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From Mr. Levine:
This week in New Haven Politics we welcomed mayoral candidates Henry Fernandez (on Monday) and Toni Harp (on Wednesday). With questions they had prepared in advance–and many thought of on the spot!–students grilled the candidates on a range of issues both current and historical, from the environment to the Black Panthers, from school choice to urban renewal. Students largely disagreed with both candidates about the fairness of New Haven Public Schools’ lottery system. Between the candidates, a major disagreement arose about the state’s recent move to allow Keno gambling in certain locations. Fernandez said that it would amount to a regressive tax that would hurt the very people it was trying to help. Harp argued that it was a revenue source necessary to save crucial programs, and that Fernandez misrepresented how the law would be implemented. I look forward to learning whom the students were convinced by on this point.
Mayoral candidate Justin Elicker will come to class on Monday. On Wednesday, we will wrap up the class by discussing our impressions of the candidates and holding a vote. This vote will be part of the larger democratic process, since I have committed to vote in the actual election for whomever the students themselves choose.