Biography

Roland Lemar was first elected in 2010 to represent the 96th Assembly District of New Haven and Hamden. After statewide redistricting in 2012, Roland has been re-elected three times to the General Assembly, serving New Haven and East Haven.

Roland serves as the House chair of the Planning and Development Committee. He also serves on the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee and the Education Committee. In his first term in the General Assembly, Roland played a key role in securing the state's new Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for working families, developing a jobs bill that has led to the hiring of thousands of Connecticut residents and the state's new commitment to clean energy financing and development, which will save East Haven and New Haven consumers millions of dollars each year.

Now in his fourth term, Roland continues to be one of the legislature’s leading advocates for increased transportation investment with particular focus on railways, busways, pedestrians and cyclists. He has also led the fight on bills to increase transparency in government spending and played a key role in the fight to increase the minimum wage, paid sick leave, early voting and improved state funding for schools and municipalities. 

Roland has earned numerous legislative awards and honors from organizations such as the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, Bike Walk Connecticut, Project MORE, Leeway and several other groups.  He was recognized in 2015 for his work to support accessible, affordable, quality healthcare for everyone by the Connecticut State Medical Society. In 2014 Roland was one of 48 government officials across the country selected to the prestigious Henry Toll Fellowship program and in 2015 he was named Rising State Leader in International Affairs by the Embassy of Canada.

After growing up in Rhode Island and attending the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Roland settled down in New Haven's East Rock neighborhood. Before becoming a state representative, Roland served as a member of the Board of Aldermen, chairing the New Haven Board of Aldermen's Legislation Committee, and as a member of the New Haven City Plan Commission. In those roles, Roland co–authored New Haven's "Complete Streets" ordinance to improve transportation infrastructure and make it safer for all users. In the wake of the foreclosure crisis, he co-authored the City's anti-blight legislation, intended to ensure that vacant and underutilized properties do not become eyesores in our neighborhoods. A committed environmentalist, Roland fought for and won new energy efficiency programs for residents, the creation of an Office of Sustainability, a new recycling initiative that kicked off in 2010, and the use of green cleaning supplies in all municipal buildings. Roland also led the fight to expand City support for commercial districts and merchants associations on State Street, Grand Avenue and the Town Green Special Services District.

Roland lives in New Haven with his wife, Anika, and four children, Caitlin, Sahil, Aarav and Nisha.