Women’s roles in First Ward

To the Editor:

I have been interested to read the recent series by Alyssa Rosenberg on the history of first ward politics. She asserts that “[s]ince 1989, five men have occupied the Ward 1 alderman’s seat” and then goes on to interview and describe these men in some detail. When I came to Yale in 1980, the first ward was ably represented by Elise Papke. In 1983, I was appointed to serve a vacancy created when Marvin Krislov resigned to accept a Rhodes Scholarship. I was then elected in a tightly contested race that received broad media coverage including from The New York Times. Much of this press was due to the fact that it was the first time that two Yale students

competed in the election for this seat on the Board of Aldermen. At the time, I understand that I was the youngest woman ever elected to the Board. I do not know Catherine Kenney, but I am aware that she has also represented Ward 1. I encourage Rosenberg to focus on the important role that women have played in the evolution of the First Ward and town-gown relations.

Janet Stearns ’84 LAW ’88

Feb. 22, 2005