This arrived via email from Marcia Johnson..
Marcia Johnson, Alderman at Large from Ward 2, announced today that she will be running for re-election this November. “Newton needs experienced leadership on the Board of Aldermen if we’re going to meet the serious challenges we face in city finances, housing, zoning and infrastructure,” Johnson said. “Board members need to work together to develop solutions that reflect the Newton community’s shared values,” she added. Making good policy decisions based on sound judgement and practical experience is important, Johnson said, “but it is also critical that we treat each other with respect in the process of doing the city’s business.” Johnson is convinced that the tone and tenor of public discussion is a key element in successful board work.
Johnson stated that one of her primary reasons for running is bringing her unique skills and experience to the Board of Aldermen.. “My professional experience working in the private sector has really helped me be more effective on the Board,” Johnson said. “As a senior director of human resources at a global bio-pharma outsourcing company, I work with people in many different countries across multiple continents. We have to bridge different time zones, cultures, geography and numerous other challenges, but at the end of the day we work together as a team and get the job done,” she said.
Alderman Johnson is currently chair of the Zoning and Planning Committee on the Board. She has been relentlessly driving the process of zoning reform, which she says is critical to the city’s future. “We like to think of Newton as 13 villages, but the reality is we are a major city covering 18 square miles, with 85,000 residents,” she pointed out. “Doing zoning reform in a way that respects the character of the villages is vastly more complicated than it is in some smaller cities nearby,” she added. Johnson said that the first phase of Newton’s zoning reform is almost complete, with Phase 2 set to begin soon.
Community Leaders Voice Their Support for Johnson
Newton resident Steve Grossman, a former gubernatorial candidate and state treasurer who now serves as CEO of the nationally known non-profit Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, said “I offer Marcia my unwavering support because of her unique business experience, sustained Board leadership and her collegial approach to problem-solving to benefit the people of Newton.”
Newton Mayor Setti Warren noted Johnson’s dedication to the community. “I’ve learned to value Marcia as a friend and colleague because she is always totally honest and direct with me, even when what she has to say may not be the answer you think you want to hear. I trust her judgement because her commitment to doing what’s best for the Newton community is uncompromising.”
Kay Khan represents half of Newton in the state legislature, including the villages of Newton Lower Falls, Auburndale, West Newton, Newtonville, Newton Corner, and parts of Newton Center. “As state representative for the 11th Middlesex District, I truly value my relationship with Alderman Marcia Johnson, we have a long history of working collaboratively on a multitude of issues that benefit the City of Newton,” she said. “Marcia is thoughtful, intelligent, hard working, courageous, always accessible and deeply committed to getting the work done that positively impacts our community. Her experience and voice on the Board of Aldermen is extremely valuable,” Khan added.
Scott Lennon, Ward 1 Alderman at Large and President of the Board of Aldermen, said “I am honored to be supporting Marcia in her re-election campaign. She is one of the hardest working members of the Board. During my six years as President, I’ve depended on her steady leadership and guidance on a variety of issues as Chair of the Zoning and Planning Committee. I look forward to Marcia continuing her work on the new City Council,” said Lennon.
Matt Hills, chair of the Newton School Committee, praised Johnson’s work saying, “Marcia has been an invaluable member of the Board of Aldermen, combining a strong business background with an ability to work closely with colleagues to shape key city policies. She has been a strong supporter of our schools, and I am looking forward to Marcia’s continuing leadership of our city,” he added.
Candidates will be taking out nomination papers beginning May 1, and the 2015 municipal elections are scheduled for Tuesday, November 3rd, when all 24 seats on the Board of Aldermen and 8 slots on the School Committee will be decided.