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Dems reverse decision, invite Segal to speak at body meeting

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Tuesday, November 1, 2005

The Brown Democrats’ executive board has voted to invite Ward 1 City Councilman David Segal to speak at an upcoming general body meeting, said Tor Tarantola ’08, communications chair for the Dems.

However, Tarantola stressed, the invitation “does in no way reflect endorsement” of Segal’s campaign. “We’re staying neutral in the race right now,” he said, adding that usually the Dems choose to endorse a candidate after the primaries.

Ethan Ris ’05, a Democrat, is challenging Segal for his seat in the 2006 election.

Last week the Dems decided they would not allow Segal to speak at their general body meeting. Michaela Labriole ’07, president of the Brown Democrats, said the group’s constitution mandates that “if there’s a Democratic candidate in the race and that Democratic candidate (agrees with) the tenets of the Democratic party, that person should be allowed to come speak,” while Republican or Independent views are less fitting for the general body meeting.

Segal told The Herald last week he viewed the earlier decision as an example of “petty partisan politics.”

The Dems anticipate that Segal’s speech will be primarily issues-based. “(Segal) really wanted to talk to us about issues that are important to him, important to us and important to the city of Providence,” Tarantola said, citing housing and environmental protection.

“We want to maintain our identity as the Brown Democrats,” he said. “At the same time, he is our city councilman.”

Segal could not be reached for comment late Monday night.

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