Village 14 is inviting all candidates for mayor, city council or school committee to submit a single guest column between now and Aug 1.
The theme of my work and campaign is “making Newton a welcoming city”. Many feel as I do, that governmental progress now will only come from the state and local level; in that regard, allow me to tell you about some of my work of the last term.
I’m proud that I led the charge to create the Welcoming City ordinance, which requires adherence to 4th and 10th Amendments of our US constitution – providing due process for all Newtonians regardless of immigration status.
Other work highlights include:
- The Cabot School upgrade where I worked with neighbors and parents to promote a design and site plan that worked for everyone – neighbors, children and teachers alike. (I look forward to answering concerns about this work)
- I docketed and passed a drone ordinance to protect our privacy.
- I moved from the Land Use Committee to the Zoning and Planning Committee as the work began on Newton’s Zoning Reform.
- I Chaired the Real Property Reuse Committee, working on reusing an abandoned water tower site for affordable housing.
- I co-sponsored an item asking for municipal aggregation, which could save ratepayers on electric bills.
- I co-docketed and worked on the revised and recently passed Accessory Apartment ordinance which will help seniors and others remain in their homes and provide additional opportunities for renters.
- I continue to work on sustainable land use policies to enhance our village centers, preserve our neighborhoods, support diverse housing, and encourage economic growth.
I worked with Representative Khan advocating for accessible commuter rail stations in Newton. I supported continued rehab of public buildings to meet an environmentally sound standard and to repair our roads and sidewalks. I advocated for an economic plan to strengthen our commercial tax base and work on a new zoning code, which preserves our neighborhoods. I supported and worked on projects that create housing including affordable housing and options for seniors who want to live in a walkable village center. Of course I supported budget requests that preserve our excellent schools.
I bring a problem solving style to thorny issues looking for solutions that benefit the greatest good, working with the Police Chief to satisfy his point of view in the Welcoming City ordinance and with the Cabot School committees to satisfy competing interests (100 years is a long time to regret not seeking a stronger solution).
While both my fellow Councilors in the ward have monthly office hours – many know that I’m always accessible – my home phone is on the city’s website and I receive many requests for help and input every day of the week both from Ward 2 and all over the city.
In the next term I will:
- Support zoning that creates diverse housing options while preserving the character of our neighborhoods,
- Work for ordinances and budgets to create a sustainable environment,
- Encourage the mayor to continue to modernize our infrastructure,
- Create policies, ordinances, and support projects to broaden our tax base by becoming friendlier to bringing new business
- Encourage using smart city technology including the exploration of autonomous vehicle systems
- Urge DPW to continue its work to reduce waste and encourage recycling
- Sustain Newton as a wonderful place to live, work and go to school.
To learn more about me visit my website http://susanalbright.org, join me on facebook, https://www.facebook.com/susan.albright.7798 , on twitter @aldermansusan, or email me [email protected]. I’d be happy to explain my rational for any of my votes and receive feedback on my ideas. Let’s talk and work on things together. I love my work for Newton and I ask for your vote.