Plattus best for Ward 1

In today’s uncontested Ward 1 aldermanic election, the News endorses Rachel Plattus ’09 — with reservation.

We are, first, convinced there is no one better for the job. Since the initial press conference announcing her candidacy, Plattus has projected confidence, an understanding of the city and a desire to engage Yale in the overlooked political dialogue that takes place just a hike across the Green in City Hall. She also has spent a lifetime helping New Haven.

But Plattus should have taken more advantage of the past seven months — it has been more or less certain she would win since April — to start fulfilling her promise of engagement. Instead, students at large are still in the dark as to an alderwoman’s function and mission — a stark contrast to their understanding after the heated Ward 1 race of 2005.

Of course, it is not Plattus’ fault, but the onus is on her to make up for that deficiency through more than a roundtable discussion on education last semester.

Plattus’ platform could also use a tweak. While it currently focuses on issues of vague relevance to students — air quality and support of Living Wage, for example — her agenda rings largely uninspiring. And Plattus’ stance on the issue she says she cares perhaps most about — youth & education — is not explained on her campaign Web site: Viewers, still to this Election Day, are told to check back “very soon” for her platform.

Such reservations aside — and provided that her heavy involvement in campus political groups does not mean she will engage the “non-political” Yalie any less than she would her friends — Plattus will be a fantastic, and friendly, representative of the University and its students. In fact, nothing should stop her from striving to be the best Ward 1 alderperson in recent New Haven history.

In her case, it’s possible.

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