NEWS’ VIEW: Sarah Eidelson ’12 for Ward 1

Of the two Ward 1 aldermanic candidates, one is an ambitious Yale man, a slick politician. The other is a perhaps less flashy but equally motivated statesman — or stateswoman, as she might correct us — who has devoted the last three years of her life to making New Haven her home. Because of the relationships she has built in New Haven, we believe the latter, Sarah Eidelson ’12, will be far more able to serve her constituents and her city effectively and more likely to accomplish the policy goals she champions. We confidently endorse her for Ward 1 alderman.

According to a survey conducted last Tuesday, Eidelson and Vinay Nayak ’14 are in a statistical dead heat among registered voters, and the two campaigns report having registered roughly equal numbers of voters. Both have been active on campus for the past two months, outlined clear policy initiatives and galvanized student involvement in New Haven politics.

But Eidelson is the best candidate to sustain that student energy, as well as the energy of the New Havenites who have volunteered on her campaign. Instead of pushing her policy platform aggressively, she has focused on her relationships in and knowledge of New Haven. And those relationships are no mere talking points.

Eidelson has spent two summers in New Haven, one with the Community Voter Project and the other as campaign manager for Ward 18 aldermanic candidate Sarah Saiano. No matter that the campaign ultimately failed; Eidelson spent her summer trekking around a part of the city quite a distance from Yale, getting to know residents. She made her decision to run based on three years of passionate involvement in the city, and her future colleagues recognize that devotion.

Eidelson has already been endorsed by each of the future aldermen from the wards surrounding her own. These would-be colleagues trust and want to work with her. Eidelson has already started building a foundation of respect.

In her policies, too, Eidelson demonstrates a sharp ear for New Haven’s voice. Instead of dreaming up new policy to propose to the board, she is throwing her voice behind current initiatives she will be able to advocate beginning on her first day in office. Community policing is an issue already on the Board’s docket, and she has adopted it as one of her central planks. She wants to expand on work already done to develop Route 34. With her Complete Streets proposal, she has assured us that she cares about the way Yale students get around New Haven on a daily basis. She is already thinking realistically.

Eidelson knows it takes 16 of the Board’s 30 votes to accomplish anything. She has already built the relationships that will enable her to do just that. Regardless of recent experience, any Yale student will enter the New Haven political scene as somewhat of an outsider. But Eidelson already has much of the support and respect of her colleagues that she will need before she thinks about embarking on ambitious policy initiatives. That respect comes from union-backed candidates but also more independent Democrats like Doug Hausladen ’04 in Ward 7.

We need a representative who can connect Yalies to New Haven, not one who imposes new ideas from the ivory tower. We appreciate Nayak’s policy proposals, but a rookie student alderman cannot waltz into City Hall and lead the pack. Eidelson knows that, and her ideas are rooted in a sense of reality and a keen feel for what the city really needs.

Eidelson listens. Nayak talks—and he talks well. Eidelson lacks his suave oratory, but aldermen don’t give speeches. The mark of a good alderman is a good conversation. Eidelson has been having those conversations in every corner of New Haven for three years.

After declaring his candidacy last spring, Nayak — just a freshman at the time — returned to his Chicago suburb for the summer. His campaign has raised more money than Eidelson’s, but his donations come mostly from outside New Haven.

We admire the work Nayak’s campaign has done detailing new policies. He has shown genuine interest in a city he does not quite yet know. He has energized Yale students who never cared about local politics. Such dedication and ambition is refreshing.

Nayak has an agenda, but he does not seem to recognize the place of that agenda within the framework of the Board of Aldermen. He has earned little support from New Haven legislators, and, despite his work as a Policy Assistant, he doesn’t yet understand the structure of New Haven politics.

Much of our concern about Nayak lies in what we have learned from the term of Mike Jones ’11 on the Board. Jones ran on a platform of three particular policies; he accomplished none of them. He will be remembered for raising the city’s living wage, an issue he tackled only during the second year of his term as alderman. Nayak may be exceptionally good at playing policy, but the Board is not a laboratory. He will be frustrated by its realities.

We have our concerns about Eidelson’s candidacy too. She has received much support from unions during this campaign, but we hope and expect they will not be the only voices speaking in her ear after her inauguration.

Eidelson must ensure that the voices she hears most are those of Yale students, even though she will not be a student for the majority of her term. Simply living on High Street is not enough to connect her to the student body. She has already shown that she can energize Yalies about local politics; she will have to make a concerted effort to remain in touch with her constituents.

Unlike so many Ward 1 residents, Eidelson cares about this city and considers it her own. She should use this position to show other Yalies that they can, as she has, move outside their suites and classrooms and engage as citizens of New Haven.

As students, we do not have a great reputation outside our campus. To many, we’re entitled and arrogant symbols of the type of privilege that is denied to many of our fellow residents of the city. It takes a special kind of alderman to overcome those stereotypes and convince the Board that she has something valuable to contribute to the city. Sarah Eidelson can be that alderman.

She has shown her ability to build honest relationships, to listen as well as to talk and to inspire New Havenites from outside Ward 1 to campaign on her behalf. If other aldermen are willing to fight for her, they will be pleased to work with her on the Board. That kind of cooperation, not sterile policy, is what we need if we expect the Ward 1 alderman to accomplish what we care about. Sarah Eidelson’s experience and genuine passion for the city make her the best choice for Ward 1 alderman — or, we concede to her again — alderwoman.

Comments

  • ALS

    Seems like good reasoning to me. I hope Vinay stays involved in New Haven politics, as I understand that he’s a very savvy advocate, and this city needs as many strong voices as it can get. Best of luck to Sarah!

  • lookitsashark

    “slick politician.” let’s try to be a little more respectful of a candidate who is invested in what he is doing here. That was rude.
    And since when has “good listener” translated to “strong voice?” when asked in regular conversations I found that Sarah was wispy washy on what she’d do as alderman until very recently… And even now it’s not very well planned out.

  • lookitsashark

    This is a very flattering portrait of Sarah Eidelson, and she deserves what was said about her, but this is not a good reason to bash Vinay in the way that this article has.

  • desch

    This comment about Vinay’s policy being developed inside of an “ivory tower” is not only unfounded but also uncalled for. I say this because most of the policy team joined the campaign with specific issues that they felt passionate about. Most of the people leading the charge here are not “policy hacks,” and brought information from their previous work and experiences to the table. I joined the team because I felt that Vinay could push the issues that I cared about in the right places. I offered my experience from working in my community back home and decided to work on immigration related issues because it was personal for me. I worked in a legal office that worked with undocumented immigrants and helped them navigate the legal system, which thankfully, protected their rights as workers regardless of their legal status. Connecticut has equally progressive labor laws, but there are places that we could improve protection for workers (both documented and undocumented) in our city.

    Not a single part of these platforms was developed in isolation, as the YDN so suggests. More time was spent reaching out to government officials, activists and others who were invested in the issues that we decided to take up than anything else. That is what makes these solutions tangible and viable. It is dangerous to reject a candidate on the grounds that the previous candidate didnt follow through on a developed policy platform. This is not the fault of Vinay or any other aldermen who follow this election. There will always be value in having ideas and developing them into a plan, and for that reason I still support Vinay.

  • DebbieDowner

    @ desch: “There will always be value in having ideas and developing them into a plan.” I have ideas and am developing them into plans, would you support me?

    Let’s be real. These policies might have been “tangible and viable” if they had not existed in the current context of the New Haven Board of Aldermen, or before many of them had already been for the most part passed. Clearly all that time spent reaching out to “government officials, activists and others” was not time well spent; Nayak has not even been able to secure the endorsements of any government officials, and the two pieces by supporters on Friday were generally light on substance. On the other hand, all the aldermen who surround Ward 1 have obviously made a choice: they are excited to work with Eidelson, on *her* policy. This includes Doug Hausladen, a Yale and Davenport alum, THE “tangible and viable” policy and infrastructure candidate if there ever was one. I do not doubt your genuineness, but I do suggest re-reading this sentence: “Eidelson knows it takes 16 of the Board’s 30 votes to accomplish anything. She has already built the relationships that will enable her to do just that.”

  • bcrosby

    This is a very well-written endorsement for an excellent candidate – go Sarah!

    To respond to desch: so I think that Vinay’s decision to focus almost exclusively on writing incredibly detailed policy (which, incidentally, as Debbie Downer points out above, isn’t necessarily particularly groundbreaking) actually demonstrates, as the YDN perceptively noted, that “he doesn’t yet understand the structure of New Haven politics.” Serving on New Haven’s BoA, particularly as a freshperson, is fundamentally about people, not policy – it’s about partnering with the alderpeople from other Wards to craft good legislation and implement it. I’m not saying that policy’s not important – it is! But realistic policy doesn’t mean crafting hyper-detailed policy during the campaign and then expecting a Board from which one is determined to remain “independent” to just pass it all. Good, realistic policy comes out of a team of alderpeople working together, and reflects the needs and priorities of the Board as a whole. Sarah’s focus on charter reform is a good example of this: not only is it an incredibly important action the BoA will take in the next two years (which makes it kind of surprising that Vinay, as far as I know, hasn’t meaningfully addressed it), but its the sort of legislation in which she could bring her particular ideas and emphases to the Board as a whole as they work together to craft it. Policy ultimately flows from relationships: relationships on the Board, relationships in the Ward, relationships to others in New Haven. Sarah has all three of these in spades.

  • alexg1321

    I’m so glad that the YDN recognizes that Sarah’s ideas come from working with the community and the having hundreds of conversations with New Haven residents she’s had while doing so. As the post-debate video showed, she’s personally met and spoken with ex-felons seeking employment opportunities, whereas it’s unclear whether Nayak has.

    I’ve seen many incoming aldermen, New Haven community leaders, and New Haven high school students knock on doors alongside Sarah Eidelson and her team of Yale undergraduate and gradate students; that kind of support from the Board and from the community is unprecedented. While I applaud Nayak for spending time researching and crafting his proposals, policy (no matter how detailed) will not pass without the support of 15 other Aldermen; Sarah’s shown that she has that support already. What’s more, it takes more than a week-and-a-half of policy research to understand the pressing issues in New Haven, and it’s clear that Sarah knows that.

  • baja227

    What this comes down to is how each candidate sees the position of ward 1 alderperson (how’s that for a compromise? Can we stop making stupid jokes about how clumsy it is to switch to “stateswoman” or “alderwoman”?), and why they’re in this race at all. “Slick politician” is unfair–maybe he is ambitious and maybe he will continue using his smooth talking to political ends in the future, but maybe not, and that is really beside the point. Why do they want to be alderpeople *now*? Vinay wants to enact his policy proposals, seemingly, and shockingly, naive to the fact that as a 19 year old kid, an outsider representing a part of the city most other residents really resent, he doesn’t actually have any political clout. Vinay’s whole approach is presumptuous, it’s condescending, and in addition to making it impossible to enact his policy, it’s doing nothing to bridge the gap and ameliorate the reputation Yale and Yalies have in the rest of the city, in fact, it’s just reinforcing all those ugly divides. I think it’s telling Vinay’s strongest base of support is among freshmen who, for all their enthusiasm, haven’t for the most part had the chance to get to know the town-gown dynamics, and don’t know how urgently we need a responsible alderperson in this regard.

    The News got it just right. Sarah is alderperson we need. She listens and she talks, she forms meaningful relationships, she throws her weight behind existing initiatives rather than assuming that as an outsider and a Yalie, whatever she might dream up is going to be superior to the ideas coming from the city and its residents. She exemplifies a better relationship between Yale and the city–*she gets it*. These elections represent a real opportunity for change and improvement, and if we pass that up by electing more of the same, it will be a sad day for Yale and for New Haven.

  • yayasisterhood

    Quite a terrible piece, par for the course in the YDN.

  • River_Tam

    > We have our concerns about Eidelson’s candidacy too. She has received much support from unions during this campaign, but we hope and expect they will not be the only voices speaking in her ear after her inauguration.

    Fat chance, but… who cares? It’s local New Haven politics, after all.

  • ISilver

    “Instead of pushing her policy platform aggressively, Edelson has focused on her relationships in and knowledge of New Haven.”

    Call me crazy but I would rather have a candidate like Vinay who has a thoughtful and thorough policy approach mapped out than Sarah with no concrete policy initiatives to speak of. Vinay’s “aggressive policy platform” should be lauded, and Sarah’s lack there of should be highlighted as irresponsible for a candidate running for public office. As voters, our primary focus should be on achievable goals and initiatives rather than nebulous relationships which may or may not hold when Eidelson leaves our dining halls, dorms, and classrooms to melt into the woodwork of glorified community organizing.

    Congratulations, YDN, on spinning the biggest problem with the Eidelson campaign into a specious endorsement.

  • bcrosby

    @ISilver So, first of all, the notion that Sarah doesn’t have a meaningful policy platform is simply untrue. Unlike Vinay, Sarah actually addresses the single most important task of the BoA in the next two years, namely charter revision. Moreover, Sarah’s policy initiatives, even if not always as hyper-detailed as Vinay’s, actually seek to address the roots of some of New Haven’s problems, rather than just skirting around the edges/largely replicating policy work already done before.

    But even if Vinay’s policies were better than Sarah’s – which they aren’t – Sarah would continue to be the better candidate. You can write all the policy papers you want, but unless you can get 16 out of 30 votes on the Board, it’ll get you bupkis. Vinay’s stated desire to remain aloof and “independent” from the rest of the Board betrays a dangerous misunderstanding of what serving as alderperson is all about – it’s about relationships, about partnering with other alderpeople on the Board on topics of mutual interest. Sarah really gets this – that a freshman alderperson from the Yale Ward can’t just waltz into the BoA chambers and expect to set the policy agenda, but rather, needs to be willing to work with the other alderpeople – really work WITH then, not just broker deals – to make positive change happen.

  • bcrosby

    @River_Tam: Your accusation is utterly groundless – of the two campaigns, it’s actually been Sarah who has been far more focused on the needs of her constituents – us – specifically. The two campaign-slogans-of-sorts make this pretty clear: Vinay’s “With V, for New Haven” versus Sarah’s “I want to live in a New Haven where…”. It’s Sarah who has put the interests and needs of her constituency front and center, and who has most effectively linked these interests and needs to the common good of the Elm City. Both candidates are clearly interested in serving New Haven, but it’s Sarah who has demonstrated an understanding that the other part of the alderperson’s task – serving one’s specific constituency – also matters, and is in fact inextricable from working to better New Haven as a whole.

  • ISilver

    @bcrosby

    It’s wonderful to jump on the coattails of a charter reform process that has already been in the works for years. Congrats to the team at Eidelson HQ for adding Sarah to long list of people already working on an issue that will be addressed regardless of who gets elected. And since when are Sarah’s broad strokes about the New Haven she wants to live in “addressing the roots of the problems” instead of “skirting around the edges.” Idealism is well and good, if its backed up with substantive and thoughtful policy, and frankly, your personal opinion that Sarah’s is better means very little to me, as it should to anyone who has followed the two policy approaches closely.

  • bcrosby

    @ISilver: To go point-by-point:

    First of all, yes, charter reform of some sort will happen regardless of who gets elected. But what that charter reform looks like may be quite different depending on who gets elected. This is a very important process, and a process in which the W1 alderperson may well be important. It bothers me that I have no idea what Vinay’s priorities are regarding updating the City Charter. Policy creation shouldn’t be a game of “I’ve come up with something no one else has!” – it should be about working as a Board on common priorities. This seems to be something the Vinay campaign doesn’t really get, but more on that later.

    Secondly, Vinay’s goals of reducing recidivism, eliminating wage theft, and improving infrastructure are worthy (although there are real questions as to whether or not his policy proposals are the best way to meet those goals). But these three items aren’t going to in-and-of-themselves solve all of New Haven’s problems, as the Nayak team sometimes seems to be claiming they will. Sarah’s reform measures, while not as unspecific as you allege (for example, her proposals re: community policing, greater democratic input in the Board of Ed, and improvements to the Rt 34 corridor are all concrete, as far as I can tell), simultaneously address some of New Haven’s structural problems: a lack of community input in development decisions, a deeply troubled educational system, etc. Vinay doesn’t seem interested in this sort of structural analysis at all, and that’s worrying.

    Most importantly, your framing of Sarah as ‘idealistic’ (presumably with Vinay then being ‘pragmatic’) ignores the actual way in which the Board of Aldermen works. The W1 alderperson will be one of 30, and a newcomer to the Board at that, so to expect such a person to set the policy agenda, providing completed policies for the rest of the Board to admire and presumably adopt is fairly condescending and, more importantly, pretty out of touch with reality. Governance at this local level isn’t solely (or even primarily) about writing good policy – while policy is important, without the relationships on and off the Board to make that policy reality, even the best policy in the world is useless. Governance is a team effort, and one needs to be able to team up with others on the Board to effectively govern. A sense of the dynamics of the Board and the City are something that one can only acquire through years of experience, and Sarah has that experience. That is why I’m convinced she will be a more effective alderperson than Vinay would.

  • River_Tam

    > The two campaign-slogans-of-sorts make this pretty clear: Vinay’s “With V, for New Haven” versus Sarah’s “I want to live in a New Haven where…”.

    Those both sound terrible.

  • ferocity

    This is great! Sarah will be an excellent alderwoman to the folks on campus and for the city. I can’t wait to see her work with residents and officials in New Haven over the next two years.

  • ISilver

    @bcrosby

    Perhaps you missed the point of my last sentence. Might I suggest I reread?

  • bcrosby

    @ISilver: Fair enough – my bad. I would, however, argue that it’s not enough to just combine idealism and substantive/thoughtful policy. You also need the skills and knowledge to actually get that policy enacted on the Board. Sarah has the skills and the knowledge base to do so.

  • PC14

    The Ward 1 alderman is arguably the most unique position on the board, representing a constituency with an agenda which has the potential to differ wildly from New Haven as a whole. As much as we would like to pretend it is not the case, Ward 1 is not just another ward. It is clear that often times the views of Ward 1 and New Haven line up — which Yale student wouldn’t want to see safer streets or more restaraunts to eat at? — but the most important thing for a Ward 1 alderman to keep in mind is to represent his own constituency.

    I have no doubts that Sarah will use her relationships to be very effective in getting a lot done. What I doubt is who she sill be doing these things for? How will I benefit, as a Yale student, from the fact that Sarah can work with 15 other candidates to pass the legislation of her friends that might go against the interests of Ward 1? I’m all for progress, but we don’t need a second Ward 18 alderman on the board, helping to promote the agenda of the union, or anybody else. We need a Ward 1 alderman who can effectively represent Yale and its interests, which will never align exactly with the interests of any other ward. When a major New Haven crisis that drastically affects Yalies — think Stiles screw — we want our alderman to be fighting for a response that serves US. How is Sarah going to capture the quintessential “feel” about issues like that when she’s not a student?

    By the YDN’s logic, the most effective BoA would be made up of 30 alderman all from the same neighborhood, who are all best friends, and all can always garner up the “other 15″ votes to pass their agendas. But we know this isn’t really the most effective BoA, as it would be one that would leave 29 other wards in the dust. It is essential to a healthy city council that each alderman is effective at representing his own ward, first and foremost, and only Vinay is in the position to represent Ward 1 in that regard.

  • johnsteinbeck

    @PC 14: Have you ever been to an aldermanic hearing? If the 30 aldermen each thought of themselves as representing their constituents in opposition to — and then, only in compromise, in partnership with — those of other words, nothing would get done. Here’s just one revealing account of the process as it currently works (“You Think Congress Has Problems…”): http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/aldermen_stymied_by_awnin/

    I’m also struck by your phrase “Yale and its interests.” President Levin lives in Ward 10. Lauren Zucker, Yale’s Director of New Haven Affairs, doesn’t even live in New Haven. Nor do, on quick search, virtually all of the people on the Yale Corporation, which includes Fareed Zakaria, Charles Goodyear, and Dan Malloy. All those people have incredible clout in defining “Yale’s interests.” So if the aldermen are supposed to represent their “constituents,” I wonder what you meant.

    Overall, it’s kind of ironic that anyone would defend Nayak in the above terms, given his continual gestures in support of our current mayor, who, given the choice, would in all likelihood fight for a smaller board of aldermen, with weaker “neighborhood representation,” which he could more easily control.

  • bcrosby

    @PC14: So I think you’re both misreading the YDN column and, more importantly, misunderstanding the thrust of Sarah’s campaign. I don’t disagree – and more importantly, I don’t think Sarah would either – that the Ward 1 alderperson is responsible first and foremost to her/his own constituency, that is, Ward 1. In fact, Sarah has made this fact far more of a feature of her campaign than Vinay has. As I wrote to River_Tam above, the two candidates’ campaign slogans provide a useful lens for their startlingly different views of the role of the Ward 1 alderperson: for Vinay, “With V/Us, for New Haven,” for Sarah, “I want to live in a New Haven where…”. It’s Sarah who has framed her campaign most directly not in terms of the needs of New Haven as a whole but in terms of the interests and needs of Ward 1 residents – that is, us – and she has effectively linked our needs as students with the needs of the Elm City as a whole.

    I’m not sure why you seem to argue that Sarah’s status as a senior – and then, a recent graduate – will make it impossible for her to have a sense of her constituency’s needs once in office. Yes, her positionality will be different than Vinay’s would have been, but she – more than Vinay – has laid out concrete plans for staying in touch with her constituency. What’s more, just being a Yale student isn’t a guarantee of the knowledge of what Yalies wand and need. For example, current W1 alderman Mike Jones, while generally a very competent aldermen who had some significant accomplishments on the Board, simply did not always do a fantastic job about being approachable/present for his constituents – and he’s taken a lot of flak for his slow handling of last year’s Elevate incident. This is all to say that just being a Yale student isn’t a guarantee that one will represent the interests of Yale students well, and Sarah has already demonstrated a willingness to go above and beyond in order to maintain connections to campus.

  • bcrosby

    [cont'd]

    Finally, just because an alderperson has a specific constituency shouldn’t/needn’t preclude them from working with other alderpeople. This may seem obvious, but it’s worth stressing – one can’t get anything done on the Board, one can’t represent one’s constituency well, etc., without relationships with other alderpeople. Mike found this out when City Hall pretty effectively forced his living wage ordinance to languish in committee for months. Indeed, consider again the Elevate example: this really ISN’T a case where Yalies’ interests were any different from those of folks in the rest of New Haven: everybody was really incensed about brutality and unaccountability in the NHPD. Frankly, I think this was a pretty big missed opportunity to rally both Yale students and people from the rest fo New Haven around reforming an out-of-control police department. Sarah has that bigger picture, the sense of how the things we want and need out of our city government relate to the interests and needs of folks from other parts of New Haven. It’s this sense of the bigger picture which will enable Sarah to work with other alderpeople to most effectively advance our own interests as students – to create the sort of New Haven in which we want to live.

  • Ward1der

    This is a very poorly crafted and unsubstantiated endorsement. For a new editorial board, and a new new leadership group at the helm of this paper, it is disappointing and somewhat shocking that they would levy such unsubstantiated ad hominem attacks against Nyak. It is all fine and good to endorse one candidate over the other so long as the author delineates the reasons for doing so. I believe that the opinion editors have accomplished that goal in their support of Eidelson. However, the attacks against Vinay are cruel, unfair, and simply put into the article in an effort to score cheap points. For their first news’ view, I give the new opinion editors and the new editor in chief a rousing two thumbs down. I suggest that they revisit what defines good and fair journalism.

  • Yale12

    Ward1der, there have been several other News’ Views published by the new board already.

    I don’t see what’s “ad hominem” about pointing out Vinay’s many notable weaknesses. Nothing in this News’ View about Vinay Nayak is untrue. And there are PLENTY of reasons given for their endorsement of Eidelson – Nayak’s weaknesses among them.

  • silliwin01

    The real issue here, obviously, is that the name “Vinay” sounds exceedingly similar to “Vinny”, and you can’t trust anyone named Vinny in public office. I applaud the YDN for their craft in writing an endorsement that expresses their support for Eidelson without mentioning this concern outright, though I feel it would have been a more mature and intellectually honest decision by the editorial board to state this unequivocally in the introductory paragraph of the article. Politics is one of many arenas in modern American society that could use a healthy dose of honesty, and I think the YDN missed a major opportunity to contribute to meaningful change by hiding their true thoughts about the candidates behind a layer of well-written rhetoric.

  • noh

    I wholeheartedly disagree with Yale12’s assessment of Vinay. The characterization of Vinay as simply a slick politician is categorically false, and this is reflective of someone who has not taken the time to look past the rhetoric that has unfortunately been prevalent throughout the campaign. When you meet Vinay, it is clear that he is so much more than a slick, unfeeling politician. The issues he has championed throughout the campaign are issues that I deeply care about and would not be a part of his campaign if I did not truly feel that he cared about them as well. I would encourage Yale12 to look past what you believe to be true and to see Vinay for who he really is-a hard-working, totally capable, person who would be an excellent addition to the Board.

  • ISilver

    @Yale 12

    I have generously attached the definition of abusive Ad Hominem below in the sincerest hopes that it will help to answer your question about what is Ad Hominem about their unfair characterizations of Vinay. Here’s to hoping this helps you to avoid similar logical fallacies in the future! :

    “Abusive ad hominem (also called personal abuse or personal attacks) usually involves insulting or belittling one’s opponent in order to attack his claim or invalidate his argument, but can also involve pointing out factual but apparent character flaws or actions that are irrelevant to the opponent’s argument. This tactic is logically fallacious because insults and negative facts about the opponent’s personal character have nothing to do with the logical merits of the opponent’s arguments or assertions.”

  • bcrosby

    So, a few things @noh and @ISilver: First of all, I don’t disagree that some of the language used in this editorial – “slick politician” in particular – may have been somewhat overwrought. But I think its important to remember that this election isn’t just about policy – it’s about leadership styles, experience, relationship-building skills, character, etc. So, the sorts of arguments that might be ad hominem were this simply an academic debate about policy are not at all inappropriate here; we’re not electing a policy platform, but rather a person. And I think the YDN sets out a very compelling case for the combination of factors which make Sarah Eidelson such an exciting candidate for Ward 1 alderperson.

  • Yale12

    Noh, I don’t doubt that he’s hardworking or capable. So is pretty much everybody here at Yale. Is that all you have to say about him?

    However, Vinay’s quote from a recent video – about how he was “frustrated” by “kids getting shot twenty miles from his house” – tells me all I need to know about Vinay as a politician. Namely, that he is one, and a slick one at that.

  • Ward1Pundit

    I think I speak for everyone who has bothered to read these posts: A debate between active members of each campaign (like what I’ve been reading) is annoying, and polarized. You are not getting anywhere with undecided voters.

    I plan on making my way to the polls tomorrow, but have not yet decided who to cast my ballet for. However, that is not why I’ve gone through the trouble of registering an account and posting (something i never do). I went to these lengths to explain how this article makes me question the YDN as a source for honest news. While I understand, an opinion article will endorse and advertise for one candidate over the other, this article unquestionably bashes Vinay in unnecessary ways. I expect the YDN to carry themselves to higher standards than this.

    Endorse how you want, but be fair in your treatment of the news. This isn’t a blog you can just write your thoughts out on, it is a respected Yale publication. Sarah seems like an excelent candidate. Whether I vote for Sarah or Vinay will be something to settle on before I cast my vote tomorrow. But I don’t think ANY reader of this article can finish the last sentence and not see how insulting the YDN is (and if you read back, has been) to Vinay as a candidate.

    YDN: this is below you

  • chandlerpv

    If sarah didn’t knock on my door 40 times over the last few weeks, ignore me when I told her to stop coming, and give me incohesive plans for New Haven that showed me she didn’t hear a word I was saying…. I would have considered voting for her. If the way her campaign has been run is at all indicative of her ability to work with her constituents in a meaningful way then Ward 1 with Sarah is doomed.

    Vote Vinay. I thought it was more obvious than that

  • silliwin01

    For all that we know, Yale12 could be Eidelson and each of these various accounts talking about how the YDN has unfairly attacked Nayak’s character could be him.

    More to the point, it’s undeniable Nayak ran a more polished and stereotypically political campaign than Eidelson, one mostly funded by money from people who will not be affected by the result of the election. The nature of his campaign raises legitimate concerns about his ability to be an effective alderman and his connection to the city he is supposed to help govern, and thus are certainly within bounds for the YDN to point out (as would be Eidelson’s weaker public speaking ability or allegedly overzealous canvassing.) You shouldn’t let your allegiance in a meaningless election obscure a rational assessment of the endorsement.

    (As should be apparent, I live in Ward 22, if I can call this dump of a city a home, so I don’t care who wins.)

  • River_Tam

    I am actually Eidelson’s and Nayak’s love child, so I have no dog in this fight, and I can safely say that this entire spectacle is just embarrassing to Yale as an institution.