Courtesy of Eli Sabin

On Wednesday, New Haven Ward 1 Alder Eli Sabin ’22 announced his candidacy for a new post — the Ward 7 alder seat.

The city’s Ward 7 is adjacent to Ward 1, which Sabin currently represents, and includes sections of the Downtown and East Rock neighborhoods. Its alder post is currently held by Abigail Roth ’90 LAW ’94. 

Sabin’s announcement followed a Tuesday declaration by Roth that she would not seek a fourth term as alder. Roth said she “will keep advocating for traffic safety and beyond,” but wants to “be thoughtful about how [she] spend[s] [her] freed-up non-work time.” She also noted that she is excited to spend more time with her family. 

On Wednesday, Sabin filed the paperwork necessary to register as a candidate for the November election with the City Clerk’s Office and announced his official campaign.

“As a lifelong New Havener, I feel a deep connection to our city and to the people who make our neighborhoods strong,” Sabin wrote in a press release on Wednesday. “The challenges our community faces are personal to me, and I believe we all need to do what we can to lift each other up. I’m running for Ward 7 alder so I can keep fighting for a safer, more affordable, and more equitable New Haven.”

Sabin currently lives in Ward 1 at the corner of Crown Street and High Street, across the street from Ward 7. He noted in an interview with the News that he will be moving into Ward 7 on December 31, when his term as Ward 1 alder ends.

Sabin grew up in the Ward 10 section of East Rock and said he feels capable of representing Ward 7 despite not having lived there before. He also believes he has gained a sense of the ward while working alongside Roth over the past two years. Roth and Sabin have collaborated during past aldermanic committee meetings to represent the interests of the city’s downtown, such as their joint work to enforce operating times for trash pickup that would not interfere with New Haveners’ sleep.

“Alder Sabin has been a terrific partner responding to issues Downtown,” Roth wrote in an email to the News. “We did not always vote the same on every issue, and I have told him that if he becomes alder I will write him as a constituent if I disagree with how he plans to vote, but he is very thoughtful, engaged, and responsive and cares deeply about the city.”

Sabin told the News that he hopes to center much of his campaign around issues of employment, housing affordability and public safety. If elected, Sabin said he would prioritize legislation that works to reduce gun violence and crime rates in the Elm City. He also said he would work to “make sure that we are building more affordable housing and also keeping taxes down as much as we can,” citing the importance of keeping longtime residents in the city as well as making the city more attractive to new residents.

The Ward 1 alder has encouraged Yale students who reside in Ward 7 to register to vote in the upcoming fall elections, which will include both mayoral and aldermanic races.

When Sabin was Ward 1 co-chair on the New Haven Democratic Town Committee, he worked with former Ward 1 Alder Hacibey Catalbasoglu ’19. Catalbasoglu said that since then, Sabin has served as one of the most “effective” alders to ever hold the Ward 1 seat. He noted that Sabin was able to “get a lot done” — such as proposing the Equality Act resolution and opening additional bike lanes downtown — due to his experience prior to assuming the role. This included his position as director of the Progressive Caucus, his work as part of state Rep. Ronald Lemar’s policy staff and his time on the New Haven Homeless Advisory Board. Catalbasoglu added that the transition between the Ward 1 and Ward 7 alder posts is not as difficult as it may seem because the two wards face similar issues.

The Ward 1 alder seat is traditionally held by a Yale student, but not always one held from New Haven. Sarah Eidelson ’12 held the seat for six years, during her time at Yale and some years after, despite not being born or raised in the Elm City. Catalbasoglu and Sabin both noted that they hope a New Haven Yalie succeeds Sabin.

“I think that the next alderman should most definitely be from New Haven, because I think growing up in an environment and being from somewhere gives you a sort of experience [and] empathy that you otherwise can’t have,” Catalbasoglu told the News.

As of Wednesday, no candidates have filed to run for the Ward 1 seat this fall.

New Haven local elections will take place Nov. 2.

Ángela Pérez is City Editor of the YDN. She was a former beat reporter, covering City Hall and Women's Volleyball. She was a former editor and writer for the WKND desk. She is from Puerto Rico and plans to major in Architecture.