To the Editor:
The Yale community has spoken — in record numbers. While Tuesday’s Ward 1 election was closely contested, the outcome is clear: a victory for independent candidate Nick Shalek, the Yale community and New Haven.
By winning the Ward 1 seat on the Board of Aldermen through a competitive election, Nick has finally ended the de facto disenfranchisement of the Yale community from New Haven politics. His campaign reflected the true diversity of the constituency he sought to represent: Democrats, Republicans, independents and even (gasp!) athletes and future investment bankers. Nick knew that to win this election he had to cast a wide net, that he had to bring new participants into the political process and that a spirit of partnership between Yale and New Haven had to prevail.
Nick’s victory also underscores the undeniable importance of economic growth to New Haven’s future. Ultimately, the city’s road to prosperity must be paved with real, long-term investments in new research centers and new business, which increase employment and tax revenue for vital public programs. This election shows that projects like the Yale cancer center are too valuable to be held hostage by narrow political interests. The Board of Aldermen, and thus New Haven, will greatly benefit from Nick’s unmatched commitment to responsible, serious economic development.
Rebecca Livengood’s idealism and tireless devotion to New Haven deserve much praise, and her noble efforts should continue. But this election ultimately turned on what New Haven really needs, and what Nick Shalek offers: political inclusion and economic prosperity. The city will be better off for it.
Dan Bernstein ’05
Nov. 9, 2005