This is a guest blog post submitted by Ward 6 City Councilor Brenda Noel
After the city council vote on July 9th on #312-18 “Citizens Petition requesting ballot question on recreational marijuana establishments and its subsequent vote to not allow for it to be on the ballot”, I received several emails accusing me of voting “as a block” with the other female councilors. This offends me to my core- so let’s take a moment to break down that line of thinking.
For what it is worth- it was actually Councilor Krintzman who had the biggest influence on me with my vote on #312-18.
In 2017 Newton voted in 12 city councilors who happen to be female, resulting in a 50/50 gender split for the first time ever on the Newton City Council. As a result of this gender equity, there will be times, when an item gets voted up or down by a council majority that the councilors who happen to be women will vote the same way. It has to do with math, not anatomy. Dismissing the female councilors vote as some sort of conspiracy or secret club undermines the integrity of our votes and dismisses our ability to wrestle with complex issues and think independently.
And while I have you here- it also makes me crazy when folks suggest that the “new councilors” (read women) vote a certain way because we don’t understand the complexity of the issue and/or we have been snowed by more senior councilors and lack the ability to think for ourselves, (yes, I’m talking to you Councilor Cote). Enough already- its offensive.
The only thing all 12 female councilors agree upon is that we demand to be treated respectfully by our colleagues. Other than that, good luck finding consensus among the 12 of us.