Ward 22 race heats up

For Ward 22 aldermanic hopefuls Lisa Hopkins and incumbent Greg Morehead, last night’s candidate forum proved a last-ditch effort to communicate coherent platforms.

And they both centered on similar aims: public safety and economic development. About 30 people, both Yale students and local Ward 22 residents, assembled in the Timothy Dwight College common room for the forum, held by nonpartisan community activist group New Haven Action. The event was divided into two half-hour question-and-answer sessions for each candidate, during which both Morehead and Hopkins outlined their visions for Dixwell and Yale.

No caption.
Eva Galvan
No caption.

Cordelia Thorpe, the third candidate running in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, did not attend the candidate forum. She told the New Haven Independent for a Sept. 8 article that Yale students “didn’t try to get to know me. They were just programmed to vote a certain way, and they did.” But Daniel Hornung ’12, the director of the New Haven Action Fund, said the group contacted Thorpe by telephone and invited her to the forum. Thorpe did not return a voicemail message Thursday.

Questions from the audience during the course of the candidate forum focused primarily on how the candidates would reduce crime, increase traffic safety, manage the expansion of Yale into the Dixwell area and support the creation of new jobs for New Haven residents.

Specifically, Hopkins promised that if elected, she would organize more neighborhood block watches, help families avoid foreclosure on their homes and use Yale’s resources to provide job training to residents. Morehead discussed his plans to continue supporting the Safe Streets traffic safety initiative, as well as to take steps to reduce the neighborhood’s crime rate and maintain communication with the University about the two new residential colleges and Science Park.

The most pointed question during the debate came from former Ward 1 aldermanic candidate Katie Harrison ’11, who lost to Mike Jones ’11 in her campaign win the ward’s Democratic endorsement vote in April. During Morehead’s segment of the forum, Harrison raised her hand to ask about Morehead’s less-than-stellar attendance record in committee meetings. Morehead answered that the committees upon which he serves — public safety, youth services and human services — often meet Wednesday nights, at the same time as his Bible study meetings. Morehead said that while he cannot always attend committee meetings, he always stays updated about the proceedings. After the candidates forum, Morehead added to his answer, saying that he is sure to attend all the committee meetings that directly affect his constituency.

“I still remain engaged with what goes on in the meetings, even though I can’t always be there,” Morehead said.

According to the records kept by the Office of Legislative Services, Morehead attended 60 percent of Public Safety Committee meetings in months of 2007 after his April election and 63 percent in 2008. As for the general meetings of the Board of Aldermen, Morehead attended 93 percent between May and December of 2007, 82 percent in 2008 and 100 percent between January and May of 2009. Hopkins has in the past criticized Morehead’s attendance record, using it as an example of his alleged lack of dedication.

Near the end of Morehead’s 30-minute segment, an audience member asked him what he thought was the greatest difference between his and Hopkins’ platforms. He answered that he can work with a wide variety of people to achieve a common goal. When asked the same question, Hopkins said it was her commitment to high attendance and accountability as an elected official.

The Ward 22 Democratic primary will take place Tuesday at Wexler/Grant Community School. Polls will open at 6 a.m., and the Yale College Democrats will operate shuttles between the polls and Silliman, Timothy Dwight and Ezra Stiles Colleges, as well as Swing Space.

Comments

  • y ’11

    NHI seems to have a different take…and some different numbers.

    http://www.newhavenindependent.org/archives/2009/09/morehead_defend.php

  • Hillary

    I went to the Forum to hear both
    candidates and came away with a
    distinct difference between Morehead
    and Hopkins. One candidate was straight
    forward and while the other appeared
    uncertain(cheat sheets and all). YDN
    Reporter Martine Powers has an obvious
    Favorite. Unfortunately, reporters should
    research information to ensure that
    the readers have all the information.
    Morehead’s biggest downfall is being
    a habitual liar and a last minute
    BSers…his attendance is a huge issue.
    Ms. Powers duty to report accurate
    information has been diluted by her
    need to present herstory vs a true
    YDN article. Therefore, I encourage
    the readership to check out:
    Morehead Defends Attendance Record…
    http://www.newhavenindependent.org

  • DF

    Is Morehead really Luda’s drummer on a regular
    basis? Or is he a drummer that performs
    ocassionally?

  • Lisa J. Hopkins

    Below is the text of an email I sent out to Ward 22 students yesterday evening, in response to this article.
    -Lisa

    Dear Ward 22 Students,

    Hope the beginning of the semester is going well. I was so pleased to attend a forum on campus hosted by New Haven Action and to bring community members together with students in that setting to discuss the future of the ward.

    Friday’s YDN article on the forum and the race, however, attempted to cast doubts on our campaign’s factual statements about Greg Morehead’s attendance record. I’m writing to set the record straight, because my commitment is to always be present for important meetings and to communicate the issues that are important to you.

    Ms. Powers is correct in her article when she points out that “Morehead attended 60 percent of Public Safety Committee meetings in months of 2007 after his April election and 63 percent in 2008.”

    Our campaign has never questioned that fact. We have, however, consistently communicated Greg’s attendance record in this current calendar year (2009). Yesterday’s New Haven Independent article on this subject only confirmed what we have been saying.

    When it comes to general Board of Aldermen meetings, Ms. Powers is wrong when she says Greg attended 100% between January and May. In fact, between January 5th and May 4th, he attended 6 of 9 meetings, or 66%. For the whole year-to-date, he’s attended 11 of 15, or 73%, according to the Independent.

    When it comes to committee attendance this year, Greg’s record has been abysmal. According to records provided by the Office of Legislative Services of the Board of Aldermen, Greg missed 17 of 21 committee meetings this year (attendance rate: 19%).

    Youth Services Committee – Greg missed 3 of 4 meetings this year. (attendance rate: 25%)
    Public Safety Committee – Greg missed 5 of 6 meetings this year (attendance rate: 17%) He is the vice-chair.
    Joint Human Services-Community Development Committee – Greg missed 4 of 6 meetings this year (attendance rate: 33%)
    Human Services Committee – Greg missed 5 of 5 meetings this year (attendance rate: 0%)

    Greg was also quoted in the YDN stating that these meetings were missed because of his Wednesday night bible study, despite the fact that Human Services & Joint Human Services-Community Development meetings are on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

    Our ward needs a leader who will always be present and who will always put the job they are elected to do first. That is my commitment, and if you agree with me I hope I will have your support next Tuesday, September 15th.

    Yours,
    Lisa

  • cordelia thorpe wardchair f22/ for alderman

    Dear Reader
    Part of this article is not based upon facts,I was invited to the debate,but was unable to attend on such short notice.I welcome the opportunity to meet with this student group as well as all students i`m sure the students can invite me as well as all other canidates for a meet an greet instead of a debate.students may contact me on facebook or home # 203-624-4449 as I am the demacratic ward chair of 22 as well as canidate for alderman and general election .ALL students are hereby invited to stand for democracy cordelia thorpe

  • Seth

    YDN…really knows how to pick
    their reporters don’t they! Ms. Powers
    articles pertaining to the Ward 22
    Race have been thrown to together with
    little regard to giving the students the
    truth. She video taped 45 minutes of an
    interview and even with the volume low;
    Hopkins still had a better grasp on the
    issues! By they way; the forum was
    informative and Hopkins was impressive.
    She outined clear and concise points,
    discussed what the ward lacked and how
    she could get the job done! Its a slap
    in the face that those who couldn’t make
    it got the Remixed Powers version of this
    forum.

    In closing, Martine you have cheapened
    this election by not remaining objective
    throughout this reporting process. If you
    Can’t remain objective than excuse
    yourself from such pieces!

    Side-Bar: Did Morehead and Ben Shaffer (tax dodger)
    Campaign Manager for Mayor Stefano
    give you Fantastic T-Shirt for all your
    hard work as his un-official publicist?
    Shhhhhh…DON’T ANSWER THAT!

  • Edward_H

    Lisa you should post these comments to the NHI as well

  • Y ’10

    Hillary and Seth, I think that the formatting on your entries is quite interesting. The only place I’ve ever seen anything like it is on the New Haven Independent’s comment boards, coming from a commenter that is hypercritical of Alderman Morehead. The content of the posts is so similar that I have to wonder whether it’s the same crazy person commenting twice.

    Saying that Martine Powers has an obvious favorite in Morehead and pointing to the NHI is like claiming that CNN has a bias in favor of the Democratic party then pointing to Fox News as evidence of this. I actually think that Martine’s reporting on this and other local issues has been very fair.

    Lisa seems to stick to a strategy of talking about talking about the issues, then going off and talking about Greg’s attendance record while her supporters anonymously spout vitriol. If this is what Candidate Lisa does, how effective do you think Alderwoman Lisa will be?

  • winchester ave

    Lisa has been working very hard on this issues . She knows what it takes . I am not saying greg is a bad alderman he just needs to improve on some of things he been doing like have more stuff to do an bring it winchester ave not just for montrey or his street for the whole ward .But letting god take care of this matter , god bless you ,
    lisa stay encourge