January 30, 2006
Michael Taylor ’05, former Ithaca alderperson and Gayraud Townsend ’05 (D-4th Ward) were honored earlier this month as members of the steering committee of The Young Elected Officials Network, a burgeoning progressive political organization. The Inaugural Convening of the YEO Network, entitled “A New Generation of Leaders on the Front Lines of Change,” was held in Washington, D.C., from Jan. 13-15.
“This is a good cause – it’s something desperately needed in this country given the current state of political affairs,” Townsend said. “One-third of the working poor and a majority of those without health insurance are young people.”
Andrew Gillum, Vice-Mayor of Tallahassee, Fl., who is under 35 and therefore a young elected official himself, initiated research for the YEO Network in September 2005. In a telephone interview, Gillum said that while in office he was hard pressed to find another progressive young official. He elaborated on the differences between younger and older elected officials, saying that the YEO Network isn’t about ageism, but that the two groups “aren’t cut from the same cloth.” He added that older elected officials believe they are public servants, while YEOs do not feel the same way.
“This is a brand new thing. The goal is to collectively bring young people together,” said Taylor, whose term on the Ithaca Common Council ended Dec. 31.
The YEO Network has compiled a database of 177 YEOs. 64 of these officials were invited to attend the conference. But according to a report by the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University, there are many more progressive YEOs in the country. 63 percent of U.S. presidents and half of today’s governors, congressmen and senators were under 35 when they first became involved in politics, making them YEOs.
“[These numbers] suggest an informal pipeline of leadership,” Gillum said.
The conference schedule included issues workshop sessions on healthcare, public education and taxes and budgets, as well as skills workshops on maintaining networks, media relations and campaign fundraising.
Since many elected officials are over 35, the YEO Network and its complementary organization, Young People for the American Way, act as support and stability for YEOs, so they do not feel alone throughout their terms in office.
The members of the steering committee addressed the challenge of writing a mission statement, questioning if the YEO Network is a good thing and what the network’s vision and long-term focus should be, Townsend said.
Speakers at the conference included Jason West, the maverick young mayor of New Paltz, NY, a town not unlike Ithaca, given its young population and proximity to a large university, who made national headlines for marrying gay couples. Townsend sees a parallel between Ithaca and New Paltz and sees potential for a young mayor in Ithaca.
The conference wasn’t strictly business. The steering committee members had the opportunity to share their experiences in politics at breakfasts and break sessions. Gillum said interaction among YEOs was a prime goal at the conference. The Network teaches YEOs not only about the public official side, but also about how to balance life and work.
Townsend did not know what to expect before arriving in Washington, but found his fellow young elected officials “passionate about the issues of everyday who would do what it takes to represent young people.”
“The conference has made me more confident as an elected official, Townsend said. “It has shown me what I’m doing has really mattered.”
Archived article by Jessica DiNapoli Sun Staff Writer
January 30, 2006
Unlike the content fans who excitedly poured out of Lynah Rink after the men’s hockey team earned a 4-3 overtime victory against Brown, Cornell head coach Mike Schafer ’86 sat at Friday night’s press conference visibly displeased with his team’s performance.
“I’m not really happy with the way we played and I wasn’t happy in how we prepared right from our morning skate,” Schafer said. “I’m not happy about the way we played in overtime. It’s such a short year, guys have to come out focused.”
With the Red (14-4-2, 9-3-1 ECACHL) facing a 3-1 deficit in the second period after its mostly uninspired play up to that point, Cornell was forced to fight tooth and nail against the ECACHL’s last-place team to get back into the game.
Goals by sophomore Sasha Pokulok and junior Mitch Carefoot helped send the encounter into overtime before senior Chris Abbott tallied the game-winner.
However, Abbott’s goal came after a spectacular performance by Cornell junior goaltender David McKee, highlighted by a post-to-post stop on Brown’s Jeff Prough in the extra period.
“I think getting down a couple of goals actually shows the character of our players and our team, just the fact that we were able to show a lot of grit and determination to win the game in overtime,” McKee said.
After Red senior Matt Moulson and Brown’s Pete LeCain exchanged power play goals in the opening frame, the Bears took the lead 1:06 into the second period. In an odd sequence of events on a 2-on-1 opportunity, Eric Slais rifled a shot, which was saved by McKee. However, the rebound went off of unsuspecting Cornell senior defender Jon Gleed, who was located just above the crease, and into the net.
Later in the period, Brown (3-12-5, 2-8-3) doubled its lead on a controversial goal. As Brown took it into Cornell’s zone, it appeared that McKee was hit by an opposing player and he fell on his back. With the goaltender out of position, Slais dished a pass off to Prough, who found the back of the net, notching his ninth goal of the year.
But, Brown’s third tally seemed to ignite the Red. After being more aggressive on the boards and in going forward, the Red earned a well-deserved goal. As Brown’s Sean Hurley left the penalty box after serving out his two-minute penalty for interference, junior Byron Bitz passed the puck off to Pokulok, who smacked a one-timer from the point that was deflected off a player’s back and found its way past D’Alba.
“It was one of those screen shots where you go down, make yourself big and cover low,” D’Alba said. “I had no idea what happened to it, all I saw was it going upper corner, glove side, and I didn’t know what to do because I didn’t really see it.”
As the Red continued to gain momentum, it tied the game up after Prough was handed two minutes in the box for tripping. Attacking the ECACHL’s statistically-worst penalty kill, Pokulok cycled the puck down low to senior Daniel Pegoraro. Rather than shooting, Pegoraro zipped a pass across the face of D’Alba’s net to a wide-open Carefoot, who slotted it home from close range.
“As soon as the score went 3-1, we decided, ‘Okay, now it’s time to kick it into gear and get going here,’ and that [was] the first time our intensity took off throughout the course of the game,” Schafer said.
Brown and Cornell each had a power play opportunity in the third period, but solid goaltending by McKee and D’Alba set the stage for the second overtime encounter between the two teams this season.
Although Cornell would come out of the extra period victorious, as it did in Providence on Nov. 5, it would first need a dose of McKee’s heroics.
As the Bears had it in Cornell’s zone, Prough found space from close range and shot. However, McKee made the post-to-post save, setting up the eventual game-winner.
“I came through a couple of defensemen and I just one-timed it as hard as I could,” Prough said. “He’s a great goalie, I don’t know how he got over to it in time.”
“The game could have been totally different if it wasn’t for David McKee,” Schafer added. “We did two things in overtime that we addressed right on the bench not to do, and we got away with it, thanks to David.”
On the next line change, Cornell came down the ice as Abbott received the puck from freshman Tyler Mugford and went in on goal, slotting it past D’Alba. McKee also earned his first career point, as he was credited with an assist on the play.
“I was going to take it wide on the defenseman, he opened up and I just came across and was able to get a backhand off,” Abbott said. “I think it fooled D’Alba a little bit.”
Friday’s victory marked the Red’s 10th win in 12 games, but it left a sour taste in Schafer’s mouth, as he called it the team’s “worst game in a while.”
“We’re not happy with the way we played tonight. Obviously, the two points is good for us, but ultimately, we didn’t come to play and we weren’t consistent,” Abbott said. “We can say we dodged a bullet. To come out like that and not play the way we should, we’re not going to get up on any teams in this league.”
Archived article by Brian TsaoSun Assistant Sports Editor