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Celeste Roche, New Britain CT Council Race

21 Aug

CANDIDATE PROFILE: Council hopeful, Libertarian Celeste Roche

Monday, August 19, 2013 

Editor’s Note: The Herald will be running profiles on all of the candidates for Common Council and Board of Education. Today, council hopeful Celeste Roche, a registered Libertarian running on the Republican-endorsed slate, is profiled.

NEW BRITAIN — A recent graduate of Central Connecticut State University, Celeste Roche is hoping to have the university play a bigger role in the life of the city as she runs for Common Council on the slate of Republican mayoral hopeful Erin Stewart.

Roche, who moved to the city from Milford two years ago, said building a stronger working relationship between the city and the university and improving economic development are among her top issues.

Roche, 23, majored in economics at CCSU graduating in May. She served on the planning and budget committee at the school and was the undergraduate community liaison to the community.
Roche, a registered Liberatarian who is running At-Large, said she knows first-hand what needs to be done for the university and city to have more a cohesive role.

“During the past two decades, there has not been a real drive to work together for the city and school to excel,” said Roche, executive director of the New Britain Symphony Orchestra. One thing Roche said she’d push for is a “community court.”

“I would like to have a real dialogue between the city and CCSU on issues in the Belvedere neighborhood and that could possibly include the formation of a community court,” she said. “The chief (James Wardwell) and different administrators at the university have been amenable to the idea. You could, for example, have a student do community service instead of getting a ticket for drinking or noise.”

Roche added that CCSU is “treated like an island with 10,000 inhabitants. They go home on the weekends because they think there is nothing to do in the city.”

Roche said she supports businesses “that would attract young professionals and enhance the quality of life for everyone.”

Roche said she’d like Stanley Works to consider turning its unused property in the industrial complex on Myrtle Street into an entertainment complex.

If elected, Roche said the first two resolutions she’d sponsor would deal with CCSU and the economy.

“I’d look into establishing some sort of committee to look at the different ways we can bring businesses into the city,” said Roche, who lives on Main Street.

“We can bring businesses into the city even though we don’t have many bartering chips on the table,” she added.

Roche said she’d “also make a point to keep in constant contact with the student government at CCSU.”

Roche said more young people should get involved in politics. She said Stewart, who is 26, “has vigor and excitement about this city.”

Robert Storace can be reached at (860) 225-4601, ext. 223, or at

Q & A with Celeste Roche

Q: What living person, other than family, do you most admire and why?

A: Malala Yousafzai. She is one of the youngest education rights activists. She became famous when the Taliban targeted and attempted to assassinate her. She is so brave and committed to goals bigger than herself.

Q: Who is the most accomplished U.S. president and why?

A: Grover Cleveland. He was very committed to getting done what had to be done and didn’t let things like losing an election (between terms) stop him.

Q: What council member — past or present — do you most admire and why?

A: Carlo Carlozzi. He really thinks about everything that comes before him and what it means first and foremost for New Britain.

Q: What is your pet peeve?

A: I don’t like when people take credit for something they didn’t and do not give someone credit for something they did.

Q: What book most influenced you and why?

A: Sir Jonathan Sacks’ “To Heal a Fractured World: The Ethics of Responsibility.”  It gives a very comprehensive view of how a person can live her life successfully in a society.