In Your Backyard
by Steve Markowitz | published Nov. 3rd, 2013
On November 5 an election will be held for the position of Henrietta Town Supervisor. At time of printing, there are 8,118 Democrats and 7,244 Republicans registered to vote in the town of Henrietta, as well as 5,238 not associated with a political party. This comes to 20,600 voters total, according to the Democrat & Chronicle. The total number of students enrolled at RIT for 2013 is 18,292. Even adjusting for overlap, the numbers say it all; RIT students have the potential to significantly impact local politics and elections.
On the national scale, students show up. In the 2012 presidential election, voters aged 18 to 29 represented 19 percent of the total vote according to a National Exit Poll conducted by Edison Research. Yet locally, politicians are struggling to persuade students to vote.
“By college students not being engaged in the voting process, it actually hurts them, because they end up having less of a say in policies and procedures …” Assistant to the Dean of Students at Boston University Katherine Cornetta in an interview with The Daily Free Press.
College of Arts and Sciences at Boston University professor Graham Wilson in the same interview said: “There are all sorts of policies that take place at the local level that affect students, ranging from safety in apartments, city inspections … to basically how receptive people in the city government are to the needs of the university and its students in general.”
To help students learn more about the upcoming local election, we have included a summary of two of the candidates for Henrietta Town Supervisor. To read even more about each candidate, visit reporter.rit.edu.
Know Your Candidates
Michael Yudelson: Democrat
Henrietta Town Supervisor since 2008, Michael Yudelson is running for reelection on a platform of smaller government, keeping the same tax rates, saving jobs and keeping corporations in the area. On October 11, after losing the Republican ballot in the primary, Yudelson announced he was changing his political party from Republican to Democrat.
According to the Democrat & Chronicle, the change will not affect his philosophy or approach, but was due to Yudelson’s desire to distance himself from Republicans in Washington DC since the government shutdown. The decision came too late to be changed on the ballots; his name will appear on the conservative side.
“I am legitimately not sure whether the majority of my supporters are Republican or Democratic. I have never thought about it, and quite frankly, don’t really care,” wrote Yudelson on his campaign website. “There is no Republican or Democratic way to plow the streets, run our recreation programs and Senior Center, or work with the employees in the Town Hall and serve our constituents. But there is a right way and a wrong way.”
Jack Moore: Republican
For the past six years Jack Moore has served on the Henrietta Town Board, and is now running for Supervisor. Owner of the Gro-Moore Farms, Moore believes there is a leadership crisis in the town that he hopes to fix, according to YNN. His platform promises to adjust tax rates to prevent overpayment, hire a finance director and hire department heads to maintain civil service requirements.
Another goal is to create a registry of student housing to “ensure high standards for Henrietta neighborhoods” and to “vigorously pursue compliance with Henrietta property codes,” as written in a newsletter released on August 16. These property codes are outlined by the law passed in November 2011, which prevents four or more people – unrelated by blood, marriage or adoption – to live in a single house.
Moore tries to stay connected with his community. “I enjoy going door-to-door. I went to 3,500 doors during the primary. I interact with all Henrietta residents every day, so it's a part of my life …” said Moore in an interview with News 10 NBC.