I would like to extend a big “Welcome back to New Haven!” to those of us who spent the summer outside the city, and an even bigger welcome to the freshmen, class of 2017, for your first, unforgettable semester at Yale College. I hope everybody is as excited as I am to close out shopping period next week and embark on another term here at Yale.

There are many exciting things going on in New Haven right now — this is a big year in city politics. As many of you know, there is an open seat in the mayor’s office for the first time in 20 years. I hope everyone will explore the mayoral candidates and take part in this historic election. In addition to choosing a new mayor on Nov. 5, you will also get to vote for a candidate even closer to home — your alderman.

My name is Paul Chandler, I am an economics major and senior in Pierson College, and I want to represent you, the community of Ward 1, on the New Haven Board of Aldermen.

I believe that working with the Board of Aldermen is the most direct way to make tangible, structural improvements to the city, to Yale and to the lives of the residents in all 30 wards. As a lifelong Connecticut resident, I was raised on Friday pizza nights in Wooster Square, I spent years running track in Hillhouse High School’s field house and I attended numerous field trips at the Peabody Museum — my mother was once even a Yale employee. I consider myself very fortunate for the opportunity to continue breathing New Haven air as a student at Yale College.

As one of the largest cities in Connecticut, New Haven needs to set an example in pursuing community engagement and responsibly providing services to residents. New Haven is unique in that the education and medical sectors are the foundations of the economy and the main employers for the city. For that reason, I believe it is our responsibility as students to engage the city Legislature directly. We are important members of a complex interchange between Yale and the city, and we deserve a representative on the Board of Aldermen who will be both an active presence and an accountable representative of Ward 1. As an independent member of the Yale community, with no obligation to the special interest groups that dominate our city’s politics, I believe I am that candidate.

Now, for the elephant in the room. I am a Republican candidate. For the most part, the word “conservative” evokes particular thoughts on federal social policy or divisive partisan issues. I have my own, very moderate, opinions on the federal government, but those are not the issues that will cross my desk as alderman. When you hit the polls on Election Day, I hope you will look at what we want to accomplish here in New Haven.

To reach its full potential, our city must adopt strategies that target the systemic causes of the issues facing New Haven. The pillars of my policy and interests are: investing in our communities, developing sustainable and responsible government, and educating New Haven students for the future. These basic ideas can be implemented through specific policy prescriptions that are tailored to the unique character and challenges of New Haven. I am passionate about education, budgetary responsibility and public safety. I believe that sensible reforms, which address the root of these issues, can be both manageable and effective.

I also recognize, however, that the solutions that I propose may address some, but not all of the issues that concern us as Yale students. That is why I will continue to reach out and engage fellow student groups as well as individuals to discuss the spectrum of ideas that we would like to bring before the city. I am on campus, walking to class every day with the other members of Ward 1. I welcome opportunities to discuss the issues that matter most to us, and I am always available to stop and chat throughout the day. You can usually find me trekking Science Hill most days of the week.

I want to be a strong advocate and independent voice for my constituents. This is why I am not accepting donations from special interest groups, trade unions or lobbyists. I will always strive to listen to you, the residents of Ward 1. It is with your support that I will be elected, it is your ideas that I will bring before the Board of Aldermen and it is with your help that we will build a better New Haven.

Paul Chandler is a senior in Pierson College. Contact him at paul.chandler@yale.edu .

  • Pamplona

    How did he write such a long column without actually saying anything?

    • lakia

      Apparently you are not a strong reader or you are a mindless hit and run poster, without an original thought.

      He said he was not taking donations from special interests, he shared that he grew up in New Haven, but attends Yale, therefore has experienced both facets of the district (and they are distinct), and he invites students to engage.

      What was your contribution exactly?

      • Pamplona

        He moronically includes no discussion of the different policies for which he would advocate if elected, which must be the heart of any serious campaign. A brief mention of sources of funding and a passing knowledge of New Haven (which is very different from the CT suburbs) does not constitute a candidacy. Eidelson at least mentioned her legislative achievements so we can evaluate her record.

        If he wants to elevate the campaign beyond mere personal comparison, he ought to start mentioning differences in policy, and soon, to demonstrate his commitment to actually governing (instead of just reviving Yale’s Republican Party).

        • Pamplona

          I must also say that I’m not against his candidacy — I just have no way to evaluate it at this point. This article is stupid only because it doesn’t really help anyone make an informed decision about his goals for the city.

          • Bob Loblaw

            Policy doesn’t seem like the point of the article. Although a little snooping (actually only took 30 seconds) found me this. Each link offers a few. I imagine there will be more


  • jorge_julio

    the New Haven Republican Party is alive and well!

    • lakia

      Thank God.

      • jorge_julio

        I was being sarcastic. did you read this column?

        • lakia

          I knew you were. I wasn’t.

      • cookie 22

        thank god is right. How can a municipal Board be effective if its composed of members of only one party?

  • kinglove10

    He did not grow up in New Haven, but visited as a child. Those are two very different things. I wish him good luck. It is about time that there was actual discussion about what citizens want politically and the assumption should not be that Democrats are always right.