Hello! My name is Nicole Castillo, and I’m asking for your vote for Ward 1 City Councilor at-large. I first came to Newton in 2013 to work at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, where I served as the domestic and sexual violence advocate and program coordinator. I have served as an advocate for almost a decade, work that both humbles me and in which I take tremendous pride. Advocacy work – both here in Newton and across the state – has prepared me well to serve as your city councilor. As an advocate, I practice listening first. My daily work entailed communicating information about complicated systems in digestible pieces and with actionable steps. I walked with my clients through legal and governmental systems, learning where they got hung up and what could be made better. Most importantly, I made sure that their voices were heard.
As city councilor —
- I will foster civil dialogue and support sustainable growth and development to meet our housing needs. I support our efforts toward increased citywide use of renewable energy, more walkable and bikeable streets, and long-term solutions to our many public transportation needs.
- I will work with our school committee and teachers to ensure that there is funding to support our excellent public schools, and to address the achievement gap that persists among students of color so that all students have the best foundation to succeed.
- I support Newton’s Welcoming City Ordinance, which I believe is both a testament to the type of inclusive community we are, and also ensures that no family, regardless of their immigration status, will be afraid to reach out to law enforcement if they are a victim of a crime, to seek medical attention, or to register their children for school.
- I will support improvements in our infrastructure. In my conversations with folks at the doors, it is clear that we all feel incredibly frustrated by the state of our roads. I am pleased to see that our city has invested in StreetScan technology, so that we can begin not just to repair our roads, but to put them on a maintenance system to prevent disrepair and reduce future costs.
- I will put Newton’s response to the opioid crisis front and center. Newton has already been impacted by the opioid epidemic, and I will actively work to ensure that we realize a multi-sector effort to support those impacted by the crisis, from the most immediate through the long-term. No family or individual should have to suffer alone, and as a community, I know we can compassionately support and care for those who are impacted.
I grew up in a Latino Catholic family that instilled in me a strong sense of social justice, volunteerism, and philanthropy. I have translated these values into a career in public service, working for those at the margins. I currently work as a statewide Public Policy Director serving young families and working to prevent teenage pregnancy. Since January, I have found myself on the frontlines of repeated budget cuts at the state and federal level, and imminent threats to reproductive justice and women’s rights. This is incredibly challenging work, and there are days when I wish we were not always rowing against the tide. At the same time, it has made me even more prepared and energized to work, and to continue to build the type of community that truly exemplifies our best values. I hope you will join me. Please visit my website at www.castilloforward1.com, or email me at [email protected].
I look forward to connecting with you!