I am a strong advocate of the Austin Street Project. Not only do I object to the argument that Newton residents bought their houses thinking things would never change, I’m offended by it. I never expected that the world would remain static, and I certainly never thought that Newton wouldn’t have to change along with it. Today’s demographics are different from those of 20 years ago, and changes are required to accommodate those demographics. Freezing Newton as it once was, in my opinion, is tantamount to building an invisible fence to keep people out – all because allowing them into the city would require people to adapt to the changing world.
I try to be sympathetic toward people who struggle with transition but my patience runs thin with adults who call themselves progressives but want things to always stay the same.
Which brings me to why I’m voting for Jake. I see Jake as a candidate who will help move the city forward. I like his experience researching municipal best practices in local government for the Kennedy School of Government and his Sloan School MBA. I like that he served – and continues to serve – our country. I’m a Democrat who likes that he worked for both Governor Deval Patrick and for Governor Charlie Baker. I like how much he wants the job and how hard he’s willing to work for it. I see him as neither pro- nor anti-development. Rather, I think he’s someone who will look for data, rather than ideology, to help form his opinions.
I’ve wavered a couple of times, mostly because I’m so unhappy with Newton Villages Alliance’s anti-development message, and I don’t want to contribute to anything that the organization may construe as a victory. But I’m even more dismayed by the behavior of the Newton Democratic City Committee and the purposely deceitful scarlet “R” its leaders have tried to brand onto Jake. The NDCC didn’t do itself or its candidates any favors by running such a partisan and misleading campaign.
I’ve never been a one-issue voter, and I won’t become one now. We need some younger people on the board and I don’t think we should let good candidates with a strong interest in public service get away. We need problem solvers representing us who are not defined by one issue. I think Jake fits that bill and I’m proud to vote for him.
For what it’s worth, my second vote in Ward 2 is going to Susan Albright.
*I took the photo above because it was the first time I’d seen a collection of signs that represented people for whom I intend to vote.