Monday, October 28, 2019

Opinion: Wesleyan Students Should Not Vote For Mayor

Submitted by James M O’Connell
In an article published on September 16, 2019 in The Wesleyan Argus student newspaper, a student is quoted as saying, “I was aware of the election, but I wasn’t really thinking about the logistics of voting. However, for myself, and a few of my friends as well, it is tricky navigating the role that we should have in Middletown politics. Is it more relevant for me to deal with the Wesleyan administration than it is the Middletown government? If I felt like the student population was having a big effect on elections, I would feel kind of funny about that, because most of our budget is private and most of what we experience is the community that is regulated by the school’s institutions rather than by the local government. I think the local government should be primarily concerned with Middletown not students, so I chose not to vote for that reason.”

I can’t say it any better than she did.   I also agree with another woman from the class of 2020 who said, “I don’t think this a perfect scenario by any means, with Wesleyan being very disconnected from Middletown but then supplanting itself into Middletown local politics.”

There really are some pretty smart young people at Wesleyan.   And they recognize that Middletown voters, not Wesleyan, should choose our next Mayor.  Vote for Seb Giuliano and the Row B team on November 5th!


Anonymous said...

Voter Suppression?

I have to vehemently disagree with any “opinion” that suggests in any way that a legal resident of Middletown who registers to vote; should "not vote" for Mayor or any other candidate on the ballot. That opinion/suggestion is a very slippery slope to voter suppression. The idea of suggesting someone not vote is disgusting and outrageous. What’s next—the suggestion you should not vote if you’ve only lived here six months, two months, a year; that you are not smart enough to vote; that African Americans, Muslims or women should not vote?

It is a citizen’s right to choose to vote or not vote based on their own values and how they feel about life in our city, state and country. Local elections are mostly about local policy yes, however many policies can and do have resonating effects on the “hill” at Wesleyan and in state and national issues. Wesleyan is in fact a part of the city’s fabric, and not outside of it. Make no mistake “City” policy does affect Wesleyan and Wesleyan students in a myriad of small and large ways. One example—and there are many—relates to the decisions elected officials will make in the next four years regarding environmental justice and the related stewardship of the environment related to climate change with far reaching consequences regarding the livability of the city and the state. These policy decisions will affect ALL who come to live, study, work, and play in Middletown for generations to come.

I’m not going to try to talk any Wesleyan student into registering to vote in Middletown so a particular party or candidate can win the election, conversely I would never suggest or write an opinion piece suggesting THEY NOT VOTE, and then top it off with a disingenuous suggestion to vote: FOR XX Mayor and Row…….. . This is an opinion piece written out of some perverse fear that those who have a RIGHT to vote might vote and somehow sway the election results in a direction they are not in favor of.

Our democracy works best when citizens are informed on the issues and chose to get out and vote!

GETTING OUT THE VOTE is what both parties should be focusing on, not questioning if it is appropriate for a given subset of the population to VOTE!

I encourage all citizens of Middletown to join me in exercising their right to vote on November 5th, if they so chose.

Stephen Smith said...

I guess it had to happen eventually, but I agree with an anonymous comment. I would like to thank the author of the post for including the link to the original article, since the student-written article is more balanced, and the general opinion on campus more diverse than his selective quote would lead the reader to believe. Another perspective from the same article:

“I think that voting in national elections is essential, but if we’re talking about the large-scale, sweeping progressive change that we want in the country, that isn’t going to happen just by voting in national elections every four years,” Tannenbaum said. “Therefore, it’s essential to vote in your local elections and to elect progressive officials, candidates, et cetera, throughout the country on a consistent basis, rather than waiting for some tide change.”

I can't say it any better than she did.

Michael Harris said...

I am surprised anyone would publicly advocate for suppressing voting.

Fred Culver said...

Wesleyan students should not vote in local elections only if they are a legal resident of Middletown. As far as voting for progressive democrats this is very dangerous for our society to do since many do not repect our laws and as far as voting for democrats they have a very long history of beening fiscally irrespondsible so in developing the water front we can have a vibrant area without breaking the bank. From a responsible democrat.
Fred Culver

Elisabeth Holder said...

Should elderly people who move to senior housing or assisted living facilities in our city be allowed to vote in Middletown?
Should people who move a lot for their jobs and don't stay in one place for more than a few years be allowed to vote in Middletown?
Should young people who get their first good jobs and sign a one-year lease on an apartment be allowed to vote in Middletown?
No one gets to decide who votes in Middletown; state law determines who votes in Middletown and poll workers are trained to uphold the laws governing voters' rights.

Elisabeth Holder - former poll worker