Tran ’09 to seek Ward 1 seat

Minh Tran ’09 will join the race for the Ward 1 seat on the Board of Aldermen.

Tran, a psychology major and Morse College freshman counselor, will officially announce his candidacy at a campaign kickoff event Sunday. In an interview with the News on Friday evening, Tran declined to comment on the specifics of his campaign platform until his formal announcement, but expressed interest in standing as an “intersection” between Yale and New Haven communities.

“I’ve had an amazing three and a half years of venturing outside the ‘Yale bubble,'” Tran said. “Now, I want to bring about more interaction between Yalies and local New Haven people.”

Tran, a Dwight Hall public school intern and founder of the Yale Inter-Religious Leadership Council, was born in Vietnam and has lived in Los Angeles since he was 10 years old. In addition to dancing for the Konjo! African dance troupe, Tran has served a variety of roles on a smattering of Yale commissions, including the Freshman and Sophomore class councils, the Morse College Council and the Yale College Dean Search Committee.

He is the third candidate — and the first upperclassman — to enter the Ward 1 aldermanic race; Mike Jones ’11 became the first official candidate last month, and Katie Harrison ’11 announced her candidacy last Wednesday.

Tran said he has been “running on pure adrenaline” since deciding to run for the Board of Aldermen one week ago and scrambling to obtain the requisite filing forms. So far, Tran said he has a campaign staff of more than a dozen, including co-campaign managers James Berry ’12 and Scott Nelson ’10.

Though his decision to run for the aldermanic seat was a recent one, Tran decided at the end of his junior year that he would live in New Haven for several years after graduating from Yale College. Tran is currently the state senior director of the Connecticut Academic Decathlon. Additionally, he will be working in a local school as part of the Teach for America program after graduating.

With regards to his two opponents — Jones and Harrison — Tran said he is “excited for a spirited and positive campaign that will encourage the exchange of ideas.”

“More than anything, I think that all this competition will give more gravity to this position,” Tran said.

Tran will officially announce his candidacy Sunday at 4 p.m. in room 101 of Linsly-Chittenden Hall.


  • annoymous

    go minh go

  • David

    We love Minh Tran!!

  • Anonymous

    Thank goodness. A mature, experienced candidate who is committed to New Haven and has several years of experience with issues involving Yale-New Haven relations. He is not using this 'to get ahead' and pad a resume, but rather has already committed to live in New Haven next year as a public school teacher and obviously perceived a need for a more appropriate candidate. Thanks, Minh, for stepping up. You are a true public servant.

  • @ 3

    Are you serious? Tran won't even be a Yale student after May.

    His facebook page ( says that he wants to fill the green for a "dance party." And this is supposed to be the mature, experienced candidate?

    I'll stick with Mike Jones

  • Yale -09

    Minh is a great guy!! Everyone should vote for him.

  • Biased much?

    It's hard to take the above comments seriously when they both look like they were written by insiders of the Minh and Mike campaigns, respectively.

    Judging from the article (and Facebook group), I don't think Tran's motives are as clear as #3 would suggest. Yet contrary to #4's view, you have to admit that Minh seems to have more experience in New Haven. And even though he won't be a student come May, he still will have had more years as a Yale student than either Mike or Katie. (Let's be serious, 5 months out of the school is not going to make him out of touch with students' needs, especially if he's lives in Ward 1.)

    This is an interesting third candidate to enter the race, and I'm curious to see how things turn out.

  • @4

    Yeah, check out his facebook group…

    Mihn is phenomenally qualified.

    I see Yalies when they are pre-frosh – I am a Senior Interviewer for the Admissions Office – and I see Yalies in their first year here – I now serve as a Morse Freshman Counselor. I myself was a Freshman Class Council representative three years ago, and then Secretary of Sophomore Class Council, and later Vice President of Morse College Council. I have worked closely with Yale administration – for one, serving on the Student Search Committee for Dean of Yale College

    I have taught in schools all across New Haven – as a Dwight Hall Public School Intern, as a member of the Teaching Prep program, and even as a member of my African dance troupe, Konjo. I have spent the past three summers in New Haven: the first teaching middle school with the U.S. Grant Program, the second teaching environmental stewardship to children at Westville Manor, and the third conducting research on race relations.

  • Anonymous

    I am #3, and have nothing to do with this campaign. I don't know any of the candidates. However, I think it is inappropriate and presumptuous for someone who is a full-time student, and has only spent 3 semesters in New Haven, to hold this position.

  • time constraints?

    somewhat concerned about a TFA teacher (which by all accounts is more than a full-time job) having time to do this job right.

    don't get me wrong, minh is clearly on track to be a great public servant; to me it's just a question of whether he'll be able to serve the country/city in both of these ways at once, since both (especially TFA) represent a real time commitment.