At her meet-and-greet Friday afternoon, Sarah Eidelson ’12 asked Yalies what kind of New Haven they want to live in.
The event, organized around Eidelson’s campaign motto: “I want to live in a New Haven where … ”, allowed participants to finish that sentence by writing their own answers on colored pieces of paper. These slips of paper were later laid out on the pavement on Cross Campus. Among the answers that people provided: harmony between town and gown and equal access to opportunity. Eidelson and her volunteers organized the event, which attracted a handful of students, as an opportunity for people to meet the Ward 1 aldermanic candidate on Cross Campus.
Eidelson expressed her ties to New Haven during the event and emphasized her long-term commitment to the city. The volunteers, a number of whom had also worked for Jeannette Morrison’s Ward 22 campaign, put up colored fliers and handed out ice cream bars to attract passers-by. In the wake of the Democratic aldermanic primaries last Tuesday, Eidelson’s event is only the first of many as both Ward 1 candidates ramp up their campaigns for the general election in November.
“Yale students are citizens of New Haven. Too often they forget that. [Eidelson has] already proven that she’s dedicated,” said Mac Herring ’12, Eidelson’s campaign manager and communications director. “She’s proven that she wants to be a citizen of New Haven.”
Vinay Nayak ’14, the other candidate for alderman, has not hosted a meet-and-greet this academic year but Zak Newman ’13, his campaign manager, has turned his attention to the substance of his message. On Sept. 12, the Nayak campaign website released a policy paper on improving New Haven’s infrastructure.
“Vinay has been focusing a lot on the policies he wants to work on … and has been talking with community members and elected officials about how he can get things done,” Newman said in an e-mail to the News.
Eidelson’s website currently does not have any policy papers, although she is focusing more on her connections to the city. Originally from Pennsylvania, Eidelson has spent the past two summers in New Haven and has said she intends to live in the city after graduation even if she does not win the election. Kenneth Reveiz ’12, Eidelson’s field director, added that Eidelson has an unparalleled understanding of New Haven. Eidelson did not announce she was running for Alderwoman until Aug. 14, but added that Nayak’s platform was not the main factor behind her decision to run.
“It really isn’t about Vinay,” Eidelson said. “I respect him.”
As of Sunday night, the Nayak campaign’s Facebook page had 160 “likes,” compared to 67 for the Eidelson campaign. But it is unclear how many Facebook supporters of either candidate are registered Ward 1 voters.
For example, Josef Goodman ’14 is a volunteer for Eidelson despite living in Morse College, which is part of Ward 22. Goodman said he met Eidelson and decided to join the campaign after working with her on Morrison’s campaign, which won the Democratic primary last Tuesday in the Ward 22 aldermanic race.
“A lot of these people were working on Jeannette Morrison’s campaign,” Goodman said.
Herring, who drove Yalies to the polls for the Morrison campaign, said that the campaign was in full swing, with volunteers canvassing four nights a week. Reveiz added that Eidelson’s campaign has been getting a good response when canvassing student dormitories.
Nayak’s campaign also claimed that it was receiving a positive response from the community. Newman wrote that Nayak has gotten support from a “wide variety” of students.
Last year, the Ward 1 Democratic Committee decided to ask all aldermanic candidates to run as independents in the general election, so that students would have more time to meet the candidates. For this reason, Ward 1 saw no Democratic primary last Tuesday.
Herring, who was one of the Committee co-chairs, said that more freshmen have gotten a chance to participate in the election. The general election will be held Nov. 8.
In addition to free ice cream bars, the Eidelson campaign was selling t-shirts for $15.