Eidelson ’12 backed by future aldermen

Three likely future members of the Board of Aldermen have expressed their support for Sarah Eidelson’s ’12 campaign for Ward 1 alderman.

Eidelson’s campaign announced Friday that three winners of aldermanic primaries from wards adjacent to Yale — Frank Douglass in Ward 2, Doug Hausladen ’04 in Ward 7 and Jeanette Morrison in Ward 22 — have endorsed Eidelson in her upcoming contest against Vinay Nayak ’14. Douglass and Hausladen are running unopposed in the general election, while Morrison will face repeat challenger Cordelia Thorpe, who received four of 648 votes in the Sept. 13 primary.

“I am particularly excited to receive endorsements from future aldermen of all of our adjacent wards because tackling the issues that are priorities for students … will require effective collaboration between aldermen,” Eidelson wrote in an email Saturday evening. “In building relationships with Jeanette, Doug and Frank, we have already begun to collaborate on developing the legislative initiatives we would like to bring to the Board.”

Douglass, a Trumbull College dining hall cook, said that he has worked with Eidelson in the past while canvassing. He said he feels she understands that issues affecting residents in his ward also affect Yalies. Hausladen, meanwhile, issued a statement explaining that he supports Eidelson because of her “experience and maturity.”

Morrison, the third aldermanic primary winner to endorse Eidelson, said Eidelson “knows the importance of bringing residents and developers to the table with one another.”

Eidelson has been involved in activism both on and off campus during her three years at Yale. She led a student campaign protesting the administration’s decision last February to increase the self-help portion of financial aid packages by $400, registered new voters in the Dwight, Dixwell, West River and Newhallville neighborhoods on a Dwight Hall fellowship during the summer after her sophomore year and worked on a Ward 18 aldermanic campaign this summer.

Eidelson’s campaign has also been endorsed by two Ward 1 aldermen who preceded current alderman Michael Jones ’11: Ben Healey ’04 and Julio Gonzalez ’99. Eidelson added that a wide range of community leaders she has met through the Community Voter Project, a voter outreach and registration initiative, have expressed public support for her as well.

Zak Newman ’13, campaign manager for Nayak’s campaign, said in an email Sunday night that the campaigns of the candidates who endorsed Eidelson have been “generally critical” of City Hall and Mayor John DeStefano Jr., adding that this stance is “old and unproductive.” He said the Elm City needs someone who is uninterested in continuing the “pro vs. anti-City Hall” status quo.

“Vinay has said from day one that he wants to be an independent voice on the board that is willing to work with every stakeholder to get things done for students and other residents,” Newman said in the email. “He’s met with several newly elected members of the board who are members of the coalition and has had productive and upbeat conversations with them, just like he’s shared ideas with typically establishment-backed officials.”

In the past, Nayak has said his work as a policy assistant for the Board of Aldermen’s community development committee has helped him make connections with members of the Board and other important community members, arguing that he understands the process of introducing new pieces of legislation better than Eidelson. He also has said these connections will give him an edge in developing policy as an alderman.

But Eidelson said her time working with community organizations has helped her to develop the relationships necessary to be an effective alderwoman.

“The fact of it is that I’ve spent a lot more time in New Haven and I’ve invested that time in having hundreds of conversations on the campus and in the city,” Eidelson said.

Eidelson and Nayak will face off in the Nov. 8 general election.


  • streever

    “Old and unproductive” is as far as I can get from describing the alders who won. Frank Douglass has been a mainstay of public meetings for years–pre-dating my own involvement–and had the best attendance at BZA meetings in my memory of any ward chair. He came out for literally any and every issue which had any impact on the neighborhood he lived in, and he spoke well, and had a big voice at the meetings–unproductive is not how I would describe him.

    Doug Hausladen is one of the most inspiring, energetic, and hard-working individuals I have ever known–he has managed to affect more change in this city, in more areas, than I would have thought possible.

    Labeling strong community leaders who won election as out of touch is not going to earn Nayak’s campaign any points. If anything, it is going to make it exceptionally hard for Nayak to work with these dedicated leaders if he is elected.

    Newman may not be aware, but a strong slate of independent Alders–not mayoral critics, but independent minds–swept the polls in the primary. Labeling them as “old and unproductive” is beyond bizarre. These individuals fought tooth and nail to win extremely difficult political battles against–in some cases–incumbents who have spent decades on the board.

    They didn’t win because they were “old and unproductive” but because they articulated an ambitious and brave vision for New Haven.

  • NewHavenLiferrr

    Have to agree with streever. Frank Douglass is one of those people you have to admire. This man has NEVER given up on his community. Is at all meetings. He is like an Elicker. He sides with what is good for his ward. And fights for what is best for the city.
    I have never heard of Nayak. And I am a very active resident. Eidelson on the other hand is an active community member. A benefit!
    My personal opinion is it appears that Nayak seems to be a bit out of touch with what is happening. Maybe next time when you get out there and become a part of New Haven.

  • joey00

    http://youtu.be/ytbnlRx0e2s , i needed a clip that would introduce all 16 puppets , watch,enjoy,suffer later,don’t worry,

  • streever

    What is your position on the free courses that Hausladen teachers to children in Newhallville?

    Are you so obsessed that you are unable to see the positive impact other people are making by caring and working toward a better future?