I am running for Mayor because I believe I bring many unique strengths that are essential to Newton’s success. Here is what sets me apart in this race and is important for Newton right now:
More experience: Serving on the City Council for 20 years under two different administrations, I have a keen understanding of what works and what doesn’t. I’ve served as Vice Chair of the City Council for two terms, Chair of the Committee on Community Preservation, and Chair of the Programs and Services Committee, which oversees numerous municipal departments and the School Department.
Effective leadership: I have been effective in passing significant legislation that protects our environment, generates revenue for the City, and improves our community. For example, I co-sponsored the Tree Preservation Ordinance and a pilot program to remove organics from our waste stream. I was key to getting more affordable housing units at the Austin Street development. I was a leading City Council advocate for the purchase of Aquinas and using debt-exclusion overrides to pay for our capital projects.
Perspective of a long-term Newton Public Schools parent: For 16 years, I have raised my children in our public schools and have been an active volunteer and an outspoken advocate for all NPS students and families. I have voted to increase funding for our schools, voted against cuts in music and art programs, and voted against fees that serve as barriers to participation.
Life-long commitment to the environment: I have been an avid supporter of environmental causes throughout my life, through legal work with non-profits in San Francisco and Washington, DC and organizing in Newton. I co-founded the Charles River Neighborhood Foundation, which funds environmental programs and organizations throughout the City including the Green Decade Coalition, the Newton Tree Conservancy, and the Newton Community Farm. I’ve advocated for recreational bike paths along the Charles River and have proposed aggressive goals for the City to become Zero Waste and 100% Renewable by 2027.
Strongest advocate for our seniors: I served on the Strategic Planning Committee for the Senior Center as well as the Board of Springwell. On the City Council, I have consistently advocated for additional funding for expansion of senior programs, services, transportation, and space.
Commitment to accessible and responsive governance: I am the only candidate – and the only City Councilor – who sends a weekly newsletter to inform residents of the issues being discussed within the City Council, its committees, and other city boards and commissions. It’s hard work but essential to keeping our citizens informed and engaged.
Clear support for Ward-only representation: I am the only mayoral candidate outspoken in opposing the Charter Commission’s proposed removal of our City Councilors elected by their wards. Yes, we can reduce the size of the Council, but we should not lose our system of direct Ward representation. The proposed residency requirement is not sufficient.
Transparency in financial policy: I have a record of demanding accountability and more transparency in city financial decisions. I am the only mayoral candidate willing to state that an override is essential to address our unfunded liabilities and upcoming needs for services, including our schools, and capital investment in our City.
Opposition to teardowns and out-of-scale rebuilds: I am the only mayoral candidate that has a record of pushing forward with zoning reform efforts to preserve the historic character of our neighborhoods and ensure development is appropriately scaled.
Hard-working collaborator and advocate: I am a City Councilor who stands up for those who may be marginalized because their views are different or because they question or challenge more established points of view. I consistently work with neighborhood organizations, developers, and institutions to find workable compromise and common ground.
I offer a clear choice from the other candidates – one that brings essential, unique strengths to Newton. I see the potential for Newton to change the way we plan for our future – to ensure we are at the forefront of environmental policy, education, and affordable housing. Newton must lead in these areas and I’m ready to lead Newton. That’s why I’m running for Mayor, and that’s why I ask for your support and your vote on September 12th and again on November 7th. Thank you.