The Daily’s March 29 profile of First Ward aldermanic candidate and Kellogg Prof. Allan Drebin notes that questions have been raised in the campaign concerning “whether Drebin faces a conflict of interest as a tenured NU faculty member,” thereby barring him from voting on matters affecting Northwestern coming before the Evanston City Council. Drebin claims that this “issue has been blown out of proportion.”
Drebin’s dismissal is disingenuous given the ruling two weeks ago by the city’s chief legal officer that Evanston’s ethics code prohibits an alderman employed by the school district from participating and voting on issues involving the school district coming before the city council.
For, clearly, if an alderman is disqualified from debating and voting on issues involving his school district employer, surely Drebin is similarly barred by law from debating and voting on NU-related issues should he be elected alderman. The result students and residents alike would be unrepresented on the council when matters affecting NU come up for consideration.
This need not be. Ald. Arthur Newman (1st) has a strong record of championing the interests of both students and homeowners. Drebin failed his only previous test when three years ago he sided with NU administrators in their efforts to turn the Foster-Walker Complex green space into a faculty parking lot against the overwhelming opposition of Foster-Walker students and neighbors.
Students and residents alike need an alderman who is not barred by a conflict of interest from debating and voting on matters involving the university. To continue having our voices heard and interests represented on the city council vote for Ald. Art Newman today.