Eckstein for Judge

To the Editor:

A great opportunity is drawing near for Oberlin College students to make themselves heard and leave a legacy for future OC students. This opportunity for the propagation of your values does not manifest itself in the form of demonstrations in foreign countries or marches on the nationís capitol. Your chance to speak your mind in a constructive manner will be this upcoming Tuesday, May 8, when those of you who are registered to vote in Oberlin can valiantly march up to the polls at First Church and vote in the primary for Municipal Judge and cast your ballot for various local levies.
I am writing to urge my fellow students to walk their talk and get involved in politics at the local level by making themselves informed and voting on Tuesday. Through my personal efforts and my activities with the Oberlin College Democrats, I have become convinced that it is in the best interest of OC students and the Oberlin community as a whole to support Barry Eckstein in his efforts to secure the position of the Democratic candidate for Municipal Judge. Eckstein is an experienced attorney whose office is located right next door to the Java Zone and who has made every attempt to communicate with OC students and take our opinions into consideration. He is the only candidate who has approached me around campus and whom I have witnessed seeking out OC students to make a connection to the College. His willingness to undertake outreach efforts to the Oberlin College community shows that he perceives the interests of OC students as well as the remainder of his constituency as equals in terms of the validity of our concerns and needs. 
While Ecksteinís methods in reaching out to students are laudable, it is his policy stances that have ultimately driven me to support his candidacy. Eckstein is dedicated to the implementation of a non-violent, first offender diversion program. Such a program would enable perpetrators of crimes such as open container violations, shoplifting, noise violations (violations that tend to be undertaken by young people) to pay for their crimes via community service or fines and then bear no evidence of the crime on their records. This type of program is important since it will enable Oberlin College students as well young community residents who have committed these non-violent crimes for the first time to enter colleges, grad schools, and the job market without being held back by a minor youthful indiscretion.
Barry Eckstein is also my choice since he has declined to receive any campaign contributions since he firmly believes that the acceptance of such gifts would place a judge in a compromising position. I hope that my fellow students will take this opportunity to support Barry Eckstein and leave a legacy for future Oberlin College students.

ĖErika Hansen
College senior


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