Prospective freshmen visiting campus for Bulldog Days had the opportunity to meet Gov. Dannel Malloy at a Tuesday night talk in Linsly-Chittenden Hall.
The event, sponsored by the Yale College Democrats, drew over 100 admitted students to hear Malloy discuss political activism on campus, the upcoming presidential election and what it means to be a Democrat today. He emphasized the Dems’ efforts, praising them for their contributions to local and state politics.
Malloy, who narrowly defeated Republican former diplomat Tom Foley in the 2010 gubernatorial election, encouraged his audience to participate in the Dems should they choose to attend Yale.
“If you come to Yale, I invite you to find community within this organization full of people that believe that there’s a bright future ahead of us,” Malloy said.
While several Yale undergraduates and graduate students hold positions in local government, Malloy said, others are involved in politics on an advocacy level. For instance, he said, the Dems galvanized student support for reforms such as the repeal of the state’s death penalty passed last week and the education reform package that has been one of Malloy’s primary priorities while in office.
Malloy said his plans include increasing funding for public schools, promoting jobs and boosting the state’s literacy rate, among other objectives.
The governor also stressed the potential impact that students can make on the upcoming U.S. presidential election in November. Student participation as volunteers in President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign is essential, Malloy said, adding that the Dems need to be active not only in Connecticut, but also in nearby states like Pennsylvania.
“Campus by campus, conversation by conversation, we will work together to make sure Obama gets reelected,” Malloy said. He added that, of all presidential elections, this November’s will have the most “dramatic consequences.”
Malloy, who originally endorsed Hillary Clinton LAW ’73 in the race for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, said he believes Obama has learned a lot in a relatively short time period. He added that while he appreciates Obama’s leadership in foreign policy, he believes the president should concentrate on creating a long-term vision for the U.S. economy and improving his relations with city governments and mayors.
Dems President Zak Newman ’13 said Malloy’s talk shed light on political involvement at Yale and, in particular, on the projects the Dems are working on.
Before taking the helm in Hartford, Malloy served as mayor of Stamford, Conn., for 14 years.