In Monday night’s YPU-YDN-Dems-sponsored debate, the Ward 1 aldermanic candidates displayed some shocking tactical blunders: Each lost the votes of those opposed to engagement in New Haven and gay rights. Both spurned the valuable Republican coalition with their rejection of Occupy Occupy. And Sarah Eidelson ’12 used much too much humor.
For all its platitudes, the debate raised some interesting questions and tidbits. For a campus hung over from the fiery exchange, here are a few thoughts the morning after.
But, first, a thank you: To moderator Esther Zuckerman ’12, whose well-timed sass stopped the YPU’s self-important hissing all night. Someone needed to tell them that a long time ago.
Now for the analysis:
Eidelson seems to have confused the Board of Alderman and ironic poets. The Board’s expert legal minds think a Yale-New Haven contract amendable on “mutually agreeable” terms really means “unilaterally” revisable. She, too, understands words to have opposite meaning. What contract, you ask? Oh, just the carefully worded one that closes Cross Campus to cars.
In solving this lexical dilemma, I suggest that the Board and Eidelson buy a new dictionary instead of hiring expensive legal counsel. The former will provide the same result at less cost.
Sarah did almost convince me she is the sensible option come Election Day. Unlike Vinay Nayak ’14, she correctly identified high taxes as the obstacle to opening a new business in the city. Her solution? Lowering taxes and cutting a bloated budget? Nope. She wanted to “work with” large developers to slash rents. Read: Force big-bad-rich property owners — like Yale — to absorb the city’s costs.
Now, Nayak had his own moments. He wants to write anti-wage-theft provisions into the city’s charter. It goes without saying: We should protect workers denied hard-earned salaries by thoroughly degenerate employers. But placing such a specific policy measure in the charter is like adding a cap-and-trade amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Good idea, wrong document, wrong time.
Vinay will live in a college come next year; Sarah will not. He will eat in dining halls, and she will not. This simple fact of her graduation poses the largest difference in their platforms. Eidelson’s response: She’ll stay involved in campus life because … she’ll stay involved. We should take her promise with a pinch of the Commons salt she will be missing out on come May.
(For the record, Nayak’s campaign refused to give me a button. I think they were afraid I might wear it.)
One policy measure sadly died at the debate: “alderperson.” Neither candidate used the genderless term exclusively, much to my disappointment. Their refusal to do so forces me to question their commitment to progressivism. I look forward to finding a write-in candidate who truly stands for my views of equality.