The most pressing issues for New Haven in the near-future will revolve around the mayoral and aldermanic elections this fall. Incumbent Mayor John DeStefano Jr. will face state Sen. Martin Looney in the Democratic primary, with the winner going on to battle Republican Joel Schiavone ’58.
As the candidates debate their stances on education, crime and economic development, the progress (or lack thereof) made on these and other issues over the last 10 years will be thrust before the entire city.
As Yale’s two recognized unions, Locals 34 and 35, move ever closer to the expiration of their contracts in January 2002, organized labor activity has been increasing. In 1996, the last time unions negotiated new contracts, strikes closed University dining halls for weeks, forcing students to scour New Haven restaurants. Local labor relations have improved since then, but it remains to be seen how much unionization efforts by graduate students and Yale-New Haven Hospital workers — groups allied with Locals 34 and 35 — will complicate negotiations.
Always a high-profile issue, crime in New Haven has steadily declined over the last decade. The question has now become whether that decline will continue particularly as the nationwide drop in crime has started to level off.