clear path to success. We just have a different way of reaching that end goal – and it’s time we give people an opportunity to learn about our approach, which we believe will truly make a difference in their lives for the better.”

“Traditionally, Republicans have a reputation for failing to reach urban communities and have often been accused of being ‘out of touch’ with cities. We hope to break the mold and change the way people automatically characterize Republicans by actively sharing our ideas and listening to others. It’s time to start drawing connections and explaining how our policy ideas not only help businesses, but also help people in every community from all backgrounds,” said State Senator Rob Kane (R-Watertown). “Avery Gaddis is a very special individual. We are confident that his skills will help open the dialogue and better connect our caucus with people across the state.”

Avery Gaddis previously worked as a small business loan officer for the Community Economic Development Fund. He has been active in the city of Waterbury for many years, previously serving as the Vice-President of the Waterbury branch of the NAACP and the City Clerk of Waterbury. He also held multiple positions at the Waterbury Development Corporation and served as a legislative aide with House Democrats under Speaker of the House, Moira Lyons, from 2002-2004. Avery currently serves as a director on several boards including VNA Healthcare, Inc.; Hartford Behavioral Health, Inc., where he serves as Board Chairman; Waterbury Youth Services, Inc., serving as Vice-Chair and Chairman of Governance Committee; and Commissioner of Waterbury’s Zoning Board of Appeals. Avery also served in the United States Army Reserves.

“I have accepted this position because I believe urban communities and minority groups should have opportunities to learn more about policy ideas and various view points regarding important state issues,” said Gaddis. “This position is about reaching out to people, finding out what communities need and embracing new, practical approaches to reach shared goals.

“Good policies come as the result of healthy dialogue, competing ideas and diverse opinions. Undoubtedly, building a stronger and sustainable relationship between Republican lawmakers and minorities is not only paramount, it’s good for our cities, good for our people, and good for Connecticut. Senator Fasano and the Senate Republicans have a compelling, forward thinking vision and are taking thoughtful measures to see the vision become reality. Their overall objectives are aligned with my interests and philosophical beliefs. I’m honored and excited to assist in moving this vision forward,” said Gaddis.

Avery Gaddis resides in the city of Waterbury, CT with his wife Susan; son, Blake; and daughter, Olivia. He holds a MBA in Finance from the University of New Haven and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Central Connecticut State University.