We have invited all candidates running for contested seats in the upcoming Newton election to submit a guest post to Village 14. The format and content of the post is entirely up to them.

City Council candidate Tarik Lucas, who is running for the Ward 2 at-large seat, has submitted the following post.

Hello Newton,

Roughly 6 months ago, I announced my candidacy on this website.  6 months later, I am back for this special post. 

To refresh the readers of who I am; I’m originally from Brookline.  I graduated from Brookline High School, then 4 years later I graduated from Springfield College.  I’ve been living as a renter in the Newtonville Historic District for the past 10 years.  During the day, I work at Harvard University Press.  I have been employed as a Royalty Specialist at HUP for the past 11 years.  For part-time jobs, I have been a sports official.  I’ve officiated youth and adult soccer games since 1996, and basketball since 2008.  I am no longer a baseball umpire.  I hung up those cleats back in 2006 after calling the balls and strikes for 6 years.

While many people here in Newton have treated me with respect and have come to make plenty of friends, I certainly wouldn’t be in this position if it wasn’t for my loving parents who gave me everything I needed to succeed in life.  My dad for most of his professional life worked at the Post Office at Boston University, and my mom is still employed as a psychiatric nurse at Massachusetts Mental Health Center.  Each of my parents worked union jobs to help provide the necessary tools for my siblings and me.  And I can gladly say that I am employed in a union (HUCTW) at Harvard University Press.

I would say that one of the many benefits of being in a labor union is job security.  When I started my current job in 2008, it was at the time of the Great Recession.  But all of the union employees at our job remained on the job.  Another plus of being in a union, is the quality of the health insurance that is provided.  Anybody who knows me, knows that I’ve had some serious health problems as of late.  In the past 4 years, I have had countless trips to the hospital.  It has ended with 2 hip surgeries (same hip) for a combination of problems that required the surgeon to either remove, repair, and re-connect, but not replace.  That won’t be until later in life.  But with all of those hospital visits and surgeries, I have had to pay very little out-of-pocket expenses.  Awhile back, our union did go without a contract for nearly a year, but union and university leaders were able to come to an agreement.  So, with 17 of our labor unions here in Newton working without contracts, I can truly say that I sympathize with you.  Hang in there.  There is light at the end of the tunnel.  And I am confident that you will receive a fair contract.

Even though I’ve been living in Newtonville for 10 years, I didn’t get deeply involved in Newton politics until 2017, when I volunteered for the No on Charter campaign.  And thanks to the hard work that was put in by so many wonderful people, we were able to defeat the recommendations to the City Charter that would have abolished local representation and accountability in our government.  Additionally, that same year I was elected to the Newtonville Area Council in 2017, and earlier this year I became the Vice-president of the NAC.

Now I aim to be your City Councilor.  It would truly be an honor to serve Newton in that capacity.

My candidacy has been endorsed by the Newton Teachers Association, Newton Democracy, and Right Size Newton.  I ask for your vote on Tuesday, November 5th.

To learn more about my campaign, please go to TarikLucas.org

Tarik Lucas

Candidate for City Council, Ward 2 at-large