Sarah Eidelson ’12 will seek a third term representing Ward 1 on the New Haven Board of Alders.
She confirmed her plans in an interview with the News Saturday morning, more than seven months before the November election.
“It has really been a privilege to get to represent Yale students on the Board of Alders so far, and we’ve made major progress on a lot of the issues that matter most,” Eidelson, a Democrat, said. Youth spaces and programs, in addition to student representation on the Board of Education, will remain her central areas of focus in the future, she said.
Eidelson will face at least one opponent, Democrat Fish Stark ’17, who announced his candidacy at the beginning of March. Stark, a sophomore in Jonathan Edwards College, officially kicked off his campaign with an event last week.
Stark said he welcomes Eidelson’s entry into the race.
“I’m really glad there will be a contested election,” he said. “I think it’s important that Yalies can choose who represents them. I hoped that we would have an opponent no matter who it was.”
During a conversation with Eidelson following the announcement of his candidacy, Stark said, Eidelson informed him that she would run for a third term and asked him to drop out of the race. He said several others, including some who hold influence in the city’s Democratic Party, expressed their desire that he not challenge a fellow Democrat.
In an interview with the News, Vincent Mauro Jr., the chairman of the New Haven Democratic Party, said he met with Stark last week to discuss his campaign. He said the New Haven Democratic Party does not welcome the prospect of a race between Democrats in Ward 1, and he praised Eidelson for taking a “citywide view of governance.”
“We would obviously rather not have a race in the first ward between two Democrats, and I think Sarah has done really a fantastic job,” he said. “I think Sarah is the right candidate — she’s really taken up a nice view of not only representing the first ward, but really looking at the city.”
Eidelson said she has not filed any paperwork for her re-election bid and will formally announce her campaign later this semester. Eidelson went uncontested in the Democratic primary two years ago, squaring off in a two-way contest against Republican Paul Chandler ’14.
As chair of the Board’s Youth Services Committee, Eidelson has worked to create the New Haven Youth Map, an online database of youth services across the city. She also worked to secure a state youth violence prevention grant for the city. Thus far, New Haven has garnered $1.25 million for youth services from the grant.
Student representation on the Board of Education, one of Eidelson’s legislative priorities, was approved in the City Charter revision of 2013 in the form of two non-voting members and finalized by the alders earlier this year. Eidelson had a hand in determining the details of how high school students would get elected.
“I’m running for re-election because of the vision that I have for the way that our communities relate to the city, and the vision I have of a New Haven where all young people have access to the things that they need to thrive,” Eidelson said.
Eidelson lives on Orange Street, on the southeast edge of the ward, which is composed primarily of undergraduates, including those living in eight of the 12 residential colleges. Should she win re-election, Eidelson, an alumna of Jonathan Edwards College, will be four years out of college by the time she begins her third term.
Eidelson works in graphic design and communications for Local 34, the union of clerical and technical workers at Yale.
Tyler Blackmon ’16, president of the Yale College Democrats and a staff columnist for the News, said both candidates have agreed to pass over the Democratic primary and instead run as independents in the general election, giving the class of 2019 more time to learn about the race. The Dems will not make an endorsement, Blackmon added.
This article has been updated to reflect the version published in print on March 30, 2015.