To the Editor:

Nick Shalek could have made his campaign about ideas to move New Haven forward. Instead, he’s chosen to promote petty division and distortion since he entered the race two months ago. Yesterday’s op-ed by a Shalek communications staffer (“Voting machine politics out of ward 1,” 10/17) is only the latest attempt by his campaign to win students’ votes by misrepresenting the facts.

Rebecca Livengood supports, and has always supported, a secret ballot election in which workers can make an independent choice about unionization at the Yale Cancer Center. The Shalek campaign has been repeatedly and publicly corrected in the past about this issue; apparently it insists on continuing in this blatantly intentional distortion of facts.

Despite heavy pressure from local unions, Rebecca has endorsed Carl Goldfield’s bid for the Board of Aldermen presidency. She believes Carl is a more progressive leader on critical issues facing the city, including the rights of its gay and lesbian citizens. Rather than tell us how he would vote on the board leadership question in January — a piece of information critical to voters — Shalek prefers to make baseless accusations of backroom dealings. Voters should demand more of him.

Finally, we’d like to remind voters that Rebecca was endorsed last spring by the Ward 1 Democratic Committee after a lengthy process in which both candidates participated in public debates and had the opportunity to meet with each committee member. Rather than a cadre of Rebecca’s personal friends, the committee is a cross-section of Ward 1 Democrats — indeed, every single registered Ward 1 Democrat was invited to join the committee, and no interested resident was turned down from participation. It’s true that Shalek was never invited — but only because he never lived in Ward 1 and was not registered in New Haven at all. The Ward 1 Democratic Committee endorsed Rebecca based on her record of experience and her progressive vision — the same reasons for which her former opponent, Dan Weeks, endorses her now in the upcoming aldermanic race.

Nazneen Mehta ’06 and Amia Srinivasan ’07

Oct. 17, 2005

The writers are the co-chairs of the Ward 1 Democratic Committee.