Before I start this post, let me just say that I’m a supporter of Matthew Miller, who is running for School Committee in ward 8. It’s a contested seat that Margie Ross Decter is vacating having reached the end of her term limits. Amy Masters Ribner is also running and has some very solid backing. It will be a very interesting race.

Matthew Miller (center) with Cheryl Lappin (left) and his family.

What I like about attending kickoffs (more than the cookies… or in this case the really nice chicken salad bites) are the personal moments they can generate. Some events can be pretty straightforward with speeches from key officials* and cocktail party conversations with people involved in Newton government and advocacy. But then there are the glimpses of the person who is running. 

Sunday gave us a bit of spring warmth with beautiful sunshine and deep blue skies, so Miller’s announcement happened outside of a beautiful home in Oak Hill. 

The “moment” came when Miller was trying to lay out this platform, but his 2nd-grade son did what kids do: playing with balloons, running around his dad, not wanting to stand still for the photo opp of holding a lawn sign. He certainly wasn’t willing to do it for too long. And Miller did what parents do: juggled the multi-dimensional aspects of being a working parent who is running for office, all while wearing a fabulous suit. 

Even while his son wrapped his arms around Miller’s legs, he managed to deliver his opening speech and address his key issues: Making sure that Newton serves every child equally, dealing with the budget challenges that face our district and helping educate the whole child, academically, socially and emotionally. 

After taking a moment to negotiate with his son to hold a sign, he joked “Compromise is something I bring to the table.” We all laughed a bit knowingly. 

We’ve all been there. It’s what life is today, there just aren’t stark lines between work and home, it’s all interconnected. 


*Electeds at this event included Cheryl Lappin (who handled introductions), Ted Hess-Mahan, Susan Albright, Deb Crossley, Jay Harney, Amy Sangiolo (who has her own big campaign to run), David Kalis and Alison Leary. 

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