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Village 14 is inviting all candidates for mayor, city council or school committee to submit a single guest column between now and Aug 1. 

My name is Jake Auchincloss and I ask for your vote to re-elect me as city councilor-at-large from Ward 2. 

In an era of national political instability, you deserve local officials who are making sound decisions about the issues that directly affect your life: education, infrastructure, housing, and taxation. You deserve judgment that you can trust.

Why should you trust my judgment? Three reasons: 

I make decisions empirically, not emotionally

  1. Example: Road quality in Newton is poor. Every constituent (my own fiancé included) is convinced that their road is the worst in Newton and should be paved first. The city has partnered with a technology company, however, to prioritize every segment of road in the city according to its pavement condition and its intensity of use. As the city accelerates road pavement, I have – and will continue to – demand adherence to this data-driven schedule instead of angling for exceptions for the most vocal residents.
  2. Example: The Welcoming City ordinance, which I co-docketed, aroused tremendous passion in opposition. The facts indicated, though, that the measure is Constitutional with a track record of improving police-community relations. 

I make decisions regardless of political headwinds

  1. Example: My vote in favor of Washington Place, in my home ward, earned me a challenger who is opposed to housing. But Newton needs more walkable, affordable housing and I will continue to support projects that provide it.
  2. Example: I defended the right of Newton North students to display the Confederate Flag. Nobody wants to associate themselves with such behavior, but the First Amendment is most important when it’s least popular. 

I understand and share Newton’s values and priorities

  1. Example: I was educated in Newton from Temple Emanuel pre-K through Newton North. I know that world-class education is the cardinal value in Newton and I will always support the public schools, through thick and thin.
  2. Example: Through my monthly newsletter and office hours, which build upon the 14K doors that my campaign knocked last cycle, I am constantly internalizing my constituents’ priorities. Not just the priorities of the most vocal residents – the truly representative concerns that more quietly pervade this city. 

Perhaps most distressingly, I know that there are thousands of seniors out there in our city who are struggling – with dignity, with grace – but struggling to afford to stay in the city where they raised their kids and built their lives. The accessory apartment ordinance will help, but we need to do more to make housing affordable for them. My opponent would vote to go in reverse; I will work for progress.

Please email me at [email protected] or attend my monthly office hours (first Saturday of every month, 10AM – noon at L’Aroma Cafe) to talk more.