I’m writing to invite everyone to join me, my good friend Councilor Brian Yates, and his many other friends for a festive Sunday afternoon of fun and remembrance to help honor his more than 50 years of trusted and selfless service to the City of Newton. Mark your calendar for this coming Sunday, January 7th from 2-4 pm at Dunn Gaherin’s warm and toasty pub, 344 Elliott Street in Newton Upper Falls. Two of Upper Falls leading stalwarts, Seana Gaherin and Jerry Reilly, are organizing and hosting this event, so you know it will be a fun event for all.  

Brian’s long and distinguished career spans more than a half century.   In addition to his 30 years of service as An at-large Alderman and City Councilor from Ward 5, he has been:

A tireless and lifelong champion for the people of Upper Falls starting in his early years of public service when he teamed with author/activist Ken Newcomb to launch the Upper Falls Improvement Association and where he subsequently  served as Chairman of the Advisory Committee that established the Upper Falls Community Development Corporation (CDC).  

President of the Friends of Hemlock Gorge and Echo Bridge where he continues to lead a volunteer citizen effort that has transformed a decayed and degraded eyesore into one of the area’s most treasured open space and recreational areas. 

A staunch advocate for Newton’s 13 villages and for various historic preservation initiatives including Local Historic Districts (LHD) Conservation Districts and providing landmark status to Newton’s most treasured historical and architectural homes and buildings. 

A staunch Democratic party activist who served as both Ward 5 Democratic Chairman and as Vice Chair of the Newton Democratic City Committee.  Despite this partisan bent, Brian has still managed to win the respect, affection, and — most important of all — the trust of leaders and activists from all corners of Newton’s often turbulent political spectrum.  During this past campaign, Brian received endorsements from both the Newton Republican Committee and from the Newton Chapter of Our Revolution, the follow-on organization to Bernie Sanders’s  presidential campaign.  There can’t be many other municipal candidates in any part of America that have corralled such disparate endorsements. 

There’s more, but the main point for me is that Brian has been a great friend and confidant.  We’ve shared many conversations and laughs over the years, a lot of them self deprecating on both sides.  Sunday should be a good opportunity for more of these.